Wednesday, 30 December 2015

2015 in Photos

By my reckoning we only have, give or take the whims of Mother Nature, 137 days before the Mayfly hatch starts. I think it is too much to describe that as the defining moment in any particular season, but it never fails to excite me.

I suspect we all have our own particular moments that are hard-wired into our memory for all sorts of reason - a particular fish, a memorable half hour or just simply the cadence of the day. Fishing is a great way of suspending reality and we make our memories around that. 

But for all that the arrival of the Mayfly will always be a milestone in my calendar. A marker that shows nature has gone full circle and that, at least in the confines of a chalkstream valley, all is well with the world. Anyway enough musings of what is to come. 

Here is my look back at 2015 in photos, with one video. I hope it is enough solace so you may keep the faith until the first cast of the season.

Paul Colley, a professional underwater photographer, embarked on his trout project in Stockbridge with his special waterproof rig set up on the High Street stream. At first the ducks were a  menace but when this photo went viral he learnt to love them. 

Probably my last excuse to use this photo of Jon Hall, river keeper, on the Broadlands Estate with this monster 34lb female pike caught on a fly.

When age overtakes you our guide and ace fly tyer Alan Middleton shows off the best device for the mastery of  size 22 patterns.

Alan tying at BFF

My good friend from Denmark Bo Hermansen visits the chalkstreams every year putting us locals to shame with his skill and expertise - few trout or grayling are safe when he prowls the riverbank. He is a pretty mean photographer as well, here capturing the menace of the Hawthorn fly eyes.
Bo Hermansen hawthorn fly

Once a year I take a little detour up the Avon valley north of Amesbury to visit the spot where Frank Sawyer's ashes were scattered over the River Avon. He has been my greatest influence and this year I discovered he designed the lake here at Nether Wallop dug in 1968 (see December photo). As he would have said, 'no wonder it works so darned well'.

June 24th saw the 150th anniversary of the birth of Harry Plunket Greene an Irish baritone who was the Pavorotti of his day. An accomplished fly fishermen, his book Where The Bright Waters Meet, is as a good read today as it was when published in 1924, telling of his blissful seasons fishing at the confluence of the River Test and Bourne.


A photo shoot with a kind friend on the River Meon at the almost exact spot I caught my first ever trout some four decades or more ago.

It looks the perfect bucolic way of life but believe you me weed cutting (pictured here at the River Test on the Middleton Estate) is both skillful and back breaking.
Weed cutting at Middleton

If you ever wondered what a river keeper does at lunchtime, well wonder no more. Jonny Walker, who looks after Bullington Manor, Dunbridge and Nether Wallop Mill, plucked this monster trout out of Wallop Brook here at Nether Wallop Mill. Got to be six pounds or more .

A new generation, the pupils of Princes Mead School in Winchester, get the fly fishing bug not to mention a  few fish here at Nether Wallop Mill.

I said to my guides let us celebrate the end of the season with a day together. Choose what you like: drinking, food, gambling ..... it's on me. Yes, you've guessed it they chose fishing. This is the story of our day in a three minute video. My thanks to Matt Dunkinson for doing a great job behind the camera and Wherwell Priory for letting us loose on trout who thought they were safe for another year. In truth they mostly were!

This is my screensaver for now - pictorial proof that the depths of winter will pass and summer will return.

All the best for 2016.

Best wishes,
Simon Signature    
Founder & Managing Director  

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

The great survival race

The great survival race is on - in the red corner seventy to one hundred trout and in the blue corner otters.

Here at Nether Wallop Mill the teaching lake is stuffed with fish April to October; you could almost walk across the lake on their backs there are so many. They are mostly rainbows but there are a few blues plus some browns that sneak in from the river for an easy life.  Each morning now the season is over I feed them with a scoop of fish pellets; the moment they see my shadow with Pavlovian response they leap and pivot. In early November the lake positively boiled. Today the recipients are fewer.  The response less muted and every few days I see the reason - fish corpses.

Otters are ever present in the Wallops valley, but it is only when winter starts to bite that the lake becomes a living larder. They don't visit every night; I'd say maybe one in every three.  In the darkness I can hear them, sometimes two, other times three as they hunt. It is a noisy process, not least because they announce their arrival with high pitched chirrups between themselves. It is almost as if they are genuinely excited to be here. I suspect they have good reason for that.

