Mid Season Review

It is doing ok. It could be better; a lot better however it could be a lot worse like last summer when it was just totally shite. What we need right now is some rain to liven thing sup a bit, not the torrential months lasting kind more the couple of days “just enough to give us a spate” kind or even a few nice days and then a day of rain to keep the river topped up. This will ensure the trout are getting plenty of oxygen as well as making some of the more spooky stagnant like pools fishable. A few inches on the river turns a long very slow spooky pool into a glide where the trout are less spooky.

There were a couple of weeks there when folk were catching big trout; they (the trout) have now all buggered off and are probably sitting on the bottom of the river playing cards or something as what they do not appear to be doing is rising to dry flies.

A nice big kelvin trout!

A nice big kelvin trout, now playing bridge with his pals instead of inspecting my fly!

As I was driving into work this morning I considered my past fishing exploits, do you remember when every weekend I would have a full day on the Clyde with more than the odd evening session thrown in? It was great however the rising cost of petrol and the fact that children now play a major role in my life this has now been curtailed. That being said I think it is time to head down to the Clyde at some point, for a change if anything!

A change from this?

A change from this?

The gossip mill on the Kelvin has been going into overdrive at the start of the season and it has been great hearing them all however sometimes I have got to wonder about the intelligence of some folk if they actually believe them.

1. The association bought a pair of binoculars for £700. I found this funny and then it got bigger; the association bought two pairs of binoculars at £700 each. I mean really?

2. The annual petition to have Paul Reid removed is doing the rounds. Yes, a petition to have a volunteer who can be voted out if someone else is willing to do the job every two years is rumoured to be circulating. “I should be so lucky” he mused the other day..

3. The river is being netted. I was talking to a member who assured me the river was definitely being netted as no salmon had been seen above the falls. Immediately a large Salmon splashed in the pool behind him. You know who you are!

4. The river is infested by Rainbow trout. There are usually a few caught every year going by my diary, not much can be done and if you do catch one bash it unlike one of the chaps that caught one and let it go. I have still not seen any signs of them.

5. There are Grayling in the Kelvin. This is actually a throwback from last season however I was assured from an angler that he had caught well over a dozen Grayling while trotting maggots. He was furious when I pointed out he must have been mistaken, this from a chap who marks par as Salmon on his catch returns.

There are a few more however none really that affects me or have reached my ears, I asked Paul the other day and he said there was a rumour we were best of buddies before he became secretary. The first time I seen him he was sitting with his head in his hands at an AGM as he had just asked one question to many about the running of the association and was immediately voted in as secretary.

Another nice Kelvin trout...

Another nice Kelvin trout…

As I write this the rain has finally started (and I do hope it actually stops at some point) and hopefully it should freshen things up a tad. Of course there is always the possibility it is going to pour down for the next six weeks however here is hoping that is not the case. I am still phoneless so contacting me via email is going to be kinda slow, I phoned up the insurance folk to be told they were waiting on “parts” for my phone that had spent 6 hours underwater, what exactly are these parts of which they speak?

Anyway, this afternoon was warm and muggy however my evening was spent putting the boys to bed so no fishing for me. I hope you guys fared better!


Summer Fly Stocktaking

I spent the evening tying flies.

Actually that was a lie..

Actually that was a lie..

Actually that was a bit of a fib, I spent a couple of hours  stocktaking my fly box and then amalgamated good flies from other boxes into the one I carry the most. This involved taking some old favorites like my Scruffy Kelvin Olive  and some miscellaneous paraloops and picking the best ones while discarding the rest. It improves my fly selection and more importantly lowers the average size of fly.

Neatly ordered, yea right!

Obviously my fly box looks like a jumble of shite mixed up with some insane tailors box however now that dusk action has properly hit us I need to make sure I can actually see the fly on the water. This means tiny easy to spot flies as well as a selection of nymphs which is another reason I did not get out this evening.

