Double Trouble Tubetastic

I was allowed out of work an hour early so managed to get to the loch before Alex who was stuck doing some grueling task imposed no doubt by people who do not understand the needs of an angler.

I blew up the bladders in the tube for its maiden voyage of the year and got all the rest of my gear together, I had settled on a 5 weight as the forecast was to be for warm conditions with a light wind. I walked up the hill with the tube on my back with the rest of my stuff in the tube bag. I had learnt my lessons from the last time that minimal stuff is required with a dedicated place to put everything. Last year after getting back to the car after a day’s fishing  I realised I had dropped a rod and started to walk back to the loch however thankfully a wild eyed gamekeeper picked me up and drove me back as he was checking his deer. I would never be so lucky again.

Nobody gets left behind

Nobody gets left behind

I mused that the first few times I set up my tube it took a while whereas now it seems to take just a few quick pumps and it is done.  I attached the straps and it was on my back with the large tube bag in my hand with all my stuff, I looked like an enormous Trout Catching Ninja Turtle and began the 45 min hike up to the loch. My first view of the loch was good, trout rising all over and a gentle breeze.

I put on a two fly cast and backed into the loch. I experienced the usual moment of blind faith panic as my ass came down to meet the inflated tube seat, I always think that the whole thing is just going collapse under water and I am going to be upside down not only looking like a chump but also a dead chump which is in fact the very worst of chumps. I was wearing my life jacket however I have always mused that if you are wearing a life jacket on a float tube that has four distinct air chambers what horrific accident must occur for you to need to inflate your life vest. If one of the bladders burst then you could still get to the shore and even if the worst came to the worse and you had to swim you would still have a couple of bladders you could use for a float. Still, it takes up no space at all when the lifejacket   is on and is soon forgotten about so it is better to be safe than sorry I suppose.

I backed into the loch and had a few casts, immediately I started getting plucks and pulls but nothing stayed on. Usually this is the last place you end up after drifting the whole loch however I had decided to leave the far end for when Alex arrived.  Plus the fact I was hot and sweaty after the walk in, wearing thermal long johns under waders and walking uphill for 45mins starts to chaff a bit.

I worked my way out of the corner, I was disappointed that none of the trout I covered took and I had a worry that maybe none of the trout would even look in my fly’s direction the whole evening (this happens surprisingly often) and I worked my way around a corner all the time working my two fly team – within a half hour I had my first trout in the tube. I realised I might be pulling my flies too fast so slowed right down and had my first trout of the day.

One of the nicest

One of the nicest

 

It took the fly under the water and bored deep, I think this may have been my nicest of the evening. It was a good dark wild brownie and was perfect. Before long I had its relative and I started to work my way back to my starting point to meet Alex.

Getting the shit together!

Getting the shit together!

 

We met up and dumped the rest of our stuff and it was a hike up to the top of the loch and then while Alex strolled confidentially a few hundred yards down an embankment I picked my way gingerly any minute thinking I was going to be impaled on something.

We set off from the shore and were immediately into fish – on my bank the wind died down so I went on the hunt for a riffle. I found it and started getting plucks and pulls again, some trout stayed on and some did not.

Big Spots

Big Spots

Wee Spots

Wee Spots

And that was it for the evening – a thoroughly fantastic evening with lots of wild brownies to the tubes, crashing takes on the surface with trout pouncing on the fly and then cartwheeling through the water. Spotting a rising trout, casting to it and feeling the unmistakable electric feel of a trout pluck, pluck plucking at your fly until eventually it properly takes it. Alex had drifted over and we slowly drifted together on my bank as an otter was patrolling his and we chatted as we took pictures of each other catching fish.

Explosive..

Explosive..

At one memorable take my rod was bent and what felt like a good trout bored deep and even took a little line from my hand, it fought like a big fish however when I spotted its flank it looked smaller than it should. I suspected that I had foul hooked it however as I brought it to the net I realised the awesomeness of the moment “Fucking double hook up!!” I told Alex “Fucking double hook up!” he agreed sagely!

A good bend...

A good bend…

The cause...

The cause…

As the sun dropped further I found myself casting to trout right at the end of the loch and even though they crashed into my fly and they were on for a few moments were gone just as quick. I doubled my species count not long after my double hook up by catching a nice perch  which put up a nice scrap on the 5 weight.