Stealth does not appear to be essential to the otter hunting lexicon. They flop into the water with a resounding splash.   Once in the lake they swim with practised ease. If I shine a torch it is simple to track their progress back and forth across the surface as the eyes shine back at me and I'll just about be able to make out the flat domed head. At first sight of the beam of light they will turn their head in my direction. No panic, just idle curiosity and thenceforth they go about the business of fish hunting regardless of me.

By this point I shudder to think what panic is occurring in the trout community. The otters dive and surface with increasing rapidity. Otters are naturally buoyant so they put huge effort into diving, arching their backs and half leaping out of the water before plunging beneath. It is clearly a fairly hit or miss affair, with more hits than misses until each comes up with a fish clamped in the jaws. They eat with unrestrained savagery. On a still night you can hear the tearing of flesh from fifty yards. The head and the top half of the body is the favoured feast, eating out the innards to leave the skin, back end and tail like a discarded sock.

This morning the count was two dead on the bank, which brings us up to about ten in the past week. By Christmas the population will have halved with the end game sometime in February. In this particular survival race my money is on the otters.

Bad news about Arthur

Nature is a cruel mistress; Arthur having briefly tasted love last month is now close to death. It's nothing as romantic as a broken heart but rather the inevitable rivalry of swans.

Having reclaimed his home, Arthur was back enjoying the bachelor life until two swans dropped in from the skies. Arthur is nothing if not pragmatic so he beat a retreat from the lake to the mill pond.

However it was far from being a safe place. The pair followed him up the brook until they cornered him, the male asserting territorial rights in the brutal way that swans do. Left for dead in a backwater a neighbour found Arthur, called the swan sanctuary and they took him away.

The sanctuary is nursing him but the outlook is fairly bleak At best he will recover and end out his days in the sanctuary, a return to the river being deemed too high risk. Personally I'd like to see him back. I miss him already.

Sneaky Sharks, Cunning Crocs and Testy Trout

Paul Colley has risked his life underwater, photographing sharks and crocodiles which led to him picking up a British Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015 award.

But such is the bizarre nature of life it was none of those projects that hit the headlines for him but rather a side stream of the River Test in our very own Stockbridge.  Staking out the stream for up to 12 hours a day Paul has captured some amazing underwater shots of both trout and grayling, not to mention that unequal contest between duck and trout in the race for bread which I suspect many of you have witnessed in the past.

Paul's talk 'Sneaky Sharks, Cunning Crocs and Testy Trout' takes place at Stockbridge Town Hall on Friday December 11th at 7pm. Tickets are £4 from If you can't make it do take a look at his web site


The usual random selection of questions to confound and amaze. Answers at the bottom of the Newsletter. It is just for fun!

1)   What is the smallest city in the UK by population?

2)   Karl Marx is buried in Highgate Cemetary. Where is Friedrich Engels, co-author of the Communist Manifesto buried?

3)   Who lives in a drey (or dray)?

Alan Middleton tying in Chichester

If you are heading into Chichester on Thursday for the Christmas shopping evening drop by the Orvis store on South Street. 

Our very own Alan Middleton will be on hand  in the store offering advice and giving one of his unsurpassed fly tying demonstrations. 5-7pm. 

Alan tying at BFF

1)   St David's, Pembroke, Wales 2) His ashes were scattered off Beachy Head 3) A squirrel.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

A fly fisher calling Santa

Dear Santa,

I know I have denied your existence in the past but please forgive my letter; I require help.

My family claim I am difficult to buy for; apparently they believe I have everything I need or at best I am failing to express preferences on which we can all agree. It is a sorry state of affairs but I am hoping to enlist your expertise as some sort of celestial interlocutor.

In truth my loved ones do not understand my fishing. They dismiss it as a 'hobby'.  Attempts at explanation are met with incomprehension, ridicule or indifference. Often all three. That said they rarely complain at my absence, so maybe deep down they respect the wanderings of a piscator. Or maybe they just like me out of the house.

Regardless, fishing is a passion that can only be fuelled by fishing itself. Past conquests and memories can only sustain one so far.

Just fishing!
Point them in the direction of the 'Your Choice' voucher. That way I get to choose where and when I go fishing.

Converting the unbelievers
Heaven forbid that someone in the family might one day share my passion. Let me take them to a place where the fishing is easy and the tuition falls to another ........ Link .....

Future proofing my dotage
I have this idea that my children will take me fishing in my twilight years. Maybe the Summer Fish Camp will sow the seed? Link .....

