I posted this over on the FishKelvin site however thought you guys might like to see it as well.
Essentially, the Kelvin legend Jim Burns took a walk up to the infamous Balmore stretch of the Kelvin and noticing the ditch that everyone complains about only goes and builds a bloody great bridge at home to help everyone out.
Last Sunday we went and put it up.
After some back breaking work on the Kelvin putting a bridge across a ditch * I found I had a spare couple of hours to fish the Kelvin.
I arrived at a spot I have only ever glanced at as I hurried past towards other pools however while I have been out for a run I have spotted some trout rising in the area so decided to give it a bash.
As soon as I arrived at the river side I noticed a few rises, it turned out that they were silver smolts heading out to sea. It took me a further five mins before I located some actual trout in the most tricky of places.
It was a tricky cast upstream and I had to allow my line to lay across some river debris (you can see it on the right hand side of the photo). The debris in this area is pretty bad and the banks are made up of rubble,weird bits of metal pole that stick out the ground, heavily rusted shopping trolleys, invasive plants and broken glass – not nice !
Also because the water was a bit murky I could not see the bottom which was a bit dodgy!
Out of that water I landed two and lost a couple, essentially I just felt their weight and they were gone.
I moved up to the top of the pool and thought it would be a good time to try a nymph on a dropper – it was one of the nymphs that I had been sent the other day (it is now stuck on a tree so a good job he sent me a few) and with the first cast a I was into a lovely rod bender which after a brief tussle was placed back in the water!
It was just where you would expect a bigger trout to take station, right at the top of the pool in between two tongues of water – there was really no mistaking the pull of the dry under the water for anything else. I thought I might have got another trout from the pool however nothing showed up at all.
I spent some more time trying to tempt some wily trout with a downstream drift however they were having absolutely none of it with my shenanigans.
I showed the pictures to some teenage girls who couldn’t believe there were fish in the river, they giggled as the touched the camera as if they were touching the fish themselves.
As I wandered under the Kelvin Aqueduct I wondered about the tons of water and stone above my head. The Aqueduct carries the Forth and Clyde Canal over the River Kelvin. It is 400 feet (120 m) long and 70 feet (21 m) high, and when opened in 1790 was Britain’s largest. It is protected as a category A listed building.
Not many people see this view…
At around 3pm(ish) I called it a day, as I wandered back up the path some guy pointed out his drunk girlfriend who was peeing in the bushes – he was holding a bottle of wine and he informed me of the many good pools he had seen on his wander up the river.
I wished him well on his travels.
* That I took photos of.
Look, I have kinda given up on reviewing books (although if someone wants to send me one then I am not saying no) however now that “Trout in Dirty Places” by Theo Pike is out I really want you to buy it.
I received my copy on Friday..
As I flicked through it I realised what I held in my hand – it is a manual of all the rivers that you see on City breaks and wonder whether they have fish in them – now you will know and also where to buy a permit – sweet! Already I have spotted a few rivers I should have fished in the past and will do so in the future when I pass that way again.
I looked at the Kelvin page and wondered just who that hunk of sheer raw manliness was in the photograph, I mean look at the sexy pose, the steely glint behind the shades …
Goodness gracious – IT’S ME!!
Just in case you did not know (I have been bleating on about it for a year) here is the original post when I took Theo to the Kelvin.
Anyway, obviously if you fish the Kelvin you will not buy it for that as you will buy it for the other 49 rivers – obviously useful for long distance lorry drivers and other times folk who are near urban rivers and fancy a spot of action.
There are two ways you can grab a copy, one of which is free for someone – the publishers “Merlin Unwin” are having a competition on their site to win a free copy – the question is:
Just in case you are unable to use google – you might find this link kinda interesting: River Bollin
You have until the 30th April so hurry up.
The second way and if you are unlucky enough not to win a free copy is to actually buy the book – you can buy it from many bookshops however if you buy it from Amazon and through my link I get a bung – so here is a picture that takes you straight to the Amazon page where you can buy it..
