This is it!

The start of the season has not seen me fishing. In fact it has allowed me an opportunity to actually have the choice not to go fishing. Instead I have been looking at all my stuff and deciding that I need a few extras to keep me going. I met fishing buddy Alex down at the GAC and I mentioned that I wanted to get another pair of forceps, he told me that he had a several pairs and I thought to myself he is a wise man. There has been a few times that I have forgotten my forceps and it has been a right pain in the ass when it comes to getting a fly out of a trout. Usually I just turn around and go home as I would rather do that than kill a trout needlessly.

The stuff I bought!

The stuff I bought!

Same goes for snips, I keep mine on a lanyard (actually it is an old T in the Park lanyard) around my neck attached to my forceps so if I forget one I forget them both. So not only cannot I get flies out trout easily I also cannot tie knots properly without a pair of line snips. You can start to see why I just turn around and go home.

Bottom line is I bought some snips, forceps and a new fly box to keep me going.

The temp my friends is low, the forecast is for ultimate shite all week and I doubt a trout will even think about looking up at a dry fly.

How is that for an outlook?

 

New season, new forum, new other stuff.

Welcome friends to another season on The Urban Fly Fisher!

This is now my tenth year writing this pish diary of musings and I must say I am not in any great hurry to end it. As long as i continue to make new friends and folk keep mailing me I will keep on writing. Something that will make things slightly easier is the fact that I have got myself  a new laptop after the kids bust my old one. Writing posts on my phone and on a tablet was pretty difficult to say the least however I still managed to rumble on through. Trying to edit pictures was difficult however like I say I am now back in he hot seat.

Speaking of new things the forum is gaining members back again, it is now on its third and final outing (promise no more deleting members and posts) and has around 70 members. When I scrubbed it we had over 300 so slowly but surely we are getting there. If you have not joined (again) already please do sign up over here. 

Downstream

Seeing as how this is my tenth year I was wondering the best way to celebrate and have not managed to come up with anything other than to give you guys an open invitation to meet up and have a fish and a chat. All you have got to do is send me an email using the contact form and we can meet up whenever I get a chance to get out.

I am looking forward to it already!

As usual if you wish to donate some cold hard cash to my hosting fund to ensure my wife never actually finds out how much it costs to run a successful fly fishing blog then you can donate by pressing the donate button on the sidebar, it takes you to paypal and to be honest  even a couple of bucks go a long way when I am scrambling around on hosting fees month.

As posted on Fish Kelvin unlike other clubs who get out there and freeze themselves with no hope of a fish in February we wait a few weeks until it has warmed up a tad and there is still no hope of a fresh fish but we may catch a trout.

Consequently our annual opening day ceremony will be on the 23rd March meeting at the Islay Inn pub the address is:

1256 Argyle St  Glasgow G3 8TJ

Please click this link for directions. – if you are unsure where you are going please contact the association.

The ceremony will start in the bar at 1130, we will meet have a chat and then be piped down to the river where someone will brave the Glasgow City Council anti drinking bylaw and toast the river with a dram whilst tourists take your photo.

Here is last years:

Rivefly Monitoring

Paul posted this over on the Fishkelvin site:

Here is some more information on the Riverfly Monitoring Project that was discussed at the AGM. We need as many volunteers as possible to commit to taking samples once a month. This is your opportunity to help protect the Kelvin and ensure it’s continuing improvement. Please get in touch if you would like to attend the meeting. There will be volunteers from other organisations associated with the Kelvin, so it’s important that we are represented. In fact it is important that we are seen to be providing the lion’s share of the volunteers.

Clyde Riverfly Monitoring Partnership (CRIMP)

The Clyde River Foundation and Riverfly Partnership warmly invite all club members to the Clyde Riverfly Monitoring Partnership launch meeting to be held on

Sunday 17th March 2013, 1.00pm – 4.00pm.
Lecture theatre 1, Graham Kerr Building, University of Glasgow, G12 8QQ.

CRIMP is a citizen science project which aims to provide training in riverfly monitoring to volunteers across the eight counties of the River Clyde catchment. Riverfly monitoring can help protect the quality of our rivers; increase our knowledge and understanding of invertebrate populations and promote the conservation of their habitats. Volunteer involvement is important to the development of this project and will allow us to assess the sustainability and practical benefits of using the method on a large scale. CRIMP will provide another tool to inform management of the fishery and freshwater ecosystem. For example, we have had two recent examples of river pollution (one in Lanarkshire and one in Renfrewshire) where well-trained volunteers could have sampled the incidents more quickly than even the statutory bodies – we see this as a way of helping to protect your river; your fishery.

CRIMP will involve the Clyde River Foundation (CRF) coordinating monthly river health checks undertaken by specially trained volunteers. We will deliver training workshops in riverfly monitoring three times per year, followed by a half day site selection and sampling “run through” day with each angling club. From there, volunteers will monitor their given sites monthly and report their results to the CRF. The CRF will collate and check results, and report back every three months to contributing angling club secretaries, with a facility for more rapid communication with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) if pollution is detected.

