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A very healthy wild Brown Trout.  How did we know it was a wild species?  Well the fish that are stocked in this river each year are much, much larger than this little beauty. The gear used was all Partridge; Partridge rod, Partridge reel, Partridge flyline; what better could you get?

By mid afternoon we had our fill and it was time to try and trace the footsteps of F M Halford and Co all those years ago.  The first stop was Stockbridge and the Grosvenor Hotel, home of the famous Houghton Club, which was founded way back in 1822.  We were cheeky enough to go in and ask if we could visit the club rooms but it was not to be.   Just next door to the Grosvenor was another pub called “The Hatch”.  Terry and I were going to go in there but we ended up at the Orvis store opposite.     

 

 

The River Test                                                             Page 3

 

For some reason Grayling have been treated like a lesser species and in many waters they are unwanted. Yet there are just as many who love them.  Me, I think they are awesome.

 

Although the trout season was closed, if you inadvertently caught a trout, it had to be released.  As you would expect, waters such as these are stocked with sizable trout. These fish do spawn in the river as we witnessed and to catch a prodigy is a gift.  The wild brown trout of England is revered as it should be.  For its size England is the most populated country on this earth.  You can imagine the pressure on its water systems and it is amazing how the respective groups have worked to keep their streams healthy enough to maintain and even, in some instances, enhance their wild trout fisheries.   

One of big highlights of the day was catching a wild Brown Trout, my first in Britain and it had to be from the River Test.

The Grosvenor Hotel right in the middle of Stockbridge

“The Hatch” This whole town is just a flyflicker’s delight

It was time to see a bit more of the district and find a couple of the three fishing huts that were used by the great Halford.  Within a few minutes we were back on the Test and actually inside one of Halford’s fishing huts.

Two huts that were actually used by Halford and friends so long ago.  Can you imagine having lunch at that table with people like Halford, Marriot, Skues, etc?   

The log book was an interesting read and believe me there were many recognisable names between its pages

The Mayfly was the last call for the day; it was late in the afternoon so we settled down with a few beers and a great meal.

The Mayfly Hotel right on the banks of the River Test and you could lose count of the Trout sitting in the gaps in the weed!

.............what a day!

Flies of old - the big fly in the centre is Halford Mayfly

The perfect day, a bag of fish and a hug
 

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