Assholes spoil my day!

How do you deal with poaching? – not the serious big stuff involving nets and and stuff I am talking about the low level stuff involving a guys just fishing the river without a permit?

I managed a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon and it was spoiled by having to talk to a few guys about not fishing with permits and with spinning rods. Sunday is fly only on the Kelvin as agreed by the members for a couple of years now. Two of the guys were totally pished and started giving dogs abuse saying I was arrogant and a jobsworth for asking them for permits, one of the guys almost fell in he was so drunk – they stated they were drinking in memory of their friend who had died at that spot the year previously of hypothermia, I have looked up the news however could find no record of it. I do not doubt them as beside the river you always find shrines made up out of football tops with the inevitable empty bottle of buckfast next to it. I am pretty sure I had a photograph of that shrine somewhere however could not find it!

The second guy was walking to the river carrying a spinning rod with a bloody great float attached to it. They were Glasgow City Council employees, you could tell that as they were wearing overalls with the logo on them – the conversation:

 “Awright mate, you got a permit?”


“Well, you need a permit to fish here and on a Sunday it is fly only”

“How much are they?”


 “Ahm no payin’ that I am only gonna fish it a few times” He smiled and winked

 “Er, well, I am the Vice Chair and this is the Crown Bailiff and Secretary so it might be best not to fish as you could potentially get arrested”

 “Aw well, I will just walk back to work then” they then proceed to walk down the path to the river – the only thing that is down this path is the river.

Luckily there were a few guys fishing down that way who would hopefully keep them right. The few guys were some passionate fly anglers who have done extremely well this season – the one saving grace of the situation is that they would tell them not to fish the water with their spinning gear in no uncertain terms.

You see this is the reason why all anglers need to ask each other whether they have permits or not – you see, every guy fishing the River Kelvin without a permit is a kick in the teeth for guys that do buy a permit.

The bottom line with paying for a permit is the knowledge that the cash is going towards making sure you have fish in the water. Those that do not pay for a permit are not contributing towards making sure that there is fish in the water and consequently are shafting the members. Additionally these guys are probably killing trout which is undoing the good work that the members have put in to ensure the stocks improve.

The thought of a nice brownie that I have caught and returned a few times on the dry fly being butchered by some guy with a maggot fucking pisses me right off!

Speaking of which I caught a couple of nice brownies on the Sunday – as I got their late in the day it was the tale end of the hatch – sedge were again the order of the day and I only had one on my fly box. I managed to tempt one trout in the beginning after many drifts to a small klink that I was sent by Marcel (a reader and regular poster on the forum) and it went absolutely bananas and again I wondered why I had left my net at home. The river was maybe a couple of inched higher than it was the last time I was out and the water was freezing cold. The oxygen content must have been high to make the fight like beasts.


I managed to hook a wee one with a tricky cast standing on the middle of a fallen tree and nearly lost my fly in a tree.

I hope someone does not damn well kill it!!

However even when I was thinking about the trout caught and the fish chat with some of the guys I had met at the riverside I was still thinking about the guys without permits who were just out to kill some time (and trout). I am pretty sure every river has them however at least on other river faced with a bailiff or anyone else they usually have the good grace to do a bolt.

I suppose the danger with some of the guys on the Kelvin is that they often get aggressive as that seems to be the standard macho bullshit when challenged on anything that they may be doing wrong.

I have no idea what the solution is – although I keep on coming back to a paid bailiff force that is on call 24/7 however the prices would be high. What gives? How do you guys view it when you meet someone that is clearly breaking the rules? Do you ignore it or say something?



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  1. Mark Bridger · May 21, 2012

    Alistair..It is Alistair isnt it?
    Anyway I too came across two lads fishing the spinner about 300 yards below halfpenny bridge on Sunday afternoon. Being a new member and my first time on the river I had only just heard that there was no spining on a Sunday from another member I had met down the other end of the Botanic gggardens ( excuse my stutter)
    I asked them if it was OK to spin for Slamon on a Sunday as I had been told it was not allowed, of course they said it was fine and their permits were in the car….I told them the Bailiff had just asked for my permit they said they were just packing up anyway.
    I didnt want to get too aggressive being new to Glasgow and a foreigner to boot but I can see how it might be getting to be a problem, perhaps a rndom hire of “security” to do a trawl of the River on nice sunny days when they tend to come out would be the answer. Of course you could complain to the Law and see if they do anything, I doubt it they are always too busy unless you happen to have the chief ********* as a member ( Bishopstoke Anging club)Maybe the cmmunity police, do you have them here? might be briefed and asked to walk trhrough the gardens ..?
    Mark B

