We offer the finest fly fishing on three fishery syndicates on the River Kennet and River Dun.
The Fishery provides the Town and Manor with its main source of revenue. It is strictly private land and is not subject to any Countryside Rights of Way, neither is it registered common land or village green. The only people allowed access are commoners who have registered to fish and our paying Rods. It is very important to us and we therefore manage it in much the same way as the rest of our estate – with an emphasis on ecology, wildlife, history and tradition. We place great emphasis on traditional fly fishing in a gentlemanly manner, rather than modern ‘catch as many fish as you can’ type approaches. For us, the surroundings and setting are as important as the amount of fish caught.
The Hungerford Commoners have a right to fish on three days of the week, over the main fishery. The Sanden Fee Commoners have a right to fish on Freeman’s Marsh. The Commoners have given the Trustees permission to open up the rivers to paying rods, thereby raising income for the benefit of the charity. We run three syndicates, which are called The Main River Kennet Fishery, Hungerford Marsh Fishery and Freeman’s Marsh Fishery.
River Kennet Fishery
The Main River Kennet Fishery consists of ten beats stretching from the Chilton Foliat fishery downstream to Avington. A sport fishery has been running here at Hungerford since the Wilton Fly Fishing Club started in 1876. In the intervening years, many of the country’s best-known anglers have fished at Hungerford and continue to do so, in recognition of the quality of the fishing on offer.
Our season starts on 1 May. The best of the sport to be had at the start of the season is during the morning hatches of olives.
Our mayfly season runs from the last week of May until the second week of June.
Throughout the summer, the best of the fishing is of an evening, with exceptional rises of fish to blue winged olive.
As summer draws to a close, the longer and cooler nights encourage fish to become more active in the daytime and fishing with large sedge patterns is favoured.
Syndicate membership is a full rod for 7 days a week.
Hungerford Marsh beat extends for approximately 950 metres of the River Dun (which is a major tributary of the River Kennet). This is a very private and intimate section of River with its own fishing hut.
This beat is in a SSSI and is managed for its floral and other diversity. We run this beat as a wild trout fishery and although it has only been in our management for a few years, we have already had fish to 5.5lbs caught and returned.
Membership is let as a nominated day of the week and rods are permitted to bring a guest if they so wish.
Freeman’s Marsh is 1 kilometre in length and is situated upstream of Hungerford Marsh on the River Dun. Although the same River, this beat is much shallower. Consequently, most of the fish caught are smaller but more numerous than on Hungerford Marsh. This beat is more wild in character and flows through the Freeman’s Marsh SSSI. It is therefore more physically challenging to fish this beat.
Membership is let as a nominated day of the week rod.
At Hungerford we have a healthy population of grayling, with many fish in excess of 2lbs and some in excess of 3lbs. Members are welcome to fish for grayling on all three syndicates until the end of December.
Meet The Team
Our River Keeper, Rob Knight-Starr (with trout), is a highly experienced and knowledgeable member of our supporting staff, as well as being a qualified fly casting instructor. He is also a committee member of Action for the River Kennet.