I voted….

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A month long picture dump..

I hope you chaps have not been feeling neglected due to the lack of posts.

It has been a strange season all round and not just because of the lack of rain. I had a chat with a pal about it a while ago and what he told me has been mulling around in my head – Since moving house back in January I have too much choice. You see, if you look back in my blog you will see a fairly constant pattern, I get in from work have dinner and then hit the Kelvin, if it is good then it is good if bad then bad, no big issue. If travelling to another destination then some amount of planning is required. However, over the last season I now have within striking distance including the Kelvin – 7 lochs, 6 rivers, the estuary, a couple of sea lochs. There is a lot more fishing than that however that is kinda the core. Species: trout, sea trout, pike and sea fish – there is also lots of salmon fishing. One of the rivers I have been hitting for summer evenings I now think was a bit of a mistake as it needed more water. I am now thinking that I should have been hitting the Kelvin instead of the other river during the summer months, by all accounts the Kelvin has fished exceptionally well for trout this year.

The fishing has been good however I think it will be next season before everything fully clicks together for me so that I know exactly what I want to do and when I want to do it depending on rainfall, tide times and hatches. Here are some pictures from the last month..

I just cannot believe how fast the season has swept past us. It is hardly a month before the trout rods are put away for another season. I woke up this morning to a fine autumn morning. I hit the kelvin after work thinking I may get some nice late trout around the science park however even though I covered some risers they were not for taking my dry. On reflection I think I should have went upstream to the skate park beat.

Anyway, for the next couple of months It is time to get the pike gear out and try and catch a doubler!

Five things I have learned since moving house!

So I moved out the city along the clyde estuary and you would think that this would increase my fishing however this has not strictly been the case. Here are some thoughts.

1. There are actually more people using poor methods to fish and causing chaos outside the city. I was going to tube a loch a good couple of hours from the city the other night and the banks were littered with huge tents,fires and bristling with rods.
2. Even though I have neglected the Kelvin somewhat this season it is still the best trout river within a 50 Mile radius!
3. I need to get a kayak.
4. I need to properly think about fishing in the salt.
5. A wood burner eats wood!

Random photo of a nice trout !

Commonwealth Games Flotilla

About 250 boats, including small ships, yachts and clippers sail up the River Clyde as part of the city’s Commonwealth Games celebrations. I headed down to Bowling on Saturday to catch them before they went under the Erskine Bridge. I was most impressed with the sight – boats hooting, pipers on the decks and people lining the banks cheering. It really made me proud to be Scottish. 

Please click the pictures for a pop up gallery.

Friday Photo – fluttering and buzzing

Fluttering

Fluttering

buzzing

buzzing

Bad Bandies at Ba

If you live in the central belt of Scotland I am pretty sure you have heard the stories about loch Ba! The first that it is stuffed full of bandies that fight like a trout double their size and also that the place is littered with empty crisp packets and buckfast bottles. Any time you read a trip report the writer always has to take a fly off his three cast outfit as catching three trout at once is too troublesome.

It looks so fishy !

It looks so fishy !

The loch is surrounded by peat bogs that will kill the unwary angler and the midgies are the most evil in Scotland. The loch was also raped by anglers on club outings who would turn up and kill everything they caught for the weigh in at the end of the day. This was long before anglers went all lovey dovey with catch and release, this was when you drank as much as possible whilst chain smoking your cigarettes. If you were a young boy this was when you got your first taste of alcohol. I went to lochBa  when I was around 15 with the queen Elizabeth angling club and caught a trout on a worm. Except it was not actually loch ba we were dropped of at it was the one before it.

Flipper action ! I think I am almost ready to review these Hollis fins...

Flipper action ! I think I am almost ready to review these Hollis fins…

Consequently all these years later I was keen to get back and fish it as an adult angler, additionally I have my float tube!

This is what I found :

1. I did not see any litter even though I was expecting too see loads.
2. Nobody tells you how weedy this loch is. I mean maybe it was just where I was but their was loads of weeds.
3. They lied about the midgies , they are not evil. These little bastards make evil look like a gentle kiss on the lips. They were waiting for me on the shoreline with baseball bats.
4. It is quite possible to blank at Ba, if the fishing is totally shite everywhere because it is 24 degrees it will be shite for trout their too.
5. Their are perch in the loch, I thought I had caught the biggest trout in the loch but it turned out to be a lovely big perch. Sadly, it did not stick around for a photo but at the last moment went back to tell its trout pals about the crazy sunburnt guy bobbing about on the water.
6. You can get stuck on top of a rock in a float tube. This sounds funny however is in fact truly terrifying !

