River Thoughts…

I had a damned busy time at work on Friday, dashing from one meeting to another with barely enough time to even have a think about a fish. However, half way through the day it happened, I found myself with a sudden spare 5 mins as I was driving past my wee gem of a stream and with some sudden maneuvering I found myself in a car park and then gazing at some crystal clear water.

It was sunny today and temps rose sharply from the rather chilly 4 degrees to hovering around the 10 degrees point. That my friends is just 2 degrees away from my magical “I think there may be trout rising and feeding” internal alarm.

Anyway, like I say the sun was out and I peered into the water with my Polaroids being extra careful not to spook any trout. I searched all the nooks and crannies of the bottom of the stream  and could not spot anything. I rose to my feet quickly and deliberately let my shadow cross across the stream to provoke some action from any trout that were too well camouflaged for me to spot.

Nothing moved!

Nothing moved – weird bright photo!

Nothing moved.

I thought for a moment about the last time I had been down here and he guy who had killed a lot of trout for “the pike” however surely he had not killed all the trout. I suspected they were still moving down from their spawning areas and had not reached this area yet as it is close to as low on the stream you can get without falling down a 15 foot wall.



I guess Spring has not really sprung yet after all as the bare trees and crystal clear water look largely barren of any activity however a couple of weeks can make all the difference and I am reminded that last season the trout were rising from pretty much day one.

My thoughts drifted off and I thought about the young guy that drowned on the Kelvin a few days ago. I had to write the statement on the Kelvin site and have been in regular contact with Paul Reid who helped to deal with the situation on the day, I also spoke to Jim Burns before the committee meeting the other night  who assisted the police on the day as well. What can I say apart from we are all totally gutted about it and each new piece of info we hear about are reminded about a situation we are kinda powerless to do anything about and guilty because of it.

So the angler Daniel Marchbank who was 33 and drowned at the Vet School will now enter the Kelvin’s history alongside another angler and a young boy who have been retrieved from that same sandy pool. The last angler who was found their seemingly drifted past several anglers from upstream before ending up in it. Every second angler I meet tells me they were their however back then it was private grounds and only a few guys fished their so I guess someone is fibbing. The young boy a couple of years ago was playing with his friends when the river was on its bare bones tragically drowned in that pool. And now Daniel!

I have a story I tell every now and then about wading across the Tummel one hot day when I got too deep and was carried down the river about a hundred yards moonwalking all the way with the fast powerful current at the top of my waders. When I got to the far bank I was exhausted and counted myself lucky as I had been so stupid – that is how people drown. When I heard about Daniel and that sandy pool that is so popular with dog walkers who let their dogs swim in  it  I was just flummoxed. How does a wee sandy pool (albeit) a deep one  have a reputation so fierce to warrant a danger sign? I have heard stories of deep undercurrents that drag people down and mine shafts however to my knowledge there are no mine shafts in that area however I will do a little reading and get back to you on that one.

This season I shall think about a guy I never met while out on the river and will give a nod in the direction he was found on the way home.




What Trout Want: The Educated Trout and Other Myths

I see Bob Wyatt has another book out.

(Picture is a link to Amazon)

Bob Wyatt is a Canadian who moved to Glasgow and worked at the Art School as a Lecturer, he wrote for Fly Fishing and Fly Tying and came up with some interesting fly patterns.

His previous book is:

It is also very good!




Blog Shout Outs!

I am now in my tenth year at this blogging lark and can now look at some of the youngsters and give knowing smiles as they embark on their journeys.

Some posts that have caught my eye are:

Urban chub fishing among the shopping trolleys

It’s a start (Tying for another trout Season )

Late December 2012 Fishing Trip Down at Wolf Creek Dam.



Caddisfly larvae build protective cases using materials found in their environment.

Caddisfly larvae build protective cases using materials found in their environment. Artist Hubert Duprat supplied them with gold leaf and precious stones. This is what they created.


You need a cheap camera for fishing?

In my eternal hunt for stuff that I need I added a camera to my list and I thought I would share it with you. If you are after a cheapo camera to take fishing that will not make you jump off a bridge if you kill it with water we have a wee forty quid from Amazon:

Nikon COOLPIX L25 Compact Digital Camera – Black (10.1MP, 5x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD

For an extra ten spot you get the next model up..