A nice Perch

A nice Perch

As the sun dropped even further I tubed across the loch and even though I was still getting the occasional pluck the action died out. I did not mind and found myself realising that this was one of those fantastic sessions where you have forgotten the number of trout caught, after 5 or so the number becomes less important as it is just about fishing and having fun.

Alex

Alex

Nice trout

Nice trout

This will certainly not be my only trip out on the tube!

Brief Rod Waving

I had a blank at the LRF while on a short session on the way home from work – I stopped off at a popular spot with divers a couple of hours before high tide and was glad to have it to myself. I found that sea weed was being blown into my shore which resulted in a great difficulty in getting the jig head to actually get to the bottom. The sea weed when it was catching on the braid was acting like a float which meant the 2g jig was not scraping the bottom on the retrieve.

Sea Weed

Sea Weed

I moved up the loch and pulled into a wee layby I had not tried before. I found some really nice rocks which gave good access to deep water, well from what I could see it was well over 10 feet from the shore. It was pretty windy but this died down to allow me to fish – I tried some pink isome and then some red. I tried a heavier jig at 5g but still had no joy. I was pushed for time so only stayed until high tide and then high tailed it home.

More Weed

More Weed

I managed a wee quick session down at the wee burn where the small trout were very obliging – my fly box has now been totally re organised so finding a few suitable flies to leave in the trees for the future was easy.

Wee Burn

Wee Burn

 

I caught a half dozen trout in quick succession however none of the bigger ones which sadly I now think have all been taken away for Pike bait.

Pike Bait?

Pike Bait?

I have a session on a loch planned on Monday for monster trout – I shall be armed with the float tube and a FishHunter   portable fish finder.

It cannot come quick enough !

Quick!

I managed a quick session down at the breakwater – I met a chap (Glen) who fishes with the legendary Frenchman Nicholas from the Glasgow Angling Centre and we exchanged some info.

A chap walked past me and headed to the furthest away point after Mackerel while I hung about at the rocks.

Rainbow

Rainbow

I was their just after high tide, their was a lot of weed on the water. Glen had told me he was getting lots of plucks and pulls however I only managed one wee Pollack. I had tried down at a lovely spot on a local sea loch however had only had a wee wiggle so I was glad to get something.

Pollack

Pollack

It didn’t have pull on the wee rod!

I was using a wee 2g jig with a couple of inches of pink isome.

I am currently putting the finishing touches to an application of aquasure to my waders to make sure my legs stay dry. So far I have spotted a few places that have become worn.

 

 

Micro trout and midge madness

Two trips, one to a local burn with work buddy to catch micro trout and one to Highland river to be destroyed by the midge.

Work buddy

Work buddy

We fished a few pools as their was a nice amount of water in wee burn. We fished fish about and we had a lot of interest from every pool.

Micro trout

Micro trout

This burn has never fished as well since the parkie told me that some guy had killed a load of trout for Pike bait. They are/were pretty easy to catch so probably a lot more fun than going to tesco.

Pike bait? Really?

Pike bait? Really?

2nd trip was a crazy dash up to my Highland River to meet Paul, I promised him Salmon and enormous rising trout. When I finally arrived after several mishaps he was throwing metal for salmon.  He was also wearing a net on his head.

Throwing metal.

Throwing metal.

Turns out the midgies were out in full force making changing flies an absolute nightmare as you had to stop moving for a few mins. Even with the midge net on the bites on our hands were driving us crazy.

Midge hands - I wiped my hand which felt like a furry glove and then reached for my camera. In that time these had already descended!

Midge hands – I wiped my hand which felt like a furry glove and then reached for my camera. In that time these had already descended!

The fishing was poor for the fly however Paul caught some good trout on the metal which does not count. I managed one small trout which did not even stick around for a photo.

How rude!

How rude!

Conditions seemed ideal, warm and overcast with a good amount of cloud cover. Their was plenty of water in this wee spate stream as well. I have no idea why the trout were not responding. Even as the sun set the trout did not respond.

Perfect

Perfect

My hands continued to be bitten as I rummaged through my fly boxes for a specific pattern, the memory of those agonizing extra seconds was enough to make me reorganise my fly boxes when I got home. They were in a sorry state and I could hardly find a half decent fly.

