We Fly Fish offer some of the finest chalk stream fly fishing guided days available.
Why are chalk streams so special for fly fishing? Chalk streams are important habitats for wildlife and support a huge range of plants and animals. They are home to some of our most threatened species, and have a fascinating history supporting many thriving industries from the past. Our chalk stream guided days take you to some very special places.
Chalk is highly porous and permeable so rain percolates directly through to the chalk bedrock which holds water as an underground reservoir before the clear filtered water re-emerges lower down the slope from chalk springs. This ‘gin clear’ water supports a diverse insect population, including over twenty Mayfly and nearly forty Caddis species. This is a paradise for fly fishing particularly the dry fly. Flowing from underground aquifers gives the spring water a consistent temperature of around 10 °C. On cold winter mornings chalk streams are often shrouded in mist, creating a beautiful contrast to the frosty banks. We offer guided days almost all year round, switching from trout as the target fly fishing species in the summer to grayling in the winter months.
Chalk streams are a globally rare ecosystem, confined to north west Europe and to the UK in particular. In fact more than 85% of all the chalk streams in the world, are found in England. Hampshire, Berkshire and Wiltshire are home to some of the most historic rivers. Our chalk stream fly fishing day tickets allow you to experience this wonderful habitat, much as which is controlled by syndicates making access to the general public difficult. Because of the limited availability of chalk stream water in Hampshire, Berkshire and Wiltshire, day tickets can be hard to obtain. Access to a beat can be particularly difficult at the peak Mayfly season which is the highlight of the chalk stream fly fishing calendar. We Fly Fish have beats reserved for our clients throughout the season. Book soon to ensure you can experience this wonderful sport in our Hampshire, Berkshire and Wiltshire locations all within easy reach of London.
Our target fish are usually chalk stream trout (Salmo trutta) and chalk stream grayling (Thymallus thymallus). Both are native European members of the Salmon family.
Chalk stream trout are typically in season from May to September and are fished for using upstream dry fly tactics. Mayfly season (traditionally known as Duffer’s fortnight) is the highlight of the year when we see good hatches of Ephemeroptera. Throughout the season we select our flies to imitate what is hatching. Our chalk streams provide a huge variety of fly life for the opportunistic chalk stream trout which will leap from the water to grab prey insects when they spot them!
For winter chalk stream grayling fishing we use dry flies or nymphs which can be weighted or unweighted depending on where the fish are feeding. Strike indicators are used to set the depth of the nymph. We imitate caseless or free-swimming caddis, cased caddis, shrimps and stonefly nymphs which spend much of their time close to the sanctuary of the riverbed. Caddis are grub like creatures that either build their own shelter from detritus on the river bed, or use stones or other features for cover as they crawl about the bottom. If dislodged they tumble along till they regain a secure grip on the river bed. Winter chalk stream grayling fishing can be very successful with the dry fly as well, we often see good hatches of Dark Olives in the winter months.