A reply to a comment…

So I received this interesting comment today in an old post….My numbering is in bold so that I can add comments appropriately

Comment by icatchkelvinsalmon

10/1/2007 @ 4:55 pm

“18031 Comment by kevin

26/4/2006 @ 10:44 am

you said the river at the Vet School was busy?…was it busy with salmon anglers? are the salmon in the kelvin yet?

18037 Comment by Alistair

26/4/2006 @ 5:02 pm

How do you tell what a Salmon angler looks like? If it was fly I would know but some of the guys that fish bait just chuck it out and leave it.
Salmon are rarerly caught in the vet school ….in fact I have never heard of one being caught there!

Alistair ”

In all fairness to Alistair you are asking the wrong guy for any information on Salmon in the Kelvin. 1

It is folly to expect a confessed trout addict to understand the movements of the migratory fish in the kelvin when, going by his own catch reports in the blog, he is concentrating on fish under the pound mark. 2

Unless the large trout in the river are being targeted the chances of covering salmon water are slim.
The small trout, which Alistair enjoys catching so much, do not generally inhabit the same pieces of water as the salmon therefore He does not come across either the salmon nor the anglers that catch a good number of salmon and grilse every season. 3

An obvious exception which can again be explained by Alistairs naivity of the salmon in the Kelvin is the fact that not only did I catch grilse(1sea winter salmon)in various stretches of the Kelvin last season I also managed to catch not one but three grilse in the in Garscube Estate(vet college) last season in only two visits also losing yet another.
These Garscube fish were small fish of up to four and three quarter pounds.
One of them was the smallest escapee farmed salmon to be caught last season.A tiddler of four and a quarter pounds.(for the record my wild fish didn’t get much over five pound this season) 4

How Alistaiar has failed to know of “any” salmon being caught in what has been a fairly consistent area for catching salmon for over a decade defies beleif.
How long have you been fishing down through Garscube? 5

On the subject of “How do you tell what a Salmon angler looks like?”

Alistair,come on now.
Surley even a small trout perturber like yourself can use your eyes to look at other anglers baits,rigs,reels line and rods and coupled with thier methodology be able to say with some degree of certainty what thier intended quarry is.

The long and the short of this “reply” is to ask you,Alistair,would you please add a paragraph on your home page letting viewers know that Salmon in the River Kelvin is not your forte. 6
This way novices seeking help and advice in catching some of the large numbers of Salmon caught from the river each season know that you are only “good” for passing your take on fly fishing for the smaller trout. 7

You should try and learn a little of the salmon fishings throughout the river Kelvin.
It is not always easy but with experience you can place yourself in the right spots at the right times and expect sport from a good number of salmon. 8

How do you know I am not just “full of it”?
Obviously if you understand my points you will not think that but incase you still doubt I can target and catch fish……
I am an extremely experienced angler.
I have fished for trout,salmon and all manner of coarse fish throughout Scotland since I was pre-teens.
I caught my first Kelvin Salmon in 1992,back in the days when the kelvin was so polluted that I couldn’t get a partner to fish with.
I have since caught over the years,in the Kelvin, a good number of Salmon to over ten pounds.
Sea trout up to two and three quarter pounds and Brown trout to nearly three pounds. 9

The Kelvin,nowadays,is a great Salmon river for the ticket price and I now no longer pay for expensive fishings as every season the number of fish running the Kelvin increases and so does my catch rate.

Nb:to all that read this,Alistair sems to have genuine enthusiasm for his beloved kelvin trout fishing but in reality he does not even scratch the surface of the real fishing to be had on this fine city river.10

1.This is a fair comment, I have never and probably will never fish for salmon in the Kelvin- so yup I am completely the wrong person to ask for advice on salmon fishing in the Kelvin.
2.The majority of trout I catch are under the pound mark, which is why I post lots of pictures of them. I don’t actually target them. Any fish I catch over a pound I generally am so elated that I forget to take a picture, plus the fact that none of my fishing buddies have cameras make big trout shots difficult.
3.Got to correct you there, Salmon do not inhabit the same water as Trout. Trout inhabit areas giving them current, cover and a good supply of food. A pool might be a suitable holding pool for salmon but could be totally inadequate for trout. All you have got to do is think about popular salmon rivers like the North Esk- fantastic for Salmon and Sea Trout- terrible for trout.
4.Good for you, well done. However I note that you did not write your catch returns in the log book provided at the main entrance. Signing the log book is a rule insisted upon by the Club and Glasgow University. Sadly it is my understanding that Grilse sizes are falling so if I were you I would stop calling 4/5 pound grilse tiddlers. Give it a couple of years and you may be wishing the tiddlers were back again.
5.Please see note above regarding log book, very few salmon have been recorded in log book. I know fine well where large amounts of Salmon are being caught but due to incidents where individuals were actually netting the river I prefer not to publicize it.
6.The thing is- this is my diary which I want to share. This is not a one stop shop for info on the Kelvin. Most people realize this- I do get a lot of emails asking about the Salmon and I simply tell them I know nothing about it. Simple eh? If I were to go around putting information on my blog and website about things I don’t know then next thing we know I will have to add something about perch 
7.Give me your name and full email address- I will be happy to pass it on to anyone that contacts me. In fact I will even put a page up with useful contacts and include your name in it.
8.I much prefer trout- no matter what the size.
9.Well done you!
10.Do any of us really scratch the surface of the river that we fish together? Will you ever really know the secrets that a river you fish holds? Do you really think that I put ALL my secrets in this blog for just anyone to read? As soon as I know everything there is to learn I shall be moving on to another river, however I know that it will never happen, there is always something to learn and some new pool not tried with a certain technique.

I am willing to accept and post fishing reports from anyone regarding the Kelvin- go for it, send me pictures and write a short report on how you went about it. I am pretty sure my readers will enjoy it. I am pretty sure they get bored about the amount I moan about things anyway!

