So… what with working away at this, that and the other, some of us still haven’t spent as much time as we’d like fishing the Wandle this season…

… but others have, and just 2 months into the Wandle Species Hunt, they’re already proving how healthily the Wandle is recovering from September 2007’s pollution incident, and promising great things for its future as a mixed urban chalkstream fishery.

With a full Wands’ conclave in the William Morris area on the evening of 16 June, the classics were always going to start showing up early. 

Master barbeller Steve pointed us all in the right direction with a big ‘un and a baby, most likely from one of the EA’s Christmas stockings



… and a hefty chub too:


Will got amongst the roach by multiple methods:


… and dace put me on the early scoreboard, though as leads go, this lasted shorter than most!


In time, more unusual species also started making their appearance: our youngest Member Jack caught tench and fingerling trout (Trout in the Classroom or wild-spawned? both are possible) somewhere on the upper river:



John released a picture-perfect golden rudd…


… while Steve had a perch (yes, that centrepin is deceptively large) …


… and then got up close and personal with a lesser-targeted bullhead…


… while Jim went all arty with ivy leaves and a gorgeous little Wandle gudgeon:


And perhaps most astonishing of all, Duncan landed a grayling – to our knowledge, the first Thymallus recorded on the Wandle since summer 2007!


As you’d expect, over on our Members’ Forum there are many more pictures where these came from, as the Wandle Species Hunt shapes up to be one of the hardest-fought, most enthusiastic fishing competitions we’ve ever heard of.

We’re hoping it will also become the most comprehensive fishery biodiversity survey conducted each year on the river, with crafty local anglers refining all their wiles to outwit these streetwise urban species.  

So if you’d like to get involved in this year’s competition, there’s still plenty of time: check out our Membership details, then download and send us your Membership form with a cheque for just £20, and join the action!

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