Blunders and DIY

So after a week of painting and trying to get new carbon brushes for my washing machine I knew I was earning some serious brownie points. After actually fitting the carbon brushes and getting a start on the huge washing pile AND cutting the grass on Saturday morning a trip to the river was on the cards. With baby 3 due any day now this was serious so I had to make a short and sharp session – I decided that a Saturday down on the Kelvin would quite possible be a day for the bams (I would end up gabbing with them all) so I headed to my highland river instead.

Some snow still on the hills.

Some snow still on the hills.

After a walk to the first pool I realised that a potential headache was the fact that I had left all my flies back at the car. Also a rather large trout was boiling on the surface on the other side of the river. Never fear, I had my emergency stash in my back pocket of the waistcoat – a  mishmash of a a few dozen or so flies that I was sent by a reader a while ago as my fly tying took a dip due to kids. I spooked the fish of course however as I worked my way up the pool a trout took the nymph and pulled hard, It must have pulled too hard as with a quick jerk the trout was gone. My dry fly was still intact however the nymph knot must have given way. I cursed my laziness as I had quickly just tied the nymph with it’s trailing leaver on to my dry from my waistcoat where I had put it after my previous trip to the Kelvin. This meant that I did not have any more nymphs, instead I trimmed down a dry until it looked “nymphy” and rubbed it in the mud a bit so it would do the job just fine.

Long pool

Long pool

I fished on however did not get another take. While walking back to the bank their was a big splash just underneath a bush, I thought it might have been a big trout. I thought this as when I was wading slowly up the river i was peering into the crystal clear water scanning for trout. Their was lots of wee black bits of weeds on the river bed and I noticed one of them that was around a foot and a half long drift away from my path and sit behind me – that was a big trout but was thoroughly spooked I was sure. Anyway, it turned out to be an otter that was hiding under the bank, I moved towards it and it shot off giving me the death stare.

Hiding Otter

Hiding Otter

I walked down the river and spotted another angler across the other side of the river, she was a redhead with a spinning road. She was sitting down and I think fishing worms. I did not feel like chatting so just skulked past of the other side.

My next go at a trout was at a lovely deep pool where last year I got several trout. It rose on the far bank a couple of times and I covered it three times, it took with a boil and I struck, again the rod bent over as the brute of a trout bored down to the bottom of the pool and my fly pinged back to the top of the water. I have no idea why this time the fly came free however it proved to be my last trout that I had a go at. This was doubly annoying as the cast was made even more difficult by a rather viscous downstream wind that grabbed the tippet making the fly go everywhere but where I wanted it.

I walked back up to the car but I think the bright sunshine was not helping matters.

Dead thing!

Dead thing & Pretty Flowers

Final Tally:

Trout Lost: 2

Dead Things: 1

Women Fishers: 1 (although not the nubile bikini clad variety)

Cows: Lots, in the distance mooing with sinister undertones.

Kelvin comes up trumps….

I was walking to the river when I realised that I had forgotten my new net. Luckily I dd not need it anyway however the Kelvin has been throwing up enough surprises to make me think about it as I walked down.

I have not fished for trout at all this year and I was hoping that my first trout would be from the Kelvin and on a dry-fly. Thinks were certainly looking good with some heat bringing up some olives which the odd trout were responding too.

Again, the Kelvin has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Last week a missing girls handbag was found next to the river and it was searched by police divers. It turned out they were looking in the wrong place however the whole area was finger tipped searched.

Upstream

Upstream

As I walked to the river I whistled at the Blackbirds copying their songs. I whistled as I strung up my rod and stuck on my standard deer hair emerger – annoyingly I lost it in the trees later on. When I went to get it back it must have fallen back into the river. This means my final stock of deer hairs are now gone. I am not someone who ties up during the close season so I now need to get my ass in gear. I seem to teeter on just having enough flies to do me for that session and not the next one.

The Dog Pool

The Dog Pool

I started out at the Dog Pool, so-called because all the dogs splash in it however did not get a touch. It was not until I fished up at the top of the next pool that I finally caught my first trout of the year. It was even better as I had actually stuck on a nymph as a duo and I watched the trout dive up from the deep to engulf my fly.