  2. Si · May 21, 2012

    Managed out on Sunday for an hour. I noticed a couple of guys coming up the bank behind me who immediately stopped when they saw me. At first I thought they were doing the decent thing and just tackling up a wee bit away so they didn’t spook the pool. I realised the rods looked a bit beefy so kept an eye out. Sure enough the next bit of kit out was a big orange bubble float. I started wading to the bank in their direction and they immediately buggered off at a fair speed. They obviously knew the score and didn’t want to be challenged.
    As someone who fishes on their own, and normally tucked away from the hoi polloi, I tend to pick and choose who and when I confront regarding permits and rules. I find that telling someone to watch out in a friendly manner as I have just seen “a team of baillifs” works pretty well, and they normally start packing up.
    A couple of years ago I saw two young teams going at it on the bank of the river. I waded to the other side and watched them. By the time they were finished there was one guy on the ground with his mates screaming that he had been stabbed. These guys weren’t fishing of course, but it reminded me that despite the fact I am casting a fly in splendid isloation (most of the time), I am, at the end of the day, in the middle of Glesga!

  3. barrybhoy · May 21, 2012

    i would have rather had a paid baillifs force first to protect whats already there and been there years , over the habitat survey whats the point in n trying to improve the rivers fish spawning grounds open up new parts to fish etc at a heavy price tag the fish and everything round about the river have been there for years with no habitat survey needed sure at some point it would need done but why do it now when the river is not policed properly with people with powers,
    arent we then just improving the fishings for the people that want to fish without permits and fish illegal methods with next no one to stop them? thats just my opinion .

    the poaching thing spans the hole river not just the bottom end, balmore – kirky early season full of salmon parr and small trout and big trout loads of set liners and no one to stop them they can fish the hole weekend camping without being pulled up so you imagine the out come to the fish , 2 nights ago was talking to the guy thats stays in the golf corse at cadder near torrance he told me that a guy got a sea trout and a big brown and killed them both last week he saw him with them,
    so i went out last night for a wee spin up cadder – torrance
    got to the latter and the guy digs us up for bein on his land
    once he relised we wernt the buckie crew he just asked us not to leave mess but he did say he was sick to death about the people that fish up that way leaving loads of rubbish and beer cans etc sad really when you think of all the salmon parr up there and some good big broons aswell

    also the wee metal bridge at cadder golfy is deemed unsafe and crossing has been shut a new one is to be built in the summer at some point did you know anything about that ? ,

  4. Alistair · May 21, 2012

    If you remember correctly Barry the members voted for no paid bailiffs and decided to keep what they had which was pretty bad – at least now we have a head bailiff that actually does stuff, you should give him a phone if you see anyone !
    Personally, I think this is a members problem , everyone has got to tackle these guys not just bailiffs !

    The habitat survey was invaluable in getting us funding for exciting new habitat and fishing area improvements – you have not seen the benefits of it yet – when you do you will think it was worthwhile !

  5. Trootman · May 21, 2012

    Its a pain I too was out on Sunday and seen 2 guys sitting bait fishing i said to them “Do yous have a permit.” they said “Yeah.” I responded by saying “If you had a permit you would know ye canny fish on Sunday.” Then they said ” What are you gonnae do.” At that i proceeded to walk on briskly.. If we stop stocking it, we will save money each year. I think a crown bailiffs is deperately needed becuase when permit holders confront “poachers” they are putting themselves in danger

  6. Trootman · May 21, 2012

    Barry, thats exactly where i fish mate and, yes, the road bridge at the roundabout is full of the buckie brigde, every day you see him, and the bit below the metal bridge is one of the best spots and its a joke that its been closed off for 3 months and work hadnt even started…. pathetic!

  7. Alistair · May 21, 2012

    Hey Trootman – we do not stock the river and also we do actually have crown bailiffs 🙂

    Do you guys mind phoning the bailiff and telling him about this – his number is on your permit!

  8. Scott · May 21, 2012

    The dreaded issue that everyone has faced… realistically it seems that enforcement is the only way you’ll ever tackle it. You’ll never stop it but the powers will be there to sort it out when it does happen.

    Hope something happens that leads to the problem disappearing!