Open to comments !


  1. Tommy · January 10, 2007

    Hey Alistair,

    Nice reply, I looked again at the main website and thought you summed it up nicely there anyway..

    “I live only a short walk from the River and I would like to share my fishing diary with you… In case I dont catch fish…..I like Trees!!!!(which is just as well)
    Have a gander at the some of the stretches that I fish, I don’t put all my secrets there however. If you feel like a chat i enjoy hearing from people, especially those starting out!”

    and then on the “Tools” page
    “What you have got to remember is that you will be catching small trout and for this you will need a smaller lighter rod”

    Does size matter ? I dont think so !!


  2. alan atkins · January 10, 2007

    Alistair,well answered! I dont think that anyone who reads the site is under the impression that you are an experienced salmon fisher. The impression i hope that readers get from the site is that you are an enthusiastic, responsible and experienced trout fisher who takes great delight in catching wild trout from an urban stream, and who encourages conservation and proper fishing etiquette. This stinks of fishing snobery! As you know i am a fairly experienced salmon and sea-trout fisher who enjoys catching wild fish in wild places. I have been lucky enough to fish somwe very good salmon waters over the last 5 years or so, yet i still enjoy the thrill of fooling a half pound brownie from the Kelvin. I have heard of salmon being taken from the vet school and there are 3 distinct holding pools that i can think of. However, i don’t like the tone of the salmon fisher. If he is such an expert on the Kelvin salmon let him set up a site and inform fishers wanting to catch salmon on the Kelvin of the known lies and techniques that might bring suiccess, similarly as to the way you have organised the site. You have always maintained that your site was really a record of your fishing year with advice given on request and not in a dogmatic way. I would like to meet this fisher and pick his brains

  3. alan atkins · January 10, 2007

    Sorry, but i need to add more. To say that it is folly for a trout angler to recognise a salmon fisher is nonsense, especially in a river like the Kelvin where i have seen people fishing with boat rods, beach casters and everything in between for whatever latches itself onto their hooks. Also, what methods does does our salmon fisher use? His writing reeks of arrogance, intimidation and confrontation ! Gie us all a break and start to enjoy the fact that someone has taken the time to set up this enjoyable and informative site, and one, i may add, that has forged many new friendships. In these days of the anti’s we fishers need to stick together and support one another and writing such as this can only be counter productive. I challenge the “Kelvin’s authority on migratory fish” to devulge his identity and offer some information to back up his claims of migratory success !! To me this could all just be B.S. and sour grapes at Alistair’s successful site. If he offers some concrete evidence and sound advice, then i MAY devulge my tactics for taking salmon in very low water or with the dry fly or at night, or mabye not!!

  4. James · January 10, 2007

    Ask our salmon fishing buddy if he prefers grappling hooks, cyanide or a dragnet 🙂

  5. charlie dunn · January 10, 2007

    well well,quite an unusual argument ladies,but if you pick your handbags back up for a second,and look at what you are both saying,you will realise that there is valid points on both sides.This is just a salmon vs trout spat brewing up,and if you are wise men,you will drop it now.I do not know why mr atkins feels he has to defend your corner,but he should also not enter the argument.You say you do not want to publicise the fact that there are large numbers of migratory fish in the river,for reasons that this will attract poachers.,this is nonsense,firstly because the poachers already know this fact,and secondly because if more good salmon anglers know of the runs,there will be more eyes on the water,making it much harder for people of this persuasion to ply thier trade.This is a simple equasion.I,like kevin am an experienced salmon fisherman,and for the last two seasons have fished the kelvin only(with the exeption of 2 other trips 1 to the isla and one to the tummel)and am rewarded with a good catchrate of salmon and grilse I had 16 to 14lbs this year,and 13 to eleven pounds last year.All these fish were from various stretches of the kelvin,and on top of that,also lost many more.Dont get me wrong-Iknow lots of people dont know the first way to go about catching salmon,but i am a very amiable man and always try to help anglers on the bits i fish to improve techniques,and have helped many anglers to catch thier first salmon,and on a whole dont hide any secrets. unlike mr atkins,i believe kevins catch return,simply because other people on the river catch much more salmon than him(one guy on the top water above balmore bridge had about 25 in 2005,iwitnessed him catch quite a few of these,all on the flying “C”),so its very likely to be true.p.s.if it truly is the case that poaching the salmon worries you to the extent that you are willing to deny that the river has good runs,why dont i ever see any real wardens on the bottom of the river?there was one who came down last year,XXX (alistair edited this name out),and he is not playing with a full deck,i gave him my first fish(a sea liced grilse of about 4lbs)and he told everybody that he caught it-how sad is that.I was genuinely trying to help this guy out,i showed him the proper ways to go about salmon fishing,but it was a lost cause.I only did this to try to help him to land the odd fresh fish,because when i met him,i noticed that him and his friends kill everything they catch,regardless of size and condition,and the man of topic usually casts three heavily weighted worm baits and places his three rods apart,thus rendering up to 40 yards of water unfishable to other anglers.This caused much annoyance to other brothers,so to stop this he got his mate (andy hannah)to nominate him for a wardens position.This was to ensure that he could be left in peace,to do what he wanted.HE did not bank on me refusing to allow him to do this,and stopped coming on to the water permanently.I also had very strong words with mr hannah when we next met,and asked him why the club was putting such useless men in positions of trust.He had no answer.The next time i met him,he caught and killed the smallest reddest cock salmon i have seen-despite my loud very vocal attempts to have it released.He has no shame.Charlie dunn-possil.

