Friday, 18th January 2013

It has long been believed that running water has a therapeutic effect on human beings. Charities like Casting for Recovery  (link here have used flyfishing to harness the healing qualities of rivers to help breast cancer patients. Now a great new initiative in the USA (Reel Recovery Retreats) has taken off for men. A feature film is being shot following a group of men with cancer who have come together for three days of healing, relaxing and fly fishing at a Reel Recovery Retreat at The Wildhorse Ranch in Mackay, Idaho.

For more details on this worthy initiative and to donate, go to their website.

Friday, 11th January 2013


A 'Chalk Stream Summit' was held in Stockbridge, Hampshire in December, attended by over 100 interested parties (including the WTT)  from chalk streams all over the UK - not only Wessex, but the 'Cinderella’  chalk streams of Lincolnshire, Norfolk and the Chilterns.
The meeting was organised by Martin Salter of the Angling Trust and Paul Knight of the Salmon and Trout Association for Richard Benyon, Environment Minister, with the intention of raising the profile of this unique and threatened habitat to DEFRA, the EA, the responsible minister and to the All Party Angling Group, led by George Hollingberry MP. The result was a commitment by George Hollingberry to create a ‘Chalk Stream Charter’.  

Whilst the WTT’s focus is on practical habitat advice and projects, we will be involved in the Chalk Stream Charter process and will use our knowledge and experience to influence the lobbying organisations including the S&TA and AT, and to support them in addressing the issues facing our chalk streams.    

More details about the meeting can be found here 

Our President, Charles Rangeley-Wilson’s response to the meeting is here

Charles has made a film about the threats to our chalk streams with WWF, which is available to view from our website - click here



Wednesday, 9th January 2013

Over the next few months, the WTT team will be finding, filming and producing a sequence of footage documenting the lifecycle of trout. The footage will be used in a series of conservation films. For now, tasters of this footage can be seen in the Trout in the Town blog. To see the first film in this sequence, click here.

Saturday, 29th December 2012

It is with great sadness that we report the death of John Goddard, one of fly-fishing’s towering figures and the pre-eminent angling entomologist of his day. He died on Boxing Day at the age of 89.

John, a staunch supporter of the Wild Trout Trust, wrote a dozen books, most of them with an entomological bent. His reputation was established with Trout Fly Recognition (1966) and then Trout Flies of Stillwater (1969). Trout Flies of Britain and Europe followed in 1991. The artificial flies he designed and revealed in these books and in the hundreds of articles he wrote for magazines on both sides of the Atlantic, were used by anglers throughout the world. His most famous pattern was probably the G and H Sedge, a virtually unsinkable deer-hair pattern devised with Cliff Henry, with whom he collaborated in his early researches.

John’s most widely-publicised book was probably The Trout and the Fly (1980), written with his long-time friend Brian Clarke, former President of the WTT. This book concentrated as much on the fish in the water as the angler on the bank and was a worldwide success. The Sunday Times Colour Magazine devoted seven pages to it in the week it was published. A 50-minute documentary on BBC-2 followed two days later. The New York Times picked it as one of its books of the year.  The work is still in print in many countries, 32 years on.

In addition to his trout fishing, John was an accomplished coarse fisherman and sea angler. He was also an international big game angler and represented his country’s ‘A’ team in this branch of the sport, for several years.

At the behest of the Portuguese Government John, with the noted deep sea angler and photographer Leslie Moncrieff, explored the potential of the big-game fishing off Portugal’s coast. Their resulting catches of shark, marlin, tuna and the rest effectively kick-started the angling tourism that Madeira and The Azores have enjoyed ever since.

John was also a pioneer of fly-fishing for bonefish, sailfish, tarpon and the like and travelled regularly to the Seychelles, the Bahamas, Cuba, Mexico and Belize in pursuit of quarry. He fished many times in New Zealand and the United States and counted many of America’s most famous anglers among his friends. His book, Big Fish from Salt Water, appeared in 1977. An autobiography, The Passionate Angler, came out in 2008.

John was active right to the end. At the time of his death, he was collaborating with Brian Clarke again - on a commissioned book about their fishing lives, a kind of joint angling autobiography.

John leaves his wife of 62 years, Eileen - and a daughter, Susan. Our condolences go to them both.

Thursday, 27th December 2012

The WTT has teamed up with professional film makers Fish On Productions to make a series of short videos that illustrate techniques for habitat management and habitat improvement, along with advice on getting permission to carry out the work, working safely and assessing risk. 

The first set of videos is now available in the library - click here to view them. 

Thursday, 27th December 2012


During December, Tenkara USA ran a special offer on the Iwana rod. For each rod that sold in the UK,   Tenkara USA donated $50 to the Wild Trout Trust. The offer has now closed and Daniel Galhardo of Tenkara USA has just donated £475 to the WTT.

Many thanks to Daniel Galhardo of Tenkara USA and to all those in the UK who purchased the Iwana rod in December under the special offer.   

