Lessons learned with cold hands…

When I arrived at the “other” river the conditions seemed just right – as I was getting my permit I ran into Neil “Trout Machine” Sinclair of Double Decker fame (double deer hair wings  allow the fly to be used in the heavy water where  big fish like to sit) -“if he is here” I reasoned “then I must have hit it right

Mike (Tamanawis) soon showed up as well – a quick hello and then we all hit the river.


There was no trout rising however it is only a matter of time I said to myself – approx 45 mins later as I watched numerous March Browns drift past while no trout rose I began to suspect that something was not right – another hour later and after a hatch of Large Dark Olives I knew the trout were just not turned on.

I crept up on Mike who at least had found some rising trout – hooked a couple and then promptly lost them – I suspected they were Grayling….splashy rises – we get caught out by the wee ones every year…


I moved on.

I was sitting watching the water when I thought I spotted an otter – I was fumbling around with my camera when I got a splash at my feet – watch this cheeky wee bugger:

 And I was wondering why I had caught no trout from the pool!

I was glad that I had tied up some nymphs before I left the house – I used my new JVice which I am reviewing – damn sweet it is too.


I cast to the head of the pool with a dry and dropper – 2nd cast and the fly stopped – I struck – a strange fight – a Grayling – a nice one – maybe a pound, maybe just over…

Grayling on the bank

– Later Neil said it did not count as it was not in season, still a nice fish – you can see where it has been damaged – the otter? A cormorant?

Otter Damage?

I met up with Mike and we watched Neil fish for a bit – sometimes it pays to just watch other anglers – one thing we noticed was that if he spotted a rising trout he would then cover it many times before moving on – even if the trout had just risen the once – I suppose the method behind this is that if it has risen once then it will rise again – it has not moved off to another area it is still sitting there – thinking – maybe thinking about rising to one of those pesky flies that keeps passing over its head.

Mike then showed me his most recent creation – don’t let him fool ya – you see he gives off this impression of being all tiny dry flies for tiny trout however then he brings out ultra realistic streamers while discussing catching Salmon and Sea Trout on the dry fly.

Crazy man with huge streamer

Not that he gloats and not that I am envious.

I left when my hands got too cold – Neil I noticed had brought a flask of coffee – ah experience!

The day started with such promise – overcast (kinda) with a breeze, there was going to be a good temp too – it ended with cold hands and a chat about the JVice in the car. The trout in this river were just not locked on to surface flies yet – a bit like the Kelvin really – the Kelvin is maybe a couple of weeks ahead due to the increased temp of the city – at least that is what my pals and I think anyway!

Neil was still casting, casting, casting in the distance…


  1. scott · April 22, 2009

    Could be worth hitting the smaller waters for surface sport just now alistair, i know my wee kelvin trib has been producing the goods 🙂

  2. Alistair · April 22, 2009

    Yup – wee burns are the exception – today I wanted a 2lber 😉

  3. scott · April 22, 2009

    My wee burn has been kind enough to give me quite a few NEAR that size but always short by an ounce or two, pays to be conservative in my estimations i think!

  4. Campbell S · April 22, 2009

    Alastair, looks like good trip. How does Mike get on with the streamer patterns?

    Scott – I have yet to venture put on that Kelvin trib, but have seen fish risng there when there has been none rising elsewhere. YOu been piking at all?

  5. Paul · April 22, 2009

    Nice Grayling Alistair.And that otter is just magic.
    Aye, It’s been slow going on the Kelvin and the Clyde lately.Hope they start looking up soon.

  6. Alistair · April 22, 2009

    Glad other people are finding it slow on the Kelvin – thought it was just me for a while there!

    After years of never seeing an otter I now seem to attract them !

  7. Alex · April 22, 2009

    Hey Alistair

    Good to see you getting out and about again! Don’t take your encounter with the otter for granted, you are a lucky man to have seen him at such close quarters.
    Ps, that’s the lamest excuse for not catching I’ve ever heard! Nice grayling though.


  8. Jockayethenoo · April 22, 2009

    bloody hell Alistair that vice costs a fortune… you haven’t sold your boy to Madonna have you??? 8-(

  9. planettrout · April 22, 2009

    Hmmmm… does that guy in the cammies subscribe to the SAS school of fly fishing- “Who dares, wins!!!”I gave up D Cord and C4 years ago….


  10. scott · April 22, 2009

    Campbell, there has been fish rising consistently on the burn from day one really, every time ive been down ive seen fish feeding on top, obviously some days more than others. I have been fishing waaaaaaaaaaay upstream though close to the source and its dense jungle warfare type stuff so its pretty sheltered.

    Ive not been piking in a week or so, had a bad run where try as i might i could’t stick any takes, i would get takes every trip but not hook up, hopefully that will change this weekend….

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