Urban fly-fishing report: River Don, Sheffield

Urban Don trout - Howard Sooley

Professional photographer (and regular reader of Urbantrout.net, not to mention Trout in Dirty Places) Howard Sooley has generously shared this beautifully contemplative collection of shots taken recently on Sheffield’s River Don.

In these quiet, low-water weeks when urban trout-fishing shades into the hunt for inner-city grayling…

… it’s all about slowing it down with stealth, accuracy, and the very tiniest of flies.

Wooded urban Don - Howard Sooley

Urban Don - Howard Sooley

Grayling dorsal fin - Howard Sooley

Urban grayling - Howard Sooley

(All photos: Howard Sooley)

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Urbantrout sidecasts: Monday 22 September

Trout shout - Paul Gaskell

(Photo: Manchester City Council)

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Pic of the day: Urban trout

Wandle trout - summer 2014

Recently caught and safely released not far from all these works currently being carried out by the Wandle Trust and Cain Bio-Engineering in the Hackbridge area of the Wandle…

… with the aim of creating and rewilding lots more habitat for this stunning little salmo trutta and many more to come.

Wild trout in south London: we never cease to be amazed.

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Film night: What the #### was that?

Part urban flyfishing media trailer, part post-apocalyptic zombie movie, this short film from the studio of our good friend Angelo Piller (northern Italian fishing guide and Reelvideo editor) is one you owe it to yourself to watch…

… even if we have no idea where he found this location in the otherwise-idyllic Dolomites.

(And if, like us, your Italian’s not completely up to scratch, you may find the final black-screen voiceover just that bit more spookily hair-raising…)

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Urbantrout sidecasts: Monday 28 July

Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) perched in an urban waterway in London, UK.

(Photo: Tomos Brangwyn)

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Pic of the day: Urban sofa fishing

Sofa fishing - Dom Garnett

En route to this year’s CLA Game Fair (where he spent the weekend selling his new range of flies for coarse fish and signing copies of his latest book Canal Fishing)…

… our good friend Dom Garnett stopped off in Leicester to explore the Soar with local expert ‘Skateboard Dave’ Egginton…

… and found this comfy mid-stream sofa perfectly placed for a nice sit down when grappling big nasty urban trout, chub and perch all got a bit tiring and stressful.

(Separate but related note: is that a cult classic modern glass Kabuto or Butter Stick we see clutched in Skateboard Dave’s exhausted hand? If so, we like their style even more!)

(Photo: Dom Garnett)

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Vote for URES in this year’s National Lottery Awards!

Regular readers of this blog may recall that we’ve been keenly following the progress of the Ribble Rivers Trust’s HLF-funded URES project (the video above shows just a few aspects of their wide-ranging community engagement and river restoration efforts, and there are regular photo updates on the RRT’s Facebook page).

URES has already proved totally transformative for Burnley’s rivers, and it’s now been selected from more than 750 entries as a finalist for ‘Best Environment Project’ in the 2014 National Lottery Awards – an annual search for the UK’s favourite HLF projects, and a celebration of the massive benefits these projects can bring.

In addition to lots of publicity and recognition for a great cause, each winning project also receives an extra £2,000 of funding to deliver even better results (not to mention a night out for some of the key personnel at a star-studded awards ceremony!). In Burnley’s case, as Vic Woods from URES told us a couple of days ago:

Winning this award will help us to celebrate Burnley’s rich heritage with the nation, raise awareness of issues affecting rivers and show other towns how they can improve their urban rivers too. We really hope people across the North West and throughout the UK will get behind this innovative project and give us their vote.

In order to win ‘Best Environment Project’ and help give urban river restoration a real boost in the eyes of the general public, it’s estimated that URES needs (a slightly staggering) 30,000 votes before midnight on 23 July 2014. Please click here to add your vote right now!

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Pocket Guide to Balsam Bashing: Signed copies now available in the Urbantrout shop

Pocket Guide to Balsam Bashing 2

Just a heads up to let our readers know that signed copies of the newly-published Pocket Guide to Balsam Bashing are now available from the Urbantrout online store (along with lots of other great eco-branded merchandise!)

Here’s how Andrew Herd, eminent author of The Fly and many other definitive works, recently reviewed Balsam Bashing:

If ever a book was needed, this one surely must qualify and in its 96 pages the author covers everything from Himalayan balsam to signal crayfish. Each species has its own identification guide, risk evaluation, advice about how to control it, as well as sources of further information. I will warn you in advance that the contents are pretty alarming, but hopefully the publication of this excellent little guide will act as a wake-up call… A milestone of a book…

Click here to read more about the inspiration for the Pocket Guide to Balsam Bashing, and here to buy your signed copy today!

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Urban fly-fishing report: Rea Brook, Shrewsbury

Orvis Superfine rig - Spencer Clayton

Armed with his trusty Orvis Superfine one-weight (possibly the Official Favourite Ultralight Flyrod of the Urbantrout movement?) Trout in Dirty Places reader Spencer Clayton has sent us another excellent report and evocative set of photos from the Rea Brook’s hidden valley on the outskirts of Shrewsbury:

Today I arrived at the Rea at 12pm after a short train journey from Wolverhampton rail station to Shrewsbury. “Clear water and rising fish”, I thought to myself, but when I got to my starting point at White Hart Road, I found the Rea flowing strongly with a milky colour.

All day I only saw two rises, yet there were a few mayflies and yellow mays coming off the stream, also smaller upwings and gnats. I caught a few grayling (still out of season at that point), and several wild brown trout and parr – all to the nymph, in spite of expecting to fish dry only all day.

Finished fishing at 5pm, and wondered if I should stay to see if the evening brought a few rises, but homeward bound it was with the stroll back into Shrewsbury town.

By coincidence, we’ve just spotted this report over on the Fly Forums too… it’s great to hear about such lovely little urban fisheries providing challenging sport for those prepared to get out there and explore!

Rea Brook colour - Spencer Clayton

Rea Brook arch - Spencer Clayton

Rea Brook sign - Spencer Clayton

Rea Brook riffle - Spencer Clayton

Rea Brook graffiti - Spencer Clayton

Rea Brook at Severn - Spencer Clayton

(All photos: Spencer Clayton)

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Urban fly-tying: Martin’s Minnow

Martin's Minnow - Martin Smith

If there’s one fly pattern that’s taken the UK’s fishing world by storm this season, it’s this deceptively simple minnow jig pattern designed and tied by Huddersfield’s Martin Smith.

Martin’s Minnow has already notched up impressive scorelines as far afield as Scotland and the Derbyshire Dove (and a starring role in an article by Glen Pointon in Total Flyfisher) but it was on south Yorkshire’s urban rivers that this pattern was designed and tested.

Tied with 3 shades of Funky Fibre on heavy jig hooks for plenty of lifelike movement, Martin’s Minnows have already caught rainbows, pike, perch and chub as well as lots of wild browns for their creator. There’s a full step-by-step here on the Fly Forums, and Martin may even tie you up a few for a reasonable price if you ask him nicely…

“I’ve got urban trout less than two minutes from my house”, he tells us, “lots of small fish with the odd 12 incher, and it doesn’t get more urban than running under a Morrison’s car park. Just fish these Minnows between the bollards and car bonnets, and job’s a good ‘un!”

Thanks Martin… we will!

Trout on Minnow - Martin Smith

(Photos: Martin Smith)

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