First Troots

First Troots

At the final count I caught five all on the dry, I took my nymph off as their was trout rising. The water was still cold with that green shiny tinge the Kelvin is famous for. Later I heard the river had turned pink and was reeking of some chemicals. A few of the members had already let us know and Atkins was contacting SEPA.

Next Pool up

Next Pool up

The trout were in great condition and all took the fly confidently.

I need to get some non hand shots!

I need to get some non hand shots!

I am glad my account has been opened on the Kelvin. I know that some guys have been hitting it hard and a salmon has already been caught by a new member on the fly. When I recommended that we stop stocking the Kelvin and put a catch and release policy in place I do not think anyone thought it was going to get this good. In my mind it is still getting better each season!

Lets see what happens next!

I bought a weird net!

I bought a weird net off Ebay – I have no idea what I am doing !

I keep thinking about Wrasse!

I may be having some kind of breakdown!

A Desolate Wasteland

I am getting my shit together in preparation for this season. I don’t yet feel that I am in a position to get out there and start fishing again yet. Sure some people have been catching fish but after a brief week or so of mild weather we have been plunged back in to winter with temps hovering around 7 degrees. Yuck!

I decided to take the plunge and bought myself a new net off of Ebay – I threw caution to the wind and bought an Airflo Pan Net which will keep fishing buddy Alex happy as it is nearly double the size of my old net which I have used for around the last 15 years.  I am amazed that something so sturdy can be made for 15 quid delivered to your door. The handle is solid rubber which feel s nice in my hand and the quality of the mesh is good, it is not too deep as well which always annoyed me about my old net – having to reach down into the depths to try and grip a trout and untangle it from the mesh. It is always nice getting new stuff and I look forward to christening it with some giant trout.

$_57

The opening day on the Kelvin went well apart from me slipping on my arse trying to get down the stairs at the Galleries Pool. Thankfully I managed to save the bottle of whisky as my body got in the way of its descent. Also I did not manage to take out Paul Young as I went down which I am sure would have went down well with the locals anglers.

Kelvin Opening Day

I am the one still drinking the fantastic liquid next to Paul Young

 

You may have guessed by now however I have a third child arriving in May which will curb my fishing time so expect lots of short reports about Light Rock Fishing on the Clyde Estuary – this should be fun as I have no idea what I am doing.

I have no idea what is down their!

I have no idea what is down their!

A few weeks ago I was standing at the hellish toilet in Gambado when I realised I had my fly down for the whole day. Gambado is a “soft play” at Xscape,  if you do not have kids then a good description is that it is where lots of angry parents allow their children to run about crazy while you sip on an expensive cold coffee.  Your kids also want pound coins to play the puggies.

Anyway, I went to the toilet and realised my fly was down which meant it was down the whole day , I tried to remember when this may have happened.

That day started out simply enough a nice leisurely walk down from my rainy hill in Helensburgh to the train station. On the way I came across my first toad of the year which was happily hopping across the road with a few cars coming towards it. Being the ever animal safety conscious person that I am I assisted it with my foot to get it to the side of the road out of harm’s way. It looked a bit grumpy however I was glad it was not squashed. I wondered if it got washed down a drain whether it would survive and walked down to get my train.

Grumpy!

Grumpy!

I met fishing buddy  Alex at St Georges Cross as we were heading up to the Glasgow Angling Centre opening day. He was all excited as he had never been to one before. The night before he was telling me he wanted to be there at 0900 for the “BARGAINS” in case they ran out however I managed to calm him down and we agreed to meet at 1000.

Wandering around Alex unkindly noted that it was similar to a normal day only busier and smellier however his basket was full of “BARGAINS” so he was happy. Gary (Glasgow Angling Center Game Manager) put me in line with a guy to chat about LRF – his name is Jake Schogler who has teamed up with Sea Angler Magazine as one of their LRF / Light Game contributors. He was telling me all about the wrasse and the drop shot action and at one point I wanted to leave right there and then and go and catch some fish.

I took part in the standard casting competition and obviously did as well as ever (I came somewhere between 2nd and last) and then bought some LRF stuff.

Other chaps in the competition.

Other chaps in the competition.

