So last weekend Alex, Mike and I headed up North for a little camping adventure.
Alex and I travelled by train through to Edinburgh where we met Mike and then shot up to the River Tummel for the first leg of the adventure. When we arrived at the Tummel an angler came up to us and told us to make way for guys fishing Salmon, he then proceeded to boast that he had caught a 1.5lb trout on his salmon spinner and decided to leave it on the bank for some of “you trout boys” Needless to say it was eaten by an otter. He seemed quite proud of this and we watched as he skillfully cast out his giant flashy lure seeking for a salmon, I vowed to keep out of his way although not for the reasons he thought.
We had a pretty good day on the river, we each caught a few trout, this is a picture of me looking like a gigantic bug (my other glasses make me look sexy, these make me look like a giant bee).
Conditions were pretty good and by the end of the day we were all ready to tackle 3.5lb wild brown trout on the Don. Towards the end of the day there were plenty of trout rising but we could not work out what they were rising to. Mike took this trout on the old faithfull a Dirty Duster..
We got kinda worried on the way up as it started to rain, and I mean real mans rain, pouring out the sky like someone pouring water out of a bucket. Good news though as when we got to Aberdeen it had not been raining. We went to be dreaming of stalking giant trout on the dry fly. In fact when Mike spoke of tactics it was all stalking with creeping up on giant lazy trout sipping down up winged flies. Half a bottle of single malt whiskey helped those thoughts along rather nicely if the truth be told.
Little did we know that the entire Don would offer up after a day of coldness (not to mention a sore head) was a scabby 6oz trout, and this was after trying small cdc F flies, parachutes, wet flies and finally Mike tried a woolly bugger fished down stream. We couldnâ€™t believe we did not actually just fluke a trout. Well, we did in fact catch a lot of par…
At one point we came across a phone box which thinking back we all got overly exited about and happilly snapped pictures of it….
So then it was the mighty Tay on the Sunday, another cold day. It was a cold morning and Alex did not want to hatch from his nymph like sleeping bag, kind reminded me of the Don actually 🙂
When we arrived there was a really nice hatch going down but as I was so exited I somehow managed to mess everything up. Alex managed a few nice trout though. I almost blanked if it was not for a flukey nice brownie at almost home time that then decided to do a Long Distance Release, by this point I was not too bothered about catching fish. To be honest I think we were all just enjoying the fact that we were outside and not cooped up in some air conditioned building..
All in all a rather superb few days away, it just goes to show that you donâ€™t actually have to catch lots of trout to have a great fishing trip. On our way back home Alex made a suggestion for a fly with a rather unusual ingredient. It makes pretty good sense and once I have harvested the necessary ingredient from a friend of a friend I shall post the results here.
So I and a couple of pals (Mike & Alex) are going away for a few days fishing and camping. It is going to be a bit of a big river bonanza as on Friday we should be fishing the Tummel, Saturday the River Don and on Sunday the River Tay. Should be good fun!!.
When I told Claire she had the cheek to say â€œsounds all a bit Brokeback Mountain to meâ€ the bloody cheek- there will actually be plenty of fishing and quite possibly whiskey as well. Alex has to share my tent so I sent him a text asking if he had one of those foam mattress things for under sleeping bags â€œthose are for pussiesâ€ came the reply. If that bugger wasnâ€™t in my tent I would be taking my self inflating double mattress with me, as it is we shall see who the pussy is when he is sleeping on a rock! Mwa ha ha!!
The weather is to be atrocious so wish us luck wherever you are!
I think the most exiting thing that can happen when dry fly fishing is when you see the trout coming up to take your fly. The last say I was out fishing on the Kelvin I was casting downstream to a trout that I had seen rise, I was getting a drift of just a few feet and suddenly I seen a flash as a brownie rose up from the depths of the pool to take the fly, it came up like a rising torpedo. Just at the last moment it turned away as suddenly the fly started to drag across the surface. I cast again but this time the trout took and was certainly not a happy chappy as it was jumping out the water and generally raging that it snack was a bit of tomfoolery. The same thing happened when I caught my first big trout from the Kelvin.
Exiting, you betcha
So it was a nice evening and I decided to forget the rest of the garden and have a spot of Kelvin action. It was a high temp when I got there and there was fish rising. I missed around 3 although I think they might have just been splashing at my fly. I was using a deer hair emerger. Later I moved up to the Vet school and managed to winkle out a couple of trout. I got chatting to a guy who has emailed me a couple of times, James, whoâ€™s wife was about to give birth, well, not today but tomorrow. He did the honourable thing and nipped out to do a spot of fishing- good move that man.
I telephoned Emmanuelle and he promised me some 2lb trout if I waited around for a spinner fall. Alas it was not to be, or at least no more trout rose. Well, thatâ€™s not precisely true I managed to winkle out one more trout however I am sure it will be 2lb one day.
I wandered up the river, but seeing as how it is a nice night there was a gaggle of young people, girls and boys, playing around in the river. The boys were desperately trying to impress the girls by making animal noises. Ah to be young again. A simpler time!
I then noticed a pretty big hatch of sedges. I noticed as there was a few on my arm, how sweet, I thought, I truly am one with nature.
I then looked down at my waders and found myself covered in them. I am still finding them crawling around my house which the old ball n chain wont be happy about.
No fishing tomorrow, more back breaking work in the garden awaits.
A bit of a repost this but seeing as how I have so many new readers I think it is worth it. Here is a book dedicated to the Kelvin
The book is the first full-length account of the Kelvin.
From its source near Kilsyth to its confluence with the Clyde, the Kelvin is a river of startling contrasts. From meandering stream to the dramatic and picturesque river at the heart of Glasgow. This superb book tells the fascinating story of the river and its main tributaries-the Glazert, the Luggie and the Allander. It also looks in detail at the thriving and attractive communities along its banks: from Kirkintilloch to Kelvingrove, Kilsyth to Kelvinside, and Milngavie to Maryhill. Famous people abound:Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the Red Comyn, Thomas Muir, Lord Lister and, of course,Lord Kelvin.The sweep of the book is impressive and it encompasses the widest possible range of subjects from history to architecture, geography to literature, and archaeology to ecology.
Click the picture above to buy from Amazon
So yesterday I had to come home from work early as I was struck down with a migraine hence no fishing. Today it is warm (in the 20s) and when I got home my beloved new wife wanted some serious humping done. Yes I had to hump large plastic bags full of stones from the local garden centre to the car and then from the car to my back gardenâ€¦..behold a couple of hundred quid and hours of back breaking labour and it looks exactly the same !
I was going to finish it off tomorrow but bugger itâ€¦.I want, nae I deserve an evening session down the Kelvin. In fact I am looking out my window just now and it still looks nice, but I am jiggy jiggered from hauling rubble so it had to be tomorrow.
I think it might be time to break out the Bamboo rod ïŠ
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?