Querencia – a video!

A lovely video that highlights the small village of Questa, New Mexico and shows its resiliency and willingness to rebuild itself based on the impressive natural surroundings it is nestled in. Of course, it involves a native fish and some fishing.

A tale of two fishing AGM’s

I attended two annual general meetings over the last month. One was for the Kelvin where I retained my post as Vice Chair and the other was the Cove and Killcreggan Angling Club of which I am a member.

They could not have been any more different.

At the Kelvin meeting the general rumblings are that our current secretary is a dictator who will do anything to hold on to his control over the most enviable and saught after position that he has. Likewise I now appear to have this reputation as being some kind of power hungry megalomaniac who actually enjoys being verbally abused for simply volunteering to assist with running a fishing club.

I wondered why then we were all voted in on the night – elected dictators? Is Paul like the Putin of the Kelvin I mused, or is that me?

An old photo of a Kelvin AGM – they have not changed much.

The other AGM was the Cove and Killcreggan Angling Club where out of the 8 office bearers only two actual members showed up – me and another guy. Folk spoke about fishing and the future – it was actually very interesting and civilised as we sat around a table like normal people. Not once did someone call me a “bawbag” as we said goodbye. That’s right, as someone walked out of the hall at the Kelvin AGM they looked at me and said “see ya later bawbag” as they walked past me. I have still got no idea who the person was however you have got to worry about the future of angling in Glasgow if this is the type of person it attracts. Thankfully though I know it is the minority of people that act this way however it still makes you wonder.

Anyway, the one common theme at both is that we need more members – if you fancy a season ticket on the Kelvin for some excellent flowing water trout fishing you can buy it here.

If you fancy some peace and tranquility on a still water a short distance outside Glasgow then contact the Cove and Killcreggan Angling Club

Meanwhile I have flies to tie.

Time to think about “Matching the Hatch”

For those of us that are starting to think about a little entomology now is the time to start reading up. The most easilly digestible of all the books out there is this one…

The picture takes you directly to Amazon Matching the Hatch: Stillwater, River and Stream

For those that dont have it it is

A guide to help the angler choose the right artificial fly, including macro-photography of insect life combined with selections of the most lookalike lure. The book suggests that the angler observes the insect that seems to attract the most, and choose a fly from the photographs supplied

The photos really are very good, and it should sort out those “what fly to try today” situations !

The Spiky Box

My Spiky box is coming along just nicely thank you very much.

Spiky Box

I do love an easy tied spiky fly and the rough water sedge fist the bill just nicely. I know some rapids and pocket water where they are going to be well used.

Spain, A Fly Fishing Paradise?

Now that Brexit has finally hit us you would think that we do not actually like our friends on the continent. Nothing could be further from the truth especially when they have such good fishing on offer.

I was contacted by Adrian over at Pyrenees Fly Fishing and asked if I would write something and post some info that they sent me about their guiding business. I decided to say yes as he said he would also send me some Spanish dry flies and perdigone nymphs which I was inrigued about.

They sent me over the gear as well as some info on their setup and it looks fantastic. They have a specific type of trout called a zebra trout which I had never heard of before and of course if you are going on holiday with family there is something to keep them entertained as well: landscapes, culture, art, history and gastronomy. A destination designed for anglers and their families.

Pyrenees Fly Fishing is a Spanish fly fishing company of guides that offers tours for anglers and personalised experiences for companions in the north of Spain. Ricardo, head guide of this family business, says that Spain is the dream destination for those couples or groups of friends who want to do different things (some like fly fishing, hiking, cultural visits, gastronomy…), but staying together in one place.

He told me that these are the strengths as a destination:

The Spanish Pyrenees, a paradise for fishing: the sunny side of
the Pyrenees
 is one of the best kept and preserved treasures in
Europe. In its rivers, streams and lakes there are exceptional
populations of trout. On the other hand, the local population hardly fishes, which is why the rivers are not under any kind of pressure. It should also be noted that due to the weather conditions, it is the ideal destination for dry fly.