Anyway Santa, it has been good to talk. I have no idea whether you are an ice fishing enthusiast. If you are I'm sure the elves show the same disregard for your pastime, so maybe you understand my predicament on a visceral level.

All the best for the holiday season; I guess you will enjoy the New Year more than most.

Yours in hope,

A Fly Fisher

PS Normal Newsletter service will be resumed next week.

01264 781988

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Hedgehog rescue

Nether Wallop Mill, Hampshire England

The headlines in the past few days for hedgehogs have been pretty stark - their numbers have apparently halved in the past 15 years. As is often the case the facts behind these sorts of headlines, generated by a pressure group, aren't always as rigorous as maybe they should be. You will find the press coverage caveated by plenty of phrases along the lines of 'reliable estimates of hedgehog numbers are hard to come by ...... '.
All that said from my various perambulations around the rivers I'd say I don't see as many Erinaceus europaeus as I did. Believe it or not, despite appearances, hedgehogs are really quite good swimmers. Living beside rivers is a favoured haunt with worms and insects aplenty plus, naturally enough, fresh water. They don't seem to relish swimming as a pastime but they will happily cross a fairly sizeable stream when need be.

I will also promise you for such a tiny creature a baby hedgehog, combined with a panic stricken mother, is capable of creating a considerable racket. Two winters ago I was at home beside the fire late one night when I heard this piercing wail outside; at first I assumed it was the cat or a stoat doing to death some rabbit or other but the wailing kept on and on. Eventually I had to investigate. There trapped between the slats of a bridge over the stream was a baby hedgehog, its mother at its side trying to haul it out.  But somehow however much the infant scrabbled and however much the mother screamed (I assume it was encouragement but it was hard to tell), the situation was not getting any better.

I headed back indoors, grabbed a tea towel and whilst the mother eyed me from a distance I managed to safely extricate the baby from the slats. The poor thing was completely exhausted so I left him (or it could have been a her) for while until the mother returned to investigate and then the two toddled off together.

When is a restoration not a restoration?

You will read a great deal about river 'restorations'; in plenty of cases it is nothing of the sort. Chalkstreams in particular are very much the creation of man and the rivers have been adapted over millennia for all sorts of purposes such as agriculture, navigation, milling and so on - today we want something different from our rivers and so what we are really creating is something new that chimes with our current desires. I am not exactly sure under which heading the recent work on the famous Oakley beat at Mottisfont Abbey on the River Test would fall but I am certain that as the home of dry fly fishing under Frederick Halford he would have approved.

If you've ever fished the Oakley Stream you will know that the character of the beat very much divides into two sections; the first half is relatively shallow, with a fast flow over gravel and the river is very much part of the landscape. The top half is different in two ways; firstly the river almost seems 'above' the surrounding meadows the banks built up like small dykes and the river itself is deeper, without the gravel bed. This is probably not accidental.

In all likelihood in the dim, distant past the gravel river bed was dredged out, the spoil used to build up the banks to their current height. I can't be exactly sure why this was but my guess is that the deepened main river was used as a reservoir to feed a now defunct side stream that branches off the Oakley Stream. What that side stream fed again I'm not sure but it could have been for water meadow flooding, fish rearing or powering a mill. These were fairly typical uses for a river in times when neither ecology nor fishing featured much in the calculation of many.

Today of course we feel differently; rivers are being changed to create a diverse habitat both in and along the river, with great emphasis on work that encourages a self-sustaining wild trout population plus spawning areas for salmon. 

With all that in mind a jointly funded project between the owners of Mottisfont Abbey (The National Trust) and the Environment Agency, using the brains in the hydrology department of Southampton University, has seen 1,600 tonnes of gravel put into the upper section of the Oakley Stream. It has all been part of a scheme under the guidance of Heb Leman, the man who runs the Test & Itchen Rivers Restoration Scheme and really we have him to thank.

Yes, you have probably guessed that what Heb and the team are essentially doing is putting back what was dredged out all those years ago. It is a fairly common sight along the chalkstreams these days. ARK (Action for the River Kennet) recently completed a similar project in Berkshire with almost twice that amount of gravel, though shockingly they were making good dredging done as recently as the 1970's. 

The work itself is quick and straightforward. Bring in the gravel; large stones for the base and smaller stuff for the topping. Scoop it into the river with a big machine and then use a smaller one in the river itself to profile the gravel. Job done. Sometimes the banks are graded down to create a gradual slope but this wasn't required at Mottisfont.

