Sporting rights - game fishing and shooting

We are involved in the sale and acquisition of quality game fishing on the West Country rivers and the chalk streams of the south of England, much of which rarely comes to the market. We know some of the best beats should you wish to purchase the rights or alternatively can put you in touch with syndicates or day tickets waters.

If your interest is shooting, then we can find opportunities to rent the sporting rights and run your own operations.

Fishing opportunities in the West Country and the south of England

If you are seeking fishing rights to buy in the South West the information below gives some of the main rivers by county and the nearest centres:

CornwallDorsetDevonSouth WiltshireHampshire

Cornwall

River Camel - The Camel rises on the north west edge of Bodmin Moor and flows past Camelford to its estuary at Wadebridge before reaching the sea at Padstow on the North Cornwall coast. The run of Salmon tends to be late with some of the best fishing in November and December. Sea Trout arrive in summer with the main run in early July. The Camel has a reputation for good runs of both species and, during the 2003 season, there were more than twice as many salmon caught on the Camel as any other river in the South West.Brown Trout are prevalent in the upper reaches.

River Fowey - The River Fowey is a prime Cornish spate river giving excellent salmon and sea trout fishing. Basically, high water is good and low water is bad. High clear green winter water is best of all for the salmon runs. It rises near the highest point of Bodmin Moor from which it flows south, and then turns to the west, and finally south again through Lostwithiel to its long estuary where it enters the South Cornwall coast at Fowey.

River Helford - The Helford River is a delightful unspoilt estuary stretching from the outer edge of Falmouth Bay up to the old port of Gweek.

River Tamar - The Tamar rises near the north coast, and for most of its course forms the boundary between Devon and Cornwall. It is always a lowland stream flowing through farmland and this fact is reflected in the size of its Trout which have a larger average size than those in the acid moorland streams. Around Launceston, the Tamar is joined by six tributaries - Ottery, Kensey, Carey, Wolf, Thrushel and Lyd - which offer good Trout fishing, as does the Inny which enters a few miles downstream. There is a good run of Salmon and Sea Trout, the latter being particularly numerous on the Lyd. Grayling are also found in places. Early and late in the season are the best times for salmon with sea trout caught mainly in the summer months.

Dorset

River Allen - With a total length of thirteen miles, the Allen is a tributary to the Stour, the two rivers coming together just outside Wimborne Minster and entering the sea at Christchurch, as does the Avon. Much of the fishing is through unspoilt open countryside for brown trout.

River Piddle - This is a small and wild chalk stream which rises close to Alton Pancras and flows south and then south-easterly more or less parallel with its bigger neighbour, the River Frome to Wareham where they both enter Poole Harbour. It is known for it’s wild brown trout,  and there are a number of salmon and sea trout taken from it’s lower reaches. Many of the villages it passes through are named after it: Puddletown, Tolpuddle, Piddlehinton, Piddletrenthide, Affpuddle, Briantspuddle, and Turnerspuddle.

River Frome - The river rises in the Dorset Downs at Evershot, passes through Maiden Newton, Dorchester, West Stafford and Woodsford. At Wareham it and the River Piddle flow into Poole Harbour. The river holds a good head of wild brown trout, supplemented by stocking, and sizeable grayling. Salmon and sea trout are caught in its lower reaches and a good deal of work has been carried out in recent years to improve natural fish stocks.

Devon

River Avon - South Devon stream not to be confused with Hampshire Avon or Bristol Avon. The river holds Brown Trout and has runs of Sea Trout and Salmon. Brown trout fishing starts in March and you can catch nice fish from the opening day particularly in the middle and upper sections of the river. A few large early Sea Trout are caught but the reliable runs start in May and continue till September. Salmon also run the Avon although not in large numbers. It rises in the southern half of the Dartmoor National Park. After leaving the moor it, flows into the sea at Bigbury on Sea, just to the west of Kingsbridge and Salcombe.

River Axe - This quiet meandering stream rises in the hills of west Dorset near Beaminster, south of Crewkerne, and runs along the boundary with Somerset before flowing past Axminster to the sea at Axmouth near Seaton. The Axe is a fertile river with good Trout fishing and a run of Salmon and Sea Trout. The two main tributaries, the Coly and Yarty, are also Trout streams and the Yarty has a good run of Sea Trout.

