Our excellent fly fishing guide Colin Alexander reports:  ‘It is always a gamble booking well in advance a trout fishing day in April where we are all at the mercy of the weather.  On the lower part of the River Test, in the region of Romsey,… …there are tributary streams flowing into the main river and so there is always a risk of some colouring if the rain is in anyway sustained.  However, when the levels and the conditions are good there can be some good early sport on beats that open in advance of the majority which wait until 1st May to open.

Over wintered fish can be in excellent condition and a sustained hatch of flies will invariably tempt them into rising and giving away their exact location in the river. When the trout are feeding subsurface in fast water they can be difficult to see and so one tactic is to wait patiently until seeing a definite rise and then cast to it. This can be frustrating for fly anglers who gain half their pleasure in just casting but repeated casting may draw a fish up ‘blind’ but equally it may just be enough to put the trout off rising at all.   There is no magic answer but maybe try both approaches and see which reaps the rewards.

Yesterday (14th April) I guided an experienced angler together with a novice fly angler on the river. When the Grannom Sedge hatch came in the middle of the day the trout eventually reacted to the naturals and gave away their positions. Selected casts then secured some sport to the dry fly and we all know there is no better way to fish for the excitement of the take.

Here is a picture of one of the early season trout taken on a Grannom Sedge fly…and a happy visiting angler fishing the River Test for the first time. TightlinesTest Trout April 2015