Fly Fishing on the Chalk StreamsFly Fishing on the Chalk StreamsFly Fishing on the Chalk StreamsFly Fishing on the Chalk Streams

The very special English Chalk Stream rivers

We provide the best value Chalk Stream fly fishing days

Go Fly Fishing UK provide top quality best value guided fly fishing days and fly fishing tuition days based on the world famous chalk stream rivers of the south of England, including the legendary River Test.

We can provide excellent advice based on over twenty years of first-hand experience of the fly fishing waters, accommodations and other attractions of the area.

Click hereto see what our clients have to say about the quality of service that we provide on the chalk streams. »

The chalk streams River Test and River Itchen in the county of Hampshire and the River Avon in Wiltshire  comprise some of the most prized Trout fly fishing rivers in the world. They are set in some of the most picturesque countryside, water meadows, villages of thatched cottages and historic cities of England. Such famous fly fishing writers as Frederic Halford, G.E.M.Skues and Sir Edward Grey developed the sport to new heights here during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Brown Trout from the River Test

Most of the chalk streams are within an hours travel time from central London by car or train. If you wish to take a train from London we will arrange for our guide to collect you from a railway station near to the chosen fishing location. Your guide will also be able to provide you with instruction in the appropriate fly fishing techniques and, if required, fly casting tuition and loan of all the necessary fly fishing tackle, waders, flies, etc.


Fully guided days on the chalk streams start from as little as £209 (from £295 in the summer season), with the cost depending on the date, the water being fished, the number of fishers and the season. The price includes the guide, the fishing beat cost and if required tackle loan and local railway station or accommodation collection/return. 

What to expect

The English chalkstreams are characterised by naturally filtered alkaline water of exceptional clarity and lush waterweed, creating an environment in which the Trout thrive and grow to large sizes. Grayling fishing is excellent and unusually for the UK they can be caught on a dry fly even in the winter. The clarity of the water means that both Trout and Grayling fishing often involves sight fishing for individual fish….creating real excitement and added interest to the fishing. The very best fishing is often in the shallower clearer upper reaches of the main chalkstream rivers and in the tributary streams. Some beats are best waded but others do not allow wading. Some beats are dry fly only until 1st July but some allow nymph right from the start of the season. The open seasons vary slightly from river to river. The Trout season starts in early-April but some River Test beats do not open until 1st May. May and June often provide the cream of the season's dry fly fishing with the autumn usually being almost as good. In early-October the Trout season ends and we switch to Grayling fly fishing until their season ends on 14th March. The River Test and the River Itchen provide excellent Grayling fly fishing right through the winter and we continue to catch Brown Trout while we target the Grayling.

View our photos on Flickr »

View our short videos on YouTube »

Fly fishing techniques to learn

Many of our clients say that fishing the chalkstreams is difficult. We would say that its not difficult it is different. We can guide you to be successful with the main chalkstream fly fishing techniques which include - upstream dry fly, upstream nymph, New Zealand style - and the associated skills including river craft, stalking, observation, stealth, 'match the hatch', accurate delicate casting, drag avoidance and careful wading. A guided day out with one of our chalkstream experts will teach you lessons for life that will enable you to be much more effective with your fishing, to catch more fish and to enjoy yourself more.

Fly fishing tackle and flies

On chalkstream rivers the total flow of the river is often split across multiple smaller carrier streams. In the wider main river sections a 9 foot 5 or 6-weight rod would not be out of place but on the carrier streams and upper reaches of the rivers an 8 foot rod for a 4-weight line would be more suitable. An 8’ 6” rod for a 4 or 5-weight floating line is recognised by most fishers as being the perfect all-round chalkstream set-up.

We recommend that you use a knotless tapered leader of at least 9’ long. Tippet breaking strain should be from 3lb to 5lb depending on the size of fish that you are likely to encounter at the location and on the prevailing conditions. With overcast conditions a 4lb or 5lb 5X copolymer tippet should be fine but when fishing a small dry fly in bright conditions it may sometimes be necessary to drop down to a 3lb 6X fluorocarbon tippet to get takes. But often the size of the fish combined with weed beds mean that at least a 4lb tippet strength is required to minimise on the chances of a breakage.

Fly choice will depend on the season, on the prevailing weather conditions and on the location. On the chalk streams the main food items for the fish are, in order of importance, Gammarus freshwater shrimps, the nymphs and duns of the various species of mayflies, caddis nymphs and flies and terrestrial insects. Some chalk stream beat owners insist on upstream dry fly being used, especially in the April to June spring season, while others allow the use of nymphs throughout the season. Your Go Fly Fishing UK guide will always be able to loan you the best flies for your day but if you wish to tie flies or buy flies in advance of your trip then contact us and we will advise you on the flies that are likely to be the most important ones for your booked date/location.

To minimise on the chances of spooking the fish don’t wear anything too bright or white. Wear drab colours that will help you to blend in with the background. As well as polarised sunglasses some form of peaked or brimmed cap or hat will help you to keep the sun out of your eyes and thus help you to see the fish so as to target them more precisely.

For more detailed information about the Hampshire Chalkstreams area please click here.

Contact Dave to discuss your preferred fly fishing location and date or to make a booking – telephone 07899 034728 or email

Book a day out

Benefit from our extensive
experience and knowledge of the
UK fly fishing scene & locations.

You can fill out our contact form to book a fly fishing lesson or a guided day.

Book a day fly fishing with us »

Our Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter for regular updates from Go Fly Fishing UK.

Subscribe »

Web Design Leeds - Web design by New Adventures in Pixels