I spent a while tying up a dozen light weight nymphs, you see in my box I have a fair few weighted nymphs however what I do not have is some lightweight nymphs for when the trout are taking them just under the surface. In times like that what you do is gink (or other brand of floatant) up your leader to maybe a half foot of the nymph and then cast out, with a bit of luck your nymph will travel along just an inch or so under the surface.

Not Nymphs…

I was talking to Jim last night about the season on the Kelvin, it has not been bad however it has not been great either. We think the effects of the late spring are still being felt as the trout are not responding at dusk in the “classic” way. Basically even though there appears to be fly life around the trout just do not seem to be responding, even to nymphs.

I would be interested in hearing what you guys think of this season so far?

A few photos from this evening…

It did not end well….

did not end well..

The nights are fair drawing in chaps….

I encountered my first problem almost as soon as I got to the river – my camera was totally dead. The boy had been playing around with it earlier and I think that he must have left it on letting the batteries run dry, no matter I had my wee Kodak PlaySport Zx5that also takes half decent stills so that would have to do. The second problem was the huge black cloud hovering above me and the fact the water looked colored and dirty, more like a spate was on the way rather than thinning out afterwards. I did not see any rising trout as I walked down to the river.

At least everything looks green....

At least everything looks green….

I was late getting out as we were being ruthless with the kids getting them to bed and they were not happy about it at all. Still, when I got to my wee banker spot I did see the odd trout rising so tied on a small comparadun and got to it. Just then my fly box fell out my pocket and hit a discarded scooter with a bit of a crack.

How does one lose a scooter?

How does one lose a scooter?

I would have thought it would have stood up to slightly more punishment than this...

I would have thought it would have stood up to slightly more punishment than this…

Still, I suppose the crack adds a bit of character…

Even though the water was dirty it did not make the trout any less spooky however with a bit of stealth and some serious work covering a riser I managed to finally hook a nice quarter pounder..

A quarter ...

A quarter …

Just as I was preparing to cast again at another spooky trout it happened.


The noise scared the absolute shit out of me and I looked up expecting to see a Pterodactyl hovering over me ready to take me back to its young for a hearty feast. Turned out a heron was coming in to land and it was none to happy to see me standing next to its perch. I wandered up the river to find some more trout. As the dusk deepened behind me there was an almighty big splash which was definitely no trout, it was a Salmon and I half considered sticking on a wooly bugger and covering it just to see what happened. I decided that possible madness lay down that path and instead waded slowly up to a rising trout. The water was dead still and every slight movement sent small waves out across the pool. When I first started fishing someone once told me “wade like a burgler walking through a room full of sleepers” and this I have always kept to. In fact it annoys me no end when I fish with folk that splash through pools sending waves everywhere scattering good trout.

There was a trout rising a few rod lengths in front of me and I crept up slowly. As I moved into position a slowly took my fly from its ring and pulled some line from my reel, the trout rose, I was almost there. The trout rose again and I was in position, I flipped my fly on to the water and gave the standard maximum couple of false casts and the fly landed in the sweet spot a couple of feet above the rising trout, it drifted down to just where the trout should see it……




The Luggie, the Kelvin and a lost phone!

So I have in fact had an eventful week or so which did in fact involve some fishing.

A bridge over the Luggie..

A bridge over the Luggie..

I met Jim Burns down at a wee bridge over the Luggie as it is now on the Kelvin permit. I have been getting messages from @JBrownisky on Twitter who has been letting me know about pollution incidents as well as enticing me with tales of rising trout so I was keen to try it out. Paul Reid also said he had fished the stretch we were at so I knew we were not completely onto plums.

It transpired however that we were in fact onto plums as we spotted nary a trout spotted as we stoated along green paths at the height of summer.

The sun is strong just now in the summer sky...

The sun is strong just now in the summer sky…

Of course all the action is at dusk just now, sure you will see some trout during the day and you may even catch some however if you want the real action it is spooky and scary dusk where you must be.

