A final word on the Wandle, a truly historic chalk stream in London
In last week’s newsletter I made mention of the Wandle, a small chalk stream in the south of London that was restored from a ditch carrying polluted water into a sparkling stream carrying a nice head of brown trout. The equally interesting aspect of this river is its rich history; for example, this is where FM Halford first cast a dry fly and where he caught his biggest trout.
But I was alerted to yet more history on this stream. No lesser fly fisher than Admiral Lord Nelson lived in Merton Place on its banks and when in residence he fished the stream regularly. He bought Merton Place, a large estate, for his mistress, Emma Hamilton. History has it that she was some lady. She is said to have danced at a young age naked on a table at the protracted stag party of one Sir Harry Featherstonhaugh. Whatever, I think we'd better park the Wandle’s history right there for the moment.