Trout anglers get ready for the 2022 season on the River Whitewater

March 7, 2022 at 12:16 pm

The small Hampshire chalk stream controlled by Farnborough and District A.S, is looking in good condition for the 2022 trout fishing season, after working parties cleared away fallen trees from the River Whitewater and cut back over growth.

More a social event, than work, members were able to catch up on last season’s successes and failures, while notes were swapped over what was caught from where and with what fly. With only a small fly fishing membership, it is rare to meet another angler on the bank during the season and the preseason work parties are ideal for getting feed back.

Covid restrictions had limited the amount of work that could be undertaken on this natural river last year, but members have been busy making up for lost time. Above, willows were beginning to restrict the flow, while making casting impossible. Below, brambles had grown out across the river, catching flies, while the preseason haircut will allow casting to trout sheltering under the opposite bank.

Running through working farm land, the Whitewater fishing has to be a balance between the angler’s interests and the farmer’s commercial requirements. The land is rotated between arable and livestock, the anglers happy with a recent change over to sheep, following years of rearing frisky young bullocks, which roamed around in gangs terrorising any angler that they spotted on the bank. After a few near misses from flying hooves, I avoided any of the fields where they were pastured, preferring personal safety, over catching trout.

A dedicated team that has removed literally tons of signal crayfish from this little river over the last few years, resulted in successful spawning of wild fish, which are showing up in greater numbers.

There are now all year classes of trout showing.

The Whitewater was stocked with a wide variety of trout in the years before triploids and now has a mix of classic browns, and more silvery browns similar to the this one below, that I took last season on a mayfly.

Whatever their variety, these brown trout fight to the maximum effort and all require nursing back to full strength, before releasing. With only a few weeks to the start of the new season on April 1st, we can only look forward to balmy spring and summer days and the chance to net one of these beautiful fish.