Our guide Mick Siggery reports on his guiding day on 27th September:  ‘Husband and wife Ralph & Carolyn Duddles from the USA spent the day with me on the on the beautiful upper River Test near to Andover.  Ralph told me that he had been reading about the English chalkstreams since the age of ten and that it was his lifelong ambition to come over and fish them and he felt that this was probably the last opportunity before they were too old.  Now in their seventies and with restricted mobility they decided not to wade in the river.  This put us at a slight disadvantage because when casting from the bank you do have the potential problem of your silhouette on the skyline.  Ralph had fished from being a teenager but Carolyn is a relative novice.  I started Carolyn in a pool with size 12 goldhead Gold Ribbed Hares Ear (GRHE) on a 5X tippet.  Then I went off to check on Ralph.

A cool wind was blowing down the river making casting difficult and keeping the fish down.  The water was shallow in front of us so I tied a size 18 green flashback Pheasant Tail Nymph onto a 5X tippet.  He soon hooked into a nice Grayling of just over 1lb.  If you can get up behind the fish so you are casting straight upstream rather than across you are less likely to scare the fish from the bank.  Carolyn called out and it was a quick dash for me down the river to land her 1.5lb Brown Trout.  We continued up river with Ralph landing seven Grayling to 1.5lb and a wild Brown Trout on various fly patterns, such as a Pink Shrimp (size 14) and a GRHE (14).  No fish came to the dry fly which is very unusual at this time of the year.

At the end of the day Ralph said that the day had far exceeded anything he’d expected and that he would treasure the memories of their day on the famous River Test.

I hope I will still be fishing when I am in my seventies!  I know the enthusiasm will still be there.’