Author Archive

Fly Culture: The Bowerbird’s Warning

There’s a definite urban vibe to the latest issue of Fly Culture magazine (step forward, Matt Eastham, Dan Osmond, Nick Thomas and Peter Coleman-Smith!) and for once it hasn’t very much to do with me… … unless you count a little tale which I might have heard in my old south London local (or much […]

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Fly Culture, Writing Jun 21 2022

The Flyfishers’ Journal: Summer 2022

On the few occasions when I’ve tried saltwater flyfishing – also known to its real cognoscenti as SWFFing – around the coast of Britain, I’m happy to admit that I’ve not been very successful. Yet if the fish were fairly insignificant (mainly small pollack or coalfish lured up from forests of kelp with sinking lines […]

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Editing, Flyfishers' Journal, Writing Jun 05 2022

10 years of Trout in Dirty Places

This month, it’s 10 years since Trout in Dirty Places launched on a (mostly) unsuspecting world. Merlin Unwin Books and Granger’s fly shop in South Kensington threw us one hell of a party, and for a few days, the weird idea of fishing for trout and grayling in urban rivers was making headlines across the […]

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Trout in Dirty Places, Writing Apr 30 2022

The Flyfishers’ Journal: Winter 2021

Mayflies must surely constitute some of the most perfect symbolism of a flyfisher’s sport. Beautiful, fragile and famously ephemeral. Patient and enduring, living stoically and nearly-invisibly among dark stones and silt for a year or more… before emerging together into light and air for a celebration of life that seems all the more urgent and […]

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Editing, Flyfishers' Journal Dec 23 2021

A new TWIST for the Sheppey?

As I’ve recently written in the Wild Trout Trust’s autumn newsletter, this is the kind of story that many of us know… A spring, or a line of them, bubbling and gushing out of a rocky hillside. Tumbling downhill, meandering through an upland meadow where trout and bullheads dart above the gravel, and human huts […]

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Pollution, Rewilding, Sheppey, Urban rivers, Wild Trout Trust, Writing Nov 28 2021

Fallon’s Angler and WTT’s Little Book of Riverside Moments

In the past few months I’ve been doing a fair amount of reading about geology, as well as thinking about ways of helping urban rivers now and in the future. So I guess it was slightly inevitable that these themes might emerge in some of my own current writing too… For the latest issue of […]

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Fallon's Angler, Wild Trout Trust, Writing Oct 17 2021

Trout in the Town: South London to Somerset

Four years ago, give or take a few days, Sally and I took our final walk up the Wandle to hand over our keys to the estate agent who’d (mostly) been helping us to sell our house by the river in Carshalton. As much out of habit as conscious farewell, we stopped and peered over […]

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River restoration, Trout, Urban rivers, Wandle, Wild Trout Trust Jul 29 2021

The Flyfishers’ Journal: Summer 2021

Late May / early June means it’s time for the summer issue of the Flyfishers’ Journal. Truth to tell, this wasn’t the easiest issue to be responsible for editing, including as it does some very poignant Appreciations for friends and fellow Members of the Flyfishers’ Club: recent past president Paddy Laverty, author and historian Tony […]

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Editing, Flyfishers' Journal Jun 05 2021

Fly Culture: Fish Where You Live

As the start of trout season creeps round again, I’m feeling incredibly proud and privileged to feature in the latest issue of the beautiful Fly Culture print magazine – this time alongside work from Richard Baker, Adrian Grose-Hodge, Henry Giles, Ben Jailler, Matt Eastham, Dan Osmond and many others. Editor Pete Tyjas asked me to […]

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Fly Culture, Fly-fishing, Trout, Writing Apr 21 2021

Fishing in Wales: My top 5 Welsh urban rivers

Mere decades ago, these were waters that still ran black with coal dust and the toxic effluent of steel mills and other industries. Today, many Welsh urban rivers still suffer from litter, drainage misconnections and misbehaving sewage treatment works, but if you look carefully, you’ll find wild fish among the remaining shopping trolleys: trout (some of them very big indeed), grayling, barbel and even salmon… Some writing projects can be a slow […]

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Fishing in Wales, Fly-fishing, Grayling, Trout, Writing Mar 24 2021