Glasgow Angling Centre Open Weekend

I had a couple of hours free between dropping the wife and kids off at a party and going to another kids party in the afternoon which I had to attend because it was a family one. My life has now become incredibly rock n’ roll. I now tell people in work on Mondays that I attend wild parties at the weekend where fights break out and everyone is running around crazy but omit the fact the attendees are under the age of 6.

As I had this free couple of hours I decided I had a choice of either actual fishing or popping by the open weekend at the angling centre.  I was glad I was not a day late like last time when I turned up to view a couple of empty crisp packets blowing in the car park as opposed to stalls and boats blocking the spaces.

So I parked up a side street after being stung by the tiny car park in the past and was glad to find it was still on unlike last year when I turned up a day late. I wandered past the boats on display and went on the hunt for Paul Young for a natter however ran into Gary Wingate who is the Game Fishing Manager. He roped me in to a casting competition with a few other guys round at the back of the store. As we walked around the back I kinda felt like we were a bunch of schoolboys with some rizla and a bit for a joint but this was totally legit.

Gary Windgate - Game Fishing Manager

Gary Windgate – Game Fishing Manager

Some other guy...he had a sweet cast!

Some other guy…he had a sweet cast!

Gary showed me the new prototype Greys reel which was on the rod which we would be using. “string it together” he told me as he went to place wee orange cones to help with the competition. He told me that the reel should under no circumstances be fucked up in my hands or words to that effect. I thought he was half joking however realised the seriousness of the situation when I rested the reel on the ground to assist with lining the rod and one of the guys put a wee blanket under it after checking it for scuffs. I was going to make a quip about Greys warranty not being that bad but decided not to push things considering I was going to have to cast in front of them.

New Greys Prototype fly reel - thankfully scuff free and unbroken...must...not...make...warranty...joke!

New Greys Prototype fly reel – thankfully scuff free and unbroken…must…not…make…warranty…joke!

I was up first and felt the gaze of far more competent casters on me. I was glad then that the Gods of the Kelvin sent a gentle breeze which assisted in wafting the line out ahead of me which made me look half decent. I swear to goodness I have never actually cast that far in my puff.

Humiliation averted I got to wander back through the store room of the shop and was impressed by the sheer size of the place back their, it is huge. Rows of fishing tackle in in order with guys walking around I can only assume filling mail orders.

Like an Aladdin's cave...

Like an Aladdin’s cave…

Throughout all this I was musing on something that Gary had said. I had told him about my problems with having too much choice down here in Helensburgh and he then regaled me with his exploits with light rock fishing which sounded like one helluva lot of fun. I knew about LRF due to Brian and Colin over at Streamside Diary  who appear to less stream side fishing these days than I do urban.  They seem to catch an unbelievable amount of species and looks fantastic fun. It also looks like a fun way to get the kids into fishing, and by kids I mean my kids.

I walked back through the store and ran into Paul Young and we had a good chin wag about the cost of fly rods and how you can buy a good rod at any budget as long as you are willing to try out a few. We were joined by Stevie Munn for a bit and we talked about kids and fly fishing.

Alas my time was soon up and after a quick stop off at the Pike Anglers Alliance for Scotland to pick up a membership form it was time for me to be off home.

Anyone into this LRF malarkey?

Mushrooms…

End of Season Stuff(ed)

Seeing as how it feels like Scotland is about to be shafted by the Tories and weirdly by around just over half its own people the end of season has been pretty shit. I had a trip out with Alex last week which resulted in no pike caught. I reckoned we were wasting our time as we should have been their at dusk, I wish I had that startling thought in the morning instead of when we were waste deep in the loch.

I met up with Paul to see if we could tempt some Kelvin trout but for me it jst did not happen. I was pissed off and grumpy after battling my way to the river only to find no trout for my efforts. We were fishing an upstream stretch of the Kelvin and the vegetation was out of control.

There is no Path,,

There is no Path..

I wouldn’t mind so much but then you get to the river and you have a roughly 8 foot drop into the river which pretty much scares all the trout away. The 8 foot drop is essentially the original river bed that was scooped out and left on the bankside so that the river does not break its banks.

Of course when I slipped into the water I was almost up to my armpits in it, a few feet later it was around a foot deep. I had managed to slide into the only deep hole in a hundred meter stretch.

Paul was doing better...

Paul was doing better…

Paul was doing better as he manged to miss a few trout so I watched him for a bit and got annoyed as the sun then came out. We then went down the Allander however it was so overgrown, low and milky then I did not see any point in casting.

After getting home I thought I would cheer myself up and post a thought that I had earlier and them almost immediately lost a follower who thought my bad language was inappropriate.

What can I say, he said it with such a straight face I cannot believe he lied.

I am glad he did not read the post about when I asked a pal to ask her pal who was having a baby to shave her vagina so I could tie some super powered wooly buggers. 

I voted….

image

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!

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