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Sportfish Supports The Wild Trout Trust

Sportfish Supports The Wild Trout Trust

Here at Sportfish we are proud to support The Wild Trout Trust (WTT) in their efforts to make a better world for our rivers, lakes and their wildlife. Below the WTT’s Denise Ashton explains a bit about them, their Spring Auction and how you can help.


The Wild Trout Trust is a small conservation charity with a focus on practical in-river habitat work with fishing clubs, landowners and other groups to put right the damage done by dredging, straightening, weirs and poor land management. We plant bankside trees, fence-off riverbanks, put wood and gravel in the river to create habitat, take down weirs and install fish passes so fish can move around freely to fulfil all the parts of their life cycle.  

We don’t campaign directly in the media, but we do support and provide evidence for those groups that fight hard for improved water quality and reduced abstraction.  We see healthy rivers as a three-legged stool of water quality, water quantity and habitat. Our focus is habitat, but we can’t – and don’t – neglect the other two legs!

Some examples of our practical work are in the photos below. We also give (usually free) advice,  followed by a report, to anyone with an interest in a stretch of river.  

Practical work in the riverPractical work in the river
Working with volunteers in the Yorkshire Derwent installing ‘woody debris’ to protect banks and provide cover for fish to hide from predators.
Removing a very large weir on the River NiddRemoving a very large weir on the River Nidd
Removing a very large weir on the River Nidd to allow fish to move up and downstream
Removing a very large weir on the River NiddRemoving a very large weir on the River Nidd
Returning gravel to a dredged chalk stream. Good for trout spawning, river flies and river weed.



We run an auction every spring - it’s our major fundraising event at the start of the trout fishing season. It takes place on our secure auction website.

The auction funds play an important role in getting projects off the ground; crucially, the money raised helps leverage more funds from other sources as well as helping us keep our hard-working team of Conservation Officers equipped with tools like chainsaws and waders for them and for the volunteers we help.

We will use wisely whatever money is raised; we keep overheads to an absolute minimum (for example, our staff all work from home) to maximise the amount we spend on practical improvement of habitat for wild trout. We run this auction on our own site, so costs are minimal, and we are blessed with fantastic volunteers who are vital to its success.


As the daylight hours start getting noticeably longer, and Easter appears on the horizon, fly-fishers’ thoughts always turn towards the new trout and salmon fishing seasons – which means it’s time for the yearly Wild Trout Trust Spring Auction too!

WTT is a small and hard-working environmental charity, with a countrywide team of Conservation Officers who provide advice (usually free) and practical support for fishing clubs, landowners and anyone else who wants to improve our rivers and lakes for wild trout and all the other species which share their home.


We work with volunteers to put wood and gravel in rivers, plant bankside trees, fence off riverbanks, take down weirs, and install fish passes so fish can move around freely to fulfil their life cycles. We also use our website, social media and printed material to spread the word about making our rivers healthy again and we work with our sister NGOs to influence thinking on issues that impact our rivers and their trout from agriculture, sewage, commercial fishing and fish farming.

We keep our overheads to an absolute minimum (for example, our staff all work from home, and we’re blessed with amazing volunteers who help us run this auction) to maximise the amount we spend on practical improvement of habitat for wild trout. The money we hope to raise will be wisely used to help make all this vital work possible, as well as keeping our team equipped with tools like chainsaws and waders, and getting practical projects off the ground by leveraging more funds from other sources.


So what can you expect to find in this year’s auction? With guide prices from £8 to £1500, it’s designed to be affordable for everyone - providing opportunities to fish waters that often can’t be accessed any other way, except through the generosity of our donors.

There’s fishing for fishing for trout, salmon, grayling, charr, bass, pike, barbel, carp, roach and more. Here are some highlights we’ve put together (including a very much-appreciated lot from our good friends at Sportfish!) 

‘I’m A Fly-Fisher Get Me Out of Here!’ ‘I’m A Fly-Fisher Get Me Out of Here!’
‘I’m A Fly-Fisher Get Me Out of Here!’
Ross Brawn’s guest for lunch and fish his private beat on the Itchen.Ross Brawn’s guest for lunch and fish his private beat on the Itchen.
Ross Brawn
Bowside on the StrathyBowside on the Strathy
Bowside on the Strathy
  1. Two days for 2 rods salmon, sea trout or trophy brown trout fishing on the Marnoch Lodge beat of the River Deveron: a pristine middle river beat of 2¼ miles below the Bridge of Marnoch, with 12 named pools and 2 bothies. (Guide price £300)
  2. One day for 2 rods, wild trout fishing on Ross Brawn's private mile-long beat of the River Itchen near Winchester, including lunch with Ross. Much of this beat has been beautifully improved, providing interesting main river and intimate and challenging carrier fishing. (Guide price £400)
  3. One day’s fishing for a party of up to six rods, plus non-fishing friends if wished, with exclusive use of Hobby Lake and Hobby Lodge at the Sportfish Game Fishing Centre at Theale. (Guide price £525) 
  4. One week for 2 rods fishing for salmon and sea trout at Bowside on the Strathy: a private and unspoiled Sutherland spate river. (Guide price £1,500) 
  5. A half-day of guided fly fishing and/or coaching for 2 rods in or around the beautiful wilderness and lochs of Assynt with Stewart Yates of Assynt Fly Fishing, who has over 40 years of experience in this idyllic fly fisher's paradise in the North West Highlands. (Guide price £135)
  6. ‘I’m A Fly-Fisher Get Me Out of Here!’ Join WTT Vice-President Matthew Wright, Fishing legend George Barron and Fish Camp Fail author Ben Jailler, for a truly terrifying angling adventure in wildest Wales, on a lake where wild brown trout are not the only spooky inhabitants.  Be prepared to camp out overnight, cook under the stars and quite possibly fight off werewolves. Should the party return from the Welsh hills alive, you can expect the whole nerve-jangling experience to be committed to print by Ben for the general enjoyment of others, plus receive a box of hand-tied flies from George. A once-in-a-lifetime 24-hour trip, but possibly not for the faint-hearted… (Guide price £350)
  7. A week in a self-catering cottage beside the East Lyn on Exmoor, with fishing for the wildest of brown trout, sea trout and salmon. Primrose Cottage sleeps four, and is just across the river from the famous Rockford Inn!

Besides lots like these, you’ll also find shooting days and a wide range of collectables like artwork, signed books and flies by renowned tyers like Gareth Lewis, Dave Southall and Peter Hayes.


Browsing the lots in this year’s WTT Spring Auction is open now, with bidding from 15 to 24 March: just visit for all the info you need. 

Happy bidding, and thank you for your support! 

2024-03-18 13:22:00
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