  6. Alistair · January 10, 2007

    Hey Charlie,

    The problem I think is that we are all singing off the same hymm sheet. I fish for trout and you guys fish for Salmon. I love fishing the Kelvin and you love fishing the Kelvin. I do not think i am better than anyone however it seems to me that some people have got a bee in their bonnet about something and have decided to take it out on myself. I am an easy going guy and will sit down for a chat with anyone fishing the river….however for the record this is what pisses me off:
    1. People without a permit.
    2. Static bait fishing (not to be confused with worming)- this is illegal in scotland and regulary kills juvinile trout and parr.
    3. People that leave litter.
    4. More of a minor annoyance but people that do not sign in at garscube estate- I am willing to hold up my hands here and say 50% of the time I do not do this as well.

    Thats pretty much it- i have nothing against salmon fishing or fisherman. I am glad you help othr anglers. I certainly give tips and advice to anglers that I meet.

    I have met the guy we are talking about a few times and to be honest i think he is a nice guy. he took photos of a pollution incident and brought them to the attention of the commitee – which is more than many members have done.

    Looking forward to meeting you at the AGM, these are all points you had better bring up there. In fact why do you not put yourself forward for the committe ??


  7. charlie · January 10, 2007

    unlike your other eloquent replies i would just like to say, what a twat!, i thoroughly enjoy reading about your expolits on the kelvin and to be honest if i hadn’t joined you for a couple of sessions at the vet school a couple of years ago, i wouldn’t be fishing the kelvin.And i am very grateful for this! i knew next to nothing about fly fishing ( i still don’t actually)but my enthusiasm is ceratainly aided by the fact that there is no pomposity on the Kelvin and there are other likeminded people who just enjoy fishing. To post a response like that on a site that is clearly run out of love of fishing and a strong beleif in helping the Kelvin being restored to it’s former glory, well ,SHAME ON YOU, get of your arse and set up your own blog if your that bothered!!! keep up the good work Alistair!!!!

  8. charlie dunn · January 10, 2007

    I do not know who this other charlie is,or indeed if he is even talking about me,but i know this much i started fishing the kelvin years ago(more than a decade)and if you knew me,you would know how many of the pools i have cleaned out.I have done this not for recognition of my efforts,but so that i and other anglers can benefit from fishing snag free pools,so if this ill informed tit is telling me to get off my arse,come down to the bottom stretch-and say this to my face.On the note of the XXXX (alistair edited this name out) issue,i also believed him to be a nice guy,however when you get to know him like i do,you will realise how utterly uselss this excuse for an angler is.I do not blame you for getting his nature wrong,as i also did this.As i stated earlier people like him should not be put in positions of trust anywhere,simply because XXXX(((alistair edited this name out) is an alcoholic.I dont expect any of the club members to know this,as i’m sure he is still hiding his half bottle inside his jacket.Like i say i was genuinely trying to help the guy out,but then andy hannah told me that the club was going to use funds to put him through a bailiff course.THIS CAN NOT BE ALLOWED TO HAPPEN.XXX ((alistair edited this name out) goes through his entire life drunk,this is fact,not fiction.I have been in his house loads of times,and he even hides his alcoholism from his mum. as for the pollution incident-davie was going to ignore this,IT WAS ME WHO HAD TO HARRASS HIM INTO REPORTING THIS TO SEPA OTHERWISE HE WOULD HAVE SAT ON HIS DRUNK ARSE AND DONE NOTHING.I also asked him to ask the club if they could supply certain power tools,to clean some of the bottom pools.I was going to do the work myself,in between my own full time job-for free,but he kept fobbing the issue off.Another time a dipute started up between two anglers who are known to me,the cause if this being that one of them was pretending to be a warden,and was trying to put the other angler off the pool.The angler came over to see th eperson we are discussing,to try and get some assistance from an authorative source over the dispute-and guess what?he hid round the corner and asked me to sort this out.I did so,and also found out that the offender not only wasn’t a warden,he didn’t even have a valid fishing permit.In short-i did his job for him.If you disbelieve this that’s fine,but i can assure you of this alistair-the person we are talking about talks more shite than ten arses-and thats the truth.

  9. Alistair · January 10, 2007

    Hi Charlie Dunn,

    The other Charlie is a pal of mine who was talking about the original comment (I take it that was not you? )

    I have edited out the persons name we were talking about, I think it is unfair to post someones name in an open way with such strong accusations.

    Anyway, I commend you for your work on the Kelvin- it sounds to me that you do far more work than the majority of fishers that I meet on my travels.

    I would just like to point out that no warden should be asking any fisher to move off a pool. Now I have a thing about people static bait fishing (which is illegal in Scotland anyway) I would NEVER ask anyone to move off a pool….EVEN IF THEY DID NOT HAVE A PERMIT. This is because quite simply if I tell someone that there is a club and a permit and they honestly did not know then who am I to spoil a nice days fishing even if it is not in a way i would enjoy.

    It is on there conscience what they do next.

    The way I see it YOU have as much right as ME to ask for a permit. If you look at the rules of the club it quite clearly states that a permit must be shown to another member if asked.

    Charlie Dunn- why do you not give up some time to be on the commitee- it is only 6 meetings a year and you would have a greater say in these matters. New blood is needed. You care about the river..I care about the river it would be a damn shame if you were not on it!!

    Anyway, I see the original poster has not made an appearance anyway…..do you actually know him?

    I find it quite odd that in the last three weeks I have had three or four people all making the same comments about salmon fishing.


