1. You will meet fishers and make new friends.
So, if you can think of another reason let me know!
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.
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 ..
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.
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…
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
In my eternal hunt for stuff that I need I added a camera to my list and I thought I would share it with you. If you are after a cheapo camera to take fishing that will not make you jump off a bridge if you kill it with water we have a wee forty quid from Amazon:
Nikon COOLPIX L25 Compact Digital Camera – Black (10.1MP, 5x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD
For an extra ten spot you get the next model up..
I have toyed with waterproof cameras and have found that to make them waterproof something has been taken away to make them cheaper, unfortunately it is quality of photos. Believe me, you do not in fact take a lot of underwater photos! If you are that worried about your camera getting a dunking you would be better buying a wading staff or camera pouch.
28 days to go people and I still have no tippet! I plan on getting my gear out the loft tomorrow evening while the wife is on the nightshift!
OK, sure we had a few moments that were a bit dodgy. The tone was set when a chap walked in to the room and started giving Paul abuse as he could not find the venue (like that is our fault) however he gave a quick apology when he was chinned about his behavior. Everyone brought their invites and lots of people had read the newsletter on the site.
We had also told the local pub not to serve anyone that looked like a shifty Kelvin fisher anything stronger than Tennents.
I am going to gloss over pretty much everything and cut to the chase of something I really should have noticed on the agenda.
5. Abolish rule 28
Actually it says something totally different on the booklet to the website however it is:
14. All brown trout to be returned to the river regardless of condition.
So the proposal was made and a lot of thoughts drifted through my head not least of which was that a lot of hard work could be getting chapped on the head this season and the Kelvin stocks quickly wiped out if this one got through.
There was a bit of a silence in the hall, I wanted to write stunned silence their however that would be a bit dramatic. However there was a bit of angry brow action from the guys that have noted the trout fishing improve. The bottom line is it did not even get close to being passed. It still amazes me that in this day and age people still have an attitude that big trout just magically appear instead of being assisted along a little, like by not killing them. To be fair the guy then asked about stocking the river with Rainbow Trout so his credibility dive bombed.
All the rest of the AGM was about Salmon fishers moaning at each other about who had bigger nets or something. I jest, Paul will put an update up on the Fishkelvin site soon I am sure.
In other news I am still without a laptop as we head towards this coming season and must look stuff up on either my phone or my netbook. My trusty laptop which I saved an age for was destroyed by the kids and even though I received some cash to get a new one they promptly destroyed my bathroom and it was then spent on that instead. So I am left without a laptop to scribble my thoughts etc. for the foreseeable future. Still, never one to let the mere access to technology curtail my ramblings I can still do my stuff after a fashion. If you notice photos looking the wrong size just let me know.Incidentally if you fancy donating to my current laptop fund you can do so by paypal here. If everyone on my email list donated a buck my wife would not make statements like “It’s all about that bloody website isn’t it!!!” I have them saved on my Amazon wishlist - if someone actually buys something through amazon after clicking a link through this site I get a bung which is another nice way of donating. If you spend ten pounds I get 50p or something however it all adds up,.
I have no idea why as I have hardly picked up a rod with purpose for quite some time. I logged on to that infernal site Facebook the other day to see that the Glasgow Angling Centre is having one of its famous open weekends. I gazed at the glossy advert only to see that John Wilson will be in attendance this year. I attended one of the events a few years ago and after sidling up to him asked for a quick photo, he told me he did not have the time and then went off to speak to someone leaving me standing there looking quite frankly like a dick. It was not the case with Matt Hayes who was happy to pose for a photo and a chat. Paul Young is another gent who is happy to stop and chat to everyone and I see fathers pushing their sons towards him so that some of his fishy luck may be channeled through them. Speaking of Matt Hayes I am reminded of a Kelvin AGM when one of the members stated that we should be contacting Glasgow City Council for money and help as he had a conversation with Matt Hayes at an open weekend and that was what he advised to do. It is kinda different down in England though as they do not have a lot of access to rivers with trout and salmon. What access they do have costs an absolute bloody fortune. If you took the Kelvin out of Glasgow and transported it 300 miles South you would probably be paying £50 a day with a limited membership and a keeper for the river. The last open day was great fun and I got chatting to lots of various folk and will definitely be heading along to this upcoming one!
Today I spotted my first wee green shoots poking up out the grass which means Spring is not far off – 35 days or thereabouts.
Hope you guys have got your stuff together!