Review in progress: Oregon Scientific WMR180

Those kind folks over at Oregon Scientific have heard my bleats about becoming an amateur weather watcher as they have sent me a full on professional weather station.

Oregon Scientific WMR180 Wireless PC Connectable Professional Weather Station 

WMR180 is the latest professional weather station from Oregon Scientific with the addition of a wireless USB communication hub you are able to view, anayse and store all your weather data on your PC as well as the console. With the USB Hub connected to your PC you are free to move the console anywhere in your home enabling you to view all the important weather data at a glance whilst your PC stores the data

Both units receive information wirelessly from a complete set of outdoor sensor at a range of up to 100m. Enabling you to see the Weather forecast, time, wind speed & direction, indoor & outdoor temperature & humidity, barometric pressure, and rainfall reading with bar graphs plus together with max and min readings over the past 24hrs

The Complete Weather station includes:

• WMR180 Weather Station Console
• USB Communication Centre
• Wind Sensor (WGR800)
• Temperature and Humidity Sensor  (THGN801)
• Solar Panel (STC800)
• Rain Gauge (PCR800)

All I can say is that folk are going to regret asking me if I think it is going to rain once I set this bad boy up in the back garden – and oh my it is an awfully big box!

Watch this space!

Aaaaaand back to the “K”

For trout fishing the Kelvin has been absolutely bloody awful for over a month now. I thought thas as we did not have any major downpours over the weekend it would be ok for Sunday night however as soon as I arrived I wondered why it was a dirty brown – it was fishable however only just.

Fishable – only just!

I met Stephen (who is also a Crown Bailiff) on the river (he also would not let me throw any streamers as it was the Sabbath) and we had a few hours casting to incredibly picky trout that I suspected were small.

Stephen surveys…

Stephen showed me a technique to attract the bats to you whereby you rub your thumb and index finger together. I have no idea why you would want to do that. That was about as exciting as the few hours got – oh we each had boils at our fly of what could have been nice trout.

We decided if the Kelvin remains pish for trout we would attack the Pike.

Over and Out!

 

Bank-side Surgery and a Giant Inflatable Penis!

I am still trying to get my head around the evening session on my other river. I mean it was a great session however not many fish were caught, I caught a couple however only one of those ended up on my camera – the fishing was hardly the talking point of the night it was the events of the night that made the evening.

There we go – the trout!

I mean it was a nice trout and I am glad it showed up and took my dry fly in the fast turbulent water as if it had not then the night would have been a blank apart from the events of which I will speak – so thank you very much trout for making me not blank.

Like I say the river was fast, big and turbulent – the weather was changeable in that one minute it was blazing sunshine and roasting and the next windy and cooler with a smattering of drizzle. I was glad I had on my jumper and cagoule and the next cursing the extra heat I was holding.

Fast and Furious – with a smattering of sunshine…

Part of the reason I had chosen this spot for our first stop on this river is because my old time fishing buddy Emanuele left a comment on the last post and it made me realise I had not fished here in so long. Long time readers of the blog may recognise it – It was a regular haunt before my time became limited due to kids. Still, I do not complain as I still manage to fish a lot – if the fishing had not been as good on the Kelvin this year maybe I would have been down here more however as it is I have been staying local as you guys know.

I was fishing with another old time fishing buddy Alex  called over that he had a bit of a problem – he had a nymph stuck in his lip. He came over and showed me the offending nymph which he had a  tug at but would not budge – there is not much pain he told me however the barb was well and truly in there. The sickening reality of the situation hit me – I was the one that was going to have to perform any kind of bankside surgery on the boy as he could obviously not see the nymph.

He could not see the nymph!

What made things slightly more difficult  is the fact he has a big man beard. I knew there is a technique to get barbed hooks out and googled it on my smart phone – I found this page and studied the instructions carefully.

Ah, yes – quite simple…

He lay down and I sat almost astride him with some strong fluro – now the procedure calls for a short sharp yank. I will not deny that I was a bit nervous however we were faced with a trip to Casualty on a Friday night – the local drunks would eat a couple of outdoors men like us up for breakfast if we let something as simple as a hook in the lip stop us fishing. Anyway, the the instructions said:

Using this hook removal method, there is one common factor – the almost complete, and surprising, lack of any pain

When I gave the short sharp tug I wondered then why long time fishing buddy Alex appeared to be in great pain and discomfort and then lay still on his back moaning for a bit with the nymph still stuck firmly in his face. I am sure if I was a cannabis smoker I would be describing this whole experience as a bit “heavy”

I wondered what his wife would say if his smooching abilities were ruined if I had tore his lip off.