  10. charlie dunn · January 10, 2007

    Alistair.your hates on points 2and 3 are well put,and these are exactly what get on my tits also.However when i fish the river,nobody gets in my way,and if i come across the static wormers,i politely ask them to reel in and let me cover the water.I have only been refused this once-so i fished right through the offenders and caught up thier tackle,causing them horrendous tangles,they freaked out,made a couple of thinly veiled threats and huffed and puffed quite a lot.I then informed them that unless they reeled in and let me fish,i would stand where i was,and continue to do this-all day.I then heard another couple of snide comments,but they did move.I went on to further infuriate them by landing a nice little grilse of about 6lbs,thanked them for reeling in and went on my way.My point is this is exactly what XXXX (alistair edited this name out) and his cronies do,you say he seems a nice enough guy-but put yourself in the shoes of the anglers who fish the top river above balmore bridge,they have been putting up with this for years-and believe me,XXXX (alistair edited this name) out”three rods” is by far the worst offender.He is widely hated in this stretch,and it’s all his own doing.However you also state that he reported the pollution incident from the water treatment plant,but this was only after the idiot phoned me and asked me what he should do.I had to point out to him,that as a warden he should first phone sepa instead of me and then try to gather some sort of evidence,as he was there at the time.Thankfully he was actually able to do this,and a successful prosecution resulted.I have told no lies alistair,i spent a lot of time with him-but it was indeed time wasted.I did this because i thought giving him an insight into what was actually happening on the river,would benefit him and perhaps the association.point 3 litter dropping-two words manky bastards,as if it’s not bad enough that i’ve been dragging trollies out of the pools for ten years,i go down and find that my work in making the pool fishable again has been rewarded by the remains of a fire and a few empty buckie bottles(broken and unbroken) a few rotten eel carcasses and some empty cans. This rips my knitting right oot!!!.Point 1- This shows a sefish side to me perhaps.Basically this does not bother me,i’ll tell you why and you can judge for yourself.Most of these anglers are brown trout fishermen .they come armed with bait rods,small hooks and maggots-and they take a lot of the small brown trout,that are there in vast numbers,they do not catch miratory fish,because they do not have the stealth to do so.I dont know about you but i have always found the kelvin to be full of these fish-overstocked even.The bigger trout are usually too smart for them,so they also remain unmolested most of the time.Any salmon fishermen who do not buy tickets,in my experience are the ones who dont catch fish,the men i know would be too embarassed not to pay a lousy sum of 15 quid a year,for such fine sport.Point 4.Its been many years since i fished the garscube estate,but at the time i was pretty clueless on salmon fishing,and cant offer any answer to the people who dont sign thier name saga,so will remain silent on that score.

  11. charlie dunn · January 10, 2007

    on answer to the original poster question,no it was not me,however-i reckon i could take a very accurate guess as to his identity,but if he wishes to remain anonymous so be it,i know because of the description of the escapee salmon fits the description of the one he told me he caught.He did catch this fish-another angler i know was there when he caught it,and he verified it.We were on the subject of the escapees that were in the river,and his really was a baby. Most of the ones i saw were into double figures, and i myself had 3-10lbs 13 and 14lbs the rest were all wild fish invery good condition.I’m not divulging his name-because i think he’s one of the two guys who taught me how to catch salmon-and a right good mate.

  12. icatchkelvinsalmon · January 10, 2007

    Thanks for such enthusiastic replies guys,

    To me this is not a trout v salmon issue.
    I was dissapointed at the misinformation I was reading dating back several years on sizes of the trout and on any mention of salmon in the Kelvin.
    A grim picture had been painted of the numbers of salmon in the river and thier health to anybody reading and considering starting to fish the river.
    I’m glad you shared your reasoning for misleading those who read your site(fear of rampant netting) but I feel in an adult world we are better being given the realites as opposed to “untruths”.
    It is difficult for poachers to net an area of river unobserved when there are lots of rods out and about.
    I felt you site was actively putting off new anglers from trying for salmon in the Kelvin and giving an impression that the trout are only small though plentiful.

    In reponse to your replies:

    2 and 3 In my experiences on the kelvin the biggest trout are to be found in and around many of the salmon lies and pools.Often actually in vacant salmon lies.These are not your 4oz-1.25lb fish but mature trout of up to 4lbs and sometimes more.
    By failing to acknowlege that numbers of these bigger fish inhabit many of the same lies as the salmon and by failing to fish your trout gear through these “salmon” lies and pools you are essentially targeting the small fish by elimination.
    Not all trout anglers are contented to catch smaller fish if they are informed there are many larger,more difficult Trout to be chased.And there are some mighty large trout in the kelvin which you could be encouraging others to come and fish for.

    4 I’m sorry to hear that grilse sizes are dropping,especially given that for thier length the Kelvin salmon have year on year been growing fatter for at least the last five seasons.
    Ten to fifteen years ago any Kelvin salmon I saw caught were very long and thin for thier lengths with a large tail.
    Now they are actively plump for thier lengths and often with that same large tail.

    5 covered.

    6 Fair enough mate though the perch comment almost makes me want to mention your page on the wildlife on the kelvin along with the pictures.

    7 I may get back to you on that.

    8 And good luck to you.

    9 I fully understand catching fish(any fish any size) does not make me a better person.

    10 Yes I truly believe that some of us do more than scratch the surface of the waters we fish.It is natural progression to me and many others to constantly try and glean as much knowlege from as many different fishing situations as possible.
    This is reflected not only by my own catches but also by those I witness by other anglers I have fished with over the years.
    Incidentally,I have no secrets to keep.I will generally tell anyone what I have used to good effect and the areas I expect to come across good fish while taking note of thier experiences to add to the bigger picture.

    I like to see fish getting caught whether it is by myself or anyone else.

    Mr.Atkins,there was never any debate over Alistairs lack of salmon fishing knowledge.
    But he was actively misleading on the issue.
    You wrote:
    ” I have heard of salmon being taken …
    …. However, i don’t like the tone of the salmon fisher. If he is such an expert on the Kelvin salmon……”
    Alistair said “in fact” he had not heard of any,but then replies with “very few salmon have been recorded in the log book”
    I don’t consider myself to be an expert nor have I suggested so.As to my tone,was I addressing you?Alistair has replied fine, rebuffing where he sees fit.
    Again you wrote: “His writing reeks of arrogance, intimidation and confrontation !”
    ” I challenge the “Kelvin’s authority on migratory fish” to devulge his identity”
    “To me this could all just be B.S. and sour grapes at Alistair’s successful site.”

