For up to date reports on how the rivers have been fishing recently. The reports are grouped into the Upper, Middle and Lower sections of the Test, the Upper and Lower sections of the Itchen and the Meon. The reports are compiled by river keepers working on the rivers. You can also view the three day weather forecasts for the Andover, Winchester and Romsey areas.
Upper Test (above Longparish)
Last updated 7 September 2017
The August weedcut was difficult due to the sheer volume of weed growth. Blanket weed made the cut difficult as well. It needed raking off the good weed before cutting could begin. Strangely enough, lots of weed was cut at Tufton and above, yet, speaking to the keepers for two or three miles below, they had very little to cut at all. Answers on a postcard please!
Fishing is steady with some fair fly hatches. One or two rods are saying it’s getting difficult. Only to be expected with such low and clear water, in my humble opinion! However some are still doing well.
An Osprey was going up and down the carrier this afternoon. A great sight. No doubt on its migration back to Africa.
Middle Test (Longparish downstream to Romsey)
Last updated 18 July 2017
The Mayfly had all but finished by the June weedcut, after some massive returns of Spinner on the evenings of the 25th and 26th May.
The weedcut concentrated on the Ribbon Weed in the deeper stretches. We left the shallows to hold the water up and cut runs and holes so the fishermen could see a fish or two.
Small black flies have been successful. The fish are taking something very small in amongst the Medium Olives and Spurwings. The evening rise has been sporadic and usually late on. A Sedge cast into the faster more oxygenated riffles will often be taken.
River levels are as expected after the long, hot, dry spell. They are holding up, though, helped by the rampant weed growth and the lack of swans eating it. River temperatures are hovering around 20 degrees C in the afternoons, not ideal for Trout in the River or the Farms.
We have had several trees down in recent weeks. They are working overtime, sucking up huge quantities of water to keep up with evaporation and must be stressed.
This year seems to be ideal for Damsel and Dragonflies, the fringes are alive with them. Marbled White butterflies are also prevalent in the Meadows.
Lower Test (Romsey downstream to the sea)
Last updated 6 July 2017
Flows are low water temps are high (peaked out over 23 degrees !) but the resultant levels aren’t bad due to exceptional weed growth .. water is very clear and little weed has been cut , just enough to create some velocity around the main lies… 75 salmon and grilse for the Test so far and although fish aren’t moving far fresh grilse are sneaking up the system . However water temps mean fishing is either suspended or very hard work . Sea trout are present in the lower river but again takes are hard to come by due directly to the temperature ..Trout fishing is good early and late … tough going throughout the heat of the day . Good numbers of olive spinner and sedge on the water after 9pm
Upper Itchen (above Winchester)
Last updated 8 July 2018
The 2018 season was slow to start with little fly life, few fish showing, and a river noticeably lacking in water clarity. However, as May drew on, fishing improved with some good hatches of olives, an abundance of mayfly, and plenty of feeding brown trout.By June the water cleared and with plenty of flow and a healthy growth of ranunculus the river looked a picture. With the relentless heat the evening rises have been productive with the added bonus of watching a barn owl quartering the adjacent meadows.
Simon Ffennell. Martyr Worthy.
Lower Itchen (downstream from Winchester)
Last updated 13 September 2017
The Lower Itchen Fishery recorded their 200th salmon/grilse at the end of August. Catches over recent years have been pretty consistent on this fishery and once again there’s a chance that this year’s catch will beat the record of 285.
Further upstream, the improved conditions in July and August saw fish moving up but they’ve been reluctant to take the fly/nymph. Sea trout numbers have improved considerably this year with the odd double figure fish amongst them. As usual, they are difficult to tempt.
Last updated 26 April 2017
As expected, the river is lower than usual for this time of year. At present flow is good and depth more than acceptable. Clarity has improved over the last 7 days, but is disappointing considering the lack of rainfall.
All nymphs sampled for the Riverfly Census Project present in decent numbers, but less than this time last year.