Being Watched…

Saturday evening was suppose to be a Clyde trip however at the last moment was changed to a good old Kelvin night out – pretty much because I realised that I was not going to get away early enough to justify the trip. I met up with the legendary Jim Burns who was already checking out rising fish and then I watched as he covered some fish that he had spotted..

The legendary man in action…

The river was still high compared to its usual self and was carrying some color, not enough to put the fish off as I had heard from a couple of people that trout had been rising all day – it seemed though that by the evening they were starting to switch off or tone down their feeding as even though we spotted trout that were feeding they were often small ones.

One of the curses joys  of urban fishing is sometimes having an audience, where we were fishing was a good vantage point for people on one of the road bridges above the river to watch us fish. Many people would stop to watch – possibly in case one of us fell in.

A View from the Bridge….

Of course you always get people who stop and watch you catch a fish and often get told there are no fish in the river despite trout rising in front of them. Often you are told that you are fishing wrongly or should have been here yesterday.

You often see the shadier side of life as well. Jim was telling me tonight about a time he was was checking out the river in Kelvingrove Park and a chap came out the bushes (who he had said hello to earlier) and asked him if he wanted some “action”. Jim commented that the river was too high and fast however the chap stated with a glint in his eye that was not the action he was talking about. I wondered what would have happened if the river was fishable and he had given a totally positive response to the chap when asked, I mused with Jim. “Damn right I am after some action, in fact I have been looking forward to it all day”

Obviously I am not sexy enough to be propositioned – maybe I need a mustache or something?


I met a Salmon angler who was working his way upstream with a red flying c and we chatted for a bit – Jim and I decided to head up river to another spot as the Botanics area seemed a bit on the dead side.

A bit on the dead side…

As soon as we got to the new stretch we spotted a lot more rising trout – a lot of them were close into our bank . I offered Jim the first bash at them however he had lost his fly so I sank into the river. I was glad I did as the first trout I caught was the trout of the evening size wise – a really nice fish that put up a good fight.

Caught with absolutely no skill whatsoever..

I would like to say it was caught using skill and cunning however I was not even looking at my fly when it took and after I seen the fly being taken I thought it was gone – it was only after I tightened my line did I realise it was still on.

I fished on and eventually came to a bend where I picked up a few more trout – I was watched by a couple of anglers set lining on the far bank who were enjoying some cans of lager and some joints – the music I fished to was a rave version of The Police hit “Every Breath You Take“. I listened to them discussing the recent problems with Rangers Football Club  (it is good apparently) and a dissection of my fishing technique “that cunt knows whit hes daen” 

Soon the bats were on the water and the river went back to sleep – it was time to call it a day.

Until next time!

I am assuming you guys are hauling them in?



I really enjoy reading your comments - say something!

  1. Peter · July 21, 2012

    What did they say when you challenged them about set-lining and having the appropriate licence? lol Or like me, was descetion the better part of valour. A classic recreational hazard, if ever…

  2. Alistair · July 21, 2012

    They were the other side of the river and I have found that you cannot have any meaningful conversation about tactics or permits when the guy keeps saying “what” and sniggering.

    Choose a battle that actually has a point – for the record I challenge everyone I meet that I can have a face to face with and look them in the eye – if you cannot do that then there really is no point.

    When I do meet these guys I have a notice/ letter that I give them which spells out the reason why what they are doing is wrong. I have the electronic copy in work so I will post it here tomorrow .. I think it makes some guys think !

    Like I say I will post it tomorrow, it also makes me feel better as I leave these guys as in the past I would just feel pissed off.

    By the way Peter, what do you think of the golf club stretch now that there are leaves on the trees ?

  3. bill s · July 21, 2012

    i must say i really enjoyed reading that post and a couple of the pics youd ne’r know they were in the middle o’ the toon

  4. Peter · July 21, 2012

    To tell the truth,it`s an accident waiting to happen. The tree stumps are covered with undergrowth, someone will end up going head first into the river tripping over them. I`d rather all that money spent had went into improving the habitat, even if it was just planting some of the numerous rocks along the banks into the river. I`ve been there twice and apart from makeshift rod rests sticking in the ground, I`ve not seen another soul. I`m still at a loss as to what the point was. Oh I slid on a weed covered rock and went flying backwards into the water while playing a fish, ended up with water filled waders. Landed the fish though.

  5. Alistair · July 21, 2012

    Actually if the truth be told Peter you are talking absolute nonsense!

