Life and Fishing!

It has been a busy week or so in this neck of the woods. I have managed a few last minute sessions on the Kelvin and they have all went well with a few trout caught. Nothing of the size of last week’s mighty brute but nice trout none the less. The Yellow Mays are now out and about in full force and the Kelvin trout love them. I read once that trout are not particularly fussed for them and I have witnessed trout on the Clyde ignoring them however I always make sure I have a few yellow comparaduns in my box just in case.

Usually what I end up doing is staking out one particular pool and then simply target rising trout however now that “summer” is upon us I think it may be time to start exploring a bit more.  Something I noticed about my usual haunt is that it has become infested by a plague of ducklings. The other day a Kelvinator posted a video of himself having a bit of a tussle with a full size duck (it was unharmed) and I can see how that happened. The last few times I have been out it seems like a fight between the trout and the ducklings to get the flies. The trout do not seem to be that bothered by the wee furry beasts bolting across the pool above them and they both chase for the same flies. Here is a wee video of the blighters…

My imitation fly seems to be too much for them and often I find myself whisking my fly away from their mouths just before they take it in their tiny beaks. Usually it is just as it is getting to the sweet spot where it will be about to be seen by the trout I have been casting at. The ducklings will often travel a couple of feet to get to the fly. I have also watched the ducklings scatter in alarm as a trout rises among them. I have yet to see a duckling getting taken from the surface like a dry fly but it is only a matter of time considering the huge capture of a huge trout (I think it was 8lb) taken from the Cart. After all our big trout have got be feeding on the Crayfish by now.

Anyway, I am not really complaining too much about the ducklings as apart from being incredibly cute they show a sign that the river is alive and healthy.

After a weekend up in Aviemore digging holes in the beach of a loch I needed a spot of trout fishing to sort me out.


Digging a bloody big hole in the beach of the loch

Consequently I bolted to the Kelvin for a quick couple of hours and met a chap at my usual haunt, he was fishing a wet fly outfit. I advised him to switch to a lighter outfit and gave him a couple of dry flies. I wanted him to catch a trout however even when I had a go at the couple of risers the Kelvin trout were acting like their usual belligerent self and not playing ball. He has fished lochs in the past and I did my best to describe how the biggest enemy of a river angler is drag. Drag is essentially when your dry fly drifts at a different speed from the current due to different currents affecting your fly line and leader.

His name his Peter, I took a picture of his back like I was a stalker!

His name his Peter, I took a picture of his back like I was a stalker!

 There are a couple of ways of combating it and one of which is being sneaky and going at a trout from upstream and letting your fly drift down. Another way which I enjoy is when you have a riser that is not going to be easily spooked is to cast, cast and cast again and let your brain work out exactly the best way of letting your fly drift. What usually happens is your drift gets shorter and shorter meaning your fly will drift correctly for maybe a foot however sometimes that is all it takes for the trout to look at your fly and think that one looks alright and it takes it. This of course depends on you actually having the correct fly on. The other night I did not have the correct fly on (I had a small CDC n’ Elk) and it was only after changing to a comparadun that the trout eventually took. It was bloody satisfying as I had been trying to catch this trout for a couple of weeks. It was sitting at the other side of the current in some slack water behind some faster current. Working out the drag was a bitch!

Finally caught this trout....

Finally caught this trout….

Airflo came to my rescue after my last session out with Jim Burns. The sole of my Orvis boots which I have had for less than a season came away making wading tricky and I was not going to get a chance to get some evostick to fix it back in place. My last batch of Evostick was locked away in storage somewhere and I was unable to retrieve it.

The offending felt sole - it looks kinda like an unhappy face!

The offending felt sole – it looks kinda like an unhappy face!

Last season Fishtec sent me a pair of Airflo boots to review and I had not got around to actually trying them out so a quick trip to the storage unit where all my family’s worldly belongings are kept until we buy a new house was made and I dug them out. They are simply great, they feel comfy, look good; there are no fancy features other than a good lacing system that makes them nice and tight around the ankles. I stuck my Orvis boots in the shed to dry out and I have been wearing the Airflo ones for a few sessions. Obviously a full review will follow shortly. It is something I have noticed about Orvis wading boots, the felt soles always fall off. If you remember last year I spent a couple of months fannying around trying to glue bits of carpet to my boots – sure it worked for a couple of outings but the water eventually got to them.

It is not something that I have heard my pals complain about with their boots however every season I appear to have a period of time that I am scrabbling around trying to find the correct evostick to get them back in place. I would be interested in hearing what you guys have to say?

Wading boots have it tough though, they spend probably around 6 months of the year wet and damp as they never get the opportunity to dry out properly and I am not even sure you want them to dry out properly unless you are moving between rivers and want to kill some beasties on them so that stuff does not spread between rivers.

Anyway, it looks like the mild weather is now here to stay and we should be enjoying both day time and evening action for another couple of weeks before the trout decide that evenings and dusk is best.  I read over at North Country Angler that he is looking forward to the evening sessions as well. I reckon that being working family men we both like the evenings because during the day we are unable to take advantage of the bounty. Once we get home from work, get the sprogs in bed and have a bit of lovin’ (I jest) it is then time to hit the river with time to spare for the evening rise.

A view from the top of a mountain simply because I took it over the weekend!

Summer is here, I think!

I was surveying the old fly box as I gave away a couple of flies to the chap I met at the river and realised I need to get my ass in gear and tie up a dozen as all it will take is a tree to snaffle a few and I will not have any of my favorites in my box. Tying flies during the season is much more enjoyable as you seem to have a purpose, during the winter there is a disconnection with fishing and the river and it all seems a bit pointless for me. Knowing that the fly I am tying will be used the next day is much more satisfying and even when I am tying it on and fishing with it I can still think back to the evening before and remember tying it. The rule of threes when tying is always a good guideline: one to fish, a backup and one to give away. I have no illusions that my flies are simply functional rather than the art that other guys take time over. A dozen messy comparaduns in different sizes and shades of olive (some yellow too) and it will be job done!

I had better get tying!

ps. Oh, and if any of you guys are on facebook I would appreciate a visit to the Urban Fly Fisher Facebook Page and a quick “like” (seemingly later I can swap them for drugs and sex) You will not only be notified of posts here but I will also be regurgitating old content selecting some fine shit articles that I have written for your amusement interest.


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  1. North East Fly Fisherman · June 6, 2013

    Alistair – I’m giving away 5 free flies every friday on my blog, save yourself some time and enter! Nymphs this week, but some rather dandy orange post, black with a splash of scarlet, grizzle hackled Parachute flies (need to come up with a shorter name than that!). I won’t spam your comments by leaving links, but let me know if you’re interested. Oddly, considering its a free giveaway, and everyone is hard up at the moment I had expected more interest. Up to now it’s been poor to say the least.

    (understand if you don’t want to post this comment on your blog)


  2. rc47 · June 6, 2013

    Alistair,Posted you last year that the most effective glue is Bostik 2402,but as i mentioned it is expensive,and would be better bought between a few friends.Pluspoint is it lasts for a very long timeif properly sealed.A.T.B. Robbie.

  3. Alistair · June 6, 2013

    Nice one ! I am going to try and find some.