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The Wands Dinner 2010

Over the course of the past year, the William Morris at Merton Abbey Mills has steadily become the Wandle Piscators’ home from home on the Wandle.

Monthly fly tying sessions take place in the upper room (so as not to frighten the locals with all those bits of dead bird, animal and errm, Alex, just what was that?)…

… whilst Committee meetings are held in the cosy downstairs bar (the drinks are closer, and the chairs feel more comfortable).  So it was only right to hold this year’s Wands’ Annual Dinner here too – and briefed by Adrian, the staff of the William Morris rose to the occasion with a menu that delighted the 20 Club Members and guests who sat down to three sumptuous courses.

John O’Brien roamed the room with his long lens, papping all and sundry mid-flow…

… until it was time for prizegiving and his presentation of the results of this year’s very first Wandle Species Hunt

Steve Dedman deservedly carried away the trophy with a triumphant 16 of the 17 Wandle fish species caught this year: barbel, bullhead, carp (common, crucian, koi and mirror), chub, dace, eel, gudgeon, roach, rudd, stickleback, tench, trout…

… while Tony Hutchinson won the Wands Cup for the first Wandle trout caught on a dry fly last year: a true leviathan by anyone’s standards!

Both anglers also received a copy of Caught by the River – an award which seemed to open the floodgates of prizes for all after Rich’s Clapton-soundtracked film of the Wands’ year of fishing trips.

Will had arranged a signed copy of the new Pocket Guide to Matching the Hatch by Peter Lapsley and Cyril Bennett for every Riverfly monitor…

… and our famous “Fiver in the Creel” raffle table was groaning under the weight of books and other prizes so desirable they can’t even be whispered on the internets…

… even our eminent-but-self-effacing Patron made off with a signed Gierach.

In short, for those of us who can remember it, possibly our most successful Dinner yet!

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