Anyway, he was made of sterner stuff and we had another go at it – in true male style we threw the instructions away and I used my fishing forceps to grab the nymph while he stretched the skin around it.

All he had to worry about now was the huge amount of blood and possibly some kind of infection setting in making his head swell up to double its normal size – result!

Ping!

We fished on!

Now as you know I am not a big fan of cows. Quite frankly I do not trust the creepy fuckers with their munching and mooing and sneaking around fields – people do actually die every year from being trampled by them.

Bullocks my friends are ten times worse.

So there we were happily standing by the river when we heard a thudding – I looked around at the same time as Alex exclaimed something along the lines of “Uh Oh” and witnessed a bullock charging towards us – it was not a fake charge by the way it was a full on gonna getcha charge – there was another dozen behind it.

I went into full on Commando Ninja Mode as the “Fight or Flight” reflex kicked in – thank God it was not “Flight and Shite” as I dropped to the ground and rolled under an electric fence and down a hill away from the beast from hell.

The electric fence stopped it and the rest of the beasts were left at the top of  a short hill stomping their feet looking at us. The electric fence was essentially a bit of string with a thin wire going through it – I am kinda amazed that it stops them but that is intelligence for you.

Just look at them – milling around pissed off as they did not get to kill us!

We laughed for a bit about it however we wondered what would have happened if that fence had not been erected – I suppose it would have been a dash to the river and a quick wade. We could have splashed it with water or something.

We fished on.

Alex was fishing upstream of me and I called to him as it was time to move on to another section of the river for dusk – instead he called me over.

I will cut to the chase – it was an inflatable penis stuck in at the side of the river.

I was wondering why its testicles were so small…

We wondered what chain of events led to this obvious bag of fun ending up discarded next to the river. We are well upstream of the city with only smaller towns close by – someone probably had to make a real effort to lob it into the river. What the hell was going on?

We fished on – or rather got in the car and drove for a bit and fished on.

Fished into the gloaming…

We fished into the gloaming and darkness tossing streamers into dark deep pools to little effect – Alex felt some tugs and I had one take.

At the end of the night we somehow still felt fully satisfied with the evenings events.

I met Alex down at a shopping center today with his wife and child, he had no scarring whatsoever.

Kelvin probably on Sunday evening – any takers?

Good grief?

image

Being Watched…

Saturday evening was suppose to be a Clyde trip however at the last moment was changed to a good old Kelvin night out – pretty much because I realised that I was not going to get away early enough to justify the trip. I met up with the legendary Jim Burns who was already checking out rising fish and then I watched as he covered some fish that he had spotted..

The legendary man in action…

The river was still high compared to its usual self and was carrying some color, not enough to put the fish off as I had heard from a couple of people that trout had been rising all day – it seemed though that by the evening they were starting to switch off or tone down their feeding as even though we spotted trout that were feeding they were often small ones.

One of the curses joys  of urban fishing is sometimes having an audience, where we were fishing was a good vantage point for people on one of the road bridges above the river to watch us fish. Many people would stop to watch – possibly in case one of us fell in.

A View from the Bridge….

Of course you always get people who stop and watch you catch a fish and often get told there are no fish in the river despite trout rising in front of them. Often you are told that you are fishing wrongly or should have been here yesterday.

You often see the shadier side of life as well. Jim was telling me tonight about a time he was was checking out the river in Kelvingrove Park and a chap came out the bushes (who he had said hello to earlier) and asked him if he wanted some “action”. Jim commented that the river was too high and fast however the chap stated with a glint in his eye that was not the action he was talking about. I wondered what would have happened if the river was fishable and he had given a totally positive response to the chap when asked, I mused with Jim. “Damn right I am after some action, in fact I have been looking forward to it all day”

Obviously I am not sexy enough to be propositioned – maybe I need a mustache or something?

 

I met a Salmon angler who was working his way upstream with a red flying c and we chatted for a bit – Jim and I decided to head up river to another spot as the Botanics area seemed a bit on the dead side.

