“Join urban fisherman-conservationist Theo Pike for a day’s wander up the Wandle in the footsteps of Nelson, Halford and the Accidental Angler” said my craftily-worded advertising blurb honest and truthful listing in this year’s Wild Trout Trust charity auction catalogue.

“Get the latest news on the roller-coaster restoration of this unique South London chalkstream by the Wandle Trust, Wandle Piscators and their partners, and the chance to hook a specimen chub, dace or even barbel (trout still very far from guaranteed!)  Date by mutual agreement after 16 June 2008”.

So for his “Wander up the Wandle”, our lucky winner Andrew Gibbs arrived on the river just two days into 2008’s new coarse-fishing season.  Parking at Morden Hall, we walked downstream to the railway bridge at the Graveney confluence…


… and fished back up to the famous “Savacentre Stretch” outside Merton Bus Garage…


… where an acrobatic matched pair of dace obligingly caught, and then released, a Kite’s Imperial dry fly:


After lunch at the old Liberty Mills, we meandered south towards tea and cake in the Carshalton headwaters, chatting to other local anglers as we went – and taking a detailed look at our restoration plans for the old Hackbridge fishery:


Andrew, thanks for your generosity to the Wild Trout Trust!  Just in time for the new season, another recruit joins the ranks of the Wandle’s intrepid urban fishermen?

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