Nicolas Valentin is an employee of the Glasgow Angling Centre – I have got to admit he is one of the guys that actually changed my mind about the place – I used to stare at the rows of rods through surly eyes and complain at the lack of soul the whole store had!
For those that do not know the GAC is the largest fishing store in Scotland – they started out innocently enough as a wee stall in the infamous Glasgow Barras (a market where you could have your mobile phone stolen off you in around 5 minutes and then have it offered back to you for sale in 10) and then moved into a bigger shop and then into an even bigger store in a retail park. The store is huge with all kinds of tackle for sale with a wide assortment of fly tying materials for just about any crazy concoction you can come up with. I used to complain that the place had no character however over the last few years I have really started to warm to the shed store. Their open days are legendary – fishing celebrity John Wilson blanked yours truly and my wife insists that I only take cash and no cards.
I always get embarrassed when anyone recognises me and says they like the blog – makes me feel a bit….well stalked if the truth be known – it was not like that in the old days when I failed to put any picture of me on here – now my fishing buddies have cameras which is a good thing really as it drags up the quality of pictures – Nicolas said to me the first time we chatted that my photos were a bit….well….shit.. and I should get a better camera – which I did – my photos remain shit only now I have a more expensive camera – what I really should get is a non water proof camera.
Anyway, Nicolas then told me some cracking spots for Pike so that more than made up for any wounded pride.
I visited the GAC on Wednesday when I was off with the boy – not only did I meet one of my readers Jason I also had a rather interesting chat with Nicolas – he has not only gone and bought himself a kayak but has been cruising up and down the Forth n’ Clyde canal.
He let me use the above picture from his Flickr page for the blog – I have a sneaking suspicion he felt sorry for me!
It makes me want to get some kind of boat again – in February of this year I was obsessed with the thought of getting myself some kind of float tube or looking at some of the stuff I had that could be used as one. It turned out that I did not have the time to devote myself to a full on campaign of trying to get a tube – maybe if I had fished more however I just never got around to more than a few hours here and there.
However, Nicolas with his talk of using his kayak on Loch Lomond and on the canal has brought all this back – the thought of bobbing around on the canal searching for toothy beasts (and possibly attacking shoals of roach on the dry fly) fills me with a fair bit of excitement – I mean, who the hell has ever tubed on the canal? I could be a trail blazer – I keep on thinking of the stretches a fair bit outside the city near where the Kelvin starts seeping out its bog – the canal is pretty wide up there and obviously stuffed full of absolutely enormous Pike – I suppose access may be a problem however as long as you found somewhere you could get in and out between the reeds it should not be a problem. I know there is some pretty thick weeds – I do not fancy those horrors getting tangled up in my legs too much though – Nicolas pointed out it can be quite cold in a float tube – So I suppose I would be looking for one of those pontoon types to make me glide with just my calf’s and feet in the water.
For me at the moment I reckon a Kayak is out of the question due to there being far too much of the folding stuff involved – so I reckon it will be a pontoon/float tube which works out at around half the cost may be on the cards.
Any of you guys know anyone that tubes in the canal or bizarre places?