For up to date reports on how the rivers have been fishing during the previous week please click the link below. The reports are divided into Upper, Middle and Lower sections of both the Test and Itchen and are compiled by the river keepers working on these sections. You can also view the three day weather forecasts for the Andover, Winchester and Romsey areas.
RIVER TEST REPORTS – Last updated 2nd September 2015
Early morning hatches of Blue Duns have been sporadic but fish rising freely when they are about. Mayfly are showing by late morning and continuing into the evening with a good spinner fall for rods wanting to fish into the late evening. Best flies are Iron Blues; Poly-wing emergers, Grey Wulff and spinner patterns for ends of day.
There were good hatches of Medium Olives and a few Grannom right from the off and the fish were keen to rise for them. The Mayfly was a little later than recent years, the trout were taking them readily by the 18th May and there were some huge returns of Spinners around the 26th May. What was encouraging were the hatches of Iron Blue mixed in with the Mays.
The River has been terribly coloured throughout May and June, even after the weeedcut it didn’t clear as it has in previous years. I assume this is caused by algae as it gets worse with the sunshine. First week of July and the water is finally clearing, although the flows are getting worrying.
There is still little weed growth on the lower beats which has meant the mayfly hatch has been somewhat erratic this season. Anglers are finding success with mayfly nymph and emerger patterns early in the day and the usual patterns are working well in the later afternoon, those anglers staying on for the spinner fall have had some excellent sport, albeit short lived when the temperatures drops some evenings. Salmon are being seen in good numbers but again, with light weed growth, they are not yet holding station and are mainly running up-river.
RIVER ITCHEN REPORTS
Sport has been steady throughout the last week with good number of fish rising throughout the day to Iron Blues and BWO’s, late afternoon and early evening has seen a few mayfly on the river with a short lived spinner fall on warmer evenings. There is healthy ranunculus growth throughout all the upper beats, with plenty of shrimp around on the days when the fish are slow to rise. Best patterns; Shrimp patterns, GRHE, Iron Blues, BWO’s, Tuphams, Gray Wulffs and spinners
The Martyr Worthy fishery has suffered badly this year from swan damage which has resulted in poor weed growth and as a result a dramatic drop in the water level. Only in the last few weeks has there been an improvement in the river bed and only then in some parts of the Fishery. This has come about because the resident pair of swans have failed to nest and become territorial. Somehow through all of this fish have found places to hide and are now showing themselves in ever increasing numbers, and fly hatches have held up well with a mixture of olive and mayfly on most days. The mayfly have all but finished, and olive hatches are down to a trickle during the daytime. However evenings are consistently good
The poor clarity of the Itchen has been a disappointment to the salmon fisheries in 2015. This is the second year in the last three years that we’ve experienced murky water in the early part of the season. However there are signs that things are improving just as the first of the grilse push into the river. There has been a reasonable run of early salmon with the Gaters Mill counter having recorded over 50 by the end of June. Given that at least an equal number and probably a lot more run the hatches at Gaters Mill, then the stock levels of multi sea winter salmon appear to be consistent with a slowly improving run. Unfortunately the low rainfall in 2015 and the lack of weed growth has meant that river levels have dropped very quickly and we really need a decent amount of rain to get the salmon that have settled in the lower river moving upstream. The salmon catch at Lower Itchen Fisheries (47) is well ahead of last year and the fisheries above have had a total of 10. The Itchen is primarily a grilse river and we are hopeful of a good run of these spirited little fish in July and August