Thursday, 26th April 2018

Many congratulations to the group of chaps who were crowned River Champions 2018 at last night’s River Restoration Conference dinner, among them close friends of WTT, Stephen Frye, George MacIntosh and Glenn Smithson. Well done you all and thank you for your champion work for our rivers and their trout.

Photos below: Glenn Smithson and his River Champion award, at the RRC Conference dinner in Nottingham and in his more usual habitat, on the River Lark in Suffolk with his mate, Tim Taylor

Glenn SMithson at the RRRC conference
       Gelln and Tim on the Lark 2015
Thursday, 26th April 2018

The 2018 WTT annual gathering beckons, running over the weekend of 19 & 20 May 2018, based around the village of Gargrave, near Skipton in N Yorks. It’s a really excellent chance to meet and chat with like-minded trouty types, listen to some inspiring talks on work in the patch and even fish some of Yorkshire’s finest trout rivers.

Early arrivers will meet for a pint in Lothersdale at the Hare & Hounds (Jonny Grey’s local) on the Friday evening, 18 May; if you’re staying over in Gargrave, we’ll try to arrange group taxis from Lothersdale back to Gargrave. Saturday will see a day of doubtless brilliant talks, in the village hall at Gargrave (programme here), followed by a walk along the River Aire, guided by WTT Conservation Officers, to see issues impacting the river and some of the work that is being done by WTT, the Environment Agency, Aire Rivers Trust, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Hull International Fisheries Institute, and local angling clubs.

On Saturday evening, we’ll enjoy a second pint and perhaps a curry in Gargrave before waking to fish fantastic local club water (with many thanks) on the Aire, Ribble and Wharfe.

Please do join us. £10 will cover lunch, tea and coffee, booked either by returning this booking form to Christina in the WTT office ( or calling on 02392 570985. Details of the fishing will be arranged once you’ve booked in. If at all possible, please book by Friday 4 May; thank you.


We very much look forward to seeing you.


Tuesday, 24th April 2018

The best place to start, of course, is the Wild Trout Trust auction  but you may not want to wait until the next auction in March 2019!

If you are looking for  club or syndicate to join, check this list.

This list was updated 24/4/18 with new fishing on 'The Carrier' at Easton (Itchen carrier upstream of WInchester) and more fishing on the Itchen at Easton and one of the headwater streams, along with the rivers Test and Teise from the Sussex Piscatorial Society. 


Tuesday, 24th April 2018

Several of the water companies have Water Resource Management Plans out for consultation at the moment, with the first of those closing very soon. These plans lay out how the companies intend to find water for, in many areas, burgeoning human populations, then dispose of our waste. This should be critically important to those of us in the water-starved south and east of England, perhaps most pointedly to those of us who fish, love our rivers and value wildlife conservation.

The Angling Trust has produced an excellent response to the Thames Water consultation (closing 29 April), with links to the other companies’ consultations:

dry chalkstream chilterns paul jennings

 A famous chalkstream, the Chess in Bucks, missing one vital element. Photo courtesy of Paul Jennings]

Tuesday, 24th April 2018

WTT’s stated brief is to work for wild trout across Britain and Ireland, north and south. The island of Ireland boasts some of the world’s very finest trout lakes and rivers and some of the most passionate Defenders of the Trout.

Last year, Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI), the state agency charged with the protection, improvement and development of the nation’s fisheries and its angling resource, launched a National Angling Strategy Development Fund which aimed to drive this work, in partnership with other governmental and non-governmental agencies.

WTT met with IFI senior managers to discuss how we might bring our incredibly successful model in England to help work for trout in Ireland. We applied unsuccessfully to the Fund for some advisory visits as proof-of-concept but did contribute to a successful bid by a group on the Clare River, Cairde na Chlair, for a major river improvement project on the Abbert River, a Clare tributary, ultimately draining into Lough Corrib. That work will go ahead in the autumn of 2018, with our Conservation Officer, Andy Thomas, providing some of the trout habitat nous. We very much hope that a successful project on the Abbert can demonstrate what WTT can bring to the party and add to other projects across Ireland.

However, some in Ireland have raised concerns about how resources appear to be being deployed; further information at

abbert river ireland

The Abbert River, where WTT will contribute to an improvement project with a local group, Cairde na Chlair

Friday, 13th April 2018

We are delighted that our annual Get-Together for 2018 will be visiting Gargrave, N Yorks on 19 & 20 May. A few of us will gather informally on the Friday night (18 May) in the locality (please feel free to join us if you can) before a Saturday full of varied and interesting stuff.
In the morning, speakers will update us on projects by local groups, work by WTT in the patch, research on fish passes and some good old trout fishing talk.
The programme is HERE. In the afternoon, we’ll walk the Aire to look at habitat improvement work, including fish passes.

Saturday daytime costs £10 to include tea, coffee & lunch, payable at the time of booking, with the form HERE. Please book by Friday 4 May 2018.