In other news I happen to have a shit load of flies that need tied up – a kind reader got in touch to say he was going to send me some (the absolute gent) and they will get used over the coming coming season however I happen to have a free 2 hour window tomorrow morning – on the cards are simple pheasant tail nymphs (with no thread used), some Wooly Buggers (a few colors) and some stupidly sparse dries.
I also have some red wine to drink – I think I am going to enjoy it!
Last Friday after work I managed a couple of hours searching for some elusive rising trout action. All I appear to be reading just now on the blogs I visit is the rising trout people seem to be connecting with – meanwhile on the few hours I managed to steal away I did not witness any trout action whatsoever. Of course this week we are back to freezing conditions and no flies although I hear today there were some olives coming off on the Kelvin despite the -4 temp when I got in the car this morning, by 3pmish it was up to 11 degrees.
And the wind was cold – I think the cold wind was killing any surface action whatsoever. The air was still warmer than the water however those little olive boats just did not arrive.
I watched a guy fishing down the river in front of me – fishing down and across. I wandered about looking at likely pools and runs until eventually I stuck on a copper nymph and fished it like a mini streamer probing all the knocks and crannies on the opposite side of the river – I may have got a knock however it was more probably a boulder.
I wandered further down the river and spoke to the guy who had been fishing – he had not had a knock on his wet flies either. We spoke for a bit about the weather, about tackle, about dry fly set ups and also about association business – the usual stuff that decent members of the association want to gab about.
We parted ways and I decided to call it a day – the wind was stronger and was very chilly, you could see the wind breezing up the river making it difficult to cast the 4 weight.
I scrambled up the river bank to the path back to the car and looked again at the corner of the pool where I expected to see some trout rising – there were none. In the car it was warm and it felt good to be out the cold. I cannot help but feel the weather has kinda fooled us into thinking that we should be having a bonanza when really bright sunshine with a cold wind coupled with intermittent fly hatches can be quite difficult. Saying all that I am pretty sure that on other parts of the river some action could have been seen.
It just depends really.
Did any of you catch the shenanigans on Radio Scotland today? If not you can listen in again here. Essentially Theo Pike was being interviewed about his book about urban rivers and they asked your truly to fish the Kelvin with there outside reporter Richard Cadey.
Anyway, go and listen to it if you have not already – you may have to fast forward to the fishing banter – my major blunder was stating that the River Clyde Fisheries Management Trust did a lot of good work for the river in terms of environmental stuff – what I in fact wanted to say was that the Clyde River Foundation does all the hard work. What made it all the more embarrassing is the fact I phoned Willie Yeomans for a bit of moral support as he is a man that talks a lot (I mean sometimes you cannot get this guy to stop) and I still managed to fanny it up – ah well.
You know, something actually annoyed me in the Vet School today, at least 4 people (two security guards, one gardener and on guy who said he did some “work” in the Vet School) told me that I could not fish on the bank we were standing on. Now this is all very reasonable however as I looked about at the dog walkers with their dogs off the leads even though the rule is that dogs stay on the lead and the areas where fires have been started and the fact that last year the security would not phone the police or move on the guy that threatened me one night I wondered whether there was a smidgen of selective security enforcement going on – maybe next time I should take a big dog, sit with my top off and drink a bottle of buckfast with some mates. Oh the joys of urban fishing – only the law abiding sensible folk actually obey laws – the rest just do whatever they want.
After the show I was left on my todd so went for a wander about the river for a fish – I wandered right down the river and as usual it was around 2pm that the wee boats that are Large Dark Olives started sailing down – not many trout responding in the faster water however in some of the slower water I found eager trout slurping them down with gusto..
Of course the trout would be rising in the slowest possible spots where the water was like glass, as I slipped into the water, ripples were sent out across the water and spooked them – it took a further half hour of standing in cold water stork like before they started to get brave again, I roll cast my fly under branches several times before my drift was just prefect and I was rewarded with a nice fat Kelvin trout…
The water was icy cold and a lovely height – that height of water that is not low, not high but just flowing and full. A perfect height and also dare I say smell – it had that tangy vegetable smell off it today – that smell that gives it the name “Smelly Kelly” you must know what I mean if you have ever fished the river – it is a summer smell, not pleasant yet not unpleasant – a thick, vegetable decomposing (not rotting) smell that really fills our nostrils.
