Our guide Colin Alexander reports – ‘As a professional guide I probably check the weather more than most. A heat wave can often prove difficult for trout fishing as we all know and the best times on the water are often early morning and late evening. My client on Monday and Tuesday this week was Mike Carter from Australia and no stranger to hot weather! We arrived on the lower River Test beat (near to Romsey) on Monday, at the earliest allowed access time (for this beat) of 8am, and with the temperature already rising and with no fish showing at all I chose to get Mike Czech nymphing on the inside runs and under the banks. Using home tied Pheasant Tail Nymph (PTN) jig patterns with tungsten beads Mike soon hooked into his first trout which somehow came free after a short run. However, within the first hour he had landed three fine Brown trout and had good sport on the light tippet. I had him using .115 diameter tippet and I am convinced that gave Mike the edge on the trout to make takes come confidently. In the afternoon he took further fish on the dry fly. A size 14 black Klinkhammer was the only fly the trout would rise to confidently on this hot day and three further trout followed. We left the water at 4pm when the temperature was around 27 degrees.

The next morning we fished the upper Test (near to Andover), starting on the water by 07.30am and that paid off with a trout to a dry fly….a size 18 Griffiths Gnat. A few fish were rising but were taking midges which were extremely small. These fish proved harder and harder to tempt to the imitation so we switched tactics to short line nymphing like the day previous. Sport was constant, despite the ever increasing heat and bright sun, with Mike totalling an excellent 19 trout (all returned carefully) before we stopped at 3.30pm. It just goes to show how versatile a fly the PTN is, and maybe more important than a perfect tying is to get the correct weight on the fly to explore the trout lairs.

As Mike is an Obstetrician I could only close the day by telling him he had truly delivered and didn’t need the forceps once!’