Top Ten Trout Streams in the United Kingdom

Top 10 UK Trout Streams

Given its size, its population, and its role as the foundry of Europe's industrial revolution, it is remarkable that the United Kingdom should have some of the finest and most accessible flyfishing found anywhere. Yet between the crowds and the conurbations there are spaces, and winding through the spaces—mostly far from sight and sound—there are rivers, some of which provide world-class sport.

The rivers in the U.K. fall into two distinct categories—the chalk streams that first gave birth to imitative flyfishing as a sport in the 19th century, and the spate or freestone rivers. The chalk streams are stocked with browns and rainbows, since there are very few places in the U.K. where rainbows breed in the wild, but all offer some fishing for wild trout at a price. Many of the spate rivers are also stocked but—for reasons about to become plain—some also provide sport with wild fish that has few equals anywhere in the world.

Note: It is illegal in England and Wales to fish without a state Environment Agency permit, regardless of what other access to the water is obtained. A permit costs just a few pounds and can be bought at post offices.


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