Urbantrout sidecasts: Monday 18 July

River Roch in Rochdale - EA

(Photo: Environment Agency)

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Pic of the day: Wander up the Wandle

Wandle fishing with audience

This year’s annual Wander up the Wandle – one of many urban lots in the Wild Trout Trust’s charity auction – was won by WTT supporter Tim Scoble, and claimed over the weekend.

From sight-fishing for streetwise urban fish to clattering into the local branch of Sainsbury’s in full wading gear (with fly-rod still rigged… of course!) we showed him the full urban fly-fishing experience.

And just as you’d expect, other locals took lots of interest too…

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Spreading the urban fishing word: SCALE Magazine features Urbantrout caps, hoodies and other gear

Urbantrout review in SCALE Summer 2016

Here at Urbantrout there’s nothing that makes us happier than feeling part of something bigger: the global community of river restorationists, for example, or the international brotherhood of urban fishing fanatics…

… which is why we’re truly stoked to see this website, and our Urbantrout gear, featured in the latest very funky monochromatic issue of the pan-European SCALE Magazine.

Star billing goes to our latest Kryptek Highlander line of caps, and there’s lots more information on Urbantrout’s eco-brand and back story.

If you haven’t caught it already, check it out here!

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Urban fly-fishing report: River Trent, somewhere in the English Midlands…

Trent trout - photo Glen Pointon

Over on his Facebook page, Team Wychwood consultant Glen Pointon has been following up all those early season recce missions with some serious big fish fighting patrols into the urban badlands.

Naturally, we’re all about spreading the urban river fishing love (with suitable caveats against hotspotting, for obvious reasons) – so Glen has given us the go-ahead to share his fishing report here on Urbantrout.

After reading this, if you need much more inspiration for getting out there on your own urban fly-fishing adventures this season, may we respectfully suggest you’re already kinda dead from the neck up…?

My ventures out recently have seen me on my local River Dove, and it’s been nice getting back to matching the hatch with dries. Stalking trout can be hard work so being on a trout river has helped me get my eye in…

But back on my urban River Trent, I had told a few close friends of a fish I had only seen a handful of times – known in my own little world as ‘Black Tail’ for obvious reasons. I was targeting a 2lb fish last year, and every now and again ‘Black Tail’ would enter the fold and bully the whole pool apart. 

This fish looked massive in the water. It was one of those fish that would shock you by its sheer length and depth. But it would only show in dropping water after a flood, I had no idea where it fed or its bolt hole was, but it would turn up now and again.

Today on a dropping tinged river, while ready to cast at a rising fish I saw an olive get nailed under a deep glide under of over hang. I popped my head above the balsam and there she was…

It always amazes me that huge trout will feed on such small olives but they do now and again and if it happens the rewards are massive. My own version of Gwilym Hughes’ Cul de Canon was selected as this has caught me more fish on emerging olive hatches than any other fly I’ve ever used.

After putting two casts in a tree I was lucky not to have spooked the fish, but the colour in the river was helping me massively. When you see the head poke out calmly over your fly, there is nothing like it in fishing for me. But when all hell breaks lose my nerves are shot to hell!

10 whole minutes it took to land this massive trout, and how I did I will never know because it shot downstream so fast my rod ended up pointing at the fish as the speed took me by surprise. I would bank my life on this fish has never seen a fly, this is not a river where you can rock up having a chance of a trophy. This is the River Trent, you have to put the hours in.

My best English wild trout, hell yeah. I noticed that Steve Cullen and Howard Croston were saying the other day there is nothing anywhere in the world like early season trout fishing in the UK… I totally agree.

(Photo: Glen Pointon)

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Urbantrout sidecasts: Monday 23 May

Wandle trout - David West Beale

(Photo: David West Beale)

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Urban fly-fishing: 5 (or more) top tips

TP fishing Tiverton - photo Dominic Garnett

If you’ve ever read our urban fly-fishing reports and wondered how or where to make a start on your own city-centre adventure, look no further than Urbantrout’s recent guest feature on the famous Turrall Flies blog.

From staying safe to picking the right flies, and even watching out for aliens… it’s all there.

Click through to read the article now (and then why not come back again to invest in a copy of Trout in Dirty Places for even more urban fishing inspiration?)