    Tell me,where is the confrontational vibe really coming from in these discussions?
    Maybe you should take your own advice if you trust it Mr.Atkins as “writing such as this can only be counter productive”

    re:Comment by James
    11/1/2007 @ 3:50 pm
    Ask our salmon fishing buddy if he prefers grappling hooks, cyanide or a dragnet

    James,there’s people talking here mate.

    re:Comment by charlie dunn
    11/1/2007 @ 4:01 pm
    Interesting read and yes,thats the “not got a name deleted” joke warden I’ve found pegged out with his set-lines on more than a few occasions.
    Static bait fishing,by the way Alistair,is in itself not illegal.You may fish a bait as slow as you want as long as you are holding the rod.
    Set-line fishing where the rod is not held in your hand is illegal under statutory law in Scotland.

    re:Comment by charlie
    11/1/2007 @ 5:47 pm
    “a strong beleif in helping the Kelvin being restored to it’s former glory”

    This is a whole new can of worms,do YOU actually know anything about the Kelvin fishings before the pollution killed off the salmon? You would be surprised and it is relevant to the future management of the river.
    This is either for another day or as suggested possibly another site mainly for the salmon in the Kelvin.

  13. Alistair · January 10, 2007

    Hi guys,

    Can we stop naming people when they are not hear or unable to defend themselves. I am in kind of two minds whether to just actually delete these parts as it is pretty personal stuff.


  14. Alistair · January 10, 2007

    Hi “icatchkelvinsalmon”

    I am glad you responded. I think the reason people have responded in the way they have is because your comment does appear to be pretty hostile – I appreciate people are enthusiastic about the river and their fishing – especially I think a river like the Kelvin where everyone is a little protective about it.

    I don’t think it is misinformation I am giving out – remember this is my own personal website – it was never intended to be a one stop shop for all fishing on the Kelvin- it is purely some of my experiences and thoughts on fly fishing on an urban river. Now, because I fish for trout I talk about trout – I predominantly fish for trout with dry flies- I know where you guys fish for salmon and to be fair it is not very good dry fly water. I must add that big trout on the Kelvin do not often come to Dry flies – Alex one of my pals fishes with nymphs and I have got to admit he does catch bigger trout than me- does it bother me? Nope!

    If I were to come down to the stretches you are talking about and really hit it with streamers and nymphs I could probably with some effort catch the trout you are talking about. It’s just not my kind of fishing though – possibly in the future I might do it but if I want to catch a big trout I would head off to one of my other rivers where they are more numerous and they come to dry flies.

    I think I have responsibility to myself and other Kelvin fishers not to name specific pools and runs. I just don’t think information should be so easily gleaned as some effort should be given to actually finding this out for yourself. Let’s say I named the most popular pool on the Kelvin for salmon. Now- we all know where this is – this year it was netted twice and a young boy got assaulted because of it. If I named the pool then it opens the doors for any other head case out there with an ounce of will to get down there with nets and all sorts in times of low water. It takes around a couple of hours to net a pool properly. I have sat at that particular pool and seen no one for a couple of hours (I look at trees, the sky and birds whilst smoking cigars).

    It just seems to me that you guys have got a bee in your bonnet as I talk about catching trout on the fly and lots of them……you may catch bigger trout when you are worming for salmon and I appreciate that and don’t doubt it- big trout like big meals. However don’t underestimate my knowledge of trout fishing on the Kelvin (or other rivers for that matter) just because I can be flippant about information and write in a “jokey” way.

    Sometimes I take time to write posts and replies other times I write the first thing that pops into my head- and that is ok as this is my site- I don’t have to answer to anyone (its fun). You mentioned the fact that I contradicted myself about the Vet School and Salmon being caught – well this year there was only one grilse recorded in the book so that’s that cleared up 

    Something else I should point out though – it is not that I do not have a lot of knowledge in fishing for salmon- I know perfectly well how to fish for salmon. It is just that I choose NOT to fish for them – it just does not float my boat. At the tail end of last season I decided to go down to the river with some lures and have a bash – I did not even cast a line- my heart was not in it- its purely just a way of fishing that I choose not to do as I don’t enjoy it. To me it’s not all about catching big fish left right and centre – this year one of my most enjoyable sessions was on a burn a few feet across, on bended knee behind a bush fishing with a dry fly for 8 inch trout – I hooked what felt like a monster – it must have been all of half a pound and lost it. That fish by far was bigger in my mind that any fish I could have caught using a spinning rod with bait or lure. It’s all relative- what ever floats your boat, however you like to fish- its fine by me, just as long as I can spend time doing something I love I am happy.

    The reason I posted your original comment and made a public reply is because I was in email correspondence over Christmas and New Year with someone who quite frankly was abusive and threatening – after threatening me with actual violence they then accused me of abusing powers that I may hold as a warden. The correspondence degenerated into name calling where my name was changed to “Allison” and I was called a “fat Jessie”
    The last thing I need is anyone other than my wife going on about losing a few Christmas pounds.
    Seeing as how your comment raised the same comments but left out the actual insults I thought I should answer.


  15. John Strang · January 10, 2007

    Hi there- long time reader first time caller.

    I read this thread with interest, all this talk of larger “mature” trout is quite frankly misleading. A “mature” trout could be any size at all depending on the size of water and the feeding available. You could potentially get a “mature” trout in a burn that is 8oz and a younger trout in a river that is 2lb. It is all relative to the water.

    From looking through the posts and pictures what Alistair is catching is in fact “mature” trout from water that has allowed them to become that size.