I have toyed with waterproof cameras and have found that to make them waterproof something has been taken away to make them cheaper, unfortunately it is quality of photos.  Believe me, you do not in fact take a lot of underwater photos! If you are that worried about your camera getting a dunking you would be better buying a wading staff or camera pouch.

28 days to go people and I still have no tippet! I plan on getting my gear out the loft tomorrow evening while the wife is on the nightshift!


I am looking forward to some of this action…


Presented with no comment needed!

Kelvinators – my faith has been restored!

OK, sure we had a few moments that were a bit dodgy. The tone was set when a chap walked in to the room and started giving Paul abuse as he could not find the venue (like that is our fault) however he gave a quick apology when he was chinned about his behavior. Everyone brought their invites and lots of people had read the newsletter on the site.

We had also told the local pub not to serve anyone that looked like a shifty Kelvin fisher anything stronger than Tennents.

Good Grief - and this was the "good" bit of the room. The best of a bad bunch!

Good Grief – and this was the “good” bit of the room. The best of a bad bunch! One guy in this picture looks as if he has actually died.

I am going to gloss over pretty much everything and cut to the chase of something I really should have noticed on the agenda.

5. Abolish rule 28

Actually it says something totally different on the booklet to the website however it is:

14. All brown trout to be returned to the river regardless of condition.

So the proposal was made and a lot of thoughts drifted through my head not least of which was that a lot of hard work could be getting chapped on the head this season and the Kelvin stocks quickly wiped out if this one got through.

There was a bit of a silence in the hall, I wanted to write stunned silence their however that would be a bit dramatic. However there was a bit of angry brow action from the guys that have noted the trout fishing improve. The bottom line is it did not even get close to being passed. It still amazes me that in this day and age people still have an attitude that big trout just magically appear instead of being assisted along a little, like by not killing them. To be fair the guy then asked about stocking the river with Rainbow Trout so his credibility dive bombed.

All the rest of the AGM was about Salmon fishers moaning at each other about who had bigger nets or something. I jest, Paul will put an update up on the Fishkelvin site soon I am sure.

In other news I am still without a laptop as we head towards this coming season and must look stuff up on either my phone or my netbook. My trusty laptop which I saved an age for was destroyed by the kids and even though I received some cash to get a new one they promptly destroyed my bathroom and it was then spent on that instead. So I am left without a laptop to scribble my thoughts etc. for the foreseeable future. Still, never one to let the mere access to technology curtail my ramblings I can still do my stuff after a fashion. If you notice photos looking the wrong size just let me know.Incidentally if you fancy donating to my current laptop fund you can do so by paypal here. If everyone on my email list donated a buck my wife would not make statements like “It’s all about that bloody website isn’t it!!!”  I have them saved on my Amazon wishlist – if someone actually buys something through amazon after clicking a link through this site I get a bung which is another nice way of donating.  If you spend ten pounds I get 50p or something however it all adds up,.

I have no idea why as I have hardly picked up a rod with purpose for quite some time. I logged on to that infernal site Facebook the other day to see that the Glasgow Angling Centre is having one of its famous open weekends. I gazed at the glossy advert only to see that John Wilson will be in attendance this year. I attended one of the events a few years ago and after sidling up to him asked for a quick photo, he told me he did not have the time and then went off to speak to someone leaving me standing there looking quite frankly like a dick. It was not the case with Matt Hayes who was happy to pose for a photo and a chat. Paul Young is another gent who is happy to stop and chat to everyone and I see fathers pushing their sons towards him so that some of his fishy luck may be channeled through them. Speaking of Matt Hayes I am reminded of a Kelvin AGM when one of the members stated that we should be contacting Glasgow City Council for money and help as he had a conversation with Matt Hayes at an open weekend and that was what he advised to do. It is kinda different down in England though as they do not have a lot of access to rivers with trout and salmon. What access they do have costs an absolute bloody fortune. If you took the Kelvin out of Glasgow and transported it 300 miles South you would probably be paying £50 a day with a limited membership and a keeper for the river. The last open day was great fun and I got chatting to lots of various folk and will definitely be heading along to this upcoming one!

Today I spotted my first wee green shoots poking up out the grass which means Spring is not far off – 35 days or thereabouts.

Hope you guys have got your stuff together!

River Kelvin is not just for fishing #shock#

John Short (Volunteer Bailiff) posted a couple of pictures today on Twitter ..

What are they? They do not look like Cola bottles !

