The River Anton is a tributary of the upper River Test. The river rises just to the north of the town of Andover and flows through the centre of the town. It then flows in a southerly direction through the villages of Upper Clatford, Goodworth Clatford and Cottonworth before joining with the River Test just below Chilbolton.
As with most chalk streams the water quality is exceptional and with no input from trout farms or sewage works the this should remain so. The river weed growth (ranunculus) is strong, with the inevitable result that fly hatches are prolific, especially that of the mayfly hatch from mid May to mid June. (possibly the best anywhere in the UK and Ireland ). Significant hatches of olives (various) and large hatches of sedges provide excellent evening rises throughout the summer.
The River Anton has a sustaining stock of wild indigenous brown trout, though this is augmented by stocking on a controlled periodic basis with River Test strain trout.
To many the River Anton is thought of as one of the finest small chalk streams in the world.
The River Avon rises in the Vale of Pewsey and flows through Wiltshire, Hampshire and Dorset for over 40 miles until it reaches the sea at Christchurch.
Although the river seems to be permanently overshadowed by its close neighbours, the Test and Itchen, the Avon and its tributaries form one of the most diverse chalk stream systems in the UK, with over 180 plant species, one of the most diverse fish populations, and a wide range of aquatic invertebrates. The importance of the River Avon and its tributaries has been recognised for several internationally rare or threatened species, such as sea and brook lamprey, bullhead, Atlantic salmon and Desmoulins' whorl snail.
The cream of the trout fishing on the Avon is to be found upstream of Salisbury. The lower reaches are famous for salmon fishing and include the renowed Royalty Bridge pool.
Not suprisingly, due to the reputation of this river, quite a lot of the River Avon is owned and/or managed by local angling clubs. Most have areas which are restricted to members only, but they also let some excellent water to day ticket anglers.
Chalk streams in Hampshire
River Itchen near Winchester, Hampshire
Harry Plunket Greene imortalised the Bourne when he wrote of it "Only three miles in all, but those three miles a dry-fly fisherman's paradise".
Bourne rivulet is a tiny chalk stream of around 3 miles in length which flows from its source north of Ibthorpe to join the River Test some 2 miles further south. The Bourne is known as a 'ephemeral stream' which only flows during early spring and summer, ceases in the autumn and is dry through the winter. However, there is a spring in the field opposite the war memorial in St Mary Bourne and downstream from this point the Bourne flows throughout the year. The river itself is a popular trout stream with many anglers travelling from far and wide to fish it.
The Dever which joins the Test at Newton Stacey, and a favourite of Halford, provides 10 miles of good, sometimes superb, fishing.
The river is stocked and in parts is heavily fished but still provides fishing in idyllic settings. The upper reaches of the river are held by a local angling club for the benefit of local anglers and the rest of the river is held by syndicate rods, though several of the fisheries along its length do offer occassional day tickets.
The Dun joins the Test at Kimbridge, and has its sourse five miles to the west at Claredon. The Dun is a lovely little river running fast in parts and full of ranunculas but in other parts much slower which leads to a vast reduction in fly life.
The Meon is the most easterley of the chalk streams in Hampshire flowing from 15 miles from East Meon to Stubbington on the Solent.
Whilst it flows for through countryside much like that of the Itchen, the Meon is much smaller than the Itchen and also much faster flowing and very, very clear. This provides a real challenge to the angler.
The best of the fishing to be found on the Meon is on the middle streches from Warnford down to Wickham. The fishing is for mainly stocked fish with the very occassional sea trout being taken.