Wildfisher Fly Lines

I have been a visitor and sometimes contributor over at the Wild Fishing Forum for a while now – in fact I rate it as one of the best forums out there as it has a nice atmosphere of gentleness and camaraderie that you do not get anywhere else.

A while ago Fred the owner brought out a series of fly lines at an affordable price. I am not sure that when he named them “Wildfisher” that he meant that fishers would be wild although sometimes I think they should be given away with the Kelvin permit.

Essentially, they are just no frills fly lines that do the job well. They are so affordable you can buy a new one each season. I bought one for my four weight which is all I have been using this year and it has done the job as well as any of the other fly lines I have owned. I have owned much more expensive lines that performed pretty much the same as these ones.

I have also owned cheap rubbish called “mill ends” which are the height of dreadfulness. Also avoid any line with the brand name of Airflo – they are the worst lines ever!

Personally I really do not see the need for spending over twenty bucks for a fly line which is just as well really as these cost just under sixteen and that is with postage and packing.

This is what arrives at your door!

So, if you are in the market for a fly line these wee gems will not break the bank and perform just fine, they cast well and float well. Personally, I have found all my fly lines sink at the tip so I apply floatant to the first few yards straight out the packet.

Head over and get one of you are in the market!

 

 

 

Freaky Friday…

They say it is a brave angler that goes on the Kelvin on a Friday night – tonight I think I was a lucky one.

In the bushes they could not see me although I could hear them – they were obviously very drunk and shouting and fighting with each other.

“Keeeeeeeeeelly – fur fucks sake” 

“Moan tae fuck, wheres ma bottle”

I cast to rising trout at what I am starting to call “Madness Corner”

Madness Corner

You see there are always some trout rising here, however the drift has got to be exact, behind you there are bushes and trees and you must get your fly exactly into the correct place – madness.

“Come here I wanna another drink” shouted Kelly (I think)

Eventually I tied on a klinkhammer and finally I caught one of the trout – obviously something happened that aligned all the various variables that make a trout take an artificial instead of a natural…..It then wiggled out my hands taking the magical fly with it.

No matter, a few moments later I caught its pal – significantly small however just as grumpy to see me..

Hello grumpy - why you so sad?

I then wandered up and down a couple of hundred yards of water casting to rising fish and missing them.

Meanwhile, I think Kelly and co had started shagging (not the dance)

All in all a good couple of hours!

Exploring the Kelvin

I have mentioned this book before however every now and gain I like to mention it again. I regularly dip in and out of this book any time I see something about the area of the Kelvin i do not understand –  like where Mills were for example – it does not just tell you about the Mill it tells you who owned it etc – it also tells you lots of other fascinating little pieces of history which you would likely not be able to find out without a lot of digging around.

Good old Alex Matheson has done all the leg work and provided it all in this packed book.

It should be given away with the permit – in fact I am going to suggest the association buys a dozen and raffles them at the AGM.

If you click the book you can buy it from Amazon.

Unfinished Business…

So the trout on the Kelvin are largely responsive throughout the day at the moment, which is pretty shit as my fishing opportunities are in the evenings. Usually as a trout angler you do not want blazing sunshine throughout the day however at the moment it would be great to head out at 8pm and know that by half ten the dusk would be making the trout more responsive. However, the temps during the day have been hovering around the low teens and by the evening the temps have dropped to 11-12 degrees – this pretty much kills the action. It means the trout sporadically rise and are super spooky.

Still, I managed a few hours out with the legendary Jim Burns the other night, there were lots of wee flies around which I had difficulty identifying..

Absolutely no idea - you?

Jim managed a lovely trout as soon as I got their and was setting up – I thought it might be a sign of things to come however after this the trout became too spooky to tempt.

Burns in action...

On that evening I managed to lose around a dozen flies to the tree branch you can see in the river – I had tied the majority up that day in preparation for the session. With hindsight and after what I learned on today’s session what they were wanting was something stuck in the surface film.

Today, I managed out for a few hours in the afternoon as the time was pre-booked with the old ball n’ chain. I hit the river with Atkins and after a quick discussion with a homeowner who did not want us walking through the bushes behind the fence at the bottom of her garden we walked through the bushes behind her fence at the bottom of her garden…

Atkins...

It was a pool we had not fished for trout before and we had some fun working out the wading. The river bed was made up of the usual rubbish: boulders, bits of metal, random wire and a huge metal cylinder that freaked me right out.

This morning while out for my run I had already spotted the trout so I knew where we had to go. When I am out for my run I always peer at the river and see these trout rising confidently and safely. I doubt these trout have been fished for and very soon after a change of a fly to a tiny klink that sat in the surface film I was awarded to a lovely wild Kelvin trout…

Wild Kelvin Trout - the chances of this trout seeing a fake fly were slim until today!

Atkins somehow managed to catch the smallest trout in the pool and then after I caught another smaller one …

Smaller...

Tell you what though, even the small ones we had to get the drift exact for the trout to even look at our flies – Atkins managed to raise a few to his fly and fluffed every one due to thinking about Salmon probably.

All in all a thoroughly great couple of wee sessions, my supply of tiny klinks have dried up so it looks like a session at the vice is on the cards for me – I have never been that good at micro flies (now I wish I had stuck in during the winter) however I shall rise to the challenge.

Just not tonight!

I have unfinished business at the vice and at the river!

 

My wading boots are causing my jip!

My friends, there are two kinds of breathable waders, those that leak and those that are just about to leak – my own breathable waders (my 3rd pair, I have got to admit I do well) are now struggling however I can put up with a weird wet patch on my leg and a wet foot (actually it is hellish) however my boots are fair causing me jip.

I pretty much decided that my wading boots will not get “another couple of seasons” out of them and instead got myself an almost identical pair (looking a little less destroyed) out of my shed.

Problem is….those holes!

It is a long story how I got an extra pair of boots however it has to do with some extraordinary Orvis customer care.

Let’s talk about Orvis shall we. I bought my Orvis boots at the start of the 2007 season, a pair of Henrys Fork II Premium Wading Boot – I was pretty annoyed as the last boots I bought from another company fell apart pretty quick so decided it was time I bought a top of the range pair. Naturally I turned to Orvis as they are known as being a good reputable company with good customer service. The customer service part was one of the deciding factors – I had read on various forums about their policy particularly to do with waders. We all know the problems of waders leaking after just a season and sometimes even less for that matter – when other companies expect you to jump though hoops too get them fixed Orvis simply send you a new pair. I do expect this to be within reason though – I mean if it was like ten years later than I reckon natural wear and tear is not permissible as a fault. A rule of thumb I think for breathable waders would be 5 years normal fishing – normal fishing being a few times a week with good care being taken of them between sessions. For boots I reckon 3 years – considering they are in water and spend most of the season wet I think they should start looking tatty after a year and a half and probably giving up the ghost during the third year.

Anyway, I bought my new boots from Orvis and then wore them for the season – I put my initial impressions in my reviewsection and got used to my new boots.

Boy – they were good. The only drawback was the outer layer seemed to be peeling off causing them to not look as good but still functioning just fine. