The River Test
This must be one of the most fabulous views in the world. Sit on the bench and quietly watch the river. Swans gently gliding by, the water vole busily going about its daily business, the trout rising for a quick gulp of a plump and delicious mayfly… On the bank there is a fishing hut, providing crayons and paper for children, and a shelter from a shower for all of us. The land by the edge of the river is a site of Special Scientific Interest.
HistoryThe River Test was an important artery before the roads were improved, and it is said that Henry V sent all his heavy equipment down the river to Southampton, and so on to France for the campaign which ended with the victory at Agincourt in 1415.
Later it became famous the world over for the quality of the trout fishing; and the oldest fishing club in the world, the Houghton Club, founded in 1822 still has its headquarters in Stockbridge nearby.
In May and early June when the mayfly hatch, the river can be alive with feeding trout. From the end of the main lawn it is easy to imagine those early visitors strolling down to th eriver to cast a fly in the clear chalk stream, and seeing the same varieties of birds and animals living along the river as there are today, two hundred years later
Fishing on the River TestThe River Test is one of the most beautiful rivers to fish along with plenty of Brown Trout and Grayling. Day and season rods are available on roughly half a mile of the River Test.
The Estate has two beats on the River Test just upstream of the village of Houghton. The lower beat on the main river is approximately 350 yards long and the upper beat on a main carrier of the river is approximately a half mile in length. Fishing is from the true right hand bank only. The true left hand bank is fished very occasionally by the Houghton Club on the upper beat and by Marshcourt Estate opposite the lower beat.
Two maps are attached showing firstly the location of the fishery and then the more detailed plan shows the vehicular route to each beat. The upper beat can also be approached on foot through the gardens of Houghton Lodge (open to the public) and thence across an old water meadow.
The water is stocked with Brown Trout. The Estate encourages the release of fish caught and to that end we ask that all rods fish with barbless hooks or with the barbs pressed down. When releasing a fish, please take care to handle it as little as possible, preferably releasing it within the water. If you wish to take fish home, there is a limit per rod of one and a half brace for the top beat and one brace for the lower beat.
Stocking and returning fish
Upstream dry fly only until 30th June, and thereafter an unweighted upstream nymph may be used.
Wading is prohibited, but you may need to step into the river (standing in one place) in the lower quarter of the upper beat in order to cover some lies.
There is an attractive hut with chairs and some reading material for those quiet periods during the day.
Fishing hut and Fishing Book
Please make a note in the Fishing Book of all the fish that you have caught. For management purposes we need a record of the number and size of fish killed, please. Comments and criticisms are always welcome. It is always of interest to other rods and for the management of the water to know what fly life there has been on any day and which flies were being taken, so do please record those details also.
No dogs are allowed.
Tuition/guides can be arranged in addition to the rod fee. There is no keeper to tip and no VAT is charged.
Opening dates: 1st May - 30th Sept for Brown Trout.
We very much hope that you will enjoy your day’s fishing.
For more information contact Mark Shuldham on 07798 730 974 or email email@example.com