Recently we were thrilled to be invited to chalk stream country to fish the fabled waters of the Rivers Test.
Chalk stream dry fly fishing is the ultimate fishing experience and the prime beats of these rivers are highly coveted. We were in good hands as Orvis are fortunate to actually own two beats and offer fishing on a selection of other exclusive stretches.
It was interesting to hear that chalk streams have the unique quality of rarely flooding or drying out. During the heavy rains or sudden thaws, the water is absorbed by the valley into the underlying chalk and later distributed through springs to the stream.
This means the trout’s habitat is rarely disturbed, and scouring floods do not deplete his food. This freedom from flooding is also very important to the fisherman, as chalk streams are almost always fishable regardless of weather conditions.
Whilst on the river it became apparent that if you really want to understand the essence of fly fishing, you need to journey to the chalk streams of England at least once in your lifetime. Here, amidst the green, rural countryside and the quaint villages flow the rivers where fly fishing was born.
To cast a fly on the Test, Itchen and kindred waters is to step far back in angling history, to a time when it was a gentleman’s pursuit and the pace of the sporting life allowed for a deep enjoyment of time on the river.
Orvis can put you on the best private waters in Wessex, only a few hours drive from London. They provide the opportunity to sample chalk streams at their finest. The Orvis waters are renowned amongst anglers and their local guides will introduce you to the waters they know like the back of their weathered hands.
Our fishing day at Kimbridge will be a day to remember, their ‘Ginger Beer’ beat is their flagship piece of the Test. It has a long history dating back to the Doomsday book. This productive beat is a third of a mile in length with a medium flow rate, with interesting shallows and a bubbling top pool.
The beat can be booked exclusively for the day with a guide for up to 5 rods but can accommodate up to 10 for a corporate fun day on the river. Their thatched fishing lodge and easy access make it ideal for entertaining.
The Orvis team was highly experienced, very knowledgeable, super friendly and a pleasure to meet. We had a fantastic time and we’d definitely recommend the fishing experience!