The Spirit Of The Fishery

Timsbury is a members’ organization. Members are expected to behave at all times in a way which reflects concerns for other fishermen and which allows all those involved to enjoy peaceful fishing in a friendly and co-operative environment. The rules should therefore be largely a matter of common sense and members should interpret them, if necessary, in a way which preserves the spirit of the fishery.


Dress & Tackle

The waters of the Test can be exceptionally clear, so dressing in an appropriate manner is very important. Avoid wearing light-coloured or shiny clothes or brightly coloured hats. You will find it easier if you carry no more than is absolutely necessary to enable you to fish and deal with your catch effectively.


Beware of those who pontificate on the subject of flies, or those who say “you should always use this” or “you never need that”. Always and Never are terms of rather limited application to chalk stream fishing.


The contents of your fly box can be as diverse or as uniform as you care to make them. If you want diversity, study the works of Halford or Hill on the dry fly and Skues on the nymph. If you want simplicity you can have that too and still be successful for much of the time, especially if you know what you are doing, and why.



If you start the day with the usual 9′ or 12′ leader, by midday, having changed or lost flies, the length has been greatly reduced and is sometimes back towards the taper. If you do not want to replace the whole leader, you should tie on another length of tippet using a Half Blood Knot, or the more reliable non-slipmono knot.


Catch & Release

When practicing catch and release, fishermen must use sufficiently heavy tackle so that the fish can be landed quickly without it being exhausted. Fishermen must be careful to minimize their handling of the fish; wiping the slime and/or scales off the fish reduces its survival chances by making it more likely to pick up skin infection. Netting the fish should be avoided if possible, but, if necessary, a cotton mesh or rubber net should be used, as they are less abrasive than plastic-based material. It is now illegal to use knotted nets (which were particularly damaging to fish which were to be released).


Booking a Guide



Graham can accompany you to your regular fishery or arrange a day for you. He has extensive contacts with fishing agents and fishery owners which enables him to arrange to fish where and for what you want.

Winter Fishing

Winter fishing, and fishing during the “free for all” period, is for the exclusive use of members.

This measure is intended to safeguard the environment of the river during the winter months.

Although the fishing season has finished, the life of the river is anything but over during the winter

and it is a time of great activity in terms of maintenance and manual labour.