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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Pics of the day: Starting trout time in Andorra

Andorra 1 - Lucas Hasan Hadid Nunez

Mid-March means the Wild Trout Trust charity auction is done, and trout season is starting all over. So we thought we’d go a little further afield than usual for our latest pics of the day…

… all the way, in fact, to the Riú Gran Valira in Andorra la Vella, where the Pescadors D’Andorra have clearly been celebrating a highly successful start to their season in low water conditions before all that snow melts off the high Pyrenees and sends the river into runoff.

While we were working out permissions for using these shots, photographer Lucas Hasan Hadid Nuñez asked us to be very clear that the Pescadors D’Andorra are all about responsible pesca sin muerte – catch and release.

Which of course we’re more than delighted to do, because the more we hear those 3 magic words from mainland Europe, the really, really happier it makes us…

… and since one of the Urbantrout team has a family apartment in Andorra, we’re thinking let’s jump on a plane to those wonderful concrete canyons as soon as we can!

Andorra 3 - Lucas Hasan Hadid Nunez

Andorra 2 - Lucas Hasan Hadid Nunez

(Photos: Lucas Hasan Hadid Nuñez)

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The Wild Trout Trust charity auction 2016: See what all this urban fishing fuss is about!

Wandle trout - Theo Pike

It’s early March already… and that can only mean one thing: the time has come for the Wild Trout Trust’s famous annual charity auction.

Whether you’re a hardened connoisseur of urban fishing, or you just finally want to see what the fuss is about, we highly recommend reading through all 298 lots in the auction catalogue (trust us, it’s worth it!)

But if you just want to cut to the chase, here for the 4th year running is our shortlist of all the urban lots, ready picked out for your bidding pleasure…

  • Lots 69 and 70: 2 chances to win a week’s permit for 2 rods on the Town Waters of the River Ness in Inverness, presented by the Inverness Angling Club. This beat runs right through the Scottish Highland capital, and is best fished for salmon with a fly.
  • Lot 101: Presented by Ffynnon Taff Angling Club and Nicholas Steedman: 1 day for 1 rod on the legendary River Taff guided by Nicholas Steedman. The Taff is a big post-industrial river with some difficult wading, but hit it one right, and you may find huge trout and grayling rising freely to exceptional hatches…
  • Lots 112 and 113: 2 opportunities to bid for a full season permit to fish the waters of Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association, which controls not just the Taf Fechan and urban upper Taff, but also beats on the Tarrell and Usk.
  • Lots 120 and 121: As above… but if you can’t commit to a whole season on Merthyr Tydfil AA’s waters, why not fish them with a friend for just 2 days instead?
  • Lot 156: Guided by former WTT officer Ben Tyser, 1 day for 1 rod on the urban River Allen in Wimborne Minster (as featured in Trout in Dirty Places and Hugh Miles’ film Liquid Gold: A Celebration of Chalk Streams)
  • Lot 208: Wander up the Wandle for the day with this blog’s very own Theo Pike, getting the latest news on this inner-city chalkstream’s rollercoaster recovery – and a chance to meet other Wandle Piscators and hook a trophy trout somewhere in south London!
  • Lot 266: Mission Impossible(?) with Stuart Crofts is to fish for 1 hour on each of 4 different urban rivers within 15 miles of Sheffield, on Tuesday 3 May 2016, with the aim of catching a wild trout from each. If you complete your mission successfully, Stuart will buy you a pint of Yorkshire ale. If not, it’s your round…
  • Lot 272: One day’s fishing with Philippa Hake on Yorkshire’s River Calder, targeting trout and grayling with simple dry fly and nymph tactics. Philippa is a member of the England Ladies’ Flyfishing team, and the urban Calder is her home water.
  • Lot 291: Shrouded in mystery (likely for a very good reason – and you’ll be sworn to secrecy too), this is 1 day for 1 rod somewhere on west Yorkshire’s urban free-fishing trout and grayling rivers with local expert Dave Hudson.
  • Lot 292: From urban to unspoilt, 1 day for 1 rod on a north Yorkshire beck with the Wild Trout Trust’s newest recruit, Prof Jon Grey. Fish through the dilapidated infrastructure of an old mill stream to more natural water higher up the system, all of it rarely fished, with a good chance of a 2lb wild trout.
  • Lot 294: Presented by Slaithwaite and District Angling Club, this is your opportunity to explore the River Colne near Huddersfield with local guide Mick Pogson sometime between 21 April and 30 September 2016.

Once again the Wild Trout Trust is hoping to raise more than £50,000 in unrestricted funds from this charity auction.

Because it’s not linked to any particular project, the money from your successful bid(s) can be used for a range of purposes including basic project delivery tools like chainsaws and waders, match funding for other sources of funds like charitable trusts, and even bursaries for local groups who may need just a bit of kick-start funding for their own projects. (Who knows, it might even be your very own urban river that benefits!)

Bids can be placed online between now and the evening of Sunday 13 March: you can also send sealed postal bids which will be logged online on your behalf.

Bid early, bid often… and we’ll see you out there on one of our urban rivers!

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