Over 280 lots are up for grabs with the Wild Trout Trust auction taking place on eBay until 18 March 2018. Primarily, the lots comprise fishing but also a scattering of art, books, shooting, flies, tackle and a rather unusual lot: a family water vole safari. All tastes and budgets are catered for, with prices ranging from £20 to £7,000.
This auction is best known for offering fishing that money can’t buy in any other way. This year, there are new lots with trout fishing on exclusive private beats on the Hampshire chalk-streams; salmon fishing on private beats of the Tyne (England’s top salmon river); and fishing for char in the Lake District. The holidays abroad include a trip to the Chilean side of the famous Rio Grande in Patagonia to fish for huge sea trout, as well as fishing trips to Iceland, France, Norway and the Bahamas.
Among the art lots in the auction is a superb metal panel of leaping trout by Sam MacDonald; and an exquisite original Japanese gyotaku print of an amago trout, made by taking an imprint of the actual fish in ink and then hand-colouring.
Money raised in the auction is spent on practical projects to improve habitat for trout and other wildlife. For example, a recent project on the River Dever in Hampshire transformed a kilometre of overwide, silty, straight and shady channel into a river with variations in depth and flow and much better habitat for trout. £4,000 of auction funds leveraged £20,000 from other sources, including the Environment Agency – enough to make a huge difference to the river. The riparian owners, the Bond family, said: “We are delighted with the project; you have all delivered an excellent result and appear to have followed the brief exactly. Thank you to the Environment Agency and to the Wild Trout Trust plus all others involved for the hard work in completing the project on time.”