Holbury Lakes fishery is in a secluded, tranquil setting where the River Dun winds between the four lakes. Each lake has its own characteristics and offers great scope, and so the fly fishing is always exciting, whatever your experience. Throughout the summer months the water clarity in the lakes is usually very good, although they can become coloured in winter when rainfall is persistent.
Adequate car parking is available alongside the log cabin fishing office. The fishing office also provides a comfortable area where tea, coffee and a microwave are available free of charge. The main fishing lodge, overlooking the lakes, and just a 5-minute walk from the car park, provides a comfortable space with tea and coffee facilities, and outside there is also a picnic area with tables. A charcoal barbecue is available on request. Situated above the lodge with splendid views across the lake, is a large function room, capable of providing dining facilities for over two dozen people, this is available by arrangement. The lodge also houses the lavatory and washing facilities.
|AREA||About a half-acre.|
|FISHING NOTES||Well suited for beginners, the Pond is well stocked and has good room for casting.|
|DEPTH||2 to 4 metres (6 to 12 feet).|
|SUITABILITY FOR DISABLED FLY FISHERS||Ideal, because the bankside is flat and secure, and this lake is closest to the car park.|
|AREA||About one acre.|
|FISHING NOTES||A mixed bag, Island Lake provides plenty of scope for using different fishing techniques.|
|DEPTH||Mostly 2+ metres (about 7 feet, but with holes down to 14 feet).|
|SUITABILITY FOR DISABLED FLY FISHERS||Access is good all around this lake.|
|AREA||About one acre – a long stretch of water.|
|FISHING NOTES||The Long Lake is the most scenic with beautiful wild flowers in the summer. This lake is particularly popular for tuition as it is spacious with room to cast freely.|
|DEPTH||Mostly 2+ metres (about 7 feet).|
|SUITABILITY FOR DISABLED FLY FISHERS||Access is possible. The riverside bank is safe and easy.|
|AREA||About 3/4 of an acre.|
|FISHING NOTES||Willow is the most challenging due to the amount of tree coverage along the banks. This lake requires a more advanced casting technique. Willow Lake lends itself to longer, fine leaders with small to tiny dry flies (hook size 18 to 22).|
|DEPTH||Varies from 1.5 to 4 metres (5 to 12 feet).|
|SUITABILITY FOR DISABLED FLY FISHERS||This lake is furthest from the car park, so is less suitable than the nearer waters.|
Our stretch of the River Dun (a tributary of the famous River Test) is around 1.2 km (approximately 2/3 of a mile) long. Of this, about 650 metres (700 yards) of the banks are fishable. The average width is about 6 metres (20 feet), and average depth 1.5 metres (5 feet). The water is usually gin clear. (After heavy rain it rises quickly and becomes coloured, but it can be clear again 24 hours later.)
The banks are high and as you fish the sun is often behind you, so you risk throwing your shadow over the fish. There are also quite a few overhanging branches. So the Dun presents some interesting challenges for accomplished fly fishers.
In the top half of our beat the water flows fast over chalky gravel beds. In the second half it slows around a bend and flows silently under overhanging branches, which is where the trout often tend to be! But with a hook, curve or slide cast, you can get at them.
It is our usual policy to limit the Dun to one rod per day, or to two friends fishing together. There’s more than enough interest here to keep you fully occupied for the day!
Because the Dun is a chalk stream, suitable flies would include: Black Gnat, Gold-Ribbed Hare’s-Ear Nymph, Pheasant-Tail Nymph, Iron Blue, (Mayfly in season) Greenwells, Adams, Tups Indispensible, Beacon Beige. Size 16 or smaller.
Note: distances, areas, and depths given on this page are approximate; metric/imperial equivalents even more so!