A bit on the dead side…

As soon as we got to the new stretch we spotted a lot more rising trout – a lot of them were close into our bank . I offered Jim the first bash at them however he had lost his fly so I sank into the river. I was glad I did as the first trout I caught was the trout of the evening size wise – a really nice fish that put up a good fight.

Caught with absolutely no skill whatsoever..

I would like to say it was caught using skill and cunning however I was not even looking at my fly when it took and after I seen the fly being taken I thought it was gone – it was only after I tightened my line did I realise it was still on.

I fished on and eventually came to a bend where I picked up a few more trout – I was watched by a couple of anglers set lining on the far bank who were enjoying some cans of lager and some joints – the music I fished to was a rave version of The Police hit “Every Breath You Take“. I listened to them discussing the recent problems with Rangers Football Club  (it is good apparently) and a dissection of my fishing technique “that cunt knows whit hes daen” 

Soon the bats were on the water and the river went back to sleep – it was time to call it a day.

Until next time!

I am assuming you guys are hauling them in?

 

Giving Some Link Love

Hey guys, you may have noticed I have tidied up the blog a tad and have moved some stuff around and taken away some other stuff. If the site looks strange you will need to clear your cache in your browser however if you just wait a bit it will all sort itself out.

I thought I would take this opportunity to welcome my new readers and to tell you the few ways you can actually get the content of this blog:

  • You can come to this old page. Of course one of the advantages of coming to the blog is that you can take part in the many conversations that take place. I enjoy hearing from people so please if you are shy about commenting don’t be.
  • On the top right off this page you will see two wee icons one says posts and one says email. With the one that says email you can add your email address and receive posts direct to your email – I will never pass your email into anyone else by the way. The one that says posts is where you can subscribe to my RSS feed. In order to subscribe to an RSS feed or newsfeed you will need two things, an RSS reader (also known as a news aggregator) and url (web address) of the RSS feed that you wish to subscribe. For example probably the most common RSS reader around these days is Google Reader – go and check it out. My feed is located up at the top right of this page –  click it and then click “subscribe with Google”

Keep that symbol in mind and then head over to my links list on the right hand page and sign up to their most excellent feeds as well – most use the same symbol

Here are a few to get you started:

The Hillend Dabbler – One of the freshest writers out there now has a podcast – definetly worth subscribing.

North Country Angler – Legendary Matt fishes the Eden Valley

Crooked Lines – Something a little different – catching coarse  fish on the fly

Taunted by Waters – Trout Fisherman editor Jeffrey Priest writes short thought provoking posts which are always enjoyable when they show up in my news reader.

Polaroid Rig P7202C & Rig P7202A Review

In a way reviewing and writing about Polaroid’s from Polaroid is easy as it is damned difficult to fault them – all I can really do is compare them to other glasses and Polaroids and say why I like them a little bit better.

I always have two pairs of Polaroids on the go – a pair for day and a pair for evening – come proper dusk into darkness they come off as no amount of optic goodness can combat against that kind of punishment.

I have written about the benefits of wearing Polaroids before however I feel I should reiterate them and why you need to get a pair that are well made.

Normal sunglasses decrease the intensity of everything by the same amount. Polarized sunglasses can selectively eliminate the reflection from light coming from above the water surface.

You see certain surfaces, such as water, can reflect a great deal of light, and the bright spots can be distracting or can hide objects such as foot tripping boulders and the occasional fish. Good sunglasses can completely eliminate this kind of glare using polarization and also eliminate specific frequencies of light. Certain frequencies of light can blur vision, and others can enhance contrast. Choosing the right colour for your sunglasses lets them work better in specific situations. To a fly fisher this is pretty good as polarized glasses reduce the blinding effect of glare, they also reduce the effects of reflections on the water (clouds and trees) resulting in the water appearing slightly darker but more transparent.

Generally gray tints are great all-purpose tints that reduce the overall amount of brightness with the least amount of color distortion. Yellow or gold tints reduce the amount of blue light while allowing a larger percentage of other frequencies through. The yellow tint has the effect of making everything bright and sharp. Amber and brownish tints are also good general purpose tints.

However, not all polaroids are made equal – you can buy cheap polaroids everywhere that look exactly the same as the high-priced brand names for a fraction of the cost. Beware – not only will they be total crap at what you want them for they may actually damage your eyes in the long term as they may not block harmful UV. 

The two pairs that I was sent from Polaroid were great (that was easy) – they sent me a pair of Rig’s with Grey lenses and a pair with yellowy lenses.

