Trout & Salmon: Jon Beer fishes Holmfirth

Here at Urbantrout, it’s a constant low-level source of entertainment to watch how different angling writers react to the ambiguous challenge of our urban rivers.

One or two usually-intrepid international explorers have proved weirdly squeamish (no names, no pack drill!) – while other less obviously gung-ho personalities are clearly super-keen to get stuck into Dirty Places anytime, anywhere.

There’s very little clear logic to it.

In spite of his self-effacing camouflage of bumbling, bufferish English schoolmaster, Jon Beer always seems to fall into that second super-keen category. (On reflection, maybe being President of the Wild Trout Trust also has something to do with this).

Now, in the December 2017 issue of Trout & Salmon, Jon is back on the urban river trail again, exploring the hidden underside of Holmfirth that’s now being looked after by River Holme Connections, as well as the original Greenstreams project which appeared in Trout in Dirty Places.

Cream teas in the Wrinkled Stocking Tea Room haven’t made the Urbantrout team’s agenda yet, but maybe Last of the Summer Wine time comes to us all eventually.

But in the meantime, we’ve got to admit, Holmfirth is one of our own favourite urban fishing spots too.

Thanks, Jon, for reminding us why!

No Comments

Film night: 3 rivers in Blaenau Gwent

Thanks to Tony Mair for the heads-up on this quietly epic and meditative film about 3 rivers in the Welsh Valleys: the post-industrial Ebbw Fawr, Ebbw Fach and Sirhowy:

“From clean brooks to rivers orange with waste, the rivers are part of this place. They have passed through forest, farmland and meadow, and fed the metalworks and mines with their energy. The thanks: pollution. No fish in the orange rivers. But now the fish have returned, the rivers are clean, and to be enjoyed again…

Water from the Sirhowy helped make the iron that made some in this valley rich. Noise, smoke and sulphurous smells combined with red flames to make a hell on earth. But in this hell, men found a living. All is now quiet and still…”

(Film credit: Made in Tredegar)

No Comments

Urbantrout sidecasts: Monday 9 October

(Photo: John Sutton at Clearwater PhotographySouth East Rivers Trust)

No Comments

Film night: Riverfly monitoring (and much more) on Sheffield’s prize-winning Porter Brook

So, this film is already showing on the Wild Trout Trust’s Trout in the Town site, but we reckon it’s so important that we want to mirror it here too.

Mending urban and rural rivers alike is all about restarting natural processes, as well as making sure that improvements are bedding in properly. And the work doesn’t stop when the heavy machinery leaves the area – in fact, you could say it’s really only just beginning…

In this case, SPRITE volunteers like Ant Graham are still looking after an award-winning stretch of the Porter Brook in Sheffield (daylighted just 2 years ago, already home to wild trout, and a newly vital component of the Steel City’s resilience to climate change).

Want to get started on monitoring your own stretch of river? Check out the Riverfly Partnership’s website here.

1 Comment

Pic of the day: From Wincanton to the Wandle

Sharing the urban river love is what Urbantrout and Trout in the Town are all about…

… and we know from long experience that there’s no better way to do it than supporting each others’ volunteer events.

A case in point: CATCH chair Gary Hunt recently took a day trip from Somerset to south London, to steal ideas join one of the Wandle Trust’s monthly cleanups, this time at the Goat Bridge gateway to the Wandle Valley Regional Park.

Proving that karma really does exist, all that hard work paid off with the sight of at least one truly huge wild Wandle trout during our later tour of some recent river restoration sites. (And no, this wasn’t before we’d stopped off at the pub for a few pints of the capital’s finest…)

Click here to find out more about other locations in the Wild Trout Trust’s Trout in the Town programme, and get in touch with Paul Gaskell if you’d like more information about starting a project of your own.

No Comments

Urbantrout sidecasts: Monday 17 July

(Photo: Jeremy Lucas / Fish&Fly)

No Comments

Pic of the day: CHALK on the Wandle

Thanks to a recent edition of Simon Cooper’s always-entertaining weekly newsletters, we know two things about the crowdfunded CHALK movie (billed as ‘a feature length film celebrating the importance of the chalkstreams of southern England in the history and development of fly fishing’).

Firstly, it’s on: filming has already begun.

Secondly, some of it has been shot on the Wandle in south London, where the locals once taught Frederic Halford himself to cast an upstream dry fly, though we’re told we’ll have to wait a bit to see if, and how, the 21st-century talent caught one of the famous new-era Wandle trout.

(The tantalising screenshot above suggests so, but there are still a few bits of old metal in that stretch beside the scrapyard, so…)

Watch this space for updates!

(Photo: Simon Cooper)

2 Comments

London Rivers Week 2017 is here!

If you’re into urban rivers and everything about them (like we are) there’s no bigger or better event than London Rivers Week…

… which has just been launched on the banks of the Ravensbourne in Ladywell Fields in Lewisham.

As Thames21’s London Rivers Week web hub says:

London Rivers Week aims to inspire people like you to take pride in our waterways, understand the challenges they face and come together to create a healthy future for our rivers.

Catchment Partnerships and environmental organisations such as Thames21, ZSL, London Wildlife Trust, the Environment Agency and the South East Rivers Trust are putting on public events, walks and talks at special river sites.

London Rivers Week is a chance to celebrate the capital’s many rivers, and all the work going on to rewild and restore them. This includes bringing them above ground (daylighting); creating or restoring new wetlands, or breaking them out of concrete channels. Londoners all across the city are helping reclaim, rescue and restore our rivers, and we urge you to join them!

London Rivers Week 2017 is sponsored by Thames Water (psst… the Thames Tideway Tunnel is on its way!) and there’s lots more information here to help you get involved…

(Photo: Thames21)

No Comments

Pic of the day: Fun in the sun, cleaning up the Frome

It’s fair to say that this photo caused a bit of unexpected kerfuffle when it appeared on Facebook a few days ago (Can you or can’t you legally pull shopping trolleys and other rubbish out of your local river? The authoritative answer: Yes, you can!)

We also say: Kudos to Dan, Simon and Richard and other Friends of the River Frome for clearing four full canoe loads of crap (including 5 shopping trolleys, 2 bicycles, a motor scooter and a huge industrial fan!) out of this lovely little urban river, and Frome Town Council for taking away the rubbish at the end.

Want to help out too? FORF’s next cleanup is scheduled for 10.00am on Saturday 3 June

(Photo: Friends of the River Frome)

2 Comments

Urbantrout sidecasts: Monday 15 May

(Photo: David James Bendle)

No Comments

Older Entries »