Billions of them

I headed out last night for a few hours. 

I went straight to my local sea trout mark however a burn was running high and brown mud was pouring into the loch. I fished around it as much as I could however eventually decided to head elsewhere. 

The temp was hovering around 15 degrees however it still felt chilly somehow. I headed to a small local river instead of my stocked pond and within a few minutes was fishing up some fast water – possibly a little too fast. I worked my way up a few pools with the nagging feeling that I had forgotten something. 

It was at this point a billion midges descended on me and drove me back to the car – the nagging feeling was the lack of midge net of course. 

Conditions look great all week  – gonna try and get an evening on the Kelvin at some point…

Like a Release!

Pretty much as soon as we were able to, I went fishing!

During the whole lockdown my life pretty much did not change, it only got around 10 times harder. The family got up in the morning, got dressed – my wife went to work in the hospital and I dropped the kids off at the school on my way to work in social work. The end of the day was just the reverse.

It was incredibly stressful. Usually during stressful times the only release that I get is fishing (aside from kid time) – this was obviously not the case here. I am not going to blab on about it however this whole pandemic for me started a week or so before everyone else. I was called in to meetings with some very sensible people and we were read out numbers of infections over the coming weeks and the numbers of people that would likely die. A likely roadmap was given to us and we started to prepare. Everyone else’s life went on as normal – I fell out with Paul and Alan because they were not taking it seriously enough and they were still wanting to go ahead with the Kelvin opening ceremony – nobody seemed to get it. My work ramped up and usually calm people started to panic. I would go on facebook and see folk laughing about going fishing, that it was allowed because it was part of their daily exercise. Meanwhile I looked at death numbers in care homes and had to make the decision whether someone should stay at home or be admitted. If people had taken the lockdown seriously would this still have happened I wondered – probably would have helped people tell me who are way more intelligent than me.

Also the numbers of people that have been taken advantage of is still growing – people stealing money off someone’s granny because she is scared to go to the shops is deplorable but you would be appalled by how often it happens.

At least the weather was sunny during that time – it would have been harder to cope with if the sun did not shine.

However, you are not here to read about my shitty work life, you are here to read about fish. So let us begin….

I do not have many photos or stories just now – I have had a few trips to the sea loch for Sea Trout, I have certainly caught a few however not in the numbers that I would expect. I have been up to my Pond and caught a fair few overwintered stocked trout.

They fought like utter fiends and I did feel a little guilty as I killed, gutted and then cooked them on the BBQ. 

But only a little bit. 

The serious fishing started on the big river – and one of the days that I took off work ended up being bright and sunny. It was still good to be out. My next day out on the big river was better – I went with Alex. On the way their,  there was torrential downpours and the day remained overcast. Alex gave me his nymphing rod and I scraped the bottom and aside from a stonking grayling I did not do well.

Alex as usual caught his monsters and I caught my trout on dry flies – it is what I had been waiting on all year. 

Later in the week I had an evening session on the Kelvin. I started down at the Botanics however the park was totally hoaching with dog walkers and other folk.

I texted John Wilson to see if he wanted to meet up for a chat – he had blocked me on facebook as I guess he felt attacked after my last post gained so much attention on facebook. Someone sent me a screenshot of a conversation where it was inferred I  orchestrated people coming out of the woodwork in support of the committee. 

I wish I had that kind of clout to be honest.

He blanked me anyway, or maybe I had the wrong number.

When someone threw a ball into the water for their dog next to me I decided to retreat to the car. I travelled up river and after fishing for an hour I had nothing to show for it – well, I had caught one trout however I wanted more from the Kelvin. 

I travelled even further upriver and finally found my rising trout – I caught a half dozen around 3/4lb. Their rises were the smallest dimples on the surface and they took micro flies at dusk. I left when I coud no longer see my fly on the water.

A bit of a calamity then occured however if you want to know what it is you can ask me in person – just remind me!

Something I posted over at the Kelvin Fisher’s facebook page.

Hiya, I have been fishing the Kelvin now for over twenty years and writing about fishing it over at urbanflyfisher.com for the majority of that time. I was the main drive towards “social media”for the Kelvin – some of you can remember the infamous Kelvin Forum wars we had and some of the characters we had to deal with. At least with facebook they are forced to use their real names so we can see them for who they are.

John Wilson made some points in his video and I would like to clarify some things that have been bugging me for a while.

AGM – John spoke about his first AGM where someone stood up and spoke about postcodes and why the meeting should not go ahead. The members were asked and it was a resounding 66 to 1 vote for the AGM to go ahead. That aside I think our AGM’s are utterly appalling. The behaviour displayed by some members has got a lot to be desired.

At our last AGM we could not even hold a minute’s silence for a chap who ran the pub where we held our opening ceremony due to the fear that it would be disrupted. When the wildlife crime officer was speaking these guys were asking questions designed to be disruptive and talking amongst themselves. Even when other members did ask questions important to the river these guys spoke over them and I felt like a schoolteacher telling them to shoosh. At the end of the night one of them walked past me and said “see ya later bawbag” My kids are better behaved than this.

