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

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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…

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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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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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