TheGlasgowStory: Garscube House

TheGlasgowStory: Garscube House

old house

Garscube House, 1954.

Garscube House was designed by the architect William Burn (1789-1870) and completed in 1827. Burn designed other large country houses such as Tyninghame in East Lothian. The house faced south overlooking landscaped gardens beside the River Kelvin.

Im trying to work out exactly where that picture got taken. In the distance you can see a bridge, now i reckon that it is the bridge that ………hmm I will tell you what I will do …..later I will take my good digital camera and take a photo from roughly the same place as where that one was taken. Its strange though because looking at that photo would mean that the shape of the river has changed a great deal…..for a start there is now a massive hole just in front of where that picture was taken…..there is now a slight bend as well. Its a lot wider as well……..i wonder if some work was done to make it narrower at some point through the estate….i will have agander around and see what I can find!

EDIT:: If you go HERE you will see the picture a lot larger and you can see the bridge……im now positive that it is the bridge in the estate…..pretty intersting i think!

Dirty tricks at the vet school!

So I went down to the river this evening for a couple of hours. I went down for two reasons. One I wanted to catch fish and two I wanted to test my waders again… getting paranoid that they are leaking again after last night.
Anyway, when i got there teh water was dirty and muddy. I did the same as last night, i fished with two flies…im getting teh hang of this dropper lark….i put a butcher on the point and a wooly thingy on the dropper.
Basically I was just casting downstream and letting the flies swing across the current. The danger in this of course is that a lot of fish just seem to snap at the flies and around 3 or 4 fish did just that. All the time I was fishing i was thinking that my foot was wet, comparing how my right foot felt too my left…………… minute i would think they were leaking and then the next not. Last night I had taken my waders off to check and my foot was a little damp and then put my foot down on the ground (as i fell over again) so that had ruined my chances of finding out.
Anyway…back to the fishing….Here is a nice little trout!
I was surprised that I caught anything to be honest as the water was so coloured but in the end i caught a few, all small one a little larger than the one in the photo.
I was wading deep, up tp my thighs and the water was cold dammit….this is July???? Anyway I think the cold made me think that my foot was wet again and i was seething……i was going over in my head what i would say to the company that i wanted a new pair and what my rights were……..rah!!!!
As i was fishing there was a duck swimming up beside me with some little baby ducks :))
AAwwwwwww!!!! I love seeing nature when im fishing……and trees for that matter!!
Anyway, so I walked back up the river as finally I had got in a tangle with the dropper (yegads) and seen some fish rising to flies on the surface…….I was a bit unsure as to what to do as the water was so dirty…..i tied on a duster anyway and had a few casts….my foot felt wet so i stomped home in disgust…thinking about all the fishing i would NOT be doing waiting on them come back……raging…..seething.. the foot with the leak felt heavier…it felt wetter…it felt damp…it felt funny/strange not the same as the other one.

Got home…both feet prefectly dry……all in my imagination…..Im obsessive…..obsessive!!!!
When I got home I ripped my copy of the Guardian into appropriate letters and filed them away with the rest!

A can of cider and some cookies are called for!!

Oh…..i nearly forgot. I went into “Cafaro Brothers” and the guy that served me was great……I know im always moaning about fishing shops but the server gave me some good advice and we had a nice chat about fishing for a change…I had a wee gander at the waistcoats ..he could sense the mug in me so steered me towards the hardy ones! Ahhhhh positive 🙂


A nice evening!

So I took a stoat along to the river yesterday, well in the late afternoon actually. When i got their it was looking awfully coloured although what i have noticed is that the pools look cery brown but in the shallows and in the ruffles the water was a little clearer. Anyway I put on a little butcher and a wooly spikey tinsley thing on the dropper. As you know I dont usually use droppers but I thought I had better give it a bash and get into the swing of things.
Anyway….I lost a nice fish because of the dropper when it got tangled up in a fallen railing that had moved from its resident position at the side of a pool to the middle of a pool. At some point, when the water is lower, i will need to go in and haul that damn thing out as it has now ruined a perfectly nice pool. That horrible bit of floatsam has moved because the river has been in some quite strog spates the last few weeks with the changeable weather….. some of the pools have changed shape and where there was nice glides there is now a deep bit. (I explain things so well 😉 )

Ad you can see lots of rubbish has washed down the river as well.

I caught a few more smaller fish and one larger fish and decided to call it a day as i could have sworn that leak in my waders has started again… MAD

I also met one of the people that has been mailing me for a wee while now!

Whiting Golden Badger!!

So I got my Whiting Golden Badger saddle today….im very impressed. I knew the actual hackles would be longer but they are ridiculously long and thin you really can tell the difference in quality. It cost just under 15quid and i got it off ebay sent from the states. The colours are simply fantastic… going to tie up a couple of……wait for it…..Grey Dusters… thats right 🙂 !!!! I will posts some picks of my efforts as well.

I have been getting a few emails about the blog recently that made me realise that some people do not follow that my blog is part of a bigger picture as it were. This blog is my diary of course but if you head over to Urban Flyfishing on the Kelvin you can see some more pictures of the river and some of the little stretches that I fish.