 

Bottom line is I am doing it as I just enjoy being next to water and this will be easy to do. If any of you chaps can make it along that would be great!

See you on the river, in a classroom or across the internet!

 

Fishing Sets?

Do people still buy fishing sets ?

I ask because I have been answering some questions on the forums from new anglers (to the fly anyway) who are needing some advice about what stuff to buy etc and it made me a bit nostalgic.

I can still remember my first ever “spinning rod” and fly rod – in fact I still have them both stored away. My first “spinning rod” was in fact a coarse fishing tool that I bought as part of a set from a catalog. Nope, not like the fancy fishing magazines you get these days it was probably Littlewoods or something like that. I looked at all the sets you could buy and chose one at random. I did not really have anyone to take advice from and the whole lot probably cost £20 which was a heck of a lot of money 30 years ago or thereabouts. It did not even have a cork handle, it was a plastic handle and I think was around 10 feet long. it was good for catching small Jack pike on the canal as I could get past all the reeds.

My first fly rod was bought in Morcombe near Blackpool and as I did not have a scooby what I was doing tried to catch a flounder with a weird bee imitation. It did not end well. I do still have that reel and line in my loft actually.

Fishing Pro Tip – What to wear under your breathable waders?

Chaps, I am about to give you the best tip you have ever heard so pay attention.

Those just starting out fly fishing and wearing breathable waders often wonder what the hell they should wear under the things. Some people wear jeans, walking trousers, shorts(during summer) and other miscellaneous outdoor wear. If this is you then I am about to change your life, get yourself a pair of these bad boys:

Obviously you can buy plain ones!

Obviously you can buy plain ones!

I picked up a pair of thermal ones for a tenner from Marks & Spencer however you can y buy them off Amazon for very cheap.

The reason I like them are:

  • In normal season temps you are neither too hot or cold.
  • As they fit so close to your body there is no chaffing at all – the added bulk of jeans or other trousers will put strain on the seams of your waders so wearing longjohns may make them last longer.
  • While fishing you are extremely comfy – I cannot describe to you how you will feel the first time you head out with your longjohns – everyone will wonder why you are smiling.
  • That’s it !

What I do is put them on in the house and then drive to the river and put on my waders. I have been stopped by the police while coming home from fishing and the good officers did not even bat an eyelid as I sat in the back of their car in my longjohns with no ID. Obviously an angler reeks of sheer manliness so we can get away with wearing them and showing them off at all times.

Buy a pair and wear a pair – you can think me when you meet me!

 

Sea Fishing Gear

We have only a few days left until the trout season starts again and I have been slowly getting all my trout gear out and organised. Over the years I appear to have collected a few duplicates and alternatives of pretty much everything however a pal asked me if I fancied a spot of Sea Fishing last week and it got me thinking:

I have absolutely no sea fishing gear.

I do not even have an Iron Maiden T Shirt

The last time I went Sea Fishing I had to cadge a load of gear off my pal however this year I intend to get myself kitted out with some serious Sea Fishing Tackle. I was browsing around and found some for sea fishing at www.whitbyanglingsupplies.com as I may be visiting there later this year for a few days family fun. Looking at the options for rods and stuff I need some advice – is there a basic rod I could get to fish from the shore?

Scottish Vulture?

Again, presented without comment!

Again, presented without comment!

Summer Night!

 

Presented without Comment

Presented without Comment

5 reasons why you should go on a work party

1. You will meet fishers and make new friends.
2. You will see new stretches of water you would not otherwise see.
3. You will find out about easy access to the river.
4. You will get cookies.
6. Ultimately you will understand what it takes to improve habitat and fishing so you will gain knowledge to make you a better Fisher.

image

You will find such gems as this....

So, if you can think of another reason let me know!

A weekend of fishing and children related activities!

Sadly due to the fact my four year old knew there was a soft play around the corner I did not get much of a chance to really enjoy the experience of the Glasgow Angling Centre Open Weekend.

My idea of fun and his are two totally different things. Paul Young got him a shot in the police car which usually patrols the National Park however his look was enough to tell me he thought we were a bunch of boring old farts, I mean who wants to talk for gods sake when there is play to be had?

Still, I managed to run into some of the guys that I usually see however met no pals.

image

I watched the folk milling around and got the boy to hold on to my yearly stock up of stuff I need : two tapered leaders and some red mucilin. I also picked up some wee float things so I can cheat when using nymphs ..

image

There was one person I wanted to finally meet and it was Anne Woodcock of fishpal who I have been following on Twitter for a while now. She posted a very nice picture of us on Twitter.

Anne Woodcock

After I had another saunter around the shop it was time to head to soft play and then a jaunt up the road on the train with the boy. This was Saturday by the way and the day was lovely and Spring like, the temp was around 11 degrees (we are getting closer people) and I could swear I could smell olives.

Saturday evening was all about getting my gear out, swapping stuff from my old waistcoat into my new Patagonia waistcoat , opening up new spools of stroft and sorting out my fly boxes. I also sorted out new tapered leaders on to my old 4 weight Lamson in preparation for that first crazy outing of the year.