    Now you are complaining about the tree stumps and the possibility of falling over them? Give me a break, I mean the secretary offered to meet with you to walk the river to discuss your concerns – absolute silence to that. I offer to meet for a fish to chat about it – no reply. You were at the AGM when photos of the work were put up on a ginat screen at the front of the room – you made no comment. You did not suggest any habitat work being undertaken instead of the arbour work – is this because habitat work is actually being undertaken?
    You appear to have this inability to actually speak to someone face to face about this.

    If you do not see the benefit of cutting down some trees to provide light and access to a few pools then you do not have any right to comment. If you have actually fished that stretch you will see that it is not the barren corridor that you thought it was – it is tree lined on both banks with trout rising on both banks.

    Oh, and it is not just a case of planting some rocks in the river and see what happens – you have got to actually have a think about how you are altering the flow of the river. Anyway, it is a good job we never put any rocks in the river, we would get folk complaining about slipping on them eh? eh? EH?

  6. Peter · July 21, 2012

    You asked a question, I replied, it was not what you wanted to hear, so now you`re unhappy someone isn`t telling you how wonderful it all is. I have a right to an opinion just as all members do. The AGM, was total chaos, most members probably just wanted to get their permits and go. As for meeting for a fish, I told you I was going loch fishing for a few days, then off to the Med for 3 weeks. Check my comment. As for the habitat, I was talking about rocks (not massive boulders), staggered here and there. Other clubs have done it with great success, the Walton Angling Club is one that springs to mind. As for not having the right to comment, because I have a different view, I mean…..come on.
    On a lighter note, Alistair, fish rise in the river, not on the bankslol.

  7. Alistair · July 21, 2012

    Hey Peter, I am quite happy with you stating your opinion however come on, people falling over tree stumps? – that is taking it a bit far eh?

    Got to agree that the AGM was utter chaos however maybe if more people asked sensible questions we could drown out the rubbish.

    Regarding the rocks – the Walton boys do a great job however they are dealing with a river that is a lot smaller than the Kelvin where just placing some rocks will have an effect. If we wanted the same effect we would have to move some of those big boulders – some of them are a quarter ton – you have then got to think about whether they will cause extra silt to build up below or whether we need to pin them to stop them from being washed down in flood. Also we would need to apply for a licence to do work like that – to get that we would need a habitat survey (which we have)

    Here is the letter I give out to folk…

    Hi there,
    You are being given this leaflet as you have probably been asked by a member of the River Kelvin Angling Association for your permit and you do not have one.

    Please remember that the person that asked you is only doing so as the 700 members who do pay the £30 a year regularly complain about you and wish something to be done about it. The permit costs £30 per year (£40 for new members) and by far is the cheapest Salmon fishing in Scotland.

    The permit money directly ensures that there are actual fish in the river for people to catch, it also goes towards making the fish bigger and more numerous. The association also must pay a sum of money to the Crown Estates to lease the river for its members.

    The Kelvin is only as good as it is due the hard work of volunteers like the person that just spoke to you.
    Points to remember
    •If you are fishing without a permit you are committing a crime and can be arrested as well have your car and equipment confiscated.
    •If the person that spoke to you pointed out you were drinking it is only because we are concerned for your safety, there have been several people who have fallen in the river and drowned due to alcohol usage.
    •By not buying a permit you are essentially stealing from your friends who do have permits.
    •Bait fixed to the bottom of the river with a weight (ledgering) kills juvenile trout and is illegal.
    •In Scotland using a rod rest is illegal.
    •The Association has a number of Crown Bailiffs who have power of arrest and the ability to seize your tackle, car etc.

    We hope that you decide to buy a permit for the future as the association will be prosecuting repeat offenders.
    We hope you understand our stance on this.
    For more information please look at our website:

    You up for an evening session this week?

  8. Peter · July 21, 2012

    I only stated the tree stumps, as my mate did the very thing. We were walking along the bank towards the spot we were going to enter the water, watching for rises at the same time. His foot caught on a stump, hidden by vegetation, luckily he stumbled away from the edge, instead of a 4ft drop onto the rockbed. We noticed there were quite a few along the way. Why is that so unlikely to happen?
    The rocks I`m talking about are about 14″-18″ in circumference, enough for a trout to lie behind, but certainly not enough to disrupt the flow.

