My wife and I recently traveled over to Europe and made stops in Rome, Venice, and London. Naturally, as any trout junkie would do, I snuck in a day of fishing on the river in County Hampshire where fly fishing was born; The River Test.
Given British Law, all the rivers in England are privately owned and there is very limited to no public access. Needless to say, I was a little hesitant on paying to fish the river, but it turned out to be a good decision leading to a good day.
The water on the River Test usually runs gin clear, but given the amount of rain they have been having over the past month, it was a little stained which led to a lot of action. I have never seen so many trout and grayling in a single mile of river as I did here. My guide estimates approximately 6,000 fish per mile, conservatively.
At least one side of the bank was mowed so no wading was necessary. The river keepers take great pride in the resource they have at hand, and it certainly showed in this world-class chalk stream. We fished a hairs ear nymph in the morning and a CDC in the afternoon when the weather warmed a bit...same exact flies that we see in the states!
It was definitely an experience of a lifetime and at the end of the day, I was told that if I had entered the 1 fly challenge they have each year on the river, I would have been a strong contender to win. The River is that good and gave up a lot of fish. I'll quit boring everyone with the details, so here is the fish porn from the trip...