River Barle - The River Barle runs from Exmoor, in Somerset  to join the River Exe at Exbridge having passed through Withypool and Dulverton. It offers challenging fishing for brown trout and salmon

River Dart - The river begins as two separate branches (the East Dart and West Dart), which join at Dartmeet. This is a moorland fishery - swift flowing, boulder strewn, usually crystal clear. After leaving the moor, the Dart flows southwards past Buckfast Abbey and through the towns of Buckfastleigh, Dartington and Totnes. At Totnes it becomes tidal and flows on through the village of Dittisham. The village of Kingswear and town of Dartmouth are on the east and west sides of the estuary before thev river enters the sea. Although there are Brown Trout throughout the river, the middle and lower reaches are primarily Salmon and Sea Trout waters.

River Exe - The River Exe rises near the village of Simonsbath, on Exmoor in Somerset. It flows through open moorland until it plunges into a steep wooded valley near Winsford. By the time Tiverton is reached the valley has widened and from here to the sea the Exe meanders through a broad pastoral vale until it flows into the estuary near Exeter and finally into the sea between Exmouth and Dawlish Warren. Throughout most of its length the Exe is a good Trout stream, the fast flowing, rocky upper reaches abounding in fish of modest average size, which increases as the river becomes larger and slower in its middle and lower reaches, where fish approaching a pound feature regularly in the daily catch. The Exe has a good run of Salmon and can produce big catches when the grilse arrive in summer. In the deep slow waters around Exeter there is a variety of coarse fish to the estuary at Topsham. The Exe only has a small run of Sea Trout, but Grayling are plentiful in the middle and lower reaches.

River Otter - The Otter springs to life in the Blackdown Hills. The river passes through or by Upottery, Rawridge, Monkton, Honiton, Alfington, Ottery St Mary, Tipton St John, Newton Poppleford, Otterton and reaches the coast to the east of Budleigh Salterton and west of Lyme Bay. This is primarily a Brown Trout stream noted for its dry fly fishing for Trout of good average weight. There is also an improving run of Sea Trout.

River Taw - The Taw is a noted Salmon and Sea Trout river that rises high on Dartmoor and then flows through the rolling farmland of North Devon to its estuary at Barnstaple. Its main tributary, the Mole, also has good Salmon and Sea Trout fishing, and the Moles own tributary, the Bray, is a good little Trout stream. Brown trout are found in good numbers in the upper beats.

River Teign - With its moorland origins, the Teign rises quickly after rain and falls equally quickly, so the salmon fishing is usually best for a relatively short period as the river drops after a flood. Sea trout fishing is best in late spring and throughout summer, with night-time fly fishing accounting for most of the fish. Fly fishing for wild brown trout can be enjoyed at any time in the season, with May and June usually offering the cream of the fishing. The Teign has two sources high up on Dartmoor but the two branches of the Teign quickly leave the moor to join west of Chagford. Between Chagford and Steps Bridge the river runs through a dramatic wooded gorge. The upper Teign offers good fishing for wild Trout and Sea Trout, with Salmon fishing in suitable conditions from April to the end of the season. Much of the upper river is controlled by the Upper Teign Fishing Association. From just south of the Moretonhampstead - Exeter road to the estuary at Newton Abbot, the Teign is mostly controlled by the Lower Teign Fishing Association. This water has plenty of Brown Trout but is essentially a Sea Trout and Salmon fishery.

River Torridge - Throughout its length the Torridge flows through the rolling farmland of North Devon. It is joined by the River Lew near Hatherleigh, and then by the River Okement near Meeth. It then flows northwards, picking up the River Mere south of Beaford. After this it makes tight bends, and goes past Little Torrington and Great Torrington heading generally north-west and then becomes estuarine by Bideford. Between Appledore and Instow it joins the estuary of the River Taw. The middle and lower reaches are best known for their Salmon and Sea Trout, but can offer surprisingly good Trout fishing. The upper reaches and its tributaries, the Waldon and Lew, offer plenty of opportunities for Brown Trout fishing. The best months for salmon are April, May and September. Large sea trout (up to 10lb) enter the river during the high spring tides after Easter with the small “school peal” of up to 3lb arriving in July. Most anglers fish for sea trout during the evening and into the darkness although fish can be taken during the day on a dry fly.

