aj_graylingLaverstock, River Bourne

The Laverstock fishery is a three rod stretch of the River Bourne running upstream on the true right bank from the Laverstock Road to the A30 London Road. Members can park along the lane off Laverstock Road which leads to the allotments although access can be easier if you can find somewhere to park further along Laverstock Road towards Laverstock Sports & Social Club. The signing in book is located near the pedestrian footbridge past the club’s pitches.

This is a premium wild fishery that holds both trout and grayling but it is the grayling that are the stars of this particular show and are the reason for the fishery opening times matching the coarse season! There are some truly outstanding “fish of a lifetime” grayling in the Bourne here and they are not shy about you knowing they are there at times, although catching them once they’ve seen you is a different matter!

While fishing from the bank is entirely possible, wading opens up more opportunities on this water. Wading is not difficult although there are some deeper holes to be wary of and exit points can be harder to find if the water levels are higher during the winter months.

Stealth is the order of the day though when wading. What at first appears to be water devoid of any fish life soon becomes a mass of activity as a shoal of grayling fly away from you in all directions after that first clumsy step. Look, look again and take your time. The fish are there although they do like to hole up in the hardest to reach places.

It is a long beat if you fish the full length and will take a while to cover. While there are some regular holding spots fish can be had throughout the beat, although personally speaking the stretch from the pedestrian bridge upstream has been the most productive. Casting can be challenging in some areas and a shorter rod – 8’ and under – will probably be easier. Beware of fishing too light at the tippet though as you don’t want to lose that big grayling.

Success has been had on nymphs (in particular peeping caddis with a short orange tag) but dry flies give the most personal pleasure. Especially during the post first frost colder days of the latter months the small black dry fly can be presented with great success. Size 20 black gnats or other favourites can tempt some very good fish.

Enjoy this gem. It is challenging but can be remarkably rewarding, this water possibly holds a new Club record grayling currently standing at 2lb 4.5oz