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Tackle advice

Tackle for brown trout & grayling

Trout fishing on the Test and Itchen calls for a subtle approach due the gin-clear nature of the water. Lighter rods around 9ft and throwing a 4 or 5 line are best suited to most of the trout fishing on the river. There is no need for anything other than a full floating line with a long fine tippet 2-3lb BS, though not so light as to offer the larger fish to easy an opportunity to break it!

In the spring dry flies such as Greenwells and Medium and Dark Olives Kites in sizes 14 & 16 and GRHE and PT nymphs in sizes 14 and smaller. As the temperature rises and we move into late spring and summer dry flies in addition to those used in spring should be CDC's Klinkhammers, iron Blue Dun, Tups indespensible Grey Wulff, Houghton Ruby etc, again in sizes 14-16, nymphs as spring and now we can add Mayfly imitations into the mix, Grey Wulff, Spent Mayfly, French Partridge in sizes 10-12 but increase the tippet strength to around 5lb when using these.

As the season progresses through mid & late summer dry files should decrease in size, down to size 18, Black Ants, Gnats, Spiders etc on 2lb tippet but the usual nymphs even smaller - down to size 20s! As we enter the autumn, the same selection of flies can be used but still keep them small 16-18 for dries and 14-16 for nymphs.

Hiring/buying Tackle

Visiting and local anglers are able to purchase tackle from local tackle shops and mail order outlets. Those marked with an asterisk (*) in the following list of suggestions also hire out equipment.  If you would like to advertise here please contact the Help Centre.


Phillipa Hake fly box - oh choices!

Phillipa Hake fly box - oh choices!




Flies to bring

Fly choice will depend on the time of year. In the spring and autumn weighted tube flies may be required, but if the water is low flies tied on larger doubles or trebles will be sufficient. In summer bring doubles and trebles down to a size 10 or even smaller on some tributaries.

The most popular patterns nowadays tend to be variations on the shrimp fly theme. A good tactic is to work the fly when it is in the water, getting the dressing pulsing can produce many a fish when there seems little opportunity.

It is advisable to contact your ghillie for up-to-date information on what is best for your trip.



Phillipa Hake Fly Selection

Phillipa Hake Fly Selection



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