A chalk stream is a spring-fed river whose flow derives from the previous winter’s rainfall, which soaks into the chalk downland and is filtered through a solid layer of highly alkaline calcium carbonate before being stored in subterranean aquifers, sometimes for many years. It’s a kind of exaggerated limestone spring creek, if you will. As a result of the unusual geology, these streams support flora and fauna that are not found anywhere else, which your guide will be happy to point out to you.
The chalk itself derives from the cretaceous period, around 70 million years ago, when this part of the world was under water, and was actually formed by countless small shellfish falling to the sea floor and being compressed, over time, into solid calcium carbonate or chalk – the exact stuff they used to use to write on the black board in schools!
The main characteristics of these rivers are the high alkalinity (perfect from growing invertebrate trout food), constant temperature (most leave the ground at around 50 degrees F) and flow rate. Unlike spate rivers, they never flood or colour up, so right through the summer months the water is crystal clear and always fishable, making this a very reliable fly-fishing destination, something the travelling angler will appreciate a great deal.
All English chalk streams are privately owned, and traditionally impossible to access to, as many stretches are not let at all, but are fished by syndicates with long waiting lists. However, as a result of our friendships with highly placed individuals within the area, we have some superb access to the best chalk streams in the country. We can tailor your trip to suit your preference, so that you will fish a different private “beat” each day, accompanied by expert guides whose job it is to find you fish and help you to catch them. The beat you fish each day is yours alone for the day and you will not see anybody outside your immediate group, except, perhaps, for the estate river keeper, whose job it is to manage and improve habitat, to mow the banks and to control predators where necessary.
There is a strong sense of history and tradition on these rivers that is quite palpable. Most of the fishing is with a single, imitative dry fly cast upstream at a rising fish. Each beat will have its own set of rules as to what is permitted, and on some, especially on those rivers with the longest association with nymph fishing, a single upstream nymph (always cast at a sighted fish) is also permitted. Strike indicators are not permitted and while this may seem foreign to most North American anglers, the traditions and history of Chalk Stream fishing in England is long established and not to be trifled with.
We have access to beats and or tributaries on the following rivers: The Test, The Itchen, The Avon, The Wylye, The Nadder, The Ebble, The Anton, The Dever, The Wiltshire Bourne, The Kennet and the Lambourne.
BOATS AND EQUIPMENT
This is strictly a walk and wade fishery
Guest will fly in to London and then make their south west to the area around the town of Stockbridge. Guests can either rent a car or take the train from London. If guests are not comfortable driving on the left-hand side of the road, we can organize it so that your guide will collect you each morning and drop you back at your hotel at the end of the fishing day. For groups, we can organize a van for the duration of the trip.
Slipstream is a full service travel company that can handle a variety of services relating to your trip. For assistance, please contact us directly at 1 866 644-7703.
RATES FOR 2023
Pricing for the 2023 season will be available December 15th, 2022.
- Wifi: Yes
- Language: English
- Physicality: Low
- CC Payment at Facility : Yes
SEASON OF OPERATION
ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE LOGISTICS
INCLUDED IN PRICE
- Number of specified nights purchased
- Number of specified guide days purchased
- All Beat Fees
- All meals
- All applicable taxes
NOT INCLUDED IN PRICE
- Round trip international airfare to London England
- Round trip domestic transfers to the Stockbridge area
- Car rental (if you decide to rent one)
- Gratuities for hotel staff and guides
- Personal expenses at the hotel (bar tabs, laundry, international telephone calls, etc).
TRAVEL DOCUMENTS REQUIRED
For American and Canadian guests, you don’t need a visa to enter England. You do need to have your passport, which must be valid for the length of your stay. If you’re transiting on to anywhere in mainland Europe, the passport should be valid for six months beyond the end of your planned stay.