On arriving home I gazed over my fly boxes and found the remnants of what looked like a war. It was a desolate wasteland of hopes and dreams. Where once a neat selection of flies stood in ordered rows of size and colour now entire sections were missing obviously due to sacrificing themselves to huge trout or trees. More probably trees.

Desolate

Random flies that I had obviously stuck in for some specialist task lay undisturbed – last season I had no real need for my black wooly bugger or my spent spinner with its wings splayed out.

I keep a row of around 6 flies that are my go to selection and these are looking a bit battered and weary, they are usually discarded when they no longer float due to becoming so wrecked from trout teeth.

Missing flies

Further fly tying update still to come…

House of Bruar Single Malt

I have only been into the House of Bruar shop a few times and have always kinda liked it. My wife has always wanted to stop and shop  when we have been heading North so she can look at the clothes. I get to skulk off to the fishing section to have a waggle of the rods. She ends up buying presents for people and I as usual am not allowed to buy anything.

So when I was contacted to review something from the shop I decided on the thing that would possibly get me into the most trouble – a bottle of single malt whisky.

And also some rather fine sounding marmalade.

Now there is actually a slight issue with this as quite frankly I am a total amateur when it comes to whisky. My experience so far involves asking for a whisky in bars and accepting any old thing they give me, being at a pals house and being offered “the good stuff” attending the Kelvin opening ceremony and drinking stuff that the secretary brings and of course the stuff that my fishing buddy Alex gives me which is usually excellent.

When it comes to marmalade however I am totally the man!

So the pressure was on!

House of Bruar say:

The House of Bruar Premium 3 Fruits Marmalade is produced by a team of skilled artisan producers, who do not use any flavourings or perservatives. Our jam is packed with the most exciting citrus fruits, lemon, orange & grapefruit. It is made without pectin unlike 99% of all other preserves on the market today making it a brilliant all year round Marmalade packed with fresh zesty fruit.

The House of Bruar 10 Year Old Speyside Single Malt Whisky is a firm favorite with our chairman. Being produced a few miles north of our location , The Whisky itself is typically elegant with a subtle smoky taste, with a warm and smooth finish. A must have for any hip flask when out on the hill.

What did this Vice Chairman think?

When I spoke to Alex about it he told me it will be another whisky that they have re-branded and he could probably tell me what it is if I let him taste it however due to new drink driving laws and the fact that I did not want to take a bottle of whisky along to the Glasgow Angling Center open day I would have to take his word for it.

I opened it and found a rather nice cork keeping the liquid in. I poured a good measure and then took a few sips. A smoky taste? I think so! A warm and smooth finish? Left a bit of a burn to be honest but so does most whisky! I poured another measure and stuck on some toast for the marmalade. As I was waiting I finished off the first “nip” and poured another, in for a penny in for a pound n’ all that. I poured another glass as I spread a generous amount of  marmalade on my toast.

That is the best goddamn marmalade I have ever tasted.

I topped up my glass and stuck on another bit of toast, this time making sure to get the delicious marmalade right to the edge. I thought it would be interesting to alternate a few sips of the whisky with the marmalade.

It was probably around this point that my heavily pregnant wife walked in to find that I had drank a quarter of the bottle of whisky and eaten half a jar of marmalade.

I will be quite happy with this fine drink in my hip flask toasting the chairman of House of Bruar.

Meanwhile I am on toast and marmalade duties for my wife as punishment as she refused to believe that a fishing website should review whisky!

Spring Mode: Prepare to engage!

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Another book from my bookshelf!

This one is all about dry fly fishing – I bought mine second hand without a cover in a wee bookshop on Otago lane .

(the picture is an affiliate link to Amazon)

I see you can now buy it for the princely sum of 1p plus a couple of bucks postage. Good thing about books is you can read em’ on the toilet a lot easier than a laptop.

It covers pretty much everything you ever wanted to know about fishing with a dry fly – including leaders, lines, rods, rise forms etc.

I like it.

Evening Sessions…

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Paul Young and dinosaurs…

At the last Kelvin opening day Paul Young had the good fortune to be introduced to my son and his dinosaur!

At the last Kelvin opening day Paul Young had the good fortune to be introduced to my son and his dinosaur!

I know a place..

As big as your leg..

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