We bolted from the Luggie straight to the Kelvin, we were there for half eight.

Last photo of the evening, story will follow.....

Last photo of the evening, story will follow…..

We fished up the Kelvin and it was plain old weird. We caught a few trout and at dark we went wandering through the bushes until we got back to the cars. The police stopped us and asked us a few questions as they thought we were both carrying guns instead of fishing rods and it was at this point I realized my phone was missing. We had a highly amusing period of time when we tried to phone it and ended up phoning Alan Atkins (chair of the rkaa) mistakenly. I decided the phone was gone and headed up the road, by this point it was pitch black and there was no point in heading through the bushes to try and find it. I was mourning the loss of my phone pretty badly as it has a phenomenal amount of pictures on it of my kids and wife. I also use it for browsing the web pretty much at every moment I am bored as well as checking my emails,updating this blog, updating twitter and adding posts to my new facebook page. I also use it for listening to audiobooks and using the Sat Nav.I also use the camera when out fishing and of course use it to bug the hell out my pals during the day when they should be working by phoning them for a fishy natter. It is a HTC Desire S which even though not top of the range has done me fine over the last year.

It was then I realised one of my buddies had text me asking where I was fishing, like a thousand times before it I had taken my phone out the wader pouch, looked at it and then put it back in. That was the last time I remembered having my phone. So, I got up at first light (after going to bed at 1am) and headed to the river. It was 4am and the river could not have looked any more beautiful. I found my phone in a foot of water where it must have been for the last six hours. Of course it is totally gubbed however I was able to pull all my photos and SIM card from it and thank goodness I had some kind of insurance even though it was only through my Halifax Bank Account . So it has been sent away to be assessed and I am hoping the transaction will be nice and easy. I will update you when i know. I suppose I have been lucky all these years so really cannot complain.

Oh, I got out fishing after work today and it was pretty shite!

Some sessions are just like that!


Random Photo Friday…

It is Friday again, no fishing for me as I shall be driving 300 miles to Birmingham this evening. If you want to cheer me up you can  use the comments, forum or Facebook to let me know what you guys are up to.

Here is a random photo of the Kelvin to keep you going, I hope you guys get out and fish..

Park Life!

Park Life!

Enjoy your fishing!

Why are all my rivers weirdly white just now?

I had an evening on the Kelvin the other night with the mighty Jim Burns, we both blanked or if we did catch a trout it was nothing to write home about.

Even Jim struggled....

Even Jim struggled….

We fished until dusk and then had a spot of action lasting 20 mins, even though trout were rising we managed to not even hook one of the blighters even though we were sharing the one rod and spotting fish for each other. We both commented on the color of the river, it was looking a bit white. I was reminded of my other urban shite pipe river which when it runs white is totally shite.

This was an interesting thought as I found myself at my other river after work wasting time to miss rush hour today. It was running white which meant no trout were coming to the dry fly so I tried a nymph under a dry.

You can see how white it is in this picture...

You can see how white it is in this picture…

I was fishless until I got to a corner pool and tried a nymph under an indicator, first cast and I lost a trout. Second cast a nice trout was being played. I wandered up until I found another nice pool. The glare of the sun on the water was making it difficult to see my indicator fly, it was not very big as I was actually using an unweighted nymph on maybe less than a foot of leader. I crouched down and spotted the dry dipping under, I struck and a brown belly flashed back at me as a trout took a tour of the pool and put a bend in my rod. I am glad I am making a habit of carrying my net as the beast would have been difficult to unhook otherwise.

What do you give it? a pound?

What do you give it? a pound?

It was pretty tired out and had to be cradled in the water for a bit before it drifted off to the middle of the pool to consider its recent life choices! I thought about refraction of the water, when you see trout in the water they always look smaller than they actually are. When I was playing this trout even though my rod was bent double it still looked half the size.

Trout = Not Amused!