I dont seem to have fished the river in ages now….at least in a couple of weeks, what with being ill and the river being in crap condition. I passed by it today and it looks pretty good. Im working the next couple of days and hopefully if there is no more rain (a little is ok) then i will blitz it next week. Im also hoping to target some Sea Trout as well so if the going is fair i will do a spot of night fishing. If anyone fancies a bit of targeting the Kelvin at night drop me a line or leave a comment. I think it may be best to go down in pairs, sometimes there are some dodgy characters around. Not that Im ever really bothered by them I usually think that if you look like an angler they will not bother you, they will just give you a bit of banter whereas if you are just a bloke carrying a fishing rod they will nick it off you! Always be pleasant to people you meet when urban angling, even if they look like a dodgy character, exchange the time of day and have a chat. They will remember you as someone ok…….everyone loves a lover and an angler!!!

Im still planning heading down to the Allander at some point. The Allander is a tributory of the Kelvin. Ive walked it a couple of times but never fished it. Well thats not strictly true i fished it when i was a lot younger using a worm letting it trot down, caught a few fish as well…….. but in my younger years I didnt really have a clue what i was doing. Unlike now when i can fake it particulary well!

Bob Wyatt!!

So I see Bob Wyatt has his book coming out soon. I was having a read at this months Fly Fishing and Fly Tying magazine and he had an article about Grey Dusters. He ties a variant called a “Dirty Duster” ….
dirty duster

…..This is one of the flies (not the ACTUAL fly, this is one from his site) he gave me that time we were filming for that Trout N About programme……it was allso responsible for my best trout on the dry fly.

He says::

Courtney Williams (A Dictionary of Trout Flies) considered the old Grey Duster to be the best pattern for a mayfly hatch, but couldn’t say why. We know now. It’s the way the tail-less Duster floats. This clipped hackle, sunk-abdomen version improves on an all-time classic, and couldn’t be easier to tie

Well thats true anyway, ive been tying them up like crazy. All the things ive read about the duster say that it is a good all round fly. Ive bought myself a “Golden Badger” cape from the states, I know that the traditional duster is tied with a silver badger but after some advice from a messege board I decided to get this cape as Grey Dusters tied with a variety of badger variations is a great way to get flies for different species of olive.

For example Pale Watery = Grey Duster with light brown thread and pale cream badger

Large Dark Olive = with dark brown thread and yellowish badger

Iron Blue Dun = with primrose thread and yellowish badger with very pronounce black tips but a thin list

So go and check out Bob’s site and buy his book when it comes out.

Loch Awe!

So I went to loch Awe on Sunday their, a cracking day on a lovely loch with good company and fantastic scenery (you can tell I didnt catch anything)
I was in a boat with Alberto and Emanuele. Emanuele was a bit of a novice in a boat like myself but Alberto kept us right. We were using long rods with intermediate lines …i was using my old 10foot “daiwa wf98 rod” with a line rated wf 6 or 7. I had bought some wet fly casts special to save time but laughingly I spent a lot of time trying to sort out tangles as soon as i took them out the packet…..I would have saved time tying my own!! you live and learn i suppose.
Anyway the idea is you motor to a place and then drift towards the lochside with one person on the oars keeping the boat level and staying the right distance away from the shore…
towards shore
Anyway, Alberto knew exactly what he was doing but when it was mine and the other novices turn on the oars it was all “out a bit” or “in a bit” and on a few memorable occassions “turn the engine on” at this point i would panick and try and work out what way to turn the handle on the engine!

Loch Awe was lovely, you could watch the rain drifting across the loch,,,,

Wildlife………..we seen an osprey and a wild goat staring at us from the shore…..there was some mayflies hatching as well and caught an eel. Well, technically we didnt catch an eel what happened was we seen this thing bobbing up and down in the water and it turned out it was a float with a lengh of mono attached and on that was an eel. The eel must have got itself snagged and the “angler” must have snapped the line trying to get it out.

Alberto caught a nice fish, lovely looking and lost another. the novices caught nowt. But hey catching fish is the aim of fishing but not the purpose!

I managed not to do anything too crazy until we got back to dry land at the end of the day……i was taking off my waders and fell over like a tree being felled and nearly broke Emanuele’s sage rod!!

Ah well!!!

A Recap!!

Right so I can give you a little update on the last month……I can condense it down into one post…its quite easy if i cut out ALL the moaning and the groaning and the telling you how ill I was.
Anyway, I went to the Glasgow Angling Centre and bought some fly tying materials and was impressed by the service that i recieved. The reason i noted this is because I always felt the service was poor in that place. As it was they were exellent in their advice of what CDC i should buy and also sold me a Grey Heron feather for a couple of bucks. The guy also gave me some advice on what I should use for Grey Dusters and subsequently I caight my very first trout on one of my very own tied dry flys….it was a grey duster by the way…..

first trout

You can see the fly in the mouth…..I caught it fishing this little run, usually I only target rising fish but this time i targetted somewhere that i thought a fish would be……a valuable lesson!!

for the dry

On the same day i caught a nice sea trout …….ahem on the same dry fly i might add……although by this time i think it had sunk up in the vet school stretch…it was only a small un though but was my first one…..I always find it strange that i never catch more when other people do!!

