Oh God, I haven’t caught a trout all year !
— The Urban Fly Fisher (@Urbanfisher) January 1, 2013
It has been noted in the comments that there has been a lack of actual fishing over the last month or so. One would think that I have not been fishing with a rod and line at all and that thought would go in fact be correct. The miserable weather, trout on the dry being off the radar and the fact that any half decent Grayling fishing is bloody miles away has dampened the spirit somewhat of this urban fly fisher.
Pike is still on the menu however with the dark evenings and the weekends being taken up with fatherhood the chances to pick up a rod are few and far between. Saying that, I took the oldest boy down to the canal a week or so ago and spotted something interesting. I just happened to be looking at a spot of water under a bridge when out of the water emerged a long green back – it looked a bit like Jaws taking the boy from the surface.
Anyway, I marked the spot and went off to dip the water for some nymphs. This was productive and the boy proudly showed off his catch before hitting me over the head with the net.
I may not be able to bring you stories of real life trips however I can bring you a story about a dream I had the other night which has stayed with me. In my dreams I appear to visit two rivers (do any of you guys do this?) one is bigger and one is smaller. On this occasion it was the smaller one. In my dream there is always a nice familiarity about it as if I have fished it often even though it is totally fictional. It appears to be on a steep slope as there is lots of tumbling pools and riffles, lots of pocket water with small pools where you just know if you place a fly it will be snapped up by a hungry brown trout. On this occasion I had someone with me, no idea who it was however I remember feeling that I wanted to show off this small stream and was full of those nerves you get when you want a guest to do well on somewhere that you know is full of potential however there is always the possibility that it could be poor due to conditions or just plain bloody minded belligerent trout.
It was a warm summer day and the light was breaking through the trees, there was plenty of fly life on the water and it felt good to be out fishing. Something I like about wee streams like this is the way you can get in and there may be no way out for several hundred yards as you make your way up. Each step you take brings into view a new pocket or puts a fresh perspective on an old one that you can fish the next time. You know how it goes, from a certain point of view a small bit of pocket water looks like nothing and when you pass it you find it is actually a good foot deep and a trout darts out of it. This stream seems largely untouched at least not many folk fish it as nobody was met the whole session.
So that my friends is the wee stream that my mind makes up when it has been starved of fly fishing for trout. They say you only dream about stuff you cannot have and the scenario I just described to you will not be happening anytime soon. Saying that it will soon be January and then in February we will have people talking about the Salmon season again. It does not look like a cold winter is going to hit us so here is hoping that possibly just possibly on the 15th March I may just catch a trout on a fly.
In the meantime, if you guys are reading this on Friday the 21st you should be aware that we have just passed by the Winter Solstice .The seasonal significance of the winter solstice is in the reversal of the gradual lengthening of nights and shortening of days. Different cultures celebrate this in various ways, it just so happens we have Christmas around this time.
Annually this time not only marks Christmas it also marks the point in the year that I look out my JVice and start tying up some flies in preparation for the new season.
I am looking forward to it, I know I am because my dreams are telling me so.
It was behind a fence, so I was reasonably safe!
I encountered it in a Bed and Breakfast in Pitlochry – the look of pure absolute evil. Its eyes were attached to a head that had been wrenched off its shoulders and then had a hapless duck stuck between its jaws.
I have never been freaked out by a stuffed animal so much in my puff.
I happen to like foxes as well.
Over the last several years my neighbor has been feeding a fox and then its cubs. during the day the fox will lounge about outside his house waiting for him to come home from work. If he is late the fox will stare in at the window. It is totally unfazed by people passing by and has little fear of cars. We watched it grow a huge growth however it seemed to survive and now on a winters night we see two of its cubs out dancing around as well. Obviously we do not have any chickens or we would be freaking out.
