Urban fly-fishing report: River Sheaf, Sheffield

Professional sports photographer Duncan Philpott recently spent a few hours with a fishing pal on one of Sheffield’s many city streams.

Naturally, he took his camera along to capture some shots of the whole experience – and best of all, he’s now given us permission to use a few of them here on Urbantrout.

It’s an amazingly cool and arty collection of photos that absolutely captures what we love most about theSteel City

… the way its rivers form a network of ‘radial parks’, blue-green corridors that stretch from the urban core right out into the surrounding countryside. And how, too, these provide so many of the unexpected angles and moments of beauty that happen on any fishing day, but particularly astonishing when they’re right in the middle of a bustling post-industrial metropolis.

Be inspired by Duncan’s skills, and go get some of these urban fishing moments of your own!

(All photos: Duncan Philpott)

No Comments

Film night: River Trent transformation

The SUNRISE project has featured on Urbantrout before… but not for a while, so we’re pretty stoked to see this update from the studio of Dr Paul Gaskell (himself involved in the project as the Wild Trout Trust’s Trout in the Town officer for the north of England).

Funded by the EU’s European Regional Development Fund (an agreement that’s been generously honoured in spite of the cross-cutting complexities of Brexit) SUNRISE is designed to transform no fewer than 16 different sites in and around Stoke-on-Trent, all of them linked as part of the much-abused river of the same name.

Paul’s latest film tells the story of recreating a nature-like channel for the Trent where it flows through the Leek Road campus of Staffordshire University (so, not quite as urban as our previous featured video of the Victoria Ground river restoration project, but still more citified than most!)

At just under 8 minutes long, this a hugely satisfying watch, tracking the project’s activities all the way from 2014 to 2021, with a bonus look back to a map of the Trent in the 1800s too.

Coffee? Beer? Grab your usual Friday beverage of choice, and enjoy…

No Comments

Fly Fishing & Fly Tying: Glasgow’s urban wilderness

Maybe we’ve not been paying proper attention, but some reason it feels like a while since we spotted a full-on urban fishing feature in one of the leading print magazines.

Whatever the case… it’s been a real pleasure to pick up the July issue of Fly Fishing & Fly Tying, and find an article by Sean Morrissey on his local White Cart Water in Glasgow.

In this 5-page exploration of his local urban wilderness in the time of C-19, Sean helpfully reflects on lots of the USPs that city fishers can rightfully claim for their own:

Simply cutting down on travel is immediately and profoundly beneficial. There is a great irony in anglers (myself included) preaching the values of environmentalism while at the same time travelling hundreds and in some cases thousands of miles in pursuit of trout. Local waters on the other hand offer a truly sustainable angling experience, especially if you get involved with your local angling club’s river cleaning or habitat improvement works. In a world of global health concerns and an ever-worsening environmental crisis, staying local could literally mean saving lives.

Because you’re only ever a stone’s throw away from home, a trip to your local river doesn’t have to involve a commitment of several hours. You can fish around your schedule… and it’s much easier to become properly acquainted with your home water. When are the main hatches? Where do the trout hold in various heights of water? Armed with this information, your catch rates will almost certainly improve, and you’ll have more fun as a result.

Of course, when travel is restricted by global externalities like the pandemic we’re still living through, fishing locally is also a realistic way to visit a new kind of destination which might just become one of your favourite fisheries in predictable but unanticipated ways. (For example, Sean also mentions that the White Cart Water is known to hold wild trout up to 3lbs – and we know there are plenty of other urban rivers with a similar stamp of wary wild fish!)

Our recommendation: get hold of the July issue of FF&FT today, and feel all inspired to #FishWhereYouLive in this imminent summer of staycations

 

No Comments

Film night: Fly-fishing on a London chalkstream

Tim James says he never really meant to become a video editor, but after his pal Matthew Pease shot a few rolls of film documenting an after-work fishing trip, and didn’t have time to slice it and splice it all together, he grabbed the footage himself and set to work…

And here’s the most excellent result: 10 minutes of film, well-shot, well-edited, humorous and nicely understated, taking us right back to June 2020, and an evening on the river a few weeks after the easing of the UK’s first national Covid-19 lockdown.

Tim doesn’t mention the name of the London chalkstream in question, so we won’t spill it here either. Just sit back with your usual hot or cold beverage of choice, and enjoy this urban fly-fishing adventure as thoroughly as we have…

No Comments

Fishing in Wales: 5 top urban rivers

As the UK’s Covid-19 restrictions are slowly relaxed this spring, and it’s possible to travel a little further afield (but still without leaving the country) there’s no doubt that urban rivers look more appealing than ever as destination fisheries.

Ceri Thomas at Fishing in Wales hasn’t been slow to recognise this, and he’s recently asked this site’s very own editor to reveal 5 top urban fisheries in the Principality.

Most of these are long-standing favourites from Trout in Dirty Places, but there’s a new bonus location too… click here to read on (and here to find more details about the Taff’s trophy trout potential from Steffan Jones) and be inspired by urban possibilities when you feel the urge to travel again!

No Comments

The Wild Trout Trust charity auction 2021: It’s on!

OK boys and girls, we think you know the drill… this year’s Wild Trout Trust auction has just gone live, from today until the evening of Sunday 28 March. Which means it’s time to start planning some highlights of your fishing season around this carefully-assembled selection of fishing-related opportunities (including the urban ones which we’ve listed below!)