The before and after photos  give you some idea of what is trying to be achieved. The after is a short section that was done on the Oakley ten years ago. In fact it is a little on the shallow side so some of the gravel will be scraped off as part of this work.  
The effect on the river is almost immediate; the heavy winter floods will re-profile the gravel yet again but in the exact way nature likes it. But even before then the new gravel will show those tell-tale pock marks as both the trout and salmon get busy spawning. Some judicious planting of ranunculus will kick start the weed growth and I suspect in less than a year it will all look totally natural, which is exactly how it should be.

Jon Hall's pike secret is a comb

Really no excuse is required to show this great photo of Jon Hall with the monster pike he caught back in February.

However if you want to read more about Jon's deadly weapon (a comb) and how he finds these huge female fish catch my interview with Jon in the December edition of The Field magazine. 


The usual random selection of questions to confound and amaze. Answers at the bottom of the Newsletter. It is just for fun!
1)   What speed does Usian Bolt reach during a 100m race?

2)   What do you call a baby beaver?

3)   What is a petroglyph?

Tattoo artist turns fly tyer

I have watched a great many fly tying films in my time and frankly they are generally on the boring side of interesting. This one however, about tattoo artist turned fly tyer Pat Cohen, is different. Get a cup of coffee, set aside 10 minutes of your day. It will be worth it.

Here is the link that will take you to the Bloomberg page. As the screen will say click to watch or scroll down to read the article. 

Enjoy the rest of the week.
Best wishes,
Simon Signature    
Founder & Managing Director  

1)  28 mph 2) A kit 3) An image carved into rock.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

The course of true love

The course of true love
I have a pet swan; his name is Arthur the Arthritic on account of a gammy leg. He is of indeterminate age, though clearly getting on a bit and lives on the lake here at Nether Wallop Mill. I must admit I never set out to have a swan for a pet - they are not the friendliest of creatures and are, in truth, a bit messy. That said we have reached a sort of amiable compromise over the past four or five years.

Happier times?
His daily routine mainly involves paddling around the lake, rear end in the air and head underwater whilst he eats away at the pond weed. For this he has my eternal thanks; he is my 24 hour a day feathered river keeper who requires no more payment than a chance to gobble his share of the fish pellets. You might wonder if he is a nuisance to the fishing. Well, not really. Our accommodation is so complete that at the sight of fishermen he hauls himself from the lake to spend the day in the mill pond, returning again when all is quiet.

For years he has been a confirmed bachelor, the sole guardian of the lake since his mate died some while ago. In the intervening time other pairs have dropped in from the sky, but after a fierce turf war left Arthur all to his lonesome. That is until last Saturday when I woke to the unmistakable sound of swans in flight, the whooping wings alerting Arthur to inbound strangers. As is his wont he positioned himself in the middle of the lake, arching his body skyward, aggressively flapping his wings as the pair circled ever lower.

Now swans in a straight line, high in the skies are graceful birds but a low speed, with sharp turns to make they are anything but and as one of the pair took aim for landing she entirely misjudged the landscape hitting the chimney of the fishing cabin, tumbling down the roof into the trees behind. For the other swan clearly out of sight was out of mind so after a few desultory minutes circling the lake he disappeared into the distance.

I was firmly convinced, such was the thump, that the swan had died on impact but a little while later this slightly dazed and wobbly bird came out from behind the cabin slipping gently onto the lake to join Arthur. His joy was unconfined. He preened and pivoted as the two became a pair within minutes. By the afternoon they were together on the bank, tearing rough grass from the fringe, a sort of nesting thing swans do. By dusk they had settled down to roost together for the night. I could hear the distant pitter patter of little cygnet feet.

But by morning it had all gone woefully wrong. Whilst Arthur, clearly agitated, pushed himself around the lake, the female stood on the bank, twitching her head this way and that. Occasionally he'd make a pass to bring himself as close to her as he could without leaving the water, but she'd edge ever further away until her mind made up, she ran at the lake flapping her wings and paddling her feet on the water until she took flight to never be seen again.

Since then I haven't seen much of Arthur as he's forsaken the lake to sulk on the mill pond, even forgoing his daily pellet ration. It is hard to work out what could have gone wrong in those few hours of darkness. In the bird kingdom what on earth is the ultimate dating crime? Was he too old? Or maybe swans truly do mate for life and she felt impelled to find her erstwhile mate. Frankly if I was her I wouldn't have bothered; he was quick enough to say adieu when she thumped the chimney but then again even in the animal kingdom it is doubtful that the course of true love ever ran smooth.

