Fishing in the River Test

The Bere Mill fishery is a renowned stretch of the Upper Test where fly fishing for trout was developed and codified in the C19th. Chamberlain fished here for 4 days in 1939 (!)   and Prince Charles was taught to fly fish in the late 1950s by the then river keeper for Portals, Charles Smith.

Work has been carried out over 20 years to restore the river to its pristine state including removal of a weed trap, river narrowing to improve flows,  crown pruning of surrounding trees, and restoration of spawning gravels.  This has had the effect of improving the spawning reds and there is now a healthy population of  native brown trout (salmo trutta fario).

No stocking of farm trout is now taking place on the River Test above the lower boundary of Bere Mill and the source. A small syndicate fishes the water periodically on a dry fly, catch and release basis. While the water quality is now good, concern remains about the extent and range of fly life.