The last time anything like this was spotted on the river a full scale riot was taking place and some Royalty were busy being married. 

Who would have thought it – a rare breed indeed!

I have seen guidance on paddling the Kelvin and thankfully serious  paddlers only go on it when it is at a high height like it is just now.

Hey you sleaze – RKAA newsletter is now out!

It was sent to me the other day by Paul however due to still not having a laptop it took a while to get it looking right.

Here it is

I hope you enjoy what we have been getting up to! The AGM is this week if any of you guys wanna say hello come right up.

Chapman Bag Review

“Have you been treating yourself to a new bag for work?” said light of my life/wife as I opened a rather nice parcel from Chapman bags. I explained that it was a bag for review as my previous tatty old sack that I usually used for fishing was making me the subject of ridicule in certain circles. Being the subject of mockery amongst the gentry of urbanflyfisher.com is the last thing I need right now.

I will admit it is not often I use a bag while fishing however there are times that I need an honest to goodness bag. This is because while on the river the aim is to keep as light as possible and I can usually get away with a waistcoat and possibly a small backpack for excess water and some sandwiches. However there are times for me when a bag is useful, one of these is in a boat and another could be when out Salmon fishing (#shudder# when not on the fly) The problem with a backpack for tackle is that it is a total pain in the shoulders when you need to actually get some gear out of the bag , reaching round and taking it off takes two hands and during that time your rod must be held or put down somewhere which all takes time – much better to have a bag at your side to just reach in to.

Chapman Bags

So when I was assessed as being a worthy candidate to review a proper “old school” fishing bag I jumped at the chance. I had to make a choice from a selection of Chapman’s bags which are made by hand in Carlisle just south of the border. The bags are all made of roughly the same materials of cotton and leather. The bonded cotton canvas fabric which is used in most of Chapman’s bags is a strong, waterproof material which is created by bonding two layers of cotton drill with a central core of natural rubber. They also a use British dyed and proofed 24oz canvas, which is not bonded, and has been treated to resist water. I have noted from the past that waterproof things are handy whilst fishing for some reason (#grin#) so was happy to see it is waterproof. However, although it is waterproof, they suggest wrapping contents in an additional waterproof barrier to protect against seepage if the bag is to be exposed to heavy rainfall for many hours.

Chapman Bag 2

When I was deciding on what bag to order I looked at the full range of fishing bags and decided on the Artists Bag as it had two large inside pockets I have already mentioned  as well as the two outside – just to mix it up a little I also asked for the rubberised lining knowing that not only can it be used for keeping stuff totally dry it can be  used as somewhere to keep chapped fish if need be.

It features:

  • L16″xH10″xD5″/L41cmxH25cmxD13cm
  • Weight approx. 1.4kg
  • One main compartment with flap
  • Two interior box pockets with poppers
  • Two exterior box pockets with poppers
  • One rear exterior slip pocket
  • Adjustable shoulder strap
  • Solid brass ring on strap
  • IATA carry on luggage compliant

It does have a hefty price tag of £145 however what you have got to think about here is that this is a quality bit of kit that will potentially last a lifetime. Additionally this is made in the UK by British workers, I think here in the UK we do not celebrate our skills enough and I am glad that on their site they are proud of this fact.

There are some people out there that like all their gear to look brand spanking new all the time (and they look like they just stepped out a magazine) and there are guys out there that like stuff a bit more weathered. I have got to admit I like stuff that has been beat up a bit; to me it looks friendly and feels part of me. I just know that this bag in 20 years’ time will have weathered and will have all its creases in the right place.

Of course, that is if I actually use it for fishing. There is a distinct possibility that it could be used for work before it gets used as a fishing bag as it looks bloody snazzy and stylish.

The bag certainly has enough space for several boxes of flies, a spare reel or two and some sandwiches. It is comfy on the shoulders and likeI say it looks rather stylish as well.

As I hinted when I started this review this bag is actually pretty versatile as it can be used as pretty much anything if you put your mind to it. I reckon I could break this bag in as a work bag (I am office based) or even, get this new fathers to be, a rather trendy nappy bag. If there is something I have learned from having two kids it is women like fashionable nappy bags and you could potentially end up paying a packet for one of those that will last a year. Use this as a trendy nappy bag and at the end of the year you have a rather nifty fishing bag.

Anyone that fancies a new bag could do a heck of a lot worse that considering one of these bad boys – I just know I am now fixed for a bag from here on in.

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