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June: River & Lake July: Chalkstreams

NEW FOR 2021
River Calder, Breach Farm, Timsbury 5, Guide School.

Kingfisher Lodge (Avon). Ilsington Eco-Lodge (Frome).

About the One Fly
Rules and scoring
Contact us

2021 Entry Form
Our supporters
Press articles
2018 -2008 Results

One Fly 2016


The One Fly Festival is a bi-annual celebration of everything that is great about fly fishing on a day in late April that marks the opening of a new season on the chalkstreams.

For all the obvious reasons we had to postpone in 2020, so here is my report from 2018 to give you a flavour of the event.

“There are not many things that keep me awake at night but the draw for the One Fly does. There was a time when it was all very relaxed. On the Saturday prior to the competition we gather for the Guides briefing and way back when we started on 2008 we used to draw both the beats for the guides and the contestants. How we would laugh and josh as the names came out of the hat, safe in the knowledge that any snafu could be rectified away from public gaze.

Now in this age of transparency (dreadful word) and in a bid to notch up the drama, it was decided that we would hold the contestant draw on the morning of the One Fly itself. Oh, how I live in fear of it going wrong. In 2016 I peered into the hat to pull out the 36th and last name to see nothing. Looking up I saw 72 expectant faces eager for the starting gun. Piers Morgan's Stockbridge Christmas lights disaster had nothing on this, though I am probably one of the few to feel his pain. Back in the hat I ran my finger under the sweatband that dislodged the final bit of paper. Crisis averted. This year, I am happy to say, no such heart-stopping moments as the draw dodged the first of many heavy showers that were to typify the day.

This wasn't going to be an easy year. We have had a wet, wet winter and I haven't seen the chalkstream aquifers pumping water this high and fast since the floods of 2013/14. In some respects it is actually more pronounced. Back in 2014 the volumes were receding by April; this year they were still on an upward curve though the peak is now past. So anyone on the lower beats would have to cope with lots of water, fish still hiding out and in some cases poor clarity. But that is the challenge of the One Fly; you draw your beat and you adapt accordingly. And plenty adapted very well.

Top billing is really shared by Jason Askey-Wood and Grant Harrower, though Jason shaded Grant to the overall title by just 10 points, which is simply the difference of one fish being one inch longer. Or in Grant's case hanging onto his fly (worth 75 points) which he lost with still ninety minutes to go. But hey, that's why we call it the One Fly. Regardless it was a pretty amazing fishing day by both of them with 41 fish between them, Jason with 18 on the River Kennet at Benham Estate and Grant on The Greyhound beat catching 23. In all the three dozen anglers caught 217 fish between them, all of which were released, with everyone bar three catching at least one fish. The biggest fish of the day was by the guide/fisher combo of Michael Jacobsen and Kris Kent who landed a monster 24" brown on the Orvis Ginger Beer beat at Kimbridge.

It was a great day. We came. We fished. We got wet. And we marked the start of a new chalkstream season, in the course of which we raised over £2,500 for the Alex Lewis Trust. In ending I have to give special mention to the winning Guide Gary Allen to accompanied Jason Askey- Wood, donating his £500 winning cheque to be split equally between the Alex Lewis Trust and another cause close to the heart of his family. Thank you Gary.”


2018 Big Fish winners

RIVER TEST ONE FLY – April 30th 2021

The River Test One Fly is hosted by kind invitation of Lucy Townsend and all the team at The Greyhound Inn in Stockbridge. The One Fly is open to all-comers as teams of three or individuals. The fishing day runs from 10am-4pm, with a welcome breakfast and beat draw taking place at The Greyhound at 8.15am with the prizes handed out over tea at 5.30pm. All fish are released and all competitors are accompanied by a Fishing Guide who acts as guide, scorer and confidante.

Click here for the entry form.

About the One Fly

The idea for the River Test One Fly was conceived by Fishing Breaks founder Simon Cooper having competed in the American equivalent since 2005. Though he has never come close to winning, every year Simon makes the 5,000 mile trek to Wyoming with ever increasing excitement. For this is a contest that pits man against man and fish against fly – it is an unequal contest as the trout always win, but you can share the passion of one of the world’s truly great fly fishing events which is now held in England, the home of fly fishing.

