It should go without saying that the Wandle is very far from Colorado… but during the last few weeks’ record-breaking cold you could easily have been forgiven for making an honest mistake.

With so much snow and ice that even our December fly-tying session went virtual, the Environment Agency’s annual stocking of chub, barbel, roach and dace happened so fast that no-one even got a photograph, and just slipping down to the river took on whole new layers of meaning.

Still, once you were out there, the Wandle’s very own tailwater effect kicked in below the Beddington confluence, and a few sparse hatches kept the fish looking up (or down, or sideways) right into Wandsworth.

Better still, all along the upper river we’ve seen evidence that maturing year-classes of trout have been out there too, proving our latest media coverage right by cutting new gravel redds, and hopefully spawning next spring’s generation of little fry.

Yes, the starkest months of winter are probably still ahead, but Santa seemed to come through with most of his presents, we’re running plenty of fishing trips to other rivers to play with our new toys… and it’ll be mayfly time on the Wandle soon enough!

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