This is the sort of person that argues about postcodes and a constitution but does not abide by the being respectful to your fellow angler bit. I remember the last time we tried to invite someone along to give us a talk on the fly life in the Kelvin – one member (now ex member – one of the ones that people may want the amnesty for) shouted at the guy that this was “alright for the kids but nothing to do with the salmon” Dr. Willie Yeoman’s (Clyde River Foundation scientist)then told us he would not put a member of his staff through that ordeal again.

Paul, Alan, Jim and myself put a lot of thought into the AGM’s and for some folk to cause disruption throughout is just disheartening. Personally, I dread the AGM’s and the total lack of common decency is appalling. One guy told Paul to get out of “his fucking way” at the start of the meeting – when Paul challenged him on this the guy thought this was perfectly reasonable behaviour. At the second last AGM the janitor complained to us about the smell of cannabis outside the hall. I guess this is better than when we held the meetings in Partick when lots of folk would turn up drunk to the meeting. One guy was shouting at us because he had never had his permit checked by a bailiff despite always talking to him – he did not realise that the same guys who were talking to him every time he fished were bailiffs. He then started ledgering with two rods and rod rests coming up with the bullshit story that his son was away having a pee – it must have been a long pee as he was away the whole day.

Personally, I think it is elitist to not have the AGM in places that actually have the most members – there is more of the river outside the city than in. At the last AGM Paul was quizzed about spending a couple of hundred pounds on bailiff stuff – where were the questions when the previous secretary used to spend money on new tyres for his car or his MOT?Certain people quiz me where I live now and where Paul lives as if you have got to live a stone’s throw away from the river to do admin for it. One of the previous long standing chairman did not even fish the river and neither did the treasurer – why was there no questions of them? I think it is pretty much because they just gave away free permits to the bams and let it become the wild west that it is.

Personally, I think that every person with a so-called “Gold Card” should be expelled from the association for not doing enough to manage the river. Banning members – very few members are ever banned from the association. Each one of them knows the reasons why. They know this as if they are banned they get a letter with a right of appeal. Unfortunately we are not dealing with honest people which is why folk only ever here one side of the story – “

“I was banned for having a fishing forum”

“I was banned because the secretary took a dislike to me”

“I was banned because I just did not know a simple rule”

All total rubbish – banning folk from fishing a river is actually a very hard thing to do and is always a last resort. For a start you’ve actually got to police it in some kind of way. Also, you have then got to put up with all the other nonsense about their mates who tell untruths. I read on another fishing page that a guy with the second name of Murphy would have a hard time from the RKAA committee because of his name. I mean come on, we live in 2020! I actually had to look up why this might be the case.

How about the guy who we ran into on a Sunday with his Salmon fishing gear – “i’ve been out walking the river since Saturday” An Association – John made reference to the fact that this is the anglers river and yes he is correct. However we have a lease to pay to the crown estates and believe it or not we are not one big happy family of reasonable people- some folk are unreasonable and actually want a level of anarchy just so that they can do their own thing. In no other association would anyone get away with fishing in a bowl like the so called “falls pool” There used to be a place like it on the Leven at the barrage many moons ago and guess what the LLAIA banned people from fishing there. Lots of folk act surprised that we still accept fishing at such a spot.

That aside you need a level of administration to attend to the day to day affairs of running a fishing club and that is what we do – volunteers doing a pretty boring job. If folk just turned up to fish the river like normal people then that would be that – but no, folk decide to hurl abuse or fish on a sunday or cause random people to complain about people shouting down at the sea pool. Or random people complain to us about anglers threatening dog walkers at the science park. And we try to deal with it. And people, the ones that are causing the problems do not like it, and say they are doing nothing wrong – that it is the “people’s river” or their mate was banned because the secretary does not like them.

All utter bollocks and I am sick of it. At pretty much every AGM their are rumours of coups or a vote of no confidence in the committee, even when we put ourselves up for reelection we are still voted back in – Paul put himself up even when he did not have to and I pointed out to the room that they could now get rid of him – nope,voted back in. All because this small vocal minority cannot get three honest folk together to actually do the jobs – instead they will plot about petitions and draw other people into their bullshit conspiracy theories.

So yes,something needs to change about this association and it has nothing to do with the committee – as quite frankly we are there for the silent majority that are appalled at the vocal minority that think that sticking the boot in to “authority” is their own sad way at some kind of rebellion. Even if that “authority” is an admin at a fishing club.We need more of the silent majority to get involved and call out the bullshit when they see it – we need more guys at the AGM that actually want to see positive changes for the river and it’s fishings.By the way, when I get voted out I will have a smile on my face as it means I get to do the complaining for a change at someone – I think I know who I will nominate in my place.

TL:DR A small number of bangers cause problems for the majority of anglers. They look on admin workers at a fishing club as “authority” and an easy target. Some folk believe their bullshit – we need more good guys to call them out.

I have turned the comments off for this post however feel free to join in over at the River Kelvin Fishers Facebook page.

Ack Ack!

How come suddenly loads of bams in Scotland think they can go fishing because Boris is suddenly their Westminster master.

He also said they should all go back to work but I’m not seeing a big rush to obey that little command.

This is totally shite!