(Photo: Dominic Garnett)

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Urban fly-fishing report: Rea Brook, Shrewsbury

1 - Travelling light - Spencer Clayton

Spring is springing in the urban edgelands, and Urbantrout correspondent Spencer Clayton has been celebrating May Day on Shrewsbury’s magical little Rea Brook…

I travelled light today, heading towards Shrewsbury by train from Wolverhampton station, reached Whitecroft Road at 11.30am and walked the banks, fishing upstream. 

It was chilly and rained until 2pm, so I did expect to see a few rising fish and some fly life, but there were hardly any bugs hatching, and no rising fish. 

So I fished an upstream Baetis nymph with 5 – 6ft of a used copolymer leader, extended with 2 – 3ft of 3.5lb fluorocarbon (Rio Fluoroflex Plus) tippet. This approach still didn’t bring me any trout, but I did catch a few out of season grayling, all quickly released, and some of a very good size. 

I finished off at Meole Brace Bridge, then walked back along the A5191 back into Shrewsbury, and crossed the English Bridge over the River Severn. There are plenty of great buildings to have a look at, and lots of old pubs to get a refreshment or two!

Stay safe out there, Spencer… we’ve been hearing some disturbing reports from the Rea Brook recently.

2 - Starting point - Spencer Clayton

3 - Riffle and pool - Spencer Clayton

4 - Blue Bridge works - Spencer Clayton

5 - Edgeland riffle - Spencer Clayton

6 - Urban fly rod - Spencer Clayton

7 - Rea Brook Tunnel - Spencer Clayton

8 - Back in Shrewsbury - Spencer Clayton

If you fish an urban river that’s featured in Trout in Dirty Places – or even if it’s not – why not send us your own fishing report to let us know how it’s getting on?

(All photos: Spencer Clayton)

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Film night: Thanks from the Wandle!

When you’ve spent a decade (or more) steadily working away at mending the headwaters of an urban river…

you end up with lots of friends to thank.

So the team at the Wandle Trust (now grown up into the South East Rivers Trust) made this video to celebrate the upper Wandle project’s success at this year’s UK River Prize, and drop some hat tips to everyone who helped along the way…

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UK River Prize 2016: Wandle wins urban category

Before and after - upper Wandle - SERT

Here at Urbantrout, it’s no secret that the River Wandle is very close to our hearts (in fact it’s right across the road from where we’re tapping out this blog post in the depths of south London).

So it’s been quite a buzz to hear that the Wandle Trust’s work on the Carshalton arm of the river has just won the urban project category of the River Restoration Centre’s UK River Prize 2016… putting this little south London stream up against heavy hitters like the Derwent, Eden and Kent for the full national award (and the Nigel Holmes trophy) at the end of this month.

While we’re waiting for the final results, here’s a flashback to all the different elements involved over many years to deliver the upper Wandle project so far…

Thanks to all these works, as the RESTORE database reports, the number of wild-spawned juvenile trout in this stretch has already leapt from 3 or 4 to 67 in a single year, and it’s also thought that the Carshalton arm of the Wandle will be the first urban heavily modified water body in the UK to reach ‘good ecological potential’ (GEP) for the purposes of the EU’s Water Framework Directive.

Whether or not the big prize comes the Wandle’s way… we reckon the river’s already a winner.

(Image: South East Rivers Trust)

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New black stripe Urbantrout beanie hats… and what our customers have said!

Black stripe Urbantrout beanie hat

For the start of the new trout season, we’re shaking up our famous range of urban steelheader beanies – adding a new black-based colourway to our classic olive stripe.

So, whether you’re dropping into the concrete canyons of the Trent and Tame, or stalking the dry fly flats of the Taff or Irwell, we reckon those blue-grey stripes on a double-thick knitted black background will blend perfectly with the early season clouds…

… helping you get closer to the fish, and keeping your concentration (and your ears) warm too.

Here’s what some of our happy customers have told us about wearing their Urbantrout beanie hats:

Kevin Knight: Best hat I’ve ever had!

Dom Garnett: I will second that… every fisherman needs a decent hat!

Tankred Rinder: One of my best clothes purchases

John O’Brien: I’m glad I bought one!

As usual, 10% of profits on these hats will go direct to help fund urban river restoration projects – maybe even in your area.

Visit the Urbantrout store to pick up your new fishing hat today!

Olive, black stripe Urbantrout beanie hats



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