So I was controlling today for the Scottish rivers championship on the River Tummel. A controller is essentially someone that tags along with the angler making sure that they start and stop when required, are fishing with the correct hook size and measure all fish caught. I also got to carry the spare rod.
In most competitions fish are measured for length then returned alive to the water, scores are given by awarding points for everycentimeter of each fishâ€™s length plus points for each fish caught. Scores are then tallied up and the highest scores transferred into a possible place in the final. The day was split up into four sessions. A blank in any one session can effectively kill off any chance of winning; two would almost certainly put an angler out of qualifying.
I was controlling for David Chalmers who scraped through although to be fair the fishing was hard and a few people blanked so a mighty fair play to him. I am also a little bit fitter as my tiny legs had to work twice as hard to keep up with Davy dashing from place to place.
Has it made me want to fish a competition? To be honest maybe just the one but a lot of these guys do it quite a lot and I donâ€™t think I could put up with the stress of thinking that losing a fish would also mean I had lost the competition. However, if there is anyone out there that fishes the fly on the Kelvin and wants to give it a bash next year and represent the club let me know ïŠ
Looking through my stats I noticed I was getting a lot of visitors from pretty far a field. Because of this I have added a little translation thingy down on the right hand side. Hopefully it will be in your language.
If it doesnâ€™t get used I will take it off.
Obviously it will not translate my gibberish into sense!
I want to know how on Monday I managed to blank in such spectacular style. Not on the Kelvin this time but at my other special little place.
Last week I at least hooked trout albeit they managed to get away, I had deceived the trout into taking my fly. That was satisfying, even though they skedaddled. On Monday I did not even connect with a trout. There was a few trout rising, both Emmanuel and Alex managed to hook trout, in fact they both caught nice trout. It was Alexâ€™s first time here and it takes some getting used to- he managed just fine (maybe he stole my mojo?)
In my defence it was hard fishing and I was using a new rod that I was casting for the first time, but still I couldnâ€™t help but feel I was not concentrating or something. My patience was wearing thin, I could blame my new rod but I felt the pressure was on to catch a trout. The more I worried about blanking the more likely it was going to happen- like a self fulfilling prophecy.
Do you ever get days like that? People around you are catching fish? Every fish you cast to stops rising or your fly is immediately affected by drag (or micro drag for that matter). You change flies but it still doesnâ€™t work? I even changed to one of Emmanuelâ€™s deer hair emergers- a fly that he was catching all his trout on- as soon as it was on my tippet it was shunned by all trout- they even stopped rising when it drifted over them
Of course what I should have done was stop thinking about catching fish and go and watch the other guys fishing- learn something new. Take a breather, a cigar, sit down have a drink of water and just think how nice it is to be sitting in the open instead of cooped up in some bar somewhere drinking pint after pint after pint and talking about women and football.
Lesson learned- do you ever get days like that?
So what a weekend!
Saturday I went to the other river that I sometimes fish, the same place that I went last eek with Mike and it happened again. What happened again? Well I lost another big trout, however this trout was by far the biggest trout I have ever hooked. It was across the other side of the river and by some rather nice casting on my part (an ordinary cast in anyone elseâ€™s book) I managed to tempt the trout with a parachute olive.
The trout was on for a few minutes and then managed to straighten my kamasan B100 hook. I have heard of these straightening in the past but I thought the Nickel ones were supposed to be a little stronger. Emmanuelle managed to lose a trout later and we left without landing a single fish even though we had risen and played trout.
On Sunday I was up early shovelling large amounts of stones out my garden, desperately trying to get it done for 1pm as I knew the Kelvin would be back in action. I met another couple of Kelvin fishers, Charlie and Alex. Charlie is supposed to be a bit of a novice when it comes to rivers but still managed to catch a couple of nice trout. I managed around 4 around the Â¼ mark and Alex managed to blank somehow.
I found a nice little pool with rising fish so sent Alex in as he had not caught any- we were going to give him marks out of ten. Seeing as how he did not catch the fish but did not fall in I think we awarded him 3.
The Vet school was very busy with anglers, I think at the weekends I will be seeking quieter waters on the river.
As we were getting packed up- I noticed Alex was putting all his gear into plastic bags. Hey- I asked- why did you not just wear your gear on the bus? He gave some excuse about not being as cool as me but secretly we both know that I look not just cool but sexy as well. Anyway, I got him to half promise to wear his chest waders on Glasgow Underground. Now that will be a photo for the blog ïŠ
I have had a devasting weekend with big fish lost. I have been telling all and sundry that will listen.
Be prepared for a mammoth groaning session wher I tell you blow by blow how I lost the biggest trout on the dry fly……with the bent kamasan B100 to prove it !
Meanwhile- here is an interseting book that I forgot to put on my wishlist (my birthday is on the 25th). Funny that- I was having a conversation with soemone today about catching roach and carp on the fly in the canal.
Check it out…
I am planning to go fishing on Saturday. My pal Emmanuelle stated that the weather was going to be crap according to the BBC and that we should maybe think about fishing somewhere a little closer to home. This made me scout around for other weather forecasts and I am surprised at how different they all are. Here is a selection
Look at the five day forecasts- unless they have changed (which I doubt) they are all completely different. This made me think that they are all talking crap. It turns out that I am not the only one as I found this highly informative link.
How accurate are the weather forecasts?
Essentially the BBC are only accurate 40% of the time. Good gried I could predict the Weather better than that.Yes, when asked I would say- it will be variable.
In ten days time it is my birthday and I am considering getting a new rod for the larger rivers that I fish. A rod to replace my 8.5foot 4/5 weight. I am thinking of getting a true 5 weight 9 foot. My sister is heading over to the states so i think I will get her to pick me one up and take advantage of the exchange rate.
For everyone else I send them to my Amazon wishlist
And welcome people from the Guardian I see I am now being listed there…….stick around the season is just about to begin
It is soon to be Easter, not that I am “into” easter apart from chocolate and a long weekend. I hope this weather clears up.
My fishing pal Emannuelle sent me this rather nice quote by – Robert Traver, 1964 (Judge John Voelker, 1903-1993)
I fish because I love to; because I love the environs where trout are found, which are invariably beautiful, and hate the environs where crowds of people are found, which are invariably ugly; because of all the television commercials, cocktail parties, and assorted social posturing I thus escape; because, in a world where most men seem to spend their lives doing things they hate, my fishing is at once an endless source of delight and an act of small rebellion; because trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed or impressed by power, but respond only to quietude and humility and endless patience; because I suspect that men are going along this way for the last time, and I for one don’t want to waste the trip; because mercifully there are no telephones on trout waters; because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness; because bourbon out of an old tin cup always tastes better out there; because maybe one day I will catch a mermaid; and, finally, not because I regard fishing as being so terribly important but because I suspect that so many of the other concerns of men are equally unimportant – and not nearly so much fun.