In my opinion the two very best times to be fishing the River Test and the River Itchen are the spring and the autumn.  If I had to pick one single month that provides both top quality sport – dry fly and nymph – and low prices, it would be November – a peak Grayling month.  Usually there are excellent fly hatches and dry fly sport at least until the end of November and often right through to Christmas.  Our chalkstreams guide Mick Siggery has written a short report of a recent session guiding a client on the River Itchen upstream of Winchester.

‘My client David and I arrived on the river to a lovely grey and misty autumn morning.

Misty morning

At the beginning of the day no fish were rising so we started with a size 14 grey Klinkhamer with a size 20 goldhead Hares Ear fished on a ‘New Zealand’ dropper two feet down on a 3lb tippet. Third drift over a hole in the weeds produced the excellent grayling in the picture! David went on to catch a good mix of grayling to size 18 flash back goldhead Pheasant Tail Nymphs, dry size 18 Greenwells Glory ( the old flies still work well!) and size 18 Adams.  All the fish caught on the nymph were taking just off the bottom.’
Itchen Grayling