This legendary chalk stream, famed all over the world for the splendour of its dry fly fishing for trout, rises near Alresford and flows via Winchester, to slice through the centre of South-ampton before entering Southampton Water. Its trout have been the inspiration for generations of great angling writers. In the lower reaches, salmon and sea trout are also found. Ticket facilities are next to non-existent on this exclusive river and even season permits, often at prices approaching £1,000, may only be obtained by influence – or patience. Riparian owners along the Itchen rightly guard their heritage well and new rods are well screenod before being permitted to cast along what some regard as a sanctuary. Those determined to sample the river are advised to contact those listed below, with the warning that waiting lists are a commonplace and at the few places where day fishing is pos-sible advance booking is an absolute necessity. Rod Licence: SWA Southampton, HantsC1 mile from Woodmill to Mansbridge LB Free fishing

Swathling, HantsCTS2 mile downstream from weir at


Free fishing

Winchester, HantsT 11J miles in

Winchester area

DT: (L5)ATS (TheRod Box, 52, St.

Itchen Records

Trout, brown:’ 7-4-0 D Hayes (nymph) Sept 1

Trout, rainbow: 7-8-0 B M Davies 1 ‘this was reported as ‘a record for the Itchen Valley’.

George’s Street, Winchester or Tel: 0962 713458) -Varies (usually mid April to mid October) aae Winchester, HantsCT J mile between City Mill and Wharf Mill (known as The Weirs) Free fishing

Note: Salmon and trout rods are let on a seasonal basis on behalf of riparian owners on this river by the Test and Itchen Fishing Association Ltd., an organisation formed in 1907 by Sir William Portal ofLaver-stoke with the object of promoting fly fishing for trout on both rivers. Rods, which can cost between £300 and £800 a season, are subject to a long waiting list. Interested anglers can obtain more detail by contacting Mrs M. F. Baring, the secretary of the Association at Well House, Malshanger, Basingstoke, Hants. Ithon.SeeR.Wye Ivel. See R. Great Ouse Kennet. See R. Thames Kensey. See R. Tamar Kent. See Lake District

Kershope Burn. See R. Esk (Border)