More headlines from Manchester: Trout & Salmon magazine features the mighty Irwell


It’s a satisfying thought that since Trout in Dirty Places was published in 2012, the whole idea of urban fly-fishing has gone so mainstream that you can hardly pick up one of the monthly magazines without finding at least one article about what used to be our dirty little secret…

The latest in this canon covers three full spreads in the October issue of Trout & Salmon magazine, in which writer, photographer and fisheries scientist Toby Coe visits the legendary River Irwell to prise some of its secrets from Salford Friendly Anglers’ supremo Mike Duddy (who’ll also be familiar to regular readers of this site).

Toby’s feature is a well-written, timely update from an astonishing river system which we hope can only continue to get better thanks to the latest EU funded project for the North West River Basin District (though of course it’s all looking much dodgier in the long term as a result of that #Brexit vote).

The October issue of Trout & Salmon is on sale now, and if you’re quick you may still be able to grab a copy…

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Urbantrout hoodies and beanie hats: it’s that time of year again!

Olive, black stripe Urbantrout beanie hats

Fly Fest is over for another year, trout season is drawing to a close, and yes, we’re even hearing reports of the first frost of autumn.

All this can only mean one thing: it’s time to break out the hoodies and hard-weather beanie hats, and get properly ready for grayling.

Urbantrout streetstyle hoodies and beanie hats are rightly famous for being snug and warm… as well as giving you that extra shot of inner warmth from knowing that 10% of profits go directly to help fund urban river projects (perhaps even in your own home town).

Beat the cold: click here to order your winter warmers from the Urbantrout online shop today!

Urbantrout beanie on the river

Urbantrout show stand

Urbantrout hoodies 2015

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Pic of the day: Matt Sewell art on the Rea Brook


For urban fly-fishers exploring the edgelands of our towns and cities, graffiti is a common sight. Old brick arches, hard concrete river banks and derelict factory walls offer almost everything a spraycan kid could ask for: an endless blank(ish) canvas, and plenty of slightly sinister seclusion to wait for the muse to strike.

Still, not everyone appreciates apparently random layers of competing territorial tags. So the Rea Brook in Shrewbury has seen a local attempt to replace questionable squiggles (discuss!) with something a little different, as acclaimed street artist and ornithologist Matt Sewell was invited to make his own mark on some of the valley’s old infrastructure last year.

Fieldfares, redwings, deer, foxes, badgers and other birds and mammals are all represented on this railway underpass, creating a new urban artwork which featured on Countryfile and recently caught the eye of Urbantrout correspondent Spencer Clayton on one of his regular forays to fish the Brook.

We like it… a lot…

Have you spotted any really striking graffiti on your urban fishing adventures? Send us a pic, and we’ll make a gallery sometime.

(Photo: Spencer Clayton)

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Film night: The Wandle

Filmed on the fly before, during and after last weekend’s river cleanup with legendary film maker (and urban fly-fisher himself) Jeremiah Quinn, this is an exploration of south London’s River Wandle from its dirty lower reaches all the way upstream to sparkling headwaters filled with dace, chub and trout.

It’s also the story of the river’s restoration, so that the stream where Frederic Halford learned to cast a dry fly is once again somewhere to #FishWhereYouLive


Urbantrout sidecasts: Monday 5 September

Fishing under the M6 - Tom Bell, Sunray

(Photo: Tom Bell / Sunray)

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Pic of the day: Casting in the park

Casting in Green Park - Claire Zambuni

When you’re stuck in the city for the working week, and even your closest urban river is too far from the office to make it there and back again on a lunchtime raid, what else can you do to get your fly-fishing fix?

In the case of the Orvis / Zambuni PR team, central London’s Green Park is just around the corner. So that’s where Claire, Marina and the rest of them sometimes go for a little extra casting practice.

We’re told that more dates will be announced shortly

(Photo: Claire Zambuni)

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Urban fly-fishing report: Loferbach, Lofer

Lofer 2

The Urbantrout team has spent the last couple of weeks on a European road trip – and in the course of a long loop of driving through the Austrian Alps via Berchtesgaden, the Saalach valley, some Ziller tribs and a couple of truly idyllic high lakes on the legendary Braurup ticket

… we reckoned it’d be rude not to include one or two slightly more urban locations as well.

On our first overnight stop at the very fishing-friendly Forellenstube in Lofer, we found lots of familiar territory: fast little (and not so little) streams spilling sharply out of the surrounding mountain canyons, becoming rapidly canalised and pressed into service for mills and every other kind of industry on the pool-table flatlands of the valley floors.

(Sidebar: it’s interesting to speculate exactly how long ago most of these alpine rivers got channelled and rip-rapped – longer than we imagine, or shorter than we think?)

Much to our delight, there were bridges, tunnels, even bridges inside tunnels over nameless carriers… real collectors’ items for urban explorers and connoisseurs of all things Trout in Dirty Places.

Some stretches were fishable, while others seemed a lot more dubious (even in strengthening rain with no-one else around) and on balance we decided it’d be a bad call to get banged up for poaching on our first or second full day in a country where minor urban misdemeanours like jaywalking are notoriously frowned on.

Further upstream, however, we located a car park (tick), a skate ramp (tick again), and a big old mill weir with a good-looking sequence of limestone boulders studded around the outside bend of the rock-armoured run above.

Judging from all the trampled patches in the bankside brambles, this was a well-known spot for dropping stonefly nymphs onto the noses of large, suspicious trout in the currents swirling around those boulders.

As we’ve discovered so often before, there’s no better set of tools for this kind of game than a long, ultralight fly-rod like the ESN 2100-4, balanced with a Vision Kalu reel and a Sunray nymphing line. The whole rig simply telegraphs the strikes right up your arm, so it’s only catastrophic operator error that lets you miss a single hit.

And just as those Austrian fishermen’s paths had told us, there were trout behind most of those boulders, and sometimes in front of them too…

Lofer 3

Lofer 4

Lofer 5

Lofer 7

Lofer 10

Lofer 1


Lofer 6


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Urbantrout Kryptek camouflage fishing caps land a cameo role in Channel 4’s Eden

Urbantrout cap on Eden

What if we could start all over again… and what would you take with you if you could?

That’s the premise of Channel 4’s new reality / survival show Eden. 23 participants have been marooned on a remote Scottish peninsula for a year, and left to fend for themselves. Each person has been allowed to take a backpack full of personal gear… and one of them brought his trusty Urbantrout Kryptek fishing cap to help him survive a year in the wild.

Before heading out to Ardnamurchan, Wandle Trust volunteer Lloyd Morgan founded the Fishing London guide service, so we already know he’s got a keen eye for gear that gives you an edge in the toughest conditions.

And with their revolutionary bi-level camouflage shading, black under-brim to cut glare, and trucker-style mesh construction for coolness and breathability, that’s exactly what this latest range of Urbantrout caps is designed to provide.

You can watch the latest from Eden every Monday evening on Channel 4 in the UK…

… and Urbantrout fishing caps are available right here in the Urbantrout shop, with 10% of profits going to help river restoration projects.

Click here to grab yours today!

Urbantrout Kryptek Highlander cap

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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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