Rig P7202C

Because you do not want light filtering in through gaps around the lenses they have got to be a good fit which these are. When bending over they sit nice on the face and do not fall off or feel slack. They feel sturdy and have been fairly abused by my one year old trying to drag them off my face when carrying him (nothing to do with fishing but you get the idea)  They are also pretty lightweight, yet remain sturdy.

Rig P7202A

Both were great and I cannot fault them one bit.

Polaroid say:

  • Floatable material
  • Wide wraparound frames
  • Strong, robust arms
  • Black acetate frames with polarized yellow lenses
  • Filter category 2 yellow or filter out less light so are good for dawn and dusk, and give great optical clarity right into the water. Filter category 3 Grey lenses work well in cloudy or sunny conditions
  • Polaroid UltraSight™ premium polarized lenses
  • 100% UV400 protection
  • Comes with Polaroid case
  • Inside frame width 128mm, lens height 37mm

So I have been using these bad boys for a couple of months now and they are mighty fine – considering the recent spell of wet weather is coming to an end (hopefully) and we will be looking at sunny conditions again these are a sure fire hit.

 

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Three sessions my friends and each one could not have been any more different.

You may have noticed it has been some days since I last posted and those living on this fine wee island will know that due to a lack of hurricanes the Gulf Stream has not been shifted South to give us some warmer settled weather. It has rained, and rained and then we had a nice day when the rivers were out of action and then it rained some more. Still, some folk have been having fun with the salmon however I am still stuck in trout mode .

So like I say, three trips …

The Good = The Eden

So while on a weeks holiday to Centr Parks in the Lake District I had hoped to fish with the legendary North Country Angler like I did last year at around this time however he passed by me on the same day I zoomed down the M74 on the way to Skye.

Anyway, it rained for a solid two days while I was at Centre Parcs zipping around on the bike pulling a trailer with the kids in the back. I was looking at a webcam of the river pretty much every hour or so and it looked ok on my chosen day.

On the day in question (it was the last evening) I was allowed to zip off early and kinda knew the river was going to be a lot higher than the last time I had fished it – I was correct and after a brief chat to the keeper who I think thought I was wasting my time I had my first cast. I decided straight away that a single dry was not going to work so an oversized Klink was used as a sacrificial fly with a nymph suspended underneath.

That is a funny camera smudge…

I pretty much immediately watched my oversize klink get pulled under the water as my phone started to ring – it proceeded to ring as a monster of a trout took me for a stroll around the pool – it then pinged off. I answered the phone and it was fishing buddy Alex, after a brief chat he totally understood that I wanted to get back into the fishing and the phone was once more put back in the pocket.

Losing fish was the general order of things for the next hour until I put on a nymph with a barb – at this point the trout stayed on.

I have never really had many problems with losing trout on barbless however on this day it was every trout ..

A nice Eden Trout!

I thought after the first couple of hours of catching trout that I was being a bit flukey however Matt had obviously given them a very stern talking to and they were playing ball pretty much all evening.

I hold my fish in my left hand!

It was pretty fantastic if the truth be told – it is not that often I get to fish places that are relatively untouched by City living and I am glad I got the best day for it.

A View from the River!

There was only a few places I could actually fish as the water was so fast and very powerful..

As the evening wore on I started to see rising trout so snipped off the nymph and started to consistently catch them on dries.

I was waist deep in water with trees behind me with rising trout just out of reach of my roll cast – I managed one of them and could not get near the rest.

I was starting to get a bit blase about catching pounders…

Sadly I never landed any of the bruisers that I connected with and I did not mind as it was a fine days fishing – by bruisers I mean the big boys, the big cheese the cream of the crop – you know what I mean.

Even my leaky waders which caused a soaking wet foot and leg did not dampen my spirits! The water was really squelching in my left foot and my crotch felt decidedly wet.

It didn’t half chaff!

Anyway, an example of the big trout problem might be when I was casting for a riser and noticed a teeny weeny dimple a few yards upstream of it – I decided to cast to the dimple so that I was covering it as well – kinda like a two for one deal. I cast, covered it and the trout took my fly, I struck and then stood there with a bend in my rod as the trout just sat there in the water wondering just what the hell was going on – the bend in my rod did not even move the beast. It gave a shake of its head and my fly was gone.

That happened a few times.

These trout are in tip top condition…

All in all it was a great session – already I am planning a weekend camping trip back down South.

