The Wild Trout Trust charity auction 2022: Back, bigger and badder than ever!

The Wild Trout Trust’s annual auction is back, and this year it’s bigger than ever before, with no less than 366 lots to choose from.

One of the gnarliest challenges for any charity is raising long-term core funds which aren’t tightly tied to delivery of very specific short-term projects – and that’s why this fundraising auction is so important 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 from this annual auction makes a massive and measurable difference to our urban and rural rivers alike.

In 2022, there’s a varied selection of generously-donated lots that range from tackle and flies to fishing days and other experiences that money can’t normally buy. Naturally, with the Wild Trout Trust’s keen attention to urban river restoration, you’d expect some grittier inner-city options too, and once again we’re proud to curate the best of the urban lots right here for your bidding pleasure:

Lot 62: 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 109 and 110: 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 Association. This beat runs right through the Scottish Highland capital, and is best fished for salmon with a fly.

Lots 136 and 137: 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 144 and 145: 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 224: 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 254: 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 5 years, and starred in a short film for the Wild Trout Trust’s Virtual Get-Together in 2020. With the chance of a specimen barbel, roach, chub or trout on these rejuvenated London waters, this will be a day to remember.

Lot 331: 1 day for 1 rod, streamer fishing with Martin Smith for trout or pike on a Yorkshire river. Martin designed the classic Martin’s Minnow streamer, and let’s just say we’ve heard on pretty good authority that his favourite Yorkshire rivers are the urban ones…

Lot 339: 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.

This year’s Wild Trout Trust auction is now live, and runs until Sunday 27 March, when lots will close sequentially from 5pm through the evening.

Once again… please bid early and often, and we’ll hope to see you out there somewhere on our urban rivers!

(Photo: Wild Trout Trust / Hayes Hopkinson and Matthew Wright)

No Comments

Urbantrout sidecasts: Monday 17 January

(Image: Wild Trout Trust)

No Comments

Trout & Salmon explores the Yorkshire Calder

Sowerby Bridge might be familiar to you as the the setting for the BBC’s Happy Valley crime drama. It’s also the hometown of Phillippa Hake… one of the new generation of fly-fishers who has taken full advantage of the information age, rapidly ascending the learning curve to become an excellent angler in a relatively short time…

The Calder runs within walking distance of Phillippa’s house. It’s where she began river fishing, and she knows it intimately… It’s always exciting to descend into the riparian corridor of an urban river; one minute you are walking through HGVs in a haulage contractor’s yard and over a girder bridge supported by huge steel pipes, the next you are surrounded by trees, wildflowers and running water, a magical transformation that never ceases to amaze me…

Written by well-known travelling angler, film-maker and flyfishing instructor Don Stazicker, the January 2022 issue of Trout & Salmon magazine (out now in December 2021) features a vivid evocation of one of the Urbantrout team’s favourite northern rivers – the River Calder around Sowerby Bridge – as well as a stirring appeal for more of the same:

This river was fishless within my lifetime: that it now holds a fine head of fish in surroundings where I want to fish for them is a truly wonderful thing. We are constantly being reminded that the planet’s ecosystem is deteriorating. It is therefore so important to encounter places such as this, where enlightened legislation and the hard work of dedicated people has reversed that trend and restored life to something that was once sterile. It shows that not everything is a one-way street. We can reverse change, we can make a difference, and that difference starts on your doorstep. If you don’t support one or more of the angling conservation bodies, you really do need to ask yourself, why not?

At the core of his article, Don also provides a detailed interview with skilled local Calder fishing guide Phillippa Hake: a professional custom fly-tyer with a well-deserved reputation for spinning delicate, realistic dry flies and nymphs, which often make a generous appearance in the Wild Trout Trust’s annual auction.

Intrepid flyfishing women on urban rivers: this definitely feels like a moment, and it’s superb to see. The January issue of Trout & Salmon is available now from all good newsagents… grab your inspiring Christmas reading today!

No Comments

Film night: Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner…

Fly-fishing is a sport where women are known to excel – the record for the largest UK salmon is still held by Georgina Ballantine! – yet it’s still comparatively rare to see women on the bank.

Thankfully, there’s something about the egalitarian nature of urban fishing that seems to attract amazing women to the riverside: Susan Skrupa and Larysa Yefremova, Phillippa Hake, and now Amie Battams, who’s profiled in this week’s film night (once again shot and edited by Tim Pottage, aka Tim James).

As well as her regular social media updates from an increasingly wide range of rivers, Amie is an ambassador for the Mayfly Project, and the latest Wandle Forum newsletter announces that she’s also received a Wandle Grant to help her run women’s taster sessions on south London’s most famous chalkstream:

Women go fishing – taster sessions on offer – We’re supporting Amie Battams with a Wandle Grant to help introduce women to fly fishing. The Wandle is an ideal place to learn and has a strong angling history, including being where dry flies were first used. As the river has become cleaner so it has become ever more popular with anglers and Wandle Piscators was founded in 2004. If you want to know more and join a session then contact Amie here. The fish she is catching are “this big”! Proof in this video.”

Enjoy the film… and look out for this incredibly talented fly-fisher when you’re fishing in London too!

1 Comment

Fly Fishing & Fly Tying: Urban fishing in Winchester

There’s no doubt that Winchester is one of the all-time-classic urban fishing destinations – since we saw that rippling chalkstream along the city’s Roman walls, we’ve loved it ourselves, never mind eulogising it in Trout in Dirty Places – and the latest issue of Fly Fishing & Fly Tying tells the story of how Cumbrian Daniel Calderbank has been discovering it in his own time.

Daniel includes wry observations of several situations that other urban fly-fishers will recognise, including that lightbulb moment of fishing a #14 pink shrimp pattern somewhere downstream of a coarse angler’s lucky supply of maggots (yeah yeah, we’ve all found ourselves doing it at least once…)

The article also features a fairly detailed description of the Winchester area’s total 4.5 miles of ‘free fishing’ (with Environment Agency rod licence) on the River Itchen, thanks to knowledgeable local guide Keith Dipper.

Get your subscription to FF&FT by clicking here, or buy a copy of this issue from any good newsagent.

No Comments

Urbantrout sidecasts: Monday 11 October

(Photo: Kavita Kapoor)

No Comments

Fly Culture: Tinworks trout on the Taff

Here at Urbantrout we’re huge fans of Fly Culture magazine, a quarterly publication ‘journal of high quality writing and photographs that capture the essence of what fly fishing means to us all’.

The autumn 2021 issue features a story from a stretch of river that’s frankly new to us: Melingriffith on the Taff, where the former tinworks site now provides wild post-industrial trout fishing that’s clearly as good as anywhere on that legendary Welsh water.

Against this backdrop, Nick Thomas tells a tale of big dogs, urban yobs, and yes, tough old trout too – all illustrated with images and maps of the river, and Nick’s own signature organza-based flies.

This issue of Fly Culture also includes John Gierach’s very first UK interview, compered by Adrian Grose-Hodge, as well as Gareth Lewis’s ruminations on ‘Turning 40 and Those Who Get It’, Duncan Philpott on rod building, and much other goodness besides. Pick up your copy by clicking here.


1 Comment

Pic of the day: Riverfly monitoring with a TWIST

Thanks to lots of enthusiasm from local volunteers, Somerset’s urban rivers now have a new cohort of qualified riverfly monitors to look after them.

Click through to this report on the Wild Trout Trust website to find out more, and how to get involved in the exciting new TWIST (Transforming Waterways In Somerset Towns) project

No Comments

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

« Newer Entries - Older Entries »