I am a Riverkeeper on the river Dever, a tributary of the river Test in Hampshire, England. The Test and its tributaries along with the neighbouring river Itchen are true chalk streams; the vast majority of the catchment area for both rivers is made up of chalk giving the two rivers unique characteristics that make them particularly suitable for trout fishing.
Both rivers are steeped in trout fishing history and both lay claim to the genesis of particular aspects of fly fishing. Originally from the North West of England, I have worked on the Test and its tributaries for 22 years initially working on the middle Test on some of the most famous beats, and under some of the most reknowned keepers. I attended Sparsholt college for three years in the late 1980s leaving with a HND in Fish farming and Fishery Management and have been in my current post on the river Dever for nearly 17 years.
The stretch of river I am responsible for is privately owned, the majority of rods fishing the mile and a half stretch are syndicate members, with a few “let” days at weekends. There is a small hatchery and fish farm, producing mixed sex Brown Trout for stocking the river, with a small surplus sold to help balance the books. I am also responsible for a small “family” pheasant shoot on around 200 acres of woodland and farmland, and a pond used for wild duck flighting and coarse fishing.
I have been married for 16 years and have two children aged 12 and 14. My wife works in the village primary school as a special needs assistant, my two children attend the local secondary school in the Test Valley.
I am keen Coarse fisherman, love gardening, and am involved with my local football and cricket teams. I am often asked about my job and what it is I actually do, so to silence all those anglers who think I have the winter off, over the next 12 months I aim to keep a diary of my working year