For those able to stay on, we’ll gather in Gargrave on the Saturday evening before a Sunday sampling wild trout fishing on some of Yorkshire’s fabulous and famous trout streams. If you would like to fish, please contact Christina in the WTT office by Friday 27 April 2018 to help us gauge numbers.

Tuesday, 10th April 2018

While our beloved trout are winter spawners with a long in-gravel incubation period that releases babies into the river when things start to warm up and hopefully become easier for little uns, most other river fish species egg-lay in the spring, with much shorter incubation times.

Right now, early April, grayling are spawning in my local river (the Itchen) and bullheads have very recently done so too. This video, courtesy of WTT member Martin Smith, shows brook lampreys doing their communal spawning thing, on the Thornton Beck in N Yorks. The adult lampreys use their weak, sucker mouths to move stones, creating a shallow depression into which their eggs can be laid. The resulting blind juveniles, called in the lamprey species ammocoetes, live for perhaps several years in silt beds in the river, filter-feeding on organic material.

They change into adults in the autumn, developing eyes, a silvery coloration and distinct fins, before spawning, then dying, the following spring. These animals, not technically true fish, are incredibly interesting and very well worth reading more about. Find on the internet the brilliant paper by Peter Maitland for Natural England: Ecology of the River, Brook and Sea Lamprey.  


Wednesday, 4th April 2018

The Haddon Estate, through its Peacock Fly Fishing Club, has kindly offered its fisheries on 14 & 15 July this year, as a fundraising weekend for WTT. This is an excellent opportunity to fish for wild browns, wild rainbows and grayling across four rivers including areas usually only open to the Peacock Fly Fishing Club members.

The Estate ceased stocking on the Wye, Lathkill and Bradford in 2004 and since then, has operated a thriving, catch & release wild fishery with strictly bankside, dry-fly only fishing. Nymph fishing and wading are permitted on the River Derwent section. If required, advice will be available from local guides to help you get the best out of your day. To find out more about the Peacock Fly Fishing Club, how the Estate’s fisheries are managed and what they offer, you are invited to join the river keepers for a BBQ at lunchtime (at no extra cost).

A limited number of rods are available at £50 per rod per day so do book soon. Contact Christina in the WTT office via: / 023 9257 0985.

This offer is open to Wild Trout Trust members only. Click here to join.

Wednesday, 4th April 2018

WTT responded robustly to the Environment Agency’s consultation on proposed charges for permits issued under the Environmental Permitting Regulations. These are the permits we usually have to get to do habitat improvement work in the river. We felt it iniquitous that EA should be seeking to charge perhaps many hundreds of pounds for such work by NGOs, angling clubs and many others aimed at improving our environment (and supporting the EA’s statutory obligations to do so).

Now the EA has responded to that consultation and issued its charges: there’s good and bad news. The good news is that the Agency has listened to the howls from across the conservation and angling worlds and maybe made things better: there is now a reduced rate for a permit for “non-commercial activities undertaken for the purpose of environmental improvement”. Furthermore, during the 18/19 year, EA is to look again at the exemptions from permitting which might allow the likes of WTT to do our good work without a formal permit and associated cost. EA is keen to progress catchment permits, whereby an operator could apply to carry out the same work at multiple sites within a catchment, reducing the overall permit bill.

However, the charges still remain, in our opinion, steep. A permit for a single “non-commercial activity undertaken for the purpose of environmental improvement” (say a number of log deflectors in the river) will cost £170 and then every additional “activity” (say, marginal brash habitat features) will cost 25% of that £170, so another £42.50. Then there may be an additional subsistence charge of £68. So, a fairly simple project with four different habitat improvement methods (“activities” in EA language) could cost £365.50 in permit charges alone, excluding the cost of preparing the permit application and before any actual work starts.

It is reported that the Treasury steer to EA remains that its partners, like WTT, should be charged for their permits, but that doesn’t feel much like a partnership arrangement. Also, there are some genuine peculiarities in the charges. For example, if we at WTT want to improve habitat in a river and require a permit, we will pay a minimum of £170, as above. However, the equivalent permit from EA for a domestic household or a charity to discharge up to 5000 litres per day of sewage effluent to groundwater costs £125.

We’ve raised our concerns with EA and are assured that area permitting teams will be pragmatic in their handling of permit applications. We’ll continue to lobby the EA so that we can carry on our good works and we will contribute to their review to try to produce workable and meaningful exemptions.

Saturday, 10th March 2018

Over on the WTT blog page, our Research & Conservation Officer, Jonny has laid down a challenge to all you angling photographers out there, or even fisheries scientists. He's trying to collate images of spotting pattern from around the UK, or even further afield, just to demonstrate the diversity in looks of our beloved brown trout, the nation's favourite fish!

We would like to use images like below as an engagement tool. No ID of the captor or specific location of the capture site - just river name for geographic reference.

If you have any suitable pics, or can remember to take some this season, that would be great - see the blog for more details.

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