  9. DavieC · May 21, 2012

    Whats the point in standing with a guy with the equivalent of the CB badge and just let the two guys proceed with going onto the river without permits?..But we the members have to do more?
    Doesn’t take much to make a point of regulary visiting the hotspots and letting ppl know that there are bailiffs patrolling the river,I’ve not done it for two years and people still pack up and move when they see me thinking i am a bailiff.

  10. Alistair · May 21, 2012

    Hi Davie, I am not a crown bailiff and Paul is is in fact a Crown Bailiff – I suppose we could have followed them to find out where they were going however they did not have any salmon on them so not really much point in getting the police involved ! We cannot stop people walking along the riverbank – we told them they could not fish and they listened. We were hardly going to have some kind of fish off, throw stones in the water etc

    Next time maybe I should phone you to come down as whatever you say scares them off the water and not just a mile downstream 🙂

    Dude, I think I do more to tackle poachers than most members , in my experience members do nothing but complain about people without permits and even when someone has a dead salmon they let us know a week later instead of telephoning the police straight away !

  11. DavieC · May 21, 2012

    It’s not what you say to ppl that make them piss off,Its the presence of bailiffs that deter the poachers/set liners etc,A visable presence on the water,I have been fishing since mid march and have not met anyone who is a bailiff.
    I know you can’t stop people walking along the riverbank,but if they are out on a Sunday with spinning rods then clearly they are not just out for a stroll and should be challenged and if they move downstream challenged again you said yourself the only thing down the path was the river.
    Fishing for Salmon on a Sunday is illegal and therefore they would be breaking the law and the police should be involved,regardless of them having permits or not.How would a paid bailiff force be any different from what we have now?.Crown bailiff and Vice-Chairman haven’t done anything but move them on downstream.Personally i think if your caught fishing for Salmon or with a salmon on a Sunday then the Police should be involved and the message put out that the Kelvin is well policed and not a free for all like it was in the past.

    Btw this is not a slam the RKAA post it’s just my point of view 😀

  12. Alistair · May 21, 2012

    Dude, its a total slam the rkaa post – look we told the guy not to fish and he said he would not – personally I have better things to do with my time than follow some guy who might fish ! We spoke to five guys that day and last night I spoke to two – what do you want Paul to do ? Arrest every one of them ?

  13. jmon · May 21, 2012

    ok guys you can have as many bailiffs as you think you need paid or unpaid your never going to stop poaching on any river, do yous honestly think a bailiff or four can patrol the hole river system, no chance!! you will get yer casual buckie bubble basher but your wise poacher will fish all night when yer bailiffs are tucked up n bed, as for normal members pullin up suspected poachers i wouldnt go there, im out too fish not pull up suspected poachers

  14. Alistair · May 21, 2012

    Sadly, I think you may be correct Jmon – however it is not all doom and gloom as I do think what we have on our hands is a long term problem which can be solved with long term solutions – my first line of attack is my “leaflet” which I will now give out to guys that do not have permits – it just points out that we have over 700 members that are complaining about them personally and they are a bit of a wank for not buying a permit 🙂

  15. DavieC · May 21, 2012

    Gotta start somewhere so why not with two guys fishing illegally for Salmon?

  16. Andrew mclean · May 21, 2012

    I’m all for paying to fish, however, in a natural river that’s un-stocked. Why should you not be able it. Even more so when you are a working class fisherman and that river is your local river.

  17. Alistair · May 21, 2012

    Because in a river like the Kelvin the permit is really going towards the Salmon fishing. The permit monies go towards: the crown estate fee, bailiff and committee expenses (not much), bank side clearance etc

  18. Ian coyle · May 21, 2012

    U should not fish on a Sunday.member or not .it’s the day of rest.I have fished the kelvin for 35 year’s with out a permit. I fish for pike,perch,and wild brown trout. And I will keep on fishing until the day I die. P’s I obtained the fishing law’s from the houses of parliament. I carry them when I go fishing at all times. I have never been kicked off any waters in the highlands or the south of Scotland.

  19. Alistair · May 21, 2012

    Ian – you are nowt but a common thief and a charlatan who has done nothing to improve the river in 35 years but rape and pillage it.

    Piss off!

  20. paul · May 21, 2012

    a rather underhanded tactic is to call the police stating the poachin bastards threatened to slash you when you confronted them and you were in fear of your life, the police will indeed turn up in numbers and arrest said poachin bastards who will imsure think twice next time

  21. Alistair · May 21, 2012

    We tried that – they do not actually turn up!