The Zebra trout, a living fossil unique in the world: the famous
Zebra trout is a variety of brown trout unique to the Mediterranean
basin. This brown trout resisted the last glaciation, surviving
relictly in many rivers in eastern Spain and France. Its side stripes
are characteristic.

In addition you can enjoy fishing for the brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout and barbel.

Art, culture and history: can you imagine a trip in which you can visit the Sagrada Familia, the Park Güell, attend a flamenco show, visit castles and
Romanesque villages while enjoying fly fishing in the Pyrenees and finish the trip by visiting the most important museum of contemporary art in Europe, the Guggenheim in Bilbao.

Wines and gastronomy by the river: Spain is known for its wines, paella and excellent Mediterranean diet. On guided fishing days Ricardo wants you to taste this varied culture and way of preparing dishes. Therefore, every day the guides will prepare a gourmet picnic by the river or will take you to visit some rustic country house. Authentic and experienced local chefs will surprise you with their cuisine full of influences and history.

Landscapes and National Parks: only a few privileged people have authorization to drive on restricted access tracks in the Pyrenees, allowing you and the guide to reach places where others do not have access. This way you can enjoy fishing in places of great beauty located next to National Parks.

Ernest Hemingway “The Sun Also Rises”: this famous Nobel Prize winner of literature was one of the first foreign fishermen to explore the Pyrenees. In his journals he indicates “that fishing in the Pyrenees is the
most spectacular in Europe”.

As you may have noticed, there are many reasons why Spain is one of the most fashionable destinations for travel and fishing lovers.

If you are interested in having Ricardo as your host you can contact him at:

  • Through their website www.pyreneesflyfishing.com
  • E-mail: info@pyreneesflyfishing.com
  • Phone: 0034653081173

I am sure Ricardo and his team of guides will help you with every detail of the trip and will work hard to offer you a unique and personalized experience in the “Sunny Face of the Pyrenees”.

And now the Wild Fishing Forum is shutting down ..

The blogging fly fishing scene is pretty much wiped out these days. All the guys that started not long after me are now long gone and I appear to have outlasted most of the the other fishing bloggers that thought they would have a go. The blogs that I used to regulary visit are now years out of date and I find it odd that they just stopped – like someone was at a party and they nipped to the loo and just never came back. At least Becks and Brown Trout stated they were having a break for a bit. It can give you a bit of closure knowing that someone may come back one day. The problem is that sometimes people forget about you and the readers that you built up just dont come back – not you buggers though as I send you an email every time I post.

Of course, it is all bloody Facebook these days. Any old numpty can create a facebook group or page and act like the big man and attract folk like shite round a stick without having any real talent or skill. I put it down to social media overload, people can only accept so much social media in their lives that it starts and ends with facebook with some youtube thrown in for good measure.

Not that I am jelous or anything, it all just seems so dishonest. I remember the days that bloggers were sent some gear to review every now and again – honest reviews that provided a bit of trust. Then the big guys got involved and the gear was sent to “professional fishers” with blogs, in other words guys that made a living promoting the stuff that was being sent to them. They have all buggered off to facebook as well now.

Have you considered starting a blog for our business?Yes? Please wear this wanky shirt at a game fair

And now of course everyone has bought in to the advertising that the big companies put out. I did warn you a while ago about Hardy using subliminal messeges to sell rods.

Oh yea, so what is the point of all this – basically one of the best fly fishing forums which focussed on Scotland is shutting down – The Wild Fishing Forum

It will be a sad day.

Anyone know any good fishing blogs that are still on the go?

Step by Step

Do you remember when to learn how to tie a fly you had to look at a series of pictures to understand the technique?

Now when you lookup how to tie a particular pattern you are directed to YouTube with half a dozen guys showing you how it is done.

This is how you should tie your flies – where and when it matters.

Which reminds me, I need to put together some fast water sedges.

Winter Kelvin

Memory Representation

So my beloved wife and I have been talking for literally years about buying some kind of painting or a print for our house. You know how it goes, she sees something that is totally weird that costs a fortune that has been mass produced by some factory that you just know will end up in a cupboard.

Anyway, it just so happens that an old school pal has taken up painting and offered to paint something. I sent a photo of my favourite spot on a river I know and voila.