South Wiltshire

River Nadder - The River Nadder is one of the finest chalk stream rivers of southern England. It is one of the main tributaries of the River Avon, rising from a number of springs and small streams at Donhead St. Mary in south Wiltshire close to Tisbury. During the course of its journey the Nadder meanders and widens gradually until it flows through Wilton to the west of Salisbury after which the river joins the River Wylye, another tributary of the Avon. The Nadder is well known as a mixed fishery of exceptional quality; there is a diverse array of resident species including Chub, Roach, Dace, Bream, Pike, Perch, Brown Trout and Salmon. Much of the fishing is controlled by estates and syndicates although two angling clubs offer some access to the river.

River Wylye - The River Wylye rises near Kingston Deverill south of Maiden Bradley and Warminster and flows off chalk, draining the western reaches of Salisbury Plain. The river confluences with the River Nadder at Wilton near Salisbury, then joins the main River Avon which flows south to Christchurch. The river passes through the parishes of Norton Bavant, Heytesbury, Knook, Upton Lovell, Boyton, Codford and Wylye and is fed by ephemeral, winterbourne streams so water flow can vary.This river is best described as a ‘classic’ chalk stream supporting predominantly Brown Trout; hence most fisheries here are managed for fly fishermen. The fishing is predominantly controlled by local syndicates and estates.

Hampshire

River Avon - The Avon rises in Wiltshire east of Devizes, draining the Vale of Pewsey. From here it cuts through the chalk scarp at Upavon, flowing southwards across Salisbury Plain through Durrington, Amesbury and Salisbury. To the south of Salisbury it enters the Hampshire, flowing along the western edge of the New Forest through Fordingbridge and Ringwood, meeting up with the river Stour at Christchurch, to flow into Christchurch Harbour and the English Channel at Mudeford. The lower sections are famous for salmon, including the legendary Royalty pool. But for trout fishermen the pick of the beats are upstream of Salisbury, especially over Salisbury Plain.

River Itchen - Initially the river flows north, through the villages of Cheriton and Tichborne, before joining up with its tributaries the River Alre and the Candover Brook, just below the town of New Alresford. The river then flows west down the upper Itchen Valley passing the villages of Avington, Itchen Stoke, Itchen Abbas, Martyr Worthy, Easton, and Abbots Worthy before entering the historic city of Winchester. The river then heads south through the villages of Twyford and Shawford and the village of Bishopstoke before reaching Southampton. The fishery offers primarily brown trout and salmon fishing.  Night time sea trout fishing is also available later in the season together with excellent grayling fishing.

River Test - In every respect, the River Test is the pre-eminent chalk stream. Physically, it is the longest; 40 miles from source to estuary. Historically, it is generally regarded as the birthplace of modern fly fishing. The Test rises in north Hampshire. It then travels on a south-west curve, growing in width and flow as first the Bourne, and then the Dever and the Anton join the main river. Below Stockbridge the river becomes appreciably bigger, then the Wallop Brook and the Dun join the main river and it is only south of Romsey, a few miles from the sea that the River Test finally becomes one single channel. The river rises near the village of Ashe, and flows west through the villages of Overton, Laverstoke, and the town of Whitchurch. It then flows through the villages of Longparish and Middleton to Wherwell and Chilbolton, where the Rivers Dever and Anton contribute to the flow. From Chilbolton the river flows through the villages of Leckford, Longstock, Stockbridge and Houghton to Mottisfont and Kimbridge, where the River Dun joins the flow. From here the village of Timsbury is passed before reaching the town of Romsey. South of Romsey, the river flows past the country house of Broadlands and eventually becomes tidal. Finally the Test estuary meets that of the River Itchen and the two continue to the sea at Southampton.

Other fishing opportunities

In addition the above counties offer a great variety of sporting action whether the large number of coarse fisheries and still waters or sea fishing and in particular salt water fly fishing. Some useful links are listed below:

The Environment Agency

The Wild Trout Trust

The Salmon & Trout Association

The Grayling Society

 

Shooting

Throughout the southwest are a good number of high bird shoots, whether partridge or pheasant, from the chalk valleys of Wiltshire to the steep wooded valleys of Devon. We can find opportunities to rent the sporting rights and run your own operations or just organise a day for a number of guns. Days can be arranged to suit most pockets such is the great depth and variety available.

 

Property advice in Devon, Dorset, Somerset & Wiltshire