Available fishing in the South.
We are constantly asked for available waters and print a list of local and syndicate fisheries as well as a list of autumn grayling fishing.
In essence there are a number of small stillwaters offering day ticket fishing throughout the South with varied pricing structures. The “big fish” waters command the highest ticket costs while others may offer the ‘chance’ of a big one with much smaller average weight.
Reservoir fishing is also available and principally at Bewl Water in Kent, Weir Wood in Sussex or Farmoor near Oxford. Each offers bank or boat and can be very rewarding although sometimes challenging to the small fishery angler when confronted by the vast acreage. All now provide catch and release options and ticket costs are generally much lower than the smaller stocked waters.
What we are most often asked for is river fishing. This is at a premium in the South for many reasons. One is that a lot of the rivers are coarse waters and often unsuitable for trout. Those that do have wild bred trout are hard to gain access to and usually controlled by small clubs or syndicates. Stocked rivers also rarely have day ticket access and because we are in the South which is affluent and heavily populated the rivers are much sought after and therefore can be very costly. The very best, the chalk streams, such as the Test and Itchen are almost always syndicate but there are letting agencies who can get you on to superb beats, albeit at a cost. Try Orvis, or the Rod Box in Winchester or Famous Fishing or Fishing Breaks but expect to pay upwards of £250 for a day and maybe more for mayfly time. Later in the year (after the end of the trout season) more and more water is now available for grayling fishing and the same beats which were £200 plus are now often available for £40 upwards.
Locally, the Albury Estates has stream fishing on the Tillingbourne at each of its day ticket venues and although small this stream can provide really good sport at times with an excellent mayfly hatch.
Salmon and Sea Trout fishing is also hard to access, again because there are few waters holding these migratory fishes and limited availability increases the cost. The Itchen can be fished via the Lower Itchen Fishery and produces good numbers of salmon although largely to the prawn. Also Woodmill Pool, which is tidal, can be booked for salmon in the day and sea trout at night. It does have very good numbers of sea trout and often into double figures. The Test has a reasonable salmon run and is fished below Broadlands. There are sea trout in the Hampshire Avon fished principally on the Royalty fishery. It’s salmon run is limited but improving and some do come to the fly. Virtually all salmon fishing is strictly catch and release although sadly the sea trout are often killed. There are sea trout in many of the Sussex Rivers, Rother, Arun, Adur, Ouse, and they do reach considerable size. Runs are very small and the fish are hard to find unless you have specific local knowledge.
Further afield into Wessex there are more suitable trout rivers and again some have salmon and sea trout in their lower reaches. The West Country and Wales offer the best of the wild trout fishing and again for sea trout and salmon. The Wye and Usk Foundation and South West Water have schemes which give access to some great wild trout fishing at low cost but it does involve a long run from this part of the country.
The Lake District and many waters in Yorkshire, Cumbria, Lancashire and Derbyshire have wonderful fishing for wild trout and on up into Scotland where salmon fishing is probably the best in the UK. Many rivers have Association water available on day ticket and others are directly bookable through individual land owners. The best waters and times are almost always fully booked but as with all salmon fishing it’s often just a matter of being there at the right time and then your chances are as good as anyone.