For Piscators on the Wandle, the urban angling year is bracketed by two key club events: our annual dinner in early summer, and our AGM which traditionally takes place in late autumn.

As usual, the upstairs room of the William Morris at Merton Abbey Mills proved the perfect stage for last night’s discussion of Club matters from last season, and our plans for the coming year.

Long-serving Treasurer Jo Storry summarised our healthy financial position, before Will Tall delivered the committee’s report on river work, riverfly monitoring, developing the Club’s stillwater fishery at Cannon Hill, recent Wandle-related publications, and fishing trips near and far.

Our President Peter Lapsley contributed wise words on restoring invertebrate populations (with particular reference to the now-spectacular mayfly hatch on the Derbyshire Wye), and the Wandle Trust’s Gideon Reeve thanked the Wandle Piscators for our valuable contribution to the Trout in the Classroom programme, which we’re delighted to be supporting again this year.

Elections followed, and we welcomed three new faces to the Committee: Jez Mallinson, John Butler succeeding Jo as Treasurer, and Stewart Ridgway taking over from Jim Dillon as Membership Secretary. As a mark of the Club’s appreciation for their hard work over many years, Jo and Jim were also presented with flowers, champagne and whisky respectively!

With the formal proceedings concluded, Jim put down his Glenfiddich, picked up his gavel, and steered us smoothly into the second part of the evening: our eagerly-anticipated auction of fishing tackle and angling ephemera.

Many members had already taken the opportunity to browse through a fine collection of lots…

… including signed copies of Peter Lapsley’s classic River Fly-fishing and Pocket Guide to Matching the Hatch, while Adrian Grose-Hodge contributed several spectacular frames of flies.

Furious bidding followed, most of us got what we wanted, and the evening finished with pints all round at the bar… already making plans for our next fishing trip!

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