Imagine those rocks just under the surface ! I dare you !

Imagine those rocks just under the surface ! I dare you !

I was going to stay for the gloaming however the wind dropped and my midgie net went on for some protection.

The wonky sunset shot. To be fair I was being bitten by a billion bugs!

The wonky sunset shot. To be fair I was being bitten by a billion bugs!

Now that I have broke my duck for tubing by myself I have in fact another 4 lochs I need to try out. I also need to get back to Ba to experience some of that legendary bandie craziness.

 

You guys got any stories of Ba ?

The ending comes first for a reason..

Their was a figure sitting beside the river however because of the gloom I could not quite make them out. It was a pat of this river that I had never fished before however I knew it was popular with walkers so reckoned it was someone having a rest. I said hello however the figure did not say hello back. As I got closer the hairs on the back of my neck started to rise as quite frankly the person did not look quite right and I started to get a feeling that I should get the hell away from their and let the weird person get on with whatever they were doing. However, Kelvinators are made of sterner stuff than being scared (I have faced masturbators in the bushes after all).

What the actual fuck?

What the actual fuck?

After finding the above monstrosity I managed to winkle out another trout before finally calling it a day.

Calling it a day..

Calling it a day..

Weirdly (as dusk sessions go) all my trout were caught just before proper dusk on both of this weeks evening sessions. The sun was still kinda on the water however shadows were starting to form.

Slow water..

Slow water..

Faster water..

Faster water..

All my trout were caught in two pools that could not have been more different. The first pool was long, depth of maybe a foot and a half and crystal clear. I could see the trout occasionally taking flies off the surface. I crept up on that trout on my hands and knees and was glad when my fly drifted right on target and a trout was in my net.

Returned as standard..

Returned as standard..

And another….

In the net..

In the net..

The trout were loving my messy klink..

Messy klink..

Messy klink..

The second pool was short deeper and with a faster flow, one of the trout was even blacker. It made me think of the true highland burn trout or even loch trout at spawning time.

Black trout?

Black trout?

Again the trout fought like tigers..

Tigers..

Tigers..

I was surprised at the good action due to the low water and the high temps. There was some additional water in the river however it could be doing with another foot. Even though I am just learning about this river I know I am just scraping the edge of its potential. I am still haunted by the many rising trout I spotted at the start of the season when I did not have a rod with me.

Next trip out will be a Rannoch Moor loch with the tube! If anyone fancies joining me send me a mail or leave a comment – evening session!

Fly Fishing Masters UK – Italian Casting Style

A full day pass was acquired and I set off on the two hour drive up the M74 to the Annan to meet my old fishing buddy Emanuele for some education around Italian casting techniques. The one thing I had to remember was to leave both car seats for my wife  so that it would be easier to transport the boys for a double whammy sleepover at her sisters. Around 40 mins up the motorway and past the point of no return I realised while checking my blind spot that they were still fastened securely in the car. Day passes are hard to get and may be even harder to get after this blunder I mused to myself as I sent the apologetic text.

The day was warm and hot as a thoroughly nice bunch of guys met to learn the finer points of Italian casting. Look, I am not going to kid on and tell you that by the end of the day I was casting like an Italian however what I can say is that by the end of the day I was convinced that I could be catching more trout by using these techniques. It is something that I have kind of shied away from in the past; I have been of the attitude that if you can get a fly near a trout and it takes then your casting is fine. However what I am now thinking about is that there are going to be more opportunities for catching trout in tricky places from varying casts. I know a lot of guys will be saying to themselves “duh! it has only taken him 20 years to realise this” however to get a trout in a tricky position I use a technique that is widely known as “fannying about” which can be a mixture of trial and error and on some occasions physically moving myself. Consequently the specific casts used by the Italians of ensuring the fly lands first with the tippet crumpled which ensures a longer drag free drift and casts that get your fly under bushes are good as it cuts out a lot of “fannying about”.

I met some thoroughly nice guys as well as some long time readers of this blog.