It reminds me of warm sunny/overcast andalmost dreamlike days, with trout rising in all the wee knooks and crannies that you find in a river.

Simply wonderful.

Winter Projects – Vice Action.

Well that was a quick season.

No sooner than it was over I was thinking about next year and planning some winter projects. I am not a big fan of freezing my balls off hunting for Grayling and anyway looking at the photos on facebook it appears now to just be an excuse to torment out of season trout. Folk holding up a trout in January proudly saying it would be 2lb in June appears to be the norm now.

Personally I need to get my vice out.

Note to new American readers – a Vice here in the UK is used for the tool and not a bad habit.

Although weirdly for the winter I need to sort out two of them and one not just the one for fly tying.

This all started when I was trying to replace my outside tap, it turned out that a bolt was stuck on to a piece of copper pipe on the old tap and I was flummexed how to get it off. I needed the bolt for the new tap.

I messed around with it for a while until I realised that the tap had been soldered on to the pipe which meant it was not coming off.

I wandered across to my elderly neighbour old Hugh for a spot of advice as he is a man of the world and knows a thing or two. He appears to spend his day sitting in a deckchair watching the world go by – I always go over for a chat.

“Its quite simple really Alistair, you get it off using your hacksaw” he said. I glumly told him that I did not in fact own a hack saw. “No hacksaw Alistair???” he said with a look of wonderous rage ” Every man needs a hacksaw at their garage workbench!” he looked at me again and offered his to me to use. He wandered into his garage and came out with a hacksaw.

I braced the pipe and started to saw. “No NO NO” said old Hugh “Not like that, you take it and put it in your vice”

I must have looked at him blankly.

“What do you mean Alistair? First you dont have a hacksaw and now you dont have a vice?”

“What exactly do you have at your garage workbench?” he said emphasising the “do”

I glumly thought about my garage stuffed with bikes, old paint pots, my roof box, a huge fridge freezer that is only turned on at Christmas to store left over food, an old bookcase which my wife wont have in the house and I am too stingy to give away and also a boxes of stuff that we need to keep “just in case”

Old Hugh shook his head at me and indicated for me to follow him to his garage. “Excuse the mess Alistair” he said as we walked into his immaculate garage with well tended tools stored againt the walls. A row of jam jars was attached to a shelf with the screws sorted in order of size.

And there was his vice.

I knew what to do – I walked over and put the old tap in the vice and tightened it. Hugh looked at me and gave it another quarter turn.

I started to saw….. a few minutes later I could sense Hughs obvious discomfort until “Put a bit of welly into it Alistair, you are not trying to tickle it off ” I pressed harder however he bareley gave me a bloody chance.

“Do you want me to get my Grandaughter Alistair, she knows how to use a hacksaw, she could get through that in no time at all”

She was about 12 years old.

Finally I had made it through the pipe.

I thanked Hugh and retreated to my less than adequate garage to refit the tap. I must say though, fitting my new outside tap was grand and it meant that I could now shout at the kids every time they turned the water on. I thought about the vice for a bit and decided that I needed to get one. I could count at least 3 times in the last 2 years I could have used it. There was the time I needed to cut through a screw as i couldnt be bothered walking down to the shop to buy a smaller screw, and the time that I wanted to see what would happen when I squashed an old phone.

I had to get one – turns out the good ones are bloody expensive.

it just so happens though that my dear old departed father had a vice in his garage – a quick phone call to his second wife to make sure nobody had knicked it and I had a photo of an old vice. Ta Da!

To be fair he passed away nearly 20 years ago and I remember all his stuff being in a pristine condition. Still, I wandered down a few days later and almost destroyed the heavy chest of drawers he had modified into a workbench. Note to self, I need an old heavy chest of drawers to keep the tools I have aquired over the years (and some bloody jams jars) and then one day i am going to show some young buck my workbench.

Anyway, turns out cleaning up these old vices can be a lot of fun – a bit of paint and they look great after a good scrub. I just need to clear a wee space and get started.

Of course the second vice I need to sort out is for fly tying and that my friends is for another post – nothing wrong with that mighty fine piece of South African engineering though.