River Itchen

Destination: River Itchen (Abbots Worthy Beat)
Country: UK
Freshwater: River fishing
Capacity: up to 3 per day
Season: 01. May - 15. October
Specialties: Fish one of the most famous chalk stream in the UK.
Species: Brown Trout, Grayling

The Fishery


The River Itchen is considered to be one of the finest English chalk streams by anglers worldwide. Rising from the Hampshire chalk down land near New Cheriton, the river has a reported catchment area of 280 miles from its source where it is known as the Titchbourne Stream. The river is approximately 28 miles long and flows north to New Alresford where it is joined by two spring fed streams, the Erle and the Candover Brook. Here, it becomes the River Itchen, flowing west past Ovington and Itchen Abbas, east to Abbots Worthy and south to Winchester and Southampton, where the river becomes tidal and joins the reaches of the River Test on Southampton Water.

The river is highly sought after for its quality of water and fly fishing as well as its almost completely wild trout population.


The Abbots Worthy Fishery is located on the edge of the village of Abbots Worthy approximately 3 miles to the north of the cathedral city of Winchester. Within Abbots Worthy and the adjacent Kings Worthy there are everyday conveniences including shops, post office and public house. Winchester provides a comprehensive range of shops, cultural and recreational facilities and a wide choice of restaurants and wine bars.

Travel and communications are excellent with the A33, A34 and M3 adjacent giving access to both London, the south coast, Oxford and the A303 for the west country. Winchester has a main line railway station with regular access to London Waterloo.

  • Winchester: 3 miles
  • London Waterloo: 57 min. by train
  • Alresford: 6 miles
  • Stockbridge: 10 miles

The Fishery

The Abbots Worthy beat is on the Upper Itchen and is approximately a third of a mile in length. The fishing is a mix of single, double bank and wading. It is a challenging stretch of water for casting and stalking with gin clear water and good aquatic fly life providing plenty of hatches.

The Fishing

The fishing is for Brown Trout using upstream dry fly and nymph and a catch-release policy is promoted on this fishery. Prolific aquatic insect and shrimp life make the river a very fertile environment for fish. Hatches of up winged flies start in late April and peak from early May onwards to late June during which time the famous Mayfly hatches take place. Summer evenings can provide excellent dry fly fishing and even on the hottest brightest days, big Trout can be caught. Autumn hatches can be very good and from the summer months onwards an estimated half of all Trout and Grayling caught during the autumn will be taken on dry fly, where Grayling of up to 3lb are caught regularly.

The Season

The season runs from 3rd April to 15th October. The best, most famous and also most expensive time of the year is the mayfly season from 15th May - 8th June. But don't worry, the fishing earlier and later during the season is cheaper and is still exceptional.

Please contact us with any questions or for booking information.