  9. robbie c · July 21, 2012

    Alistair.Long time since anybody gave me such a nice compliment as “That cunt no’s whit es daen”You must cut a very dashing figure on the Kelvin.
    Peter.I have worked in engineering for the last 50 years,and have never looked at an object of approximately 6 inches in Diameter and multiplied it by 3.142 to arrive at the circumference,which is a little bit irrelevant.

  10. Peter · July 21, 2012

    I take it you mean Pi r squared? We use it frequently in the construction Industry. I thought it would be easier for others to picture a rock 14″-18″ in circumference

  11. robbie c · July 21, 2012

    Pi R squared is the area!!!! of a circle Peter.Take a bit of time to be absolutely 100 % of things you post,and thatmeans Alistair,and all the other members who are doing the best that they can to make the Kelvin a river that all the members can enjoy.Not trying to put you down down Peter ,but going on working party’s will be good for your education about how things work bringing a river that was 100 years dead,back to life.Wish i could be there to help (and fish )

  12. Peter · July 21, 2012

    I know what Pi r squared is, I merely mentioned 14″-18″ in circumference as a visual reference, but I`m sure we are all eternally grateful for the math`s lesson, 50 years in engineering eh? wow! Nice one.

  13. Guy · July 21, 2012

    Keen to keep the maths theme going I was going to work out the formula for the ratio between fish length and girth in inches to weight in lbs but alas i have no chalk for my blackboard 🙁
    The internet offered up various automatic calculators but I drew a blank on the hard maths, this is as much as I found and to be fair I think it’s just about spot on!

    9″…. A breakfast Trout
    10″…. A keeper
    12″…..nigh on a pun
    13″….easily 1.1/4lb
    14″….2 pun if it’s an ounce
    16″….. Well over 2 pun
    18″….. Nearer 3 than 2
    20″+…..Any weight you want.

    With reference to the 9″ and 10″ measurments I would like it to be known that the above data was souced online and that I am an avid practicer of catch and release and only condone the “chapping” of fish when no other option is available.

  14. Alistair · July 21, 2012

    I dunno Guy – I do not think a 12 inch trout is a pound.

    Have a look at this:

    A pound fish is a biiiiiiiiiig trout.

  15. Guy · July 21, 2012

    It looks like the person responsible for your chart took a bit more time and effort than our unnamed friend from the SFF above 😉

    However I one thing that has not been accounted for by either party is the girth of said fish. Now wild brown trout are fit, muscular and sinewey compared to a fish of the same age reaered on pellets but that doesnt mean to say I havent had my fair share of rotund wild fish 😉 I think the only way to know for sure is to have the length (nose to wrist of tail) and the girth (immediately before the dorsal) to gain a more accurate calculation or to just weigh the bloody thing lol.

    That said I havent had any fish to merrit a thourough further inspection from our fair river so far 😉 I did pick up a distinctly silver trout while chucking the doublehander about for salmon the other week, given the size It’s fairy certain it’s never dipped a fin in salt water but by the looks of it he’s cetainly thinking about it and smollting, what do you recon?

  16. Alistair · July 21, 2012

    That is a nice fat trout – when they are silver like that it means they have a high fat diet.
    It is a good Kelvin trout – well done !

  17. Guy · July 21, 2012

    Hows the river looking today? Might wet a line tonight, I’ve fished the Allander to death while the water has been high and need a change of scenery.

  18. Alistair · July 21, 2012

    Not sure … I think it should be ok – I cannot get a pass for tonight so will probably head out Sunday evening!
    I would have hoped the colour would have improved by now !

    Let us know how you get on !

  19. Alistair · July 21, 2012

    Looking at Sepa the level should be great !

  20. Jim Burns · July 21, 2012

    Out last night.Still a little colour in the water but it was clear enough that I could see the river bed so as to get to some of the more ackward bits of the river. Had a good session watched by a audience of six police officers no worries about being safe. Bumped into some of the more colourful river side patrons but that’s fishing the Kelvin.
    With the river being clear, had a little scare when at one point I looked down and thought I saw a face looking up at me. Deep breath and looked down again to see what it was. Yes it does look like a face but would you belive it it was an old gas mask sticking out of the slit. It was like the ones used in one of the Doctor Who episodes. My wife says Iam the Mud lark of the Kelvin have came home with all maner of things, clay pipes, old bottles, clay bottles, coins, ankle tags(as used for tagging offenders), crossbow arrows just one more little part of Kelvin history to go into the shed. Just another day on the Kelvin.

  21. Alistair · July 21, 2012

    Went out for a run this morning and the river was looking very Brown and higher than what I expected !