Fly-fishing, London, River restoration, Trout, Trout & Salmon, Urban rivers, Wandle, Writing

Trout & Salmon: Trout on the Tube

This month I’ve been absolutely thrilled to see my long-awaited article about the Wandle appearing in the January 2018 issue of Trout & Salmon, which started dropping on doormats and news-stands last week.

It’s not a valedictory – the big move from south London to Somerset has happened for family reasons, and I’m still intending to serve as Chairman of the Wandle Trust and South East Rivers Trust for some time yet. But from now on, there’s certainly the recognition that I’ll be taking trains and tube-lines to fish my favourite pools on the Wandle, instead of simply strolling out of my own front door…

Not being completely immune to irony, I definitely found it interesting that SES Water also picked last week to stage their by-now-traditional pre-Christmas meltdown of the recirculation pumps that keep the upper Wandle flowing at times when the aquifer has been drastically depleted for public water supply – leaving freshly-spawned wild trout eggs high and dry in their redds for the third year in succession.

Thanks to our restoration work, the Carshalton arm of the Wandle won the Urban category of the UK River Prize in 2016, and was also the first water body in the UK to achieve ‘good ecological potential’ under the European Water Framework Directive. But all the new gravel, wood and thalwegs in the world can’t compensate for no water at all, and we’re getting very seriously worried for the survival of the trout in this stretch.

Please keep an eye on my Twitter feed (and the Wandle Trust’s) for any further updates, and grab a copy of Trout & Salmon to read while you’re waiting.