What feels like an age ago and was in fact only a month or so ago life was fairly normal.

Ever the optimist I was filling my trout box and sorting out my loch gear – I had tied a lot of fun wee spiky things and also collected loads of nymphs which were sure to take enormous spring trout on a new river that I had found. I wasthinking about taking out a salmon permit for the river. I even haad a wee hdcam which I was planning on videoing some action shots. Life was looking pretty good.

I then went to a very surreal meeting with a very worried nurse (I work on Social Work) where lots of glum numbers were told to us. For a week or so life went on as normal, I spoke about what was to come to pals however it had not really hit folks thoughts yet and it all felt a bit unreal. I remember going to the shops and thinking that nobody really knew what was coming.

Well, we all bloody know now thought dont we.

Unfortunetly working at home is not an every day option for me solife has been trundling along although a bit harder and a bit more stressful.

In our down time instead of me going fishing we have taken to doing such boring chores as cleaning out gutters and tidying up the garden.

Gutters cleaned
Gutters cleaned

I mean I have lived in this house for nearly five years and watched them fill up with mud without caring too much however yesterday I made the effort to clean them out. Bloody gutters – took me nearly 3 hours, I could have caught a few trout in that time.

And my tomatoes are now getting somewhere..

This whole situation is getting a bit shite and I want to go fishing. I guess I probably could actually without anyone finding out. I have a couple of spots near me – my pond up at the top of a hill and a sea loch for some sea trout. However, if we all think like that then folk will start relaxing their reolve and before you know it numpties will be out playing tennis and golf.

Of course it doesn’t stop people on social media moaning constantly about it and stating that fishing is their excersise – yea yea, we get it – we all love a good loophole however do you remember when we couldn’t go fishing because of foot and mouth and we were all cool with it. It’s kinda like that only instead of lots of cows dying it’s someone’s granny.

Ben Gamble / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)

Essentially what happened back in the season of 2001 was that pretty much every landowner stopped people walking across their land. Even the Vet School in Glasgow stopped people fishing. Anglers could not go fishing and I do not remember anyone complaining about it or trying to break the rules, although to be fair the old “social media” was not as strong back then. I guess a lot of the guys that are fishing now iether did not fish then or maybe it is simply the rise in social media which has given the less sensible amongst us a voice.

It wont be long hopefully before we can get out on the rivers and loughs – in the meantime know that the trout are all growing bigger and happier and less wary.

Of course there will be folk out fishing just now probably, personally I wouldnt trust them with looking after a dog responsibly.

Stay at home

Treat people like they’re all infected with some virus that’s going to kill you and we’ll be over this in no time.

Kaboom – 2020 Trout Season

I have been busying away at the vice tying up wee spiky things and have also been sorting out my gear. Thanfully river trout fishing tends to lend itself to isolation so at least we have got that going for us!

Querencia – a video!

A lovely video that highlights the small village of Questa, New Mexico and shows its resiliency and willingness to rebuild itself based on the impressive natural surroundings it is nestled in. Of course, it involves a native fish and some fishing.

A tale of two fishing AGM’s

I attended two annual general meetings over the last month. One was for the Kelvin where I retained my post as Vice Chair and the other was the Cove and Killcreggan Angling Club of which I am a member.

They could not have been any more different.

At the Kelvin meeting the general rumblings are that our current secretary is a dictator who will do anything to hold on to his control over the most enviable and saught after position that he has. Likewise I now appear to have this reputation as being some kind of power hungry megalomaniac who actually enjoys being verbally abused for simply volunteering to assist with running a fishing club.

I wondered why then we were all voted in on the night – elected dictators? Is Paul like the Putin of the Kelvin I mused, or is that me?

An old photo of a Kelvin AGM – they have not changed much.

The other AGM was the Cove and Killcreggan Angling Club where out of the 8 office bearers only two actual members showed up – me and another guy. Folk spoke about fishing and the future – it was actually very interesting and civilised as we sat around a table like normal people. Not once did someone call me a “bawbag” as we said goodbye. That’s right, as someone walked out of the hall at the Kelvin AGM they looked at me and said “see ya later bawbag” as they walked past me. I have still got no idea who the person was however you have got to worry about the future of angling in Glasgow if this is the type of person it attracts. Thankfully though I know it is the minority of people that act this way however it still makes you wonder.

Anyway, the one common theme at both is that we need more members – if you fancy a season ticket on the Kelvin for some excellent flowing water trout fishing you can buy it here.

If you fancy some peace and tranquility on a still water a short distance outside Glasgow then contact the Cove and Killcreggan Angling Club

Meanwhile I have flies to tie.

Time to think about “Matching the Hatch”

For those of us that are starting to think about a little entomology now is the time to start reading up. The most easilly digestible of all the books out there is this one…

The picture takes you directly to Amazon Matching the Hatch: Stillwater, River and Stream

For those that dont have it it is

A guide to help the angler choose the right artificial fly, including macro-photography of insect life combined with selections of the most lookalike lure. The book suggests that the angler observes the insect that seems to attract the most, and choose a fly from the photographs supplied

The photos really are very good, and it should sort out those “what fly to try today” situations !