First London Trout in 70 Years

July 20, 2004 By: Marshall Cutchin

A remarkable transformation has occurred in the city of London, England, where the river Wandle meanders among factories, derelict housing and shopping centres, but where trout are beginning to be caught again in increasing numbers. Given the Wandle’s historical value as a resource and its subsequent use as an industrial sewer, the change is almost miraculous. “Wandle trout were famous. Frederick Halford, the Victorian angler whose writings gave birth to modern fly-fishing, was a Wandle regular in the 1860s and 1870s. But London industry was drawn to the river to take advantage of the powerful flow caused by its relatively steep incline; it falls 100ft in its nine-mile course. Eventually, its banks were lined by 90 mills, producing goods from dyed cotton and leather to gunpowder and snuff.” Michael McCarthy in the U.K. Independent.