Meet the Trustee: Steven Murgatroyd

2 June 2021

Landowner Relations Trustee

Steven Murgatroyd is an accomplished fly fisher and award-winning fly fishing writer whose articles have appeared in Fly Fishing & Fly Tying, Fly Culture, and Trout & Salmon.

An obsessive fly fisherman for over fifty years, he tends to specialise in writing about the ‘why’ rather than the ‘how’. His writing features all aspects of fly fishing including game, coarse and saltwater, and has included celebrity interviews.

Steven’s writing has won various awards from organisations such as The Grayling Society, Fish & Fly and even won first place in the prestigious Balvenie ‘Story to Tell’ competition.

He lives with his family on the Welsh borders. Unsurprisingly, at the bottom of his garden is a trout stream.

The Wild Carp Trust

What’s your main role within the Wild Carp Trust?

My main responsibility as a trustee is landowner relations for Cowslip Pool, the trusts first ‘sanctuary’ water. I am also, along with all the other trustees, keen to secure more waters suitable furthering the aims of the trust.

As a fly fisherman, first and foremost, I am also very keen to develop and promote this method of catching ‘wildies’.

What’s your vision for the Wild Carp Trust?

To protect and conserve our oldest strains of carp and try to prevent cross breeding with more modern strains, resulting in our ‘heritage’ carp being conserved for future generations.

How will you achieve it?

Education, promotion and convincing anglers and landowners of the benefits of conserving a strain of fish whose lineage dates back to medieval times.

Fundraising is also a key part of the plan and this is something that I am keen to develop. The trust will only succeed if we have the funding to support our aims.

What do you hope that others will bring to the Wild Carp Trust?

If others bring a fraction of the passion and commitment that the current trustees have then we cannot fail!

Your passion for wild carp

Why wild carp?

In the same way that I would rather catch a half pound wild trout than a five-pound stockie, I would rather catch a wild or feral carp that hasn’t been selectively bred to be something more than Nature intended.

Fishing for wildies

When did you catch your first wildie?

This is a really interesting question. In the late sixties I fished a water in North Wales known as ‘The Monks Pool’. I caught my first ever carp there on a freelined lobworm. Now, given that I was only about twelve at the time I wasn’t really aware of what we now refer to as wild carp, but what I do know is that is was fully scaled, slim and weighed about five pounds – unfortunately no photograph!

What’s your favourite way of fishing for wildies?

Fly fishing.

What’s your favourite wild carp water?

Llyngwyn in mid Wales.

Any waters you’d still like to fish?

Anywhere that holds wildies!

Conserving wild carp

Why conserve wild and feral carp?

Because they are an important link with our past. The are as close to a ‘pure stain’ as we are ever likely to have and it just feels like the right thing to do.

Final thoughts

Please give your support to the trust in any way that you can, I and my fellow trustees would be delighted to hear from you.