Two weeks in to the season and things are starting to warm up. Another trip to the little Foston chalk stream was in order . A fascinating stream with very high levels of invertebrate life . Although these days it can be impacted during the summer by low levels of groundwater , as are most of the southern chalk streams . In the old days aquifers were left pretty much untouched . These days deep boreholes allow agriculture to pump millions of gallons of water onto ever thirsty crops. Sadly this leads in part to low flows and some impacted gravels which then impact on the fish life. However for all that the stream is comparatively lightly fished and allows me to explore a unique style of fishing . The stream is one of a small group of chalk streams that occur in the northern UK , they rise from the same chalk bedrock that rises again in the south to give birth to the famous Southern chalk streams such as the Test and Itchen . Over the last few years I have been fortunate to fish The Itchen and one of the smaller streams the Anton. I have to say they are generally both over manicured and overstocked.
The real joy of this stream is that it is relatively lightly managed and therefore it is more interesting and challenging in my view than the stereotypical English chalk stream. The levels of surface activity are very good. The fishing is fascinating and there are fish that offer real surprises . They also fight like the devil.
The amount of natural food there is in this stream is incredible , the fish tend to be butter fat and very strong . Especially the wild fish and the stock fish that have overwintered. The above fish scrapped like something twice its weight .
There is plenty for them to eat, On opening day this year despite the cold weather there was a decent hatch around lunchtime . The first day of the season gave me a decent hatch and every day I have visited I have seen rising fish . The stream has tremendous up wing hatches .
Whenever I look at this willow I cant help but wonder how many anglers have past beneath it . Its very old the base of the trunk must be 10ft Diameter. This end of the river is very much in the mould of what a chalk stream fishery is meant to look like. The lower half of the fishery is in some ways less picturesque but is lightly fished and holds some real surprises. It also gets pretty overgrown , Which is very much at odds to the usual image of a manicured chalk stream
There are a couple of real brutes lurking there . I recently spent an hour trying to get one fish to take...