After this year’s CLA Game Fair at Ragley Hall, the Urbantrout team went on the road for a week in a heatwave in the Welsh Marches…
… fishing the Teme with publisher Merlin Unwin in a spectacular gorge near Leintwardine, vainly scanning the steaming surface of the same river further downstream in Ludlow for any sign of fish, chilling out on one or two small-stream beats on the Wye & Usk Foundation’s passport scheme…
… and of course returning to the lovely little urban Lugg in Leominster. (For the full lowdown on this river and the Angling Trust‘s and Wye & Usk Foundation‘s joint efforts to look after it, check out chapter 18 of Trout in Dirty Places!)
Strictly speaking, this short side-branch of the Lugg is known as the Kenwater: a channel created by the local monastery to power its mills, since turned thoroughly feral and indisputably urban, complete with banks of unbuffered surface water drains and plenty of ankle-wrenching builders’ waste lurking under picture-perfect rafts of ranunculus.
Despite this luxuriant weed growth, water levels were painfully low, and local residents displayed understandable degrees of tetchiness in conditions of blasting sun and near-30-degree heat.
Little pods of trout and grayling scattered derisively before you’d even cast towards them, while an elderly lady living in a van beside the fire station clearly didn’t like fishermen any more than they did, and taught us several new swear words to boot.
Under the rippled surface of one weed-and-gravel riffle, however, a larger shoal of fishy shadows shifted sideways without ever fully spooking, and a meticulously guided nymph finally steered an almost-unbelievable trophy to the net.
Did you ever see such freckles and beauty spots on a grayling?
No, us neither…
Are you using Trout in Dirty Places as your reason for taking to the road this summer? If so, contact us afterwards and let us know how you got on!