AAaaaaghrgh

AAaaaaghrgh

I removed all flies and gathered together all “spare” flies around my gear. I then organised them into

  • Ordinary flies – Emergers, klinks, comparaduns, paraloops in fairly large sizes 16 and up.
  • Nymphs and streamers – I carry a few black wooly buggers just in case.
  • Micro flies – 18 and smaller, one was so small that my breath blew it on to my carpet and it was gone.

Once completed I found that all I was really needing was some high riding dries to suspend nymphs and some nymphs. Not bad for someone that has hardly tied a fly in total anger for a few years.

So this week the vice comes out and I am in business again!

Grab it when you can – in other words missed opportunities turn out all right in the end.

Last night I had a chance to go after trout on the Kelvin however totally blew it. I had just helped my wife from the Dentist (afterwards she had fainted) when I realised I suddenly found myself with a couple of hours spare and my old stomping grounds of the Kelvin with no doubt plenty of rising trout well within striking distance. We were also travelling home in separate cars.

I was just putting my key into the car when I realised that my trout gear had been left back at my house. It was a long drive home as I contemplated what could have been however I reckoned a couple of hours of Light Rock Fishing was on the cards seeing as how my mother in law was in helping out with getting the kids to bed. My hopes were dashed as she left as soon as I got home and I was left rummaging through some new jig heads that I had bought in preparation for a session. I  had also bought some Pink Marukyu Power Isome which I wanted to try out to try and catch a Wrasse. I had seen some in an aquarium at Dobbies so was looking forward to not causing one any pain whatsoever and merely pitting my wits against its animal instincts.

Anyway, this evening it all came together with the Mother in Law, the tides and the weather to mean that I had a spare hour to try and catch some fish. I had no time to head for trout so decided to try and get my species count up.

A lovely calm night however the speed boats gave a good account of themeselves..

A lovely calm night however the speed boats gave a good account of themselves..

There was a couple of young boys fishing for the mackerel however their was plenty of room to cast my wee jig into the depths, it was armed with my pink Isome. Before long my short slow jerky retrieve was being followed by wee fish and i thought about putting on a wee drop shot rig to catch then as I suspected my jig was too big. I watched as some wee wrasse followed my jig in however did not take. However my jig was snatched by a Codling and the game was on..

Codling

Codling

I was starting to regret not bringing my net as the side of the rocks were very weedy. The next fish was even more aggressive with its take. I found the fish had actually been foul hooked just above its eye so was then faced with the horrifying prospect of nearly pulling its eye out as I tried to get the hook out. Glad they don’t feel pain I thought!

Another Codling

Another Codling

I kind of need some help with the next two fish as I think one might be a small Pollack and one might be a Coalfish – however they might also be Codling.

Pollack?

Pollack?

Coalfish? or Codling again?

Coalfish? or Codling again?

I had lots of interest and lost a few as well. The rain that was threatening to start all evening started to chuck it down  and even though I was still getting bumps I decided that my woolly jumper was not the best to keep me dry. Plus getting home in time for some dinner scored some brownie points. And by brownie points I do actually mean some points to go and catch some brownies.

What is this?

I was fishing using a wee jig off a breakwater when I again caught a fish – this one was even bigger than the other one. I had cast out and twitched it back , the fish had slammed into it and put a fair old bend in my rod.

I sent the picture to a fishing buddy as it looked different from the one I caught the other day and it turned out it was a Codling again only more red.

Another Codling

Another Codling

It was very cold, around 12.5 degrees so if you factor in the wind chill it was maybe around 8 degrees. I was wearing shorts and a light jumper so decided soon after this fish just to head up the road. Also my foot was throbbing as I had slipped on some rocks and banged it – it now has a painful throbbing lump.

Caution required!

Caution required!

I want to catch a Wrasse and I think I know where to get one now, problem today was the wind which made keeping in contact with my wee light 2g jiggy thingy difficult. When I got home though there was some more Marukyu Power Isome waiting for me – got some in pink this time as well.

Planning on a weekend trip up to another Highland river when I get a chance. In the meantime it will be racking up the species with this wee outfit in the salt. Funny thing is that the Codling took so close that I reckon you could catch one on the fly given half a chance. Something for the future perhaps?

