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This is a story about fraternity and enthusiasm.

East Sussex is much like its West(ern) cousin, and unlike its northern neighbour, Kent. Streams are coarse fishing delights, but the character and weediness of downland chalk is absent, and the rivers are short and subject to tidal influence. Sea trout run in some and in the upper reaches of a few there are browns, but they are as few as the reaches they exist in.

Where to start?

The WTT and the STA sites offered no hope. On some other search, I discovered that the National Trust occupies watery space, some of which contain flowing water and trout, too. And in East Sussex, the Dudwell flows through a property called Bateman’s, a Jacobean mansion, once the home of Rudyard Kipling, and run by the NT, and the Burwash Fishing Club has the water either side of its boundaries. (It can also be found on the Go-Fish website).

A note to Secretary, Jonathan Deeley revealed :

The Dudwell is a small river running over clay and contained between high banks. A lot of it is wooded and there are very few places where it is possible to back-cast, therefore the fly-fisher has to rely on roll-casts and ‘catapult-casts’. There is a mayfly hatch, and other various ‘up-wings’, hawthorns, gnats etc, but for the most part the trout are taken on nymphs.













As it is a small club, membership opportunities are few, and day tickets are not offered…but I am on the waiting list! So good news.

Other connections were made. To Lewes AC., and I found Mike Richardson of Southdown AC, and asked him for the name of his counterpart at Isfield & District AC., whose waters seemed more likely for my task. His counterpart’s (another Mike’s) response was helpful and indicated where there are trout in the Uck.

But it was a note back to Mike (R), in thanks for his introduction, which yielded the following –

Hi Tony,

You should try the River Cuckmere above Horsebridge (near Hailsham)

Get in touch again next spring & I’ll try to point you in the right direction.

Best regards & tight lines,


So now you know where I am…three streams where by the sound of it, with steeply sided banks and a fast overgrowth of vegetation, an early season visit is a must, plus the prospect of a variety of upwings coming off….who knows?

Thank you to all the East Sussex enthusiasts who have shared, willingly, their knowledge and offered thoughts and time to help me. The Uck, the Cuckmere, the Dudwell…we will see!

Watch this space…literally!