Address: Dever Springs Trout Fishery, Barton Stacey, Nr Winchester, Hampshire, S021 3NP.

Directions: From London travel down the M3 and leave on the A303 turn off. Follow the A303 for about 7 miles and take the turn off on the left hand side marked Barton Stacey. Follow the road until the T junction. Turn left at the T junction and follow the road for about 1/2 mile. The fishery is clearly marked on your right hand side before crossing the bridge over the river.

Season: Open all year.

Phone 01264 720592

Web site:

Fishery records: This is a big fish water. Rainbow trout 361b 14oz, brown trout 281b 2oz.

Stocking; Daily with fish from 51b plus. Brown trout are only stocked in season.

The fishery: There are two lakes totalling about 6 acres plus half mile of River Dever. The lakes are well established with good fly life including a good hatch of mayflies when in season. The lakes are gin clear and always hold plenty of double figure fish.

The smaller 2acre Spring Lake is floating line only with a single wet, nymph or dry fly. Lures are banned on this lake. The larger Willow Lake is about 4 acres and both sinking or floating lines with any single fly can be used. As these lakes hold the British Records for both rainbow and brown trout there is a minimum breaking strain on leaders of 61b b.s.

On the river, the rule is dry fly or upstream nymph with a maximum hook size of a size 12 ordinary shank. The River Dever is a tributary of the famous River Test.

Ticket prices: Full day with four fish limit is 50, half day 40 for a three fish limit and a two fish evening ticket costs 30 for two fish.

Other facilities: lodge, W.C., coffee and tea, tuition, some tackle for sale and many swims suitable for physically disadvantaged anglers. Corporate days can be arranged and tailored to clients individual requirements.

Accommodation can be arranged in advance in various types of accommodation to suit the client.

A Days Fishing at Dever Springs

Editor Geoff Maynard, my wife Virginia and I travelled to Dever Springs in mid October on a rather cold and windy day. At least it was not raining like it had done all day the previous day.

Geoff and I started off at the bottom end of the larger Willow Lake where the wind was blowing strongly into our faces. I started off with an intermediate line to fish a sunk daddy long legs in to the waves. I had not retrieved more than 3ft of line on the first cast before I had a smash hit and was into the first fish of the day. It was as expected, no light weight and gave a good account of itself before coming to the waiting landing net. At a fraction over 71b it was a good start.

As I was weighing my first fish Geoff was into his first fish on a small orange lure. Again a good fish of pushing 61b. This was followed by another similar sized fish shortly after. Then our swims went dead.

I moved down the fishery to fish the smaller Spring Lake where I could see some very big fish swimming close in to the bank. I had to change to a floating line and tried to stalk one or two of the larger fish. These I estimated at being nearer to twenty pounds than ten pounds. They refused to take any nymph that I tried and appeared to be in a rather odd mood. Perhaps it was the heavy rain from the previous day. I was not the only angler to fail with these fish as despite the efforts of many anglers including Dever regulars none of these bigger fish were caught. The regulars thought that this was most unusual as they had taken many of these passing fish in the past with stalking tactics.

I decided to give the sunk daddy long legs a try and moved down the lake to cast across the windward bank. I tried all types of retrieve but could not get a take. I walked along the bank and could not see any fish which I found rather surprising.

I moved further back along the bank towards Willow Lake when I noticed a fish moving. I made a surprisingly good cast in the gusty conditions to cover the fish. It took immediately and I was playing my second fish. It felt heavier than my first. It put up a very good fight making some very long runs before eventually tiring to be netted and weighed at 81b 4oz.

I could not buy another take when Geoff came down to report that his fishing on the other lake was following the same trend. He came down to join me fishing a green nymph. We both fished on and did not have a take for about hour. Then Geoff had a take to land his third fish a nice rainbow of about 81b.

About half an hour later I changed over to a gold bead hairs ear. I fished it exceptionally slow and got a take on the third cast which turned out to be another good rainbow of just over 81b. As Geoff and I had had three fish each and it was now approaching noon, we decided to have a lunch break and went with our photographer, Virginia to the Cricketers at Longparish. We had a good pub lunch in a proper country pub and really enjoyed our break.

When we returned we decided to fish the larger lake and thought that we would quickly finish off our limits. We were wrong as neither of us could get a take. Then Geoff changed to his latest fly called "Maxwells Glory" to take his last rainbow which was again well over 61b. I pinched the fly off of his line to give it a try. On about my fourth cast I too had caught my limit.

What about the photographer? Well, in between photographing all the action She managed to beat her own best rainbow with a fish of 81b 2oz on a size 14 gold bead hair ear and was very pleased.

The day in our opinion had been at great success. Our average fish was about seven pounds and we had really enjoyed ourselves.

Dever Springs is a top class trout fishery that many top big trout anglers refer to as the "Jewel in the Crown". There are certainly plenty of big fish present. The fishery fishes well all year round and is stocked with rainbows to over twenty pounds at all times of the year. Many believe that the Winter fishing is better than the Summer. Years ago when I was fishing more for trout I would go to Dever in the Winter and always did very well. One ambition I still have is to catch a big fish from Dever when there has been snow on the ground. It is possible but I have never been off work and free to go to Dever when it had snowed. Perhaps this year?

  • For more information on Dever Springs, please click here.


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