First steps with LRF

So to be honest my first steps withLRF (2 Piece) – Black, 6.9 ft has been pretty shit. I bought the gear at the tale end of last Autumn and then it rained for ages. When I did manage to get out I was just having no luck whatsoever.

You see the thing is most people that take this up no a bit about sea fishing so kinda know what they are doing – it is a bit like Tenkara, your average fly angler would quickly grasp the concept and then run with it.  I simply did not have the basics in hand.

Anyway, today I set out to catch something and thankfully Poseidon was smiling at me (or possibly laughing)

A suitable Sea Loch was chosen..

A suitable Sea Loch was chosen..

I perched on some slippy rocks and cast out quite far and then twitched my worm thing back slowly. I had actually abandoned fishing at a pier because it was so exposed to the wind plus a seagull kept dive bombing me so perched on the rocks next to some deeper water was comforting. Suddenly I felt a wiggle (something I had felt before but it had never come to anything) and I pulled the most ugly beautiful looking wee fish from the salty water that I have ever seen.

Scorpion Fish

Scorpion Fish

Well, I had seen them in photos but never one in my actual hand. I then had to work out how to hold the beast, this proved remarkably easy and it was released once more. I then decided a change of tactics was in order. I had been reading over on Luremaniac about using jig heads so I tried one of them. I cast out a wee 2g jig head and then twitched it back towards me – this time whatever took proper bent my rod and took some line. It was around this point that I slipped on the rocks ending up on my side however in true top dog style I kept the rod up and when I managed to get myself to my feet I pulled on my 2nd ever fish to the LRF rod and my first ever Coalfish. (edit: turns out it is a Codling)

coalfish

coalfish (edit: turns out it is a Codling)

It was around this point I felt I was just getting heated up however it was now almost time to pick the boy up from school so had to make a hasty exit. My rod is still set up in my garage.

I think I may be getting the hang of this…

 

 

New net finally christened.

It has been slow on my fishing front due to the imminent arrival of my third son as I could not travel very far and now of course he has arrived which causes additional fishing difficulties. If you are a pal on Facebook you will have seen the photos.

However, the planets aligned and today I somehow managed to wing a session on my Highland river. I had wanted to fish the Kelvin however it has been fully blown out for trout by the rain. I stopped off at the Sea Pool and spoke to a salmon fisher before heading Northwards. If this rain keeps up it looks like we will have a bumper Salmon season as lots of fish have been taken already.

Even with the amount of rain this river still remains clear even when in spate although there was evidence of bigger water..

Debris built up on the back of trees is good evidence of high spates.

Debris built up on the back of trees is good evidence of high spates.

Even though the forecast was for 15 degrees and no wind it was actually about 12 with wind and some showers. The trout did not seem to mind and were rising confidently to pretty much everything but my flies. The first pool I put 4 trout down and the second a few more. This river is spooky and requires stealth, if you have fannied up casting to a fish you do not seem to get a second chance.

I moved down the river to a nice deep hole with a longing tongue, I have caught some trout from here before..

This river is pretty bare, I always get excited when I see some trees.

This river is pretty bare, I always get excited when I see some trees.

I had some moderate success in that I pricked a few trout in this pool, birds were swooping around however i could not work out what flies were hatching. I was using a dry and dropper with the dropper maybe an inch under the surface. Finally a trout took the dropper as if it was a dry fly. I knew it was a good trout by the bend in my rod and the pull it gave me – no jumping for this brute.

Finally it came to my virgin net – fishing buddy Alex always says if you buy a big net you will catch big fish or something like that and I was glad that it was going to fit my bigger net just right.

Kinda wished I had brought my tape measure..

Kinda wished I had brought my tape measure..

Plans for the next couple of weeks include some LRF and hopefully some Kelvin action!

Blunders and DIY

So after a week of painting and trying to get new carbon brushes for my washing machine I knew I was earning some serious brownie points. After actually fitting the carbon brushes and getting a start on the huge washing pile AND cutting the grass on Saturday morning a trip to the river was on the cards. With baby 3 due any day now this was serious so I had to make a short and sharp session – I decided that a Saturday down on the Kelvin would quite possible be a day for the bams (I would end up gabbing with them all) so I headed to my highland river instead.

Some snow still on the hills.

Some snow still on the hills.