Tenkara USA are members of ‘1% for the planet’ and are committed to supporting the environment. 


Friday, 14th December 2012


The annual Wild Trout Trust raffle was drawn on Tuesday 11th December at the Thomas Lord in West Meon.

The winners are:

1st Prize, David Andrews from Doncaster

2nd Prize, Edward Wakeham from Minehead

3rd Prize, Red Spinner Angling Club

4th Prize, Ian Thompson from Shrewsbury

5th Prize, Chris Payne from Liss Forest


Thank you very much to our donors who generously provided the raffle prizes:

The Peacock at Rowsley



Rother Valley Organics


Wednesday, 12th December 2012


The Wye and Usk Foundation have announced changes to their voucher based wild trout fishing. In his recent newsletter, Stephen Marsh -Smith outlined the reasons for the change:

‘The Roving Voucher scheme was something we pioneered in the late 90’s to make more wild trout fishing available and at the same time provide an incentive for the farmers who own these stretches to look after and value them. In the early days we received project funding to expand the scheme as it brought visitors to the area. It enjoyed considerable early success and has been replicated across many other parts of England and Wales.

However, since 2009, there has been a decline in its popularity, with anglers opting to fish our larger beats and stretches via the booking office and visiting other parts of the country. It is a time consuming, high mileage and expensive system to run, given the modest income and we faced harsh choices in deciding what to do next to avoid serious losses. Our options were limited:  Either we closed the scheme entirely or significantly increased charges, such that it would become uncompetitive with other subsidised schemes or our own Booking Office. We set about the third option: changing the system in a way that secured revenue and covered the costs but enabled the essential spirit of wild fishing to continue. We always wanted to keep the Wild Fishing element.

There are a number of points which we hope clarifies how the plan will operate:

·         There is no proposed increase in the cost of the fishing for 2013 (there hasn’t been a rise for some time)

·         The scheme aims to cater both for occasional fishers and regulars with either the booking facility or the season ticket. You don’t have to have both

·         The amount of available fishing and the low level of usage ensures that the Wild Fishing will remain just that – wild. We will work to increase the overall number of Wild Stream beats next year and beats that are taken on will be immediately available to you, rather than having to wait for the 2014 Passport brochure.

·         We want the scheme to continue and ask that it does no more than cover its costs.

More details are available of the Wye and Usk Foundation website  click here  and page down to the 7th December update . 

Thursday, 29th November 2012

The 2013 Three-Fly Challenge will take place on 22 June at Meon Springs Fishery in Hampshire. The closing date for entries is 15 June. Click here to download full details and how to enter.

Friday, 23rd November 2012

The Moray Firth Trout Initiative (MFTI) has received a grant of £56,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The MFTI is an exciting new project that aims to protect the future of Moray Firth Trout populations and the communities that depend on them through education and conservation. The project will be administered by the Kyle of Sutherland Fisheries Trust

The Moray Firth Trout Initiative (MFTI) is a partnership project that will work with local Fisheries Trusts, District Salmon Fishery Boards and Community Angling Associations to protect this species through environmental education and the conservation of trout populations and habitat.

Brown trout and sea trout are both the same species, Salmo trutta, and are highly adaptable, found from highland hill lochs down through major rivers and streams to coastal estuaries and out to sea. However their broad distribution and diverse life history exposes them to extensive threats from changing land use practices in their freshwater habitat to environmental changes and declining food supplies at sea. Although, sea trout catches are known to be falling in many regions in Scotland, very little is known about how our brown trout populations are faring. This is particularly prevalent in the Moray Firth where there has been a 42% decline in the average sea trout rod and line catch over the last 10 years. In 2011 the Moray Firth Rod and line catch of sea trout was the second lowest year on record (1952-2011)1. This worrying trend is threatening local Angling Associations and Clubs that have traditionally relied on sea trout fishing to attract members and visiting anglers.

The MFTI will work with the local Fisheries Trust network to provide both school aged children (primary and secondary) and adults with a better understanding of freshwater ecology and a sense of ownership of their local environment through education and practical involvement in conservation.  The MFTI will deliver 15 school visits per year and a series of educational talks and walks on the biology of trout and the threats they face in local rivers and burns.

Furthermore the MFTI will offer local volunteers the opportunity to get involved in the practical conservation and management of their local rivers and trout populations. There will be opportunities to conduct habitat surveys, collect trout scales, survey coastal and upland hill Lochs while also helping to restore degraded local rivers and burns.  This work will help inform local fisheries management and will protect our local freshwater ecosystems helping to ensure healthy and productive trout populations for future generations.

The establishment of the Moray Firth Trout Initiative is excellent and has the full support of WTT. We are collaborating to take forward a few ideas, such as incorporation of WTT's Mayfly in the Classroom programme into the schools' work of the Scottish rivers and fisheries trusts, with training for the trusts' biologists organised and run jointly by MFTI and WTT.

If you are interested in volunteering or helping in anyway contact:

Marcus Walters, MFTI Project Manager on 07500602216 or

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