During the summer I was driving along a new stretch of Motorway and witnessed something that has strangely stayed with me for the last few months. It was a baking hot day and the motorway was its usual busy self when in the distance I noticed something in the middle lane. It was coming up pretty quick as I was doing around 70 however the image has stayed with me and I think about it whenever I see a fox. There, sitting in the middle lane was a fox. I say sitting however the best description would be sprawled as its legs and lower body were at the wrong angle, also there was a large patch of red on the road which I suspect were a lot of its intestines. The fox was still alive and did not appear to be in any distress. It was sitting watching the cars coming towards it and then veering out the way as the drivers realised what it was. Of course nobody wanted to hit the fox as it may damage their car however I kind of wished someone would so that any suffering it was in would be over. For a few miles I tried to find the phone number of the RSPCA however it was damn near impossible for some reason, the memory of which has left me.
So the image of the fox sitting serenely watching the cars driving around it waiting for its death on a lovely summers day has haunted me for the last few m
For new readers Kelvinography is the name of spotting stuff named after the Kelvin. There are a few examples around Glasgow.
I have not added this to my Christmas Amazon Wishlist as I have another funky wee multitool however here we have one named after the kelvin.
I have no idea why they called it the Kelvin 23
Tamanawis has always been an erratic poster.
It feels like just the other day that I was fishing with him however on the phone a few weeks (months ago) he told me it had been years. That frightens me, to think the years are sliding past.
I found some photos from a few years ago…
Back in August he posted this intense video which still thrills me when I hear and watch it.
When I was trying to get the pubic hair of my pals pregnant friend to tie up some wooly buggers he was the only one willing to handle the merchandise.
We need to meet up soon dude!
I had forgotten how good having a forum was, now I get to read what other guys on the Kelvin get up to. This post is taken directly from the forum and I think shows the nature of urban fishing at its best.
Trout and Salmon Guru Aleister Polson writes about a regular issue with urban anglers – dogs! He has found a very good reason not to loathe the buggers jumping about barking and drooling everywhere…
Release the Hounds…
Sometimes fishermen moan about dogs going for a swim in the river. Well not me, certainly not any more after what happened the other week. In fact from now on I might even consider hiring one of the brutes to take fishing. I’d decided to have a cast in a pool I only occasionally bother with, it looks great and I have seen salmon move there once or twice but I’ve never really persevered with it probably because it is such a popular doggy swimming pool. Nine times out of ten when I arrive it’s infested with at least a dozen assorted Labradors chasing sticks and tennis balls. The other week I went for a look and was surprised to find it deserted and took the opportunity to fish it through. I was well down the pool and not having had a sniff was considering moving on when a golden retriever scrambled under the fence panting with excitement. The owner wasn’t far behind shouting strict instructions for it to stay out of the water and not bother the fishermen. That’s uncommonly considerate from a dog walker thinks I , and shouted back graciously “ nae fish in here, you’re fine , let me take one more cast then it’s all yours!”
So I lazily rolled out a farewell cast while considering where to try my luck next. Well the hound must have thought I was throwing it a big stick and as the line flew out it was already stampeding along the bank then taking flight and moments after my fly hit the water this vast yellow hairy idiot came crashing into the middle of the pool and simultaneously my rod buckled over and I had the most savage smash n grab take from a salmon I’ve ever experienced. The poor fish must have shit itself judging by the speed it hit the fly.
So the owner’s having a conniption at the dog and she hasn’t even realized I’ve got a fish on. Then the fish sees the dog and starts the acrobatics trying to get out of the water. And then the dog thinks this is more lively than a normal stick and starts chasing it round the pool. Well I thought there’s no way I’m landing this fish so I threw my camera over the fence to the woman and asked her to get some photos of the whole debacle.(Urban Fly Fisher says: brave man that, there was a 50/50 chance it could have been in cash converters within 5 mins) But I did mange to land it despite the efforts of my canine ghillie and unsurprisingly it didn’t take long to revive , it went off like a rocket!
So I’m CONVINCED the dog jumping in induced the take. And the fish was doubly scared being hooked AND chased by a dog so it fought twice as hard. So there you are, salmon coursing with hounds, I’m all for it and I shall be proposing it at the next AGM
Have a great weekend!