Sunday was another day just me and the eldest as the youngest was not well. One of the famous Kelvin work parties was taking place not far from my house so the boy got on his scooter and I got on my walking boots and we walked it down the canal and then along the Kelvin. After a while the tweeting of the birds was drowned out by the sound of chainsaws and I took the boy down a track by the river which soon turned into a newly formed path. Quite frankly it looked great as before you could not get down here without a bit of difficulty. I could tell that James Burns and James Crainey had a hand in this as those to guys are like the A Team of the committee – they have power tools and know how to use the shit out of them.

Suddenly I got a whiff of something in the air, nope, not raw manliness and testosterone from the guys with their chainsaws as in the picture…

Raw Power + Kelvin!

Raw Power + Kelvin!

Nope, it was the rather nice scent of garlic which totally covered the banks. I have a strong memory from the start of last season sitting in the sunshine waiting for something to happen among the garlic (nothing ever did) and it really is the herald of spring in my mind. The boy got in on a bit of the action as well, seeing as how I thought wielding a chainsaw would be a bit dangerous I allowed him to chop up some wood with the choppy cutter thing.

He has now done at least one half hour more work than I have ever done on a work party.

He has now done at least one half hour more work than I have ever done on a work party.

Of course the esteemed chairman Atkins was their with a bit of sweat dripping off his brow and was proud of it. So was another new member who just thought he would be doing a spot of litter picking and instead was hauling stuff out the river with a grappling hook.

Later we went for a walk down the river which was all a bit exciting as I had never seen it from this angle before.

Never seen from this angle!

Never seen from this angle!

I cannot remember whether that bridge is the old train or road bridge? I have crossed it a few times and suspect it is the old bridge that used to take the train from Partick to Possilpark many many years ago.

I was standing talking to Jim Burns when we both spotted our first trout rising of the season. Of course I looked up quickly just to make sure it was not in fact a bird poo however as their were none in sight it looks like we had a rising trout on the Kelvin today. Sure, it just rose the once and then disappeared however it was an honest to goodness trout rising so I am well looking forward to the start of the season.

Have you guys been preparing?

 

River Thoughts…

I had a damned busy time at work on Friday, dashing from one meeting to another with barely enough time to even have a think about a fish. However, half way through the day it happened, I found myself with a sudden spare 5 mins as I was driving past my wee gem of a stream and with some sudden maneuvering I found myself in a car park and then gazing at some crystal clear water.

It was sunny today and temps rose sharply from the rather chilly 4 degrees to hovering around the 10 degrees point. That my friends is just 2 degrees away from my magical “I think there may be trout rising and feeding” internal alarm.

Anyway, like I say the sun was out and I peered into the water with my Polaroids being extra careful not to spook any trout. I searched all the nooks and crannies of the bottom of the stream  and could not spot anything. I rose to my feet quickly and deliberately let my shadow cross across the stream to provoke some action from any trout that were too well camouflaged for me to spot.

Nothing moved!

Nothing moved – weird bright photo!

Nothing moved.

I thought for a moment about the last time I had been down here and he guy who had killed a lot of trout for “the pike” however surely he had not killed all the trout. I suspected they were still moving down from their spawning areas and had not reached this area yet as it is close to as low on the stream you can get without falling down a 15 foot wall.

Leafless!

Leafless!

I guess Spring has not really sprung yet after all as the bare trees and crystal clear water look largely barren of any activity however a couple of weeks can make all the difference and I am reminded that last season the trout were rising from pretty much day one.

My thoughts drifted off and I thought about the young guy that drowned on the Kelvin a few days ago. I had to write the statement on the Kelvin site and have been in regular contact with Paul Reid who helped to deal with the situation on the day, I also spoke to Jim Burns before the committee meeting the other night  who assisted the police on the day as well. What can I say apart from we are all totally gutted about it and each new piece of info we hear about are reminded about a situation we are kinda powerless to do anything about and guilty because of it.

So the angler Daniel Marchbank who was 33 and drowned at the Vet School will now enter the Kelvin’s history alongside another angler and a young boy who have been retrieved from that same sandy pool. The last angler who was found their seemingly drifted past several anglers from upstream before ending up in it. Every second angler I meet tells me they were their however back then it was private grounds and only a few guys fished their so I guess someone is fibbing. The young boy a couple of years ago was playing with his friends when the river was on its bare bones tragically drowned in that pool. And now Daniel!

I have a story I tell every now and then about wading across the Tummel one hot day when I got too deep and was carried down the river about a hundred yards moonwalking all the way with the fast powerful current at the top of my waders. When I got to the far bank I was exhausted and counted myself lucky as I had been so stupid – that is how people drown. When I heard about Daniel and that sandy pool that is so popular with dog walkers who let their dogs swim in  it  I was just flummoxed. How does a wee sandy pool (albeit) a deep one  have a reputation so fierce to warrant a danger sign? I have heard stories of deep undercurrents that drag people down and mine shafts however to my knowledge there are no mine shafts in that area however I will do a little reading and get back to you on that one.

This season I shall think about a guy I never met while out on the river and will give a nod in the direction he was found on the way home.

 

 

 

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