    Let me guess what you guys are arguing about is trout getting caught in different “types” of water and trying to say that more skill is involved? This I am afraid is incorrect, it is harder to catch big trout on the fly than it is using bait or spinners. I would go as far as to say I would bet my bottom teeth on you guys catching the bigger trout in slower water as it is easier. Big trout like big meals as they do not have to use as much energy to eat it, this is why they go after small fish and will readily pick up bait for salmon. It is allso easier to catch salmon with bait and spinners- why do you think it is not allowed on so many rivers ?

    It is possible for it to be harder to catch smaller trout (which Alistair so clearly does well) than it is to catch a bigger trout.

    LOL – the way you guys are talking and boasting about the massive catches of Atlantic salmon your fifteen pound permit will be replaced with a hundred pound permit and a proper bailiff system put in place to keep the riff raff out.
    Be carefull what you wish for you might just get it 🙂

    John Strang (Fishery Biologist)

  16. alan atkins · January 10, 2007

    tight lines to ALL Kelvin fishers for the 2007 season, and Alistair keep up the good work for all those who enjoy and respect your site. Is all this not supposed to be fun.? Also, a great point from the previous guy, the more fish that get caught and the more fishers that join the club, the higher the subsciptions will get and the stricter the baliffing will become, a ban on the worm for next season ?!!, where would that leave the majority of the salmon fishers?

  17. charlie · January 10, 2007

    Man wakes up one morning to see his wife in a skimpy negligee, standing by the bed, and with some velvet rope in her hand.
    She purrs at him “Tie me up and you can do anything that you like”
    So he did, and went fishing!!

    ha ha!

  18. Alistair · January 10, 2007

    Should you not be studying or something ? 😉

  19. Charlie dunn · January 10, 2007

    In responce to comments by John Strang.you guessed wrong.I dont see anything that has led you to believe that the salmon anglers are saying that there is more skill involved in catching the big trout.I myself have had great fun over the years on the kelvin, and all of my brown trout were caught on the fly.I used to fish the vet school stretch,and did extemely well on some occasions(my best day consisted 13 trout to just over the pound,all on 5 weight rod 4lb cast 3lb point and size 16 grey duster)in fact it became boring!.Dont get me wrong here,i would love it if i could still enjoy my encounters with these fish-but i can’t.In responce to your comment on ticket prices and value-I used to pay upwards of £300 a season,to fish the teith and the forth,without taking into account the fuel costs.I also did very well on these rivers,my best season being 24 to 18lbs from the forth.I can also use a 15 foot double handed fly rod’and can do a double spey with ease and learned that there are days when fishing the fly for the salmon’is actually MORE EFFECTIVE-than bait and spinner put together.Do you actually believe i would grudge paying £100, to fish a river that is A.right on my doorstep. B.very challenging.C.full of fish?

  20. Alistair · January 10, 2007

    Hi Charlie,

    What you are describing sounds like a nice session fishing to me 🙂

    It’s a fact though that a lot of trout anglers eventually move on to salmon- I doubt I ever will though, I enjoy dry fly fishing too much !

    Regarding the Vet School stretch – I used to have sessions like that around 3-4 years ago but alas in the last couple of years the trout are not there in the same numbers. I think this is a mixture of too many trout being killed by anglers and the last few years’ hot weather taking their toll. Two years ago I walked a mile and counted well over 100 dead trout up to a pound in weight. Very sad sight indeed.


  21. Alex · January 10, 2007

    Charlie Dunn

    If you begrudge the Kelvin maintaining a healthy population of trout during it’s recovery (“I dont know about you but i have always found the kelvin to be full of these fish-overstocked even,”) then yes, I expect you would grudge paying £100 for a river which is full of fish, especially as a large portion of said fish are trout which – by your own admission – you would prefer weren’t there in the first place.

    Another ‘dunn’ moment:

    “…they do not catch miratory fish,because they do not have the stealth to do so.”
    You are trying to tell me that succesful trout anglers lack the stealth required to catch a salmon or a sea trout? You also said: “I am an extremely experienced angler.” These two statements simply reek of contradiction.

    Cmon Charlie! Do us all a favour and stop arguing with yourself!

    Charlie Dunn said “he is concentrating on fish under the pound mark.” So how does one concentrate on fish under the pound mark? By your definition, Charlie; if Alistair spots a rise, skilfully catches the trout and weighs it at 1lb 1oz, then it was an accident. If the same trout was two ounces lighter, then it was an action of skill and intent. I have fished with Alistair on the Kelvin numerous times, and never has he implied his intent to only target those fish of 1lb or less.

    Doesn’t make sense does it? Well, quite frankly Charlie, either do you.

    With much amusement


  22. Charlie Dunn · January 10, 2007

    Comment to alan atkins-are you sure you fish the kelvin mate?If so how do you think a “new improved bailliff force”would go about enforcing any proposed worm ban?This is exactly the type of thing that i’ve come to expect over the years.Fisherman are indeed a jealous lot-particularly poor fishermen,who lack the knowledge and the stealth,to outwit thier quarry with a degree of consistency.So,because of thier own failings,they get together in cliques and groups,to discuss how to stop these anglers catching fish.This tactic,by the way-does not work.You will find that once the ban comes in,the fisherman will come to the river on pretence of fishing for other species-there is then nothing that can be done.you need exhibit “A”-i.e.a dead salmon,seen to be caught,before any action can be taken.This is true of most scottish rivers.Then you also have the fishermen who lose out to these people because they stick to the rules-thier catch goes down-they stop buying tickets-you lose!!!

  23. Alistair · January 10, 2007

    Hey Charlie Dunn,

    I think Alan was talking about a future prospect- as the Kelvin becomes more and more popular as a cheap Salmon river the price will steadilly rise. I cannae mind exactly how much the Kelvin pays for the Salmon rights but it is not much. Once salmon fishing improves so will the permit price (I would imagine)
    You spoke of fishing rivers like the Teith and the Forth. I can see the Kelvin going the same way as the fishing improves.
    I think it is happening already on the Kelvin anyway regarding people fishing for other species – the commitee is well aware of people saying they are fishing for Pike after the season has ended and during the season so they dont have to buy a permit.

