This is fish stalking country and anglers only cast their flies, whether floating imitations or nymphs, upstream to rising or feeding trout.
The trout season officially opens on 1st April but most fisheries delay their opening day till either the last Saturday in April or 1st May, closing in early October.
Grayling season runs from 16th June to 15th March. Anglers should also note that the fishing can be suspended during certain periods in the summer when fisheries cut and manage weed.
Lower Itchen in the snow
From its source the Test flows west to Whitchurch then southwest to Stockbridge and then south past Romsey to its estuary. The upper river has a number of spring fed tributaries - The Bourne, The Dever, the River Anton, Wallop Brook and the Sombourne Stream join the river above Mottisfont.
Downstream of Mottisfont the river flows through the Hampshire basin where it is joined by the River Dun at Kimbridge and the Blackwater at Testwood. Below the junction of the Blackwater the river has many channels as it flows through the Lower Test Nature Reserve at Redbridge.
Although migratory fish have in the past been caught as far upstream as Longparish, the main salmon and sea trout fisheries are now downstream of Romsey, with the Nursling and Testwood fisheries considered the best. Most fish are caught by rods spinning lures or fishing the shrimp or prawn. Fishing with worms is prohibited. Some years ago the river keepers were keen to fish the fly for salmon and they developed the method of fishing a gold headed nymph fly known locally as the Hampshire Hog. On spotting a fish the fly was cast upstream and fished down to the fish in the same manner as in Czech nymph fishing.