Trout = Not Amused!

I headed back to the car and up the road!

I sit now waiting for my wife to get home so I can possibly catch dusk at the river, it is past eight already! What the hell can keep someone in Costco so long?


A boat for a hundred bucks and under?

I have been thinking of getting one of these blow up boats for farting around with the kids when I go on holiday. Also I was thinking about the possibility of taking it out on the canal to get to some of those hard to reach spots with the fly rod. I am looking at two on Amazon, both have great review.

The first:

(Images are  links to Amazon to check them out further)

SEA HAWK 2 BOAT SET WITH OARS 93″ x 45″ x 16″

  • The boat measures approximately 93″ x 45″ x 16″ (236cm x 114cm x 41cm)
  • Seahawk 2 is designed to hold 2 people and can hold a maximum capacity of 440lbs (200kg)
  • The boat includes: 2 x 48″ oars and a high output pump.

All for the cost of less than a half tank of petrol – £35. Just read some of those reviews.

The 2nd one is a beast and is £120

Some guy takes his out on the Sea.

  • The boat measures approximately 124″ x 65″ x 17″ (315cm x 165cm x 43cm)
  • Excusion 5 is designed to hold 5 people and can hold a maximum capacity of 1000lbs (455kg)
  • The boat includes: 2 x 54″ Aluminum oars and a high output pump model 68614. Two inflatable seat cushions with backrests.
  • ISO 6185-1 NMMA-ABYC
  • 2013 models are Grey and blue, 2012 models are beige

For someone that only wants the odd bit of fun on the water these might be just the ticket.


Ladies & Gents, we have a CRIMP!

I attended a meeting up at Glasgow University a while ago, it was hosted by Willie Yeomans and was introducing CRIMP.

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.
So today (Sunday) was the day that the mighty Kelvin attained its dedicated team of river fly enthusiasts. We all met at the Friends of the River Kelvin  building down at the Botanics and had some classroom work to complete before we were let loose on the river with our nets.

Yeomans did not trust us so he gave us a pep talk before we got in the water...

Yeomans did not trust us so he gave us a pep talk before we got in the water…

We had a representative from SEPA to show us all how it was properly done. What you do is lean on your net and kick for three minutes in front of it. You must use running water and work your way across a pool. After the three mins a further min in spent scraping rocks by hand.

This is how the experts do it...

This is how the experts do it…

Kick Sampling

Kick Sampling

We were finally allowed to take our nets to the water under the watchful gaze of the CRF.

Jim Burns gets stuck in....

Jim Burns gets stuck in….

I partnered with Jim Burns simply because we have been fishing a lot together recently and we may as well do this at the start of each session. Yeoman’s commented we had collected so many gravel and rocks we could have built a wall.


Some people collected a half decent amount.

 We found an interesting amount of insects. Rooting through the tray was great fun, trying to work out what the hell some of the bugs were was a bit of a challenge considering we usually only see them in their adult and flying about state, apart from Stoneflies which will stomp all over you.

Atkins picked up a stone and their was a good amount of cased caddis..


Cased Caddis

It was great fun until the end when we had a bloody exam – we each had to attend a tray and identify some bugs under the watchful eyes of Caroline from the River Clyde Foundation. Thankfully I passed and will be taking my certificate into my work to put up on the wall.

One of the things I was surprised about was the fact we had some Blue Winged Olive (Ephemerillidae) nymphs in our tray, it means that we should actually have some good evening action down on the Kelvin at dusk during the summer. Not that we do not usually, more I know what to look out for. They are super abundant down the Clyde just not on the Kelvin.

I am now looking forward to using their Latin names down the river.

“Oh, there’s some Olives”

“You mean Ephemerillidae or Baetidae ?”

“What team do you exactly support?”

For good info on insects you will find at the Kelvin throughout the season on the Kelvin and other rivers check out this link to Amazon..

Any questions, ask in the comments!


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