Ban on sea bass fly fishing 

Unless my memory serves me wrong I am pretty certain that two decades ago sea bass on a menu would have been a rarity. Maybe it was common enough in top end sea food restaurants, but on a pub menu, well hardly ever. Today it is very different and sea bass are paying a price for their popularity; the breeding population around our coast has dropped from 16,000 tonnes in 2010 to 7,000 today. 

This has not gone unnoticed. ICES, the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas, flagged this up during the summer and the EU acted yesterday with a complete ban on all sea bass fishing January to June, with severe restrictions for the remainder of the year. 

For the day trawler fleet, that is boats under 10m, this is a body blow. Behind sole, sea bass is the most valuable catch. For the line fishermen who specialise in sea bass out of ports like Weymouth, it is crippling.

But this is not just a commercial decision; we 300,000 recreational anglers are included with a complete ban for the first six months of the year and a limit of one fish a day for the remainder of the year. Quite how it is going to affect the saltwater fly fishing guides I do not know. Will we be able to catch and release, or will even the intention to fish for bass be illegal? In truth it is going to be impossible to police but nobody wants to wilfully break the law with a livelihood at stake.

In part I can understand bureaucratic even-handedness when it comes to applying a ban equally to both commercial and recreational anglers but is it really necessary? I suspect fly fishermen and beach casters are a pinprick on the sea bass population. It is time for a rapid rethink from Brussels. 


The usual random selection of questions to confound and amaze. Answers at the bottom of the Newsletter. It is just for fun!
1)   Other than Great Britain itself which is the largest island in the UK?

2)   It is Prince Charles' birthday this week. How old will he be?

3)   What is a dynast?

Review of the season & feedback winners

Two winners this month as we wrap up another trout season; thank you to you all who contributed replies, which are an invaluable insight to every day on the river.

2015 will be the year the dog didn't bark in that we almost had a drought but nobody talked about it. Certainly the water companies, scared of egg on their faces so soon after the floods, didn't say a word but the winter, spring and autumn have been exceptionally dry, especially the last two months with rainfall only half the normal average. I guess our memories are coloured by a very wet May (157% average rainfall) and August which was the wettest on record. If you want to check out the full statistics for southern England follow this link to the Met Office web site.

All that said the chalkstreams held up well, though they were certainly starting to look thin as the season drew to an end. Generally I thought hatches were good in every month.  The Grannom has made a comeback as the April fly of choice, the Mayfly was a good as any year though the wetness of May itself seemed to stop and start the hatch from day to day. Sedges continue to be prolific and the back end has seen huge clouds of tiny olives daily.

The feedback showed remarkably consistent fishing across the season; no sudden decline after the Mayfly and only a few dog days in high summer. If I had to pick out one theme it was the lack of consistently rising fish. I think as Guides it is fair to say we read the water more, pick the best seasonal fly and encourage more speculative casting. Poor old Mr. Halford, who thought such a tactic was a crime, must be spinning in his grave.

Anyway enough of the past: well done to Graham Dunn who picks up the October draw prize of a signed copy ofLife of a Chalkstream having fished at Avon Springs. Philip Watkins, who took his children on Fish Camp to the River Dun in July, collects the Hardy Cascapedia reel in the annual draw.

Have a good weekend; I certainly will if Storm Abigail brings a dump of rain.
Best wishes,
Simon Signature    
Founder & Managing Director  

1)   Lewis and Harris, Outer Hebrides 2) 67 on November 14th 3) A member of a powerful family, especially a hereditary ruler.

Friday, 30 October 2015

How genius endures


This month Orvis celebrates 30 years on the English high street and it is an odd thought but I write this from the very same room from which the Orvis operation was run in 1985, the American firm having acquired Nether Wallop Mill and Dermot Wilson's famous mail order company four years earlier.

For nearly two decades the Orvis HQ remained at The Mill, the Stockbridge shop the first of a chain that now numbers close to 20 nationwide. The mail order operation and the logistics for the shops were all run out of here and as the firm expanded it truly became a hub of activity. First one of the Perkins, the family that still owns Orvis, came over to oversee the new venture and lived in the Mill Cottage to be succeeded by a UK managing director John Russell who raised his family here.