    Put it this way……how many Salmon and Grilse did you guys actually catch this year on the Kelvin ?

  24. Alistair · January 10, 2007

    Alex you trumpet – it was “icatchkelvinsalmon” that wrote those comments not Charlie Dunn


  25. Charlie dunn · January 10, 2007

    Comment to alex.You’ve lost me now.I cant remember saying”he is concentating on fish under the pound mark”if you want to take part in informed conversations,it is vital that you first try to remember who said what-about what-ha ha.

  26. Chharlie Dunn · January 10, 2007

    Alistair. My ticket is lost.however-like most fisherman i keep a detailed account in my diary,and would be happy to give the details you request-what specifically do you want to know?

  27. Alistair · January 10, 2007

    Hi Charlie

    Give me a rough number of your catch rate for Salmon last season, it is up to you whether you mail me it or post it here 🙂


  28. Charlie Dunn · January 10, 2007

    unfortunatly-I only have my brown trout recorded from 3/4/06-19/07/06(the date my first grilse of the season was caught)i have only recorded salmon catches after this date-and only those over half a pound.17 brown trout to almost 3 pounds.escapee salmon..3 10-14 lbs.Wild salmon…13 4-11lbs sea trout…3 half pounders.p.s.seen a good number of class sea trout run in mid-june,but did not hook any -one was at least 8lbs.Hope this is useful..Charlie.

  29. Charlie · January 10, 2007

    message for charlie dunn,

    just to let you know that my comments were certainly not aimed at you. Although not for many years , i have also taken part in clean up days on the kelvin and admire the people who use their weekends to do this. We should all be donating days to this.

    Charlie W.

  30. Alistair · January 10, 2007

    Right, so 13 wild salmon a season- now lots of people that pay through the nose for famous salmon rivers do not catch 13 Salmon in a season.
    Hmmmmmm, at the time of asking I had a very good argument however this is a half bottle of rather nice white wine later and I am having difficulty in minding it….
    Got any photees?

  31. Charlie Dunn · January 10, 2007

    Alistair.The answer to your question is yes-ashitload,hundreds.I still get the feeling that there is an air of disbelief,from you-and possibly your angling friends.I expect this.This is the norm from salmon anglers who i come into contact with on other rivers-until they see me put my skills into practice(or i could simply allow them to view the angling video that i have made-six hours of non stop salmon fishing footage).This video features salmon of all sizes-ranging from 2lbs to 27lbs (the latter being caught by me)from rivers all over scotland,including the kelvin-and everybody who has seen it has been very impressed.My question now is this-do you believe me?

  32. Alistair · January 10, 2007

    Yup, I believe you- why shoudnt I ?

    I think the problem is that when I talk to any other angler I dont immediatly start to belittle them and tell them they are a shite fisherman- which is what has happened to me over the last couple of weeks.

    Now, why did you and the original person that left the comment not mail me and simply say that you guys are having a whale of a time pulling in Salmon ? I would have then responded- Wow great, got any photos- you would have said yes- sent me them and then I would have had something other than a fucking great argument to post on my own personal fishing diary.

    As it is, I feel as if I have had to defend the way that I actually fish, the ethos of this site and in some way justify why i like trout of just about any size !

    I hope you are going to bring all the points you have made up at the coming AGM, I allso hope you are going to volunteer for the commitee.


  33. Charlie Dunn · January 10, 2007

    Also decided to spend the next year on the kelvin in a more positive manner.My plan is this-buy a digi-camcorder(my old one is video format and a bit clapped out)enlist the help of some of my friends,catch a lot of salmon from various stretches of the kelvin,and then upload this footage on the web.Not only will this show the river in it’s true light(i saw a programme on t.v called trout and about,and it really was woeful,no decent footage at all)but it will also be used to highlight how the club actively do nothing to help replenish the stocks of migratory fish in any way,and in fact HINDER the recovery of the salmon by stocking the river with parr sized brownies-in their thousands,to compete wit the parr over limited food supplies.

  34. Charlie dunn · January 10, 2007

    Alistair.I do not think anything i have said has in any way bellitled you or the way you fish,or what for.I think this is more a view you have for your points of conversation with “icatchkelvinsalmon”.However,i made some enquiries into this,and he is indeed who i thought he was.I also made enquiries into what has upset you,and i found out that he was not alone when said insults were made.In short it was NOT HIM.He had some drinking buddies round,and one of them thought it would be a laugh to”noise you up”the insults you recieved came from that source,not the one you believe it to be.

  35. Alistair · January 10, 2007

    Go for it !!

    I hope anglers on the web are as constructive and friendly to you as you and your friends have been to me 🙂

    Oh, by the way- if it was up to me I would cease ALL stocking in the kelvin. It has been scientifically proven that stocking does no good whatsoever anyway.
    Stocking the river is just a PR excericise as it is what people from put and take fisheries have come to expect !

    I would concentrate more on cleaning out the redds for Salmon and actually trying to protect the trout stocks that are in the river just now.


  36. Alistair · January 10, 2007

    Charlie, in reply to 73158

    This site has been running for a few years now – in that time I have recieved hundreds of emails from people asking about the Kelvin, just saying hi or inviting me to go and fish with them (I generally say no as I am a bit shy). Not one person has stated my site is shite or my fish are small- well one person said my trout were small but considering they had just awarded my a photography prize I was not offended in the least.

    In the last couple of years there has been over a hundred thousand unique visitors and I continue to get well over 200 unique visitors a day….in the last few days double that. The vast majority of my visitors come from the States, and many people have stated that because of this site if they were ever in Scotland they would give the kelvin a wee bash. Now I think that is good promotion !

