The River Test

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Badger
Grayling
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The River Test

Post by Badger » Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:17 pm

As the start of the fly fishing season on the Test is just a few weeks away, I thought I would take a quick look at what condition the river is in as it passes through the lovely market town of Stockbridge.Arguably the centre of the southern England chalk stream world, the town has three fly fishing shops and the famous Grosvenor hotel, home of the legendary Houghton Club. It is one of the few High Streets in the UK where you can look at Trout holding station in the river whilst you are doing your shopping.

So what did I find and what sort of condition is the river in ?

Well as you can see in the picture below, it is still very far from " Gin" clear at the moment. There are fish in this pool but its hard to make them out in the very cloudy stream. This is a little carrier that runs through the high street and is not fished. The sandbags are still out as well.

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Below is a close up of a good sized Trout in the middle of the shot if you look very carefully but not the sort of water clarity you would expect at this time of year.

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This is the main river running on the edge of the town. The pictures don't really show the pace at which it is moving but it reminded me of a small highland spate river rather than a Chalk stream.

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A view upstream

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A nice poem on a wall nearby. I don't know anything about the author but I liked the sentiment.

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Stockbridge below, the spiritual home of fly fishing to many and a very pleasant small town in it's own right.

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With just a few weeks to go to May 1st, the river looks like it needs to fine down some still. Here hoping for a great start to the new season.

Thanks for looking. Badger.
"An undisturbed river is as perfect as we will ever know, every refractive slide of cold water a glimpse of eternity" - Thomas McGuane

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JohnClyde
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Re: The River Test

Post by JohnClyde » Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:46 pm

Fantastic photos Badger.

The only images that I have in my head of southern chalkstreams come from the films of Olly Kite, James Robertson Justice and Jack Hargreaves.

Someday I may even be lucky enough to cast a line over these hallowed waters.

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Nigel Rainton
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Re: The River Test

Post by Nigel Rainton » Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:45 pm

Image

Badger,

This is the same pool when I was there last July, it might even be the same fish :-)

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Badger
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Re: The River Test

Post by Badger » Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:42 pm

Could well be. In theory of course a chalk stream shouldn't colour at all which is the big attraction. In practice it is the surface water run off the land that colours the river. The time taken to clear depends on the volume of water coming out of the springs / aquifers which is a lot right now and of course the cessation of run off from the land.
"An undisturbed river is as perfect as we will ever know, every refractive slide of cold water a glimpse of eternity" - Thomas McGuane

Gobio

Re: The River Test

Post by Gobio » Mon Dec 29, 2014 6:58 pm

A day trotting the Test at the Timsbury Fishery today. Pace was not as quick as I'd imagined it would have been but the Speedia only needed a breath of wind to start it turning. Grayling plentiful although not of the stamp of the Frome or indeed the Itchen. The one thing that was disappointing though was the number of anglers they crammed onto the place. I was told by the gentleman handing out the tickets it was restricted to twenty but I lost count at just over thirty. It was more akin to match fishing and sufficient enough to make me think again before returning.

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Nigel Rainton
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Re: The River Test

Post by Nigel Rainton » Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:53 pm

I had an opportunity to fish there in November but declined because there were 19 other anglers going and in my opinion that is too many. Thirty plus anglers is taking the micky (apologies to all Michaels) and greedy. Not for me.

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Mark
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Re: The River Test

Post by Mark » Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:57 pm

Looks a lovely river.
Mark (Administrator)

The most precious places in the English landscape are those secretive corners,
where you find only elder trees, nettles and dreams. (BB - Denys Watkins-Pitchford).

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Santiago
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Re: The River Test

Post by Santiago » Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:34 pm

I prefer the Anton and the number of anglers are restricted. When I went I only saw two other anglers; my son and our gillie!
"....he felt the gentle touch on the line and he was happy"

Hemingway

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