I can honestly say there is no other smell like it – I kinda like the funky Kelvin smell – it feels homely!
I fished spotting the odd riser and covering it a few times before moving on – my heart was not really in it as I reckoned we had a bit of east wind action going down – the wind was heading downstream which made properly accurate with presentation was a tad difficult – not impossible but difficult – you would cast perfectly at tongue of water with a rising trout and a gust of wind would take it a foot to the left and the leader would double up at the last minute – annoying.
Even though it was bright sunshine and hot it was still an ice cold wind.
I fished on and then came across what I can only describe as a weird bothy/den built out of fallen branches and blag plastic bags – it freaked me out.
To be fair I have came across a few of these bothies in my time, I suspect it is local youths looking for a dry place to smoke cannabis or drink alcohol – it certainly is not a sexy love nest as it looks a bit more rugged – I did not see the usual booze bottles littering the place.
I fished on for a bit and missed a few more fish before calling it a day at 3pm as I had to pick the boy up at nursery.
I need flies desperately!
Angler Theo Pike talks about fishing for trout in city rivers, plus travel writer Alison Rice looks at fitness holidays, and hear from Mrs Brown’s Boys star Brendan O’Carroll.
Listen in for a special surprise!
So Sunday was the first trip out of the season – it was a weird hot March day meaning jumpers were off and sun block had to be applied to the face. The Kelvin was stuffed full of fly fishers (or so it seemed) as I met up with Paul, Stephen and later Jim. Two guys I recognized turned up at the Vet School as well.
We had to ask three guys who were spinning to leave – they also did not have permits the chancers. They came all the way from Paisley as well.
Peter left a comment a few posts back about how the river now looks bleak and desolate due to the lack of trees – personally I was surprised at the amount of trees that were still around that will provide good shade once the leaves start blooming. I suppose that was what made the day so strange, the sun was blazing and hot and there was not a leaf in the trees – what was nice was the sounds and smells all around, the birds chirping busily building nests, huge bumble bees diving around, wee funny insects zipping around, the smell of daffs and of course the lovely smell of wild garlic.
It really was rather great.
Pity at the time we arrived and sat watching the water there was aboslutley no rising trout.
Of course we were too bloody early – what with the clocks changing and the blazing sun the flies were not going to start coming off until later in the day. One thing I mused on was the fact with bits of carpet stuck on my boots I was sticking to rocks as if I had glue on my feet.
Of course I got an absolute slagging from Paul after one of them fell off in Marks n’ Spencers as I was buying a bottle of Peroni.
We ran into the legendary Jim Burns down at the Vet School – he nearly fell in which would have been a great comedy moment however managed to save himself at the last minute..
Anyway, back to the fishing – when we did see rising trout it was later in the afternoon down river – this spot produces very well early in the season as the flies are washed down and channeled into a tongue of water at the bottom a deep pool. I spotted the trout rising and grappled down the banks – the keepers of these river banks have been busy and have shored them up with logs which now makes access that little bit more difficult..
I managed to get away with only some weird jaggy things down my right arm which still feel that weird crawly way the next day and then a few casts later there was a lovey wee Kelvin trout being returned to the water totally unharmed after its tussle…
As first sessions of the season go I am going to mark this one down as a success – I am pretty sure if we had stuck around for a bit or just simple staked out a pool for the afternoon then we would have caught more trout however a nice walk in the sun to get the Vitamin D levels was just what the doctor ordered. I still rather annoyingly need to fix the soles of my boots (and it looks like no bugger is flocking my way to give me a pair to review any time soon) so I will be looking out more carpet (eco friendly warrior that I am), problem is when I stuck them on last time with the evostick I managed to destroy the whole tube so now must buy some more of that sticky stuff – I mean it was not its fault that the carpet came off it was actually my choice of carpet that was the problem – a trip to a carpet store is in order unless any of you chaps have any old thin carpet kicking around your house you want to sell me?
Next session will be…..not sure when actually however I am planning on walking the banks this afternoon with the boys so will update on the rising trout action possibly later – I know you love it.