Urban fly-fishing report: Return to Winchester

It’s no secret that the Urbantrout team love the shoulder seasons. This autumn, after months of low water, a succession of storms and ex-hurricanes has finally rolled in off the Atlantic, lifting the rivers and giving us a few brief opportunities to catch a last trout or two before the season closed.

On the Itchen, of course, trout fishing doesn’t wrap up until 31 October, while the grayling are fully in season, so Rich Baker took a trip to Winchester last weekend to send us this catch report:

I only had limited time this morning, but I had a mission in mind: fishing the fast water through town with a French leader and heavy nymphs.

Having said that, I spent quite a lot of time messing about on the Old Barge, where I lost one big trout and caught several smaller ones in one of the outflow streams.

Finally, up into the true ‘town water’, and moving slowly in order to spot fish, I was surprised at where some of them were holding in outrageously fast riffles. I could see the odd fish, but trying to get a good drift with good bite detection ‘blind’ in water that fast was tough to say the least.

One grayling took about 50 drifts till I got it right! But it was great sport: French leader, lots of tungsten, and grayling in much faster water than I thought they’d tolerate, plus a few nice trout too.

It was lovely to be back on the old home water – I’d missed it.

(Photos: Rich Baker)

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2 Responses to “Urban fly-fishing report: Return to Winchester”

  1. Marco says:

    Hi there, where’s the old barge? Do you wade the length of the river from Winchester college playing fields? Is there a map of beats? Thx Marco

    • Theo says:

      Hi Marco, yes, the Old Barge water is the ‘navigable’ stretch downstream from Black’s Bridge and the boathouse. I believe there’s a public footpath all the way down to the Garnier Road bridge and car park, and beyond…

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