Mike Barrio

The fly line designer Mike Barrio was in attendance and after listening to him talk about his business was most refreshing. He quietly spoke about how it was humbling that he was able to not really advertise about his lines as word of mouth was sufficient for him to stay in business.

Later I got to fish for an hour or so..

The Kelvin remains the best..

I have a couple of bugbears when meeting and talking to other anglers (not the two chaps I met this evening) but other guys who shall remain nameless. One of my bugbears is some guys ability to tell the size of a trout by the way it rises. Oh sure, I am quite aware that sometimes it is plainly obvious it is a micro trout however other times you see some tiny dimples and it could be a micro trout or it could be a two pounder. I have been chatting to some guys bait fishing and they point to some lovely looking rising trout and they tell me they are tiddlers.

This lovely trout was simply kissing the surface gently..

This lovely trout was simply kissing the surface gently..

Anyway, I got to the river straight from work at around 5pm. It was warm and slightly muggy, Atkins had told me the river was desperately low however I thought it looked to be at a great height. To be fair he was talking about Salmon heights of water so I let him off. I immediately had to put a chap bait fishing off the water for not having a permit, he said he was fishing for Perch and Roach however I had to advise him their was none in the river.

River Kelvin at a good height

River Kelvin at a good height

I wandered about looking for some rising trout after meeting another couple of fly anglers who did have permits. I then met another chap who used to do some work for the Clyde River Foundation 

To be honest I did not think the trout were up to much and I could barely be bothered hanging around however at a long pool under a bridge an absolutely stonking trout took my dry fly and led me a merry dance because my net was missing from my back (my tatty old net was left in the car).

A Stonker of a Kelvin Trout!

A Stonker of a Kelvin Trout!

I wandered further up the river to another long pool and spent around an hour trying to work out what the wee buggers were actually taking. I first of all tried a comparadun however that was ignored, I then tried a micro fly which was shunned, I then finally put on a klinkhammer which just seemed to sit in the film and I managed to hook two of maybe a half dozen rising trout.

A hard won trout.

A hard won trout.

I have no idea what they were taking as my klink was then shunned – I seen some large olives, wee midges, smaller olives and one of these bad boys…

It is red!

It is red!

I decided that seeing as how I had a good session I could pack up early and be home at a reasonable time.

Fantastic session!

Italian Style Casting

Long time sufferers readers will remember my first proper fishing buddy Emanuele  who I used to fish the Clyde with around 10 years ago. He buggered off to Hull and has been casting his micro drys on chalk streams to willing huge trout unlike our belligerent Scottish trout.

He has emailed me a few times about his Italian style of casting which can overcome situations like strong currents and drag, check out this video

Massimo Magliocco (the chap in the video) and Fly Fishing Masters UK are bringing a wee workshop to Scotland  on the Annan at Hoddom Castle on the 13th July. They are a  non-profit organisation. However a charge is necessary to cover their costs. For the day course the fee is £30 per participant (this includes fishing the river Annan in the evening – Hoddom Castle beat)

Information and booking: philipbailey31@btinternet.com

The program is:

9.00 – 10.00Demonstration and discussion on techniqueThis will be undertaken on both grass and water by Massimo Magliocco and compared by Philip BaileyThe technique will be explained and a range of different casts will be demonstrated

10.00 – 12.00Tuition of u how to make the basic Angular cast used by FFMThe FFM Instructors will work with individual participants to explain the technique and how to make the cast. This is the basic technique used in all FFM casts. This will be undertaken on grass

12.00 – 1.00 Lunch, strippers and lap dancing

1.00 – 3.00Demonstration and discussion of all casts used by FFM in ‘fishing’ situations.This will be undertaken by Senior Casting Instructors.Each cast will be demonstrated in ‘live’ fishing situations and benefits explained to participants. This will be undertaken on running water.

3.00 – 5.00Tuition on different castsThe FFM Instructors will work with individual participants to explain each of the ‘Backhand’, ‘Totally Under Tip’, ‘Slowed Down Angular’ and ‘Overturned’ casts. This will also be undertaken on running water.

It all sounds good however I am attending for a chin wag with Emanuele and the possibility of a huge trout off the Annan.

Anyone else up for it I urge you to book and I will see you their hopefully!

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