But the clue to the difference to other fly fishing tournaments is in the name - the One Fly is exactly that – at 10am every competitor selects and ties on the fly that must last all day – lose it and you’re out! Points are awarded on a sliding scale according to the number and length of fish caught. There are no cash prizes – just the glory and kudos of winning.

Past Winners







in Full


Minley Manor Moustaches

Jason Askey-Wood

Gary Allen

The Greyhound on the Test




Hare’s Ear Trio

Allan Shephard

Bob Preston

School Farm

Purple Shrimp



Stream Dreamers

Marcus Janssen

Brian Raw

Compton Chamberlayne




Minley Manor Moustaches

Grant Harrower

Clayton Moorhouse

The Boathouse

Robjents Daddy Long Legs



Dream Team/Fly Fish Map

Mark Williams

Stuart Tanner

Whitchurch Fulling Mill

Pheasant Tail Nymph



Not contested - London Olympics and Diamond Jubilee year


Dream Team

Ed Burgass

Nick Parish

Whitchurch Fulling Mill

Ducking Feadly



Jeremy Croucher

Chas House

Whitchurch Fulling Mill

Pheasant Tail Hare's Ear



The Field

Nick Zoll

Marcus McCorkell

Wherwell Priory




Trout & Salmon

Howard Taylor

Howard Bennett

Wherwell Priory

Pheasant Tail Nymph


Watch the videos from 2015, 2014, 2013.

Press articles

Trout and Salmon - June 2014

Editor Andrew Flitcroft charts his two attempts at the One Fly.

Chris Sandford – April 2013

Dream Team captain traces the successes (and failures!) of the Dream Team over the One Fly day in a 9 minute video

Fly Fishing & Fly Tying – July 2011
A member of the winning 2011 River Test One Fly team shows you how to tie the fly he used.

FieldSports – Summer 2011

About the 2011 River Test One Fly contest.

Total Fly fisher– July 2011

About the 2011 River Test One Fly contest.

Mail on Sunday – June 2011

Chris Tarrant on his winning day and winning ways.

Waterlog - November 2010

Chris Sandford ties the flies and fishes the fly for The Dream Team


Fly Fishing & Fly Tying – October 2009

A Guides eye view of the 2009 River Test One Fly

The Field magazine – July 2009

Editor Jonathan Young recounts with great hilarity on how his team lifted the trophy.

Country Life Magazine – May 2009

David Profumo tells all from the River Test One Fly competition

Country Life Magazine May 2008

Country Life editor Mark Hedges spills the beans

Financial Times January 2008 - 2.5mb

Fear of Flying - The FT's Richard Donkin tells why he is fishing the River Test One Fly in April.

2021 Entry Form

Entries closed: Sorry, fully subscribed.

Individual entry

Team Entry












Team Name:

Tel. no:


Your address:


Individual entries will be allocated a team by the organiser. Any special requests will be fulfilled if possible. For team entries names may be changed/left open until 28 days prior to the competition. The cost of entry is £350/person. The organiser will contact you for payment.

Our Supporters

The One Fly could not happen without the help of a great many people - apologies to anyone accidentally omitted.

Avon Springs – Barrie Bawden
Barton Court Estate
Benham Estate
Bullington Manor – the Bond family
Compton Chamberlayne Estate - John Newman
Coombe Mill – Simon Bragg
Craven Fishery
Dunbridge – Jo O’Brien
Orvis Co.
Qing Ya Xi – Justin Turner
School Farm – Caspar Macdonald-Hall
Shawford Park
The Greyhound on the Test
The Parsonage - Jan Grimstone
Wherwell Priory - James & Clare Hogg

Rules and scoring

Click here to open PDF of the rules and scoring

Contact us

River Test One Fly HQ
Nether Wallop Mill
SO20 8EW
T: 01264 781988











Fishing Breaks
The Mill
Heathman Street
Nether Wallop
Hampshire SO20 8EW

01264 781988
Overseas +44 1264 781 988