I have not added in ALL the moaning and groaning and bitterness……you may add that in as you wish!

Sinus pain and Riverkeeper!!

Ow…OWW owwww…….oohh owww< << that is pretty much what my life consists of at the moment....acute sinus pain.....its ok for a while and the second i move my head or stand up its like someone hammering a nail into my eye....oooohhhh OWW OW!! Ive bought some stuff online from a shop called Riverkeeper. I bought some tapered leaders and some wet fly casts. Ive been toying with the idea of splashing out for a while on tapered leaders to see if they do actually improve your turnover. I usually just use a level lengh of mono…..say about 6-9 foot around 2-4lb but I decided that seeing as how I had accumulated some cash on my paypal account I would treat myself. Riverkeeper take paypal!! Anyway so I bought myself a selection of wet fly casts and tapered leaders;wet fly casts as this weekend all going well I shall be going to Loch Awe on Sunday. ooooohhh OWW!! < < sinus pain kicks in again. Anyway, oh yea "Riverkeeper" I put my order in and the stuff turned up the next working day......fantastic and its postage free in the UK......I would check out their selection if i were you it really is good. I got myself a wee dinky line cutter thingus as well with a little pointy thing for clearing eyes of flys.....and it was only 2 quid. Im happy with that!! Ive also bought myself a genetic cape from the on was remarkably cheap and the postage was ok even though its going priority. I got myself a Whitting cape as they are graded differently, the lower grade is not about what size of hackle you get its more about how many flies you can tie of a cape.......if you see what I mean .......OOOOhhhhhhhh OWW!!<<< Its blowing a gale just now outside and the rain is puring down, that can only be good news for the river. After the lack of rain the last wee while the amonia levels were rising which could have meant another fish kill.....but this rain should cause the river to have a good clean out, doesnt make me feel so bad that every step i take is absolute utter agony so I cant even go fishing even if i could. Im also considering visiting a fishery and trying a bit of stocky bashing;.Ive only ever visited one fishery and caught nowt! Riverkeeper


I dunno, I was posting on a forum that I visit and a thread came up about droppers. Basically I really only ever fish with one fly when fishing wet, when river fishing anyway……for that matter any fishing. I just dont think that it would make my catch rate increase any. Put it this way, lets say im casting a little wet fly to the side of a boulder or a partially submerged tree, i know where the single fly is going to go because thats the one that I am guiding BUT if i had a dropper to bother about at the same time im pretty sure it would get caught up……plus the fact sometimes playing a fish in tight conditons with a dropper flying about would i think result in a lot less fish landed. Im going to try anyway.
Ive not been fishing the last few days as I was working on Friday and the was absolutely steaming on saturday …I went to The Stand comedy club and won a bottl eof red wine and two tickets to go back woohoo….I had possibly the worst hangover of my life on sunday…like im talking really bad here and then today it was too windy.
The one good thing is that the weather has changed so there will be some nice fresh water in the river giving it a bit of a boost 🙂 There should also be a run of fish with a bit of luck, that reminds me i had a note in my guestbook from someone who had seen a salmon trying to get up the weir just down from Queen Margeret Drive… thats possibly one more than ive seen…..i know they are there I just never seem to see em’

Oh yea, where was I….. droppers, im going to give them a try this week!

“Get back to sleep its a damn hobby!!

Pssst!! Ive worked it out…if I say im going to go fishing tommorow then something will happen that will stop me….So once I had spent the day fixing my mates comp I then came home played some computer games and tied up some flies. Im getting quite into this cdc stuff as well as using rabbit fur for dubbing. For my other grey dusters I had been using a little bit of dubbed grey wool….and you know something? it was absolute pap and pretty hard to dub whilst the rabbit fur is really easy and gives the body of the fly a nice kind of “hairy” look to it. Tommorow I will, possibly actually take a couple of photos of my efforts so far as long as i dont get a slagging, just remember these are still in my first couple of dozen flies after many years away from fly tying…. (and when i was young i was bad as well)

Waders did not arrive today iether, How long do you think I should wait before i phone them up? I mean how long is reasnable, I sent them……….last thursday and they got them on the friday…….hmmmm I suppose thats only really given them like 2 full working days….suppose i musnt grumble (but I will anyway, under my breath, muttering)

Sometimes I think im obssesed, I mean I know I get obssessed about stuff, but hey whats wrong with that? Around a month ago I woke up in the morning it was around 6am, Claire was going to be getting up soon to go to work and i had went to bed at around 1am after drinking half a bottle of wine, I felt bad, like really bad…..I woke up and could see that it was a nice day, overcast and looked promising. I sat up in bed and held on to my head…it felt all muggy and horrible….Claire asked me what i was doing…..i said I had to get to the river but I felt terrible……..Claire said ” get back to sleep its a damn hobby”!!

Some people just dont folllow the drift man!

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