After a walk to the first pool I realised that a potential headache was the fact that I had left all my flies back at the car. Also a rather large trout was boiling on the surface on the other side of the river. Never fear, I had my emergency stash in my back pocket of the waistcoat – a  mishmash of a a few dozen or so flies that I was sent by a reader a while ago as my fly tying took a dip due to kids. I spooked the fish of course however as I worked my way up the pool a trout took the nymph and pulled hard, It must have pulled too hard as with a quick jerk the trout was gone. My dry fly was still intact however the nymph knot must have given way. I cursed my laziness as I had quickly just tied the nymph with it’s trailing leaver on to my dry from my waistcoat where I had put it after my previous trip to the Kelvin. This meant that I did not have any more nymphs, instead I trimmed down a dry until it looked “nymphy” and rubbed it in the mud a bit so it would do the job just fine.

Long pool

Long pool

I fished on however did not get another take. While walking back to the bank their was a big splash just underneath a bush, I thought it might have been a big trout. I thought this as when I was wading slowly up the river i was peering into the crystal clear water scanning for trout. Their was lots of wee black bits of weeds on the river bed and I noticed one of them that was around a foot and a half long drift away from my path and sit behind me – that was a big trout but was thoroughly spooked I was sure. Anyway, it turned out to be an otter that was hiding under the bank, I moved towards it and it shot off giving me the death stare.

Hiding Otter

Hiding Otter

I walked down the river and spotted another angler across the other side of the river, she was a redhead with a spinning road. She was sitting down and I think fishing worms. I did not feel like chatting so just skulked past of the other side.

My next go at a trout was at a lovely deep pool where last year I got several trout. It rose on the far bank a couple of times and I covered it three times, it took with a boil and I struck, again the rod bent over as the brute of a trout bored down to the bottom of the pool and my fly pinged back to the top of the water. I have no idea why this time the fly came free however it proved to be my last trout that I had a go at. This was doubly annoying as the cast was made even more difficult by a rather viscous downstream wind that grabbed the tippet making the fly go everywhere but where I wanted it.

I walked back up to the car but I think the bright sunshine was not helping matters.

Dead thing!

Dead thing & Pretty Flowers

Final Tally:

Trout Lost: 2

Dead Things: 1

Women Fishers: 1 (although not the nubile bikini clad variety)

Cows: Lots, in the distance mooing with sinister undertones.

Kelvin comes up trumps….

I was walking to the river when I realised that I had forgotten my new net. Luckily I dd not need it anyway however the Kelvin has been throwing up enough surprises to make me think about it as I walked down.

I have not fished for trout at all this year and I was hoping that my first trout would be from the Kelvin and on a dry-fly. Thinks were certainly looking good with some heat bringing up some olives which the odd trout were responding too.

Again, the Kelvin has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Last week a missing girls handbag was found next to the river and it was searched by police divers. It turned out they were looking in the wrong place however the whole area was finger tipped searched.

Upstream

Upstream

As I walked to the river I whistled at the Blackbirds copying their songs. I whistled as I strung up my rod and stuck on my standard deer hair emerger – annoyingly I lost it in the trees later on. When I went to get it back it must have fallen back into the river. This means my final stock of deer hairs are now gone. I am not someone who ties up during the close season so I now need to get my ass in gear. I seem to teeter on just having enough flies to do me for that session and not the next one.

The Dog Pool

The Dog Pool

I started out at the Dog Pool, so-called because all the dogs splash in it however did not get a touch. It was not until I fished up at the top of the next pool that I finally caught my first trout of the year. It was even better as I had actually stuck on a nymph as a duo and I watched the trout dive up from the deep to engulf my fly.

First Troots

First Troots

At the final count I caught five all on the dry, I took my nymph off as their was trout rising. The water was still cold with that green shiny tinge the Kelvin is famous for. Later I heard the river had turned pink and was reeking of some chemicals. A few of the members had already let us know and Atkins was contacting SEPA.

Next Pool up

Next Pool up

The trout were in great condition and all took the fly confidently.

I need to get some non hand shots!

I need to get some non hand shots!

I am glad my account has been opened on the Kelvin. I know that some guys have been hitting it hard and a salmon has already been caught by a new member on the fly. When I recommended that we stop stocking the Kelvin and put a catch and release policy in place I do not think anyone thought it was going to get this good. In my mind it is still getting better each season!

Lets see what happens next!

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