I don't think anyone would disagree but the foundation of the Orvis enterprise was the genius of Dermot Wilson. I never met Dermot, but I suspect he was restless soul. He came to fly fishing by way of Winchester College where the Itchen runs beside the sport fields and a distinguished service in WW2 where he was awarded the Military Cross. He dallied with the Foreign Office (he was fluent in Mandarin Chinese) before joining the advertising colossus J. Walter Thompson to become its youngest ever director.

But selling cornflakes was clearly not his thing. As his wife Renee told me he arrived home one day in 1968 announcing that he had found the most wonderful mill in Hampshire and that he intended to resign his job to start a mail order fly fishing business.

I am not sure if Dermot was entirely truthful with Renee about the condition of Nether Wallop Mill. It was in a truly dreadful state so they set about restoring it, living in the cottage and making offices of the mill building. To boot Dermot dug the trout lake which within three years produced the British rainbow trout record (9lb 12 ½ oz in case you ask) which to this day remains the spot where countless fly fishing lives have begun.
Not much changed today .....

There were two secrets to Dermot's early success: the first and most obvious was that he was the first to offer a full service mail order company which combined with his marketing genius and considerable expertise, to make his catalogues annual bibles to the temple of fly fishing. But I think more than that he realised the British fly fishing industry had fallen woefully far behind its American counterparts. In the post-war years all the innovations were coming from the US so he set out to find the best tackle and sold it to an eager market that was exploding as the craze for stillwater fishing took off.

The Mill became something of a Mecca for all the greats of the 60's and 70's: Frank Sawyer, the man behind the lake construction, and Ollie Kite lived just up the road. Charles Ritz, Lee Wulff, Ernest Schwiebert, Bernard Venables .... well the list goes on. Even our very own Charles Jardine lived here for two years as 'the apprentice' when he was fresh out of art college.

Dermot was always a marketing man to his core; he understood that the fishermen he sold kit to would appreciate somewhere to fish so he bought what are still the two Orvis beats at Kings Worthy on the Itchen and the Ginger Beer beat at Kimbridge on the Test. Here at The Mill his tuition, largely done by Jim Hadrell and Charles Jardine, was the pipeline for a new generation. At the height he had fourteen people working here.

If that seems a lot (if you have ever visited The Mill you will agree it is) Orvis took it to a new level; I think I am right in saying that by the time Orvis were ready to leave in 1998 to a less lovely but more suitable warehouse in Andover there were close to forty full and part time employees. The phrase quart and pint pot comes easily to mind. To this day we still get the odd rod delivered for repair and there are plenty of Orvis employees who tell me wistfully where they had their desk or office. I have to tell you they made a clean job of clearing the place out; I never found a cache of Battenkill reels. In fact all I ever found were two empty rod bags.

Anyway congratulations to Orvis; 30 years is a mighty achievement for a specialty retailer on the brutal battlefield of the English high street but maybe a quick glance to the heavens in appreciation of Dermot Wilson might not go amiss.

Sawyer's Lake

In dangerous company ......

Somehow I've been invited to talk at the Petworth Festival, that includes best selling authors such as Andy McNab (hope I don't say anything to offend him...) and David Starkey.

I'm up at noon on Thursday November 5th so if you live locally do come along to hear my 'Life of a Chalkstream' show. Tickets from the on-line or from the festival box office 01798 343055.


The usual random selection of questions to confound and amaze. Answers at the bottom of the Newsletter. It is just for fun!

1)   Who won the 2015 World Carp Fishing Championships?

2)   How often does an otter have a litter of cubs?

3)   What is gault?

Sporting hospitality

Congratulations to The Greyhound in Stockbridge who have just picked up an award for Britain's Best Sporting Pub 2015, organised by Country Life and the Countryside Alliance. It is a great accolade for Lucy and the team (you may remember her from her days at The Peat Spade) that is fully deserved and we wouldn't expect anything less of the inn that very kindly hosts the River Test One Fly.

There's Lucy ....

On that thought entries for the 2016 contest that takes place on Friday April 22nd are now open. The Iron Man Fly Tying Challenge and the Fly Fishing Film Tour will be in Stockbridge the previous evening. Get those rooms booked! More details .......

Have a good weekend.

Best wishes,
Simon Signature 
Founder & Managing Director  

1)   England. River Ebro, Spain October 7-10th. 2) Once every two years. 3) A thick, heavy clay found under southern England.