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.
Theo on September 5 2016
- #FishWhereYouLive: Sunray’s Tom Bell gets inspired by our own favourite philosophy
- It’s a sin to trash your local river, but a virtue to look after it: the Pope confirms what most river restorationists already kinda knew
- Rewilding Sheffield: the first wild trout for 160 years from a deculverted stretch of the Porter Brook for the WTT’s Paul Gaskell, and deep thoughts from DCRT trustee Ed Shaw
- Even more rewilding, this time with trees: low-cost restoration of a devastated post-industrial landscape in the English Midlands
- The Olympic juggernaut rolls on to Tokyo, but Rio’s rivers are still biologically dead
- Urban exploration: wading with Chinese mitten crabs in Deptford Creek
- Tony Mair follows the Trout in Dirty Places trail… and finds himself fishing the Ogmore in Bridgend
- Civic pride: Wincanton’s CATCH volunteers give Hawker’s Bridge a facelift
- Wandle Fortnight, RiverCare and WaterLIFE: what’s your plan for celebrating World Rivers Day 2016?
- The trout stream no-one else wanted: classic writing from Phil Monahan at Orvis
(Photo: Tom Bell / Sunray)
Theo on August 25 2016
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)
Theo on August 15 2016
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…
Theo on August 8 2016
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.
Theo on July 18 2016
- Brought back to daylight after 100 years in the dark: deculverting the River Roch in Rochdale
- Birmingham: how can a city without major rivers still affect water quality in two river basins?
- Via the Grayling Society: 13,000 extra baby grayling for Chesterfield’s River Rother
- After that #Brexit vote, what now for our rivers? Floods Minister Rory Stewart calls for radical localism and maybe a new land ethic (just in time to be posted to DFID)
- Healthy rivers for people and nature: how the EU WaterLIFE project is enhancing the impact of local community groups through catchment partnerships
- Leaping salmon sighted in the River Don in Rotherham
- Urban trout: the view from Italy
- Not so urban, but definitely post-industrial: a community-based approach to rewilding Swedish Lapland rivers once modified for industrial logging operations
- ‘It’s locally foraged hipster coffee, from the banks of the River Wandle. In fact, it is the River Wandle.’
(Photo: Environment Agency)
Theo on July 11 2016
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…
Theo on June 21 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…
If you haven’t caught it already, check it out here!
Theo on June 6 2016
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)
Theo on May 23 2016
- David West Beale fishes tenkara on the Wandle
- Defra’s press release about new fish passage legislation highlights the economic benefit of surprising urban fishing hotspots
- Not just Trout in the Town: new bugs move into Sheffield’s newly-deculverted stretch of the Porter Brook (and a multi-million pound STW project will make the Don cleaner too!)
- Tackling urban diffuse pollution: people power on south London’s Hogsmill
- How the Tyne Rivers Trust is taking a green engineering approach to the residues of historic mining
- In rivers polluted with heavy metals, a new study shows that fish eat fewer aquatic insects and depend more on terrestrials
- Enjoy Water of Leith: a new mapping project for Edinburgh’s ‘silver thread in a ribbon of green‘
- It’s official: volunteering is good for you!
(Photo: David West Beale)