    Because of this site I have been the featured in a couple of newspaper articles, on the dreaded Troot n Aboot (which possibly should have been called “Aboot n Aboot” considering the lack thereof), made lots of new friends, learnt absolutely TONS on information to do with fishing.
    All in all I can honestly say I have had a great time.

    After all that to get a comment (which I did not post) from someone stating my site was a waste of space and then when email correspondance was continued they actually threatened me with physical violence……well lets just say I am a little touchy to say the least when people then start saying roughly the same things a week later.

    The sad fact is all the people all over the world that actually read my blog will be reading this thread….how do you think people from Glasgow look now ?


  37. Richard · January 10, 2007

    Hi all,

    A reader from the US here.

    Just like to point out that I do not visit here because it is about the River Kelvin, I visit here because of the stories and pictures.
    Would just like to say that I think it is appalling for anyone to have a go at Alistair just to “noise” him up as it is pretty obvious when reading his blog he is a nice guy who cares a lot about the river as well as being conservation minded.

    If I were you Charlie, I would be getting those friends of yours to apologise, you never know it might just sort this whole mess out !


  38. charlie Dunn · January 10, 2007

    Alistair,not at any point do i ever recall saying your site was shite-I have never seen it.this computer was bought for my children.I do not use computers-that gets me to the reason i am talking to you-apparently you have a guest book -Iwas indeed looking at your site,but for that purpose alone.Somebody called “harry”was making enquiries about me,but the first thing that popped up was this page.I started reading,and obviously twigged who icatchkelvinsalmon was.I then read on,and the only points-If you read carefully-Have always been the same

  39. Richard · January 10, 2007

    Hi Guys,

    Charlie, you have certainly been the most restrained but it was strongly implied in the original commenters views what he thinks of Alistair and his views.

    My Mother used to say to me “if you cant find something good to say, say nothing at all”

    I think there is a lot of wisdom in those words.


  40. Charlie dunn · January 10, 2007

    Thanks Rick,but as we all know-you cant stop people from speaking thier mind.where would we be without freedom of speach?Sometimes,things need to be said.Like i say,i entered this debate by accident.I tried to be peacemaker-i failed.I was called”riff-raff”by a so called fisheries biologist,a liar,a poacher-by people who kept confusing me with”icatchkelvinsalmon” in fact at one stage i was beginning to wonder if some of them werent pissed.In fact,i only slated two people-Alistair knows this-and who they are,because they are both members of the club committee.I was simply trying to point out how these”men”behave when they come to fish.Alistair still had no answers as to why the club totally ignore the stretches i fish(from queen margaret drive to partick)or why the club has no back up plan should the runs of migratory fish fail.He also points out that the club tries to cater for”put and take”anglers.

  41. alan atkins · January 10, 2007

    To Charlie Dunn,
    As you mentioned that you fished the Teith and Forth, i’m sure i have met you on the Kelvin, fishing with your son? If so, you gave me some sound advice and were nothing but pleasant. This seems all to have been the result of some carrying on by people posting things for a laugh ?. I am very interested in the sea ttout runs on the river, as i have only ever caught fish to 2.5 lbs and only in one season. I have fished the Teith for the last 4 seasons and have caught sea trout to 5lbs. I know which pool they inhabit and they are generally cathcable from these pools from early May throuhg until the end of July when they become tricky and too dark to bother with anyway. I have made several night time excursions on the Kelvin and have not seen or heard any. The ones i caught were caught in the early evening when the river was up and slightly coloured, was i just lucky and intercepted a pod of running fish that had justed stopped for a breather, or are there pools that hold the fish up? Any info would be gratefully received

  42. Charlie dunn · January 10, 2007

    Hi Alan-This is an answer i do not have-sorry!as far as i know,they run straight through the bottom stretches,and in fact dont stop moving until they reach the torrance/kirky stretches.i myself have had only brief encounters with these.However-they are there,and some of them are big-especially the ones that run late may/early june.Because over the years i have spent so much time on other rivers(i also fished the teith at night for them-with the fly)i have spent most of my time after the salmon in the kelvin.My goal is still to catch a spring salmon from the river,but if i achieve this,my next is to get a sea trout over 5lbs,and i will definetley let you know of any information that i do recieve.Tight lines bud…

  43. John Strang · January 10, 2007


    My apologies, I did not call you “riff raff”, I was merely commenting on the elite attempting to keep the working gentleman off our own rivers. I would probably come under this caregory as well.


  44. alan atkins · January 10, 2007

    to charlie dunn,
    Thanks charlie i would appreciate any info. A couple of seasons back i had just finished fishing for trout and it was fully dark when as i was leaving the river.I saw two fish move at the white wall (i’m sure you know where i mean on the lower stretch before the park). This was mid june and these fish were in the 5-8 bracket. At the time i took them for large sea trout, as salmon in my experience rarely show at night. However , since then , i have taken salmon on the North Esk at night when there has been a prolonged gap in the clouds allowing a large moon to show. So, i’m unsure whether they were big sea trout or early grilse. I would be very keen to have a serious go at the sea tout this season and i think that the only way we will know the extent and sizes of the runs is goos lod fashioned leg work. If you would like to pull our skills together and join me for some night time reconnaisonce, let me know

  45. alan atkins · January 10, 2007

    Charlie Dunn, In your opinion, is it worth having a shot at the sea trout, at night, on the Torrance / Kirky stretches? If so , as iam unfamiliar with these stretches, do you have any recommendations as to where would be a good starting point. I always take a season ticket for the Teith , but would wlecome any sea trouting closer to home? Also, have you ever fished the Teith up beyond the meetings pool towards Venachar, i.e. NOT up the Lenny? Someone told me most of the sea trout spawn in Venachar?

  46. Bill Anderson · January 10, 2007

    Alistair…despite what a certain individual may say about you…I would fish with you any day! This Canadian is here for you.

  47. Alistair · January 10, 2007

    Anytime Bill 🙂

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