 

The Bad = The Kelvin

I went for a walk through Kelvingrove Park on Saturday and even though the river was high and the color of tea I thought I spotted a rising trout. I headed out on Saturday night for a few hours of catching Kelvin trout after my new found enthusiasm from the Eden for nymphs.

Quite frankly it was totally shite and I caught bugger all and this was after working hard up my usual haunt.

Even my wet foot and leg pissed me right off as it was extra specially wet and cold, drying the damn things out in the kitchen caused a war as well.

I got the aquasure out and coated the heel after submerging it in water as I noticed a few bubbles coming from their – somehow the stuff got on to the kitchen chairs. More bad news for my wife.

The Ugly = Shit Pipe River

I had not fished my shit pipe river since last season – there was something weird going on with it then as it turned white which turned all the trout off – just plain weird. Nobody knew what it was and I got SEPA involved.

Well today I had a spare hour after work as I was out that way and decided to try out the patch on my waders.

Shit Pipes !

I worked my way up some pools with a single dry and did not even see a trout – it was a little higher than normal and with a sigh decided to try a nymph – first cast and I was into a real rod bender..

A real rod bender – possibly fed on sewage!

I worked my way up the pool and striking quickly when my klink was jerked under I had another angry fat trout to contend with – it bounced all over the pool – I decided to get my measuring tape out and it came in at around 12.5 inches..

I bet you would love my fat 12.5 incher ?

The trout from this river are always fat and silvery with lovely big spots – I always get a shock when I see them compared to the actual stream itself – they just do not look as if they should fit in or something – they just do not suit the stream.

The problem with driving to this river is you just do not know if it is going to be that weird white way or not which makes it an unsure bet if other rivers are out of action !

So far my foot appeared to stay dry!

Of course, we now have more days of heavy rain heading our way! In the meantime I have a Polaroid review to post.

What have you guys been up to?

Bleating on about the rain…..

I do not want to keep on bleating on about the rain however the weather appears to be a major talking and thinking point at the moment among river trout fishers. Seeing as how this blog was birthed during a spell of particularly wet weather when I was unable to fish you can imagine how productive I have been.

This morning instead of hitting the river at 5am for a spot of Salmon fishing I instead ran a 6k route along the river – not many photos as I did not want to stop and get out of the “fat burning zone” and believe you me I need to spend as much time in that zone as I can possibly get.

Roaring!

If you have a look at this graph taken from the SEPA site you can see that the river has risen and then fallen.

 

Well this has been the case pretty much every day for the last couple of weeks. This I suppose is good and bad – good for the Salmon fishers and bad for the trout fishers. I suppose the chaps that fish regularly on lochs are not as obsessed as the river fishers about the amount of rainfall however and for that reason I am envious of them.

The Slush!

 

Suunto Vector X-Black Negative Face Watch – helping with the pressure!

Ever since I got my fancy watch a couple of years ago for my birthday I have been obsessed by watching the barometric pressure change from hour to hour and day to day – I have been trying to link the changes to not just the weather (which is obvious) but to whether fish are going to feed or not.

I have a Suunto Vector X-Black Negative Face Watch – you can buy it and others like it over at Outdoor GB

It is a sweet piece of kit which apart from being a watch also includes a compass, barometer, altimeter and increases your ultimate sexiness by a factor of ten. One of those was a half truth however I shall let you guess which one.

The altimeter has been good when I have been out hill walking as well as watching the numbers go up and down when zipping up and down in elevators in the high flats that I so often visit.

When fish are just nor responding we anglers like to come up with just about any old excuse and quite often we talk about the air pressure –  the theory proposes that a dropping air pressure brings on feeding activity, rising pressure turns the fish off feeding, high pressure results in the fish moving to shallower water, and low pressure results in fish moving to deeper water. That is the standard theory however I have often found the opposite to be true – for example just before all this rain we had a period of high pressure and then the next day the pressure dropped – on the last night I fished for trout it was pretty tricky however I suppose that could have been something to do with the lower temps as well. Sometimes I think that the theory holds more weight in deep water like lakes or ponds rather than rivers as it may affect the movements of trout more.

However, I reckon it may just all be connected with the wind and rain that is connected to the changing of air pressure rather than the pressure itself.

Still, it is a nice Suunto watch and it is fun to watch the pressure change and predict what weather will be approaching.

For the record – it looks like more rain!

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