With dace-chasing and barbel-baiting suspended for the coarse-fishing close season on the Wandle, your tireless Wands committee has put together 5 top ideas for filling all those irritatingly idle hours.

No need to thank us… just offer up a silent prayer of gratitude to all those wonderful people providing these great excuses for not watching the telly, catching up on DIY or morosely wandering the banks. 

Go on, you know you want to…

1. Buy your new rod licence

2009 – 10 will go down in history as the season when the EA’s rod licence went all techy and digital.  Say goodbye to finding a soggy mess of paper in your pocket after taking an inadvertent dip, or putting your lucky fishing pants through the spin cycle: order yours here in time for the Wandle’s new coarse season.

2. Get involved in Riverfly monitoring

With kick-sampling sites at 10 key locations along the Wandle, the Wands are keeping an eye on the health of the river by counting its invertebrates every month. Some bugs are more sensitive to pollution than others, so it’s a great way to monitor the effect (and general location) of any incidents that might escape normal water sampling. 

Now more than a year into our nationally-acclaimed programme, as members of the Riverfly Partnership, we need new recruits for our team of monitors: get in touch with Will if you’d like to find out more!

3. Join the Angling Trust

On 5 January this year, the Angler’s Conservation Association formally became the Angling Trust.  For the long-term protection of our favourite river, the Wandle Piscators and Wandle Trust are both members, but the new Trust needs as many individual members as possible, to make sure angling really does have a national platform. Find out more here, and join today if you haven’t already!

4. Log your grayling catches

Grayling are few and far between on the Wandle (if not downright disputed) but if you’re a grayling angler, your old catch records could make a valuable contribution to national conservation efforts.

For the past five years, the Grayling Society and the Environment Agency have been running an anglers’ logbook scheme to build up a picture of the UK’s grayling stocks – yet only 94 fishermen contributed to last year’s survey. If you can help (and past years’ data is just as helpful as this season’s) the Grayling Society’s Conservation Projects Officer, Richard Cove, will be delighted to hear from you.

5. And finally… bid in the Wild Trout Trust auction before it’s going, going, gone!

Featuring more than 200 money-can’t-buy lots, and guide prices set from £10 to £11,000, the Wild Trout Trust’s auction is bigger and better than ever this year (and yes, one lucky person looks set to be Wandering up the Wandle with me again at some point of the summer).  

Apparently some anglers design their entire trout-fishing season around what they’ve won from the Wild Trout Trust’s selection, and believe us, it’s worth it.  If you’re interested, get clicking that mouse: bidding closes in just a couple of days’ time, on the evening of Wednesday 8 April!

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