This charity auction is an incredibly important fundraising event for the Wild Trout Trust: every penny raised makes it possible for their team of expert conservation officers to provide practical advice, deliver hands-on improvement projects, and bring in even more match funding from other sources. The Trust has low overheads, a small staff and an ever-growing group of volunteers, so the money raised in the auction makes a real and measurable difference to our urban and rural rivers alike, even in these difficult times of Covid-19.

For the first time this year, the auction is being run on the Wild Trout Trust’s own auction facility instead of on ebay. It’s user-friendly, completely secure and data protection compliant, and it means that even more money goes to the Trust’s vital work. If you’re worried about Covid-19 restrictions, donors are prepared to carry over until next year if necessary.

Of course, the auction has a huge range of non-urban-related items and experiences to bid for… but as usual, we’ve picked out the best of the urban best, and curated them here for your bidding pleasure:

Lot 69: A selection of dry flies and nymphs for use on rivers across the UK, tied by guide and fly-tyer Phillippa Hake (whose home water is the superbly urban River Calder in West Yorkshire). All these flies are proven fish-catchers for Phillippa, and ones she wouldn’t be without in her box.

Lots 85 and 86: 2 chances to win a week’s permit for 1 rod 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

Lots 112 and 113: 3 days for 2 rods fishing the waters of Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association, which offers not just the urban upper Taff and the restored Taf Fechan tributary, but also beats on the Tarrell and Usk.

Lots 121 and 122: 2 permits to fish on 4 weekends of your choice (Friday – Sunday) or 4 weekday blocks of any 3 days (Monday – Friday) across the waters of the Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association, as above.

Lot 187: An ‘arty crafty angling’ experience with broadcaster and Wild Trout Trust vice-president Matthew Wright and artist Hayes Hopkinson, to be spent exploring South London’s River Wandle not far from where Matthew went to school in Croydon. Hayes will shadow Matthew and the lucky winner, and present them (at a later date) with a painting that captures the essence of the day on the urban river that inspired the whole idea of Trout in the Town.

Lot 209: 1 day’s fishing for 1 rod, hunting barbel on the Wandle with Hector Rodriguez. Hector has been targeting barbel on the fly for the last 4 years, and starred in a short film for the Wild Trout Trust’s Virtual Get-Together last year. With the chance of a specimen barbel, roach, chub or trout on these rejuvenated London waters, this will be a day to remember.

Lot 290: 1 day’s fishing for 1 rod on the River Calder in West Yorkshire with Phillippa Hake, targeting wild urban trout and grayling with simple dry fly and nymph tactics.

So… please click here to register, browse and bid early and often… and we’ll hope to see you out there somewhere on our urban rivers!

(Photo: Wild Trout Trust / Phillippa Hake)

No Comments

Pic of the day: Throwback to the Calder

While our longer-range urban destination fishing is still off the cards (and most of our rivers have recently been blown out by rain and snowmelt anyway)

here’s a little throwback to fishing the urban Calder in West Yorkshire with the Trout in Dirty Places crew in the freezing winter of 2010.

Now that was cold…

No Comments

Urbantrout sidecasts: Monday 11 January

No Comments

Film night: Urban trout – not surprise, but expectation?

If you managed to attend the Wild Trout Trust’s Virtual Get Together in September this year, you might have seen this video as part of the Trout in the Town update…

… but even if you did, we reckon you’ll enjoy spending ten minutes watching it for a second time.

Back in the depths of lockdown, of course, there’s the obvious pleasure of flashing back to trout season, and seeing WTT’s Paul Gaskell expertly nymphing fish after fish from a classic high-walled northern stream.

But from a more philosophical standpoint, it’s also well worth pondering one of his final thoughts:

Far from being surprised that wild trout can now be found in many post-industrial rivers like these, shouldn’t we actually expect them to be living there happily?

And maybe start asking questions when they’re not?

To catch up with the whole programme of presentations from the Wild Trout Trust’s Virtual Get Together 2020, click here.

No Comments

Urban river restorationists: Get accredited by WTT!

Ever since the Wild Trout Trust’s Trout in the Town programme was launched in 2007, inspired by the success of the Wandle project, the range and scale of urban river restoration groups has been growing across the UK.

And recently, while the Trust was creating its new Trout in the Town Urban River Toolkit last year, they saw an opportunity to include a new nationwide accreditation scheme for all their urban groups.

Like so much else this year, this initiative has been held up by the Covid-19 pandemic, but accreditation forms have now been sent out to urban river projects all over the country.

So… what are the benefits for you and your urban river mending pals?

As this post on the WTT’s website says, it means that you’ll be officially recognised as part of this inspiring urban river movement.

You’ll be listed on the Trout in the Town page of WTT’s website, and you’ll be able to see how you’re progressing, compared to other similar chapters – and find out which other groups you could approach to share relevant experience and knowledge. You may also be able to access even more advice and support from WTT to help you grow and develop further.

Last but not least, you’ll receive a special Trout in the Town certificate – detailing First Contact, Bronze, Silver or Gold levels – and a matching badge to display on your website and other promotional materials.

So, if you haven’t received a form yet, but you’d like to get your group officially accredited by Trout in the Town, please get in touch with Paul or Theo via the contact details on the WTT website.

We’re reliably informed that WTT is looking forward to hearing from you, and getting your local urban group officially accredited as a Trout in the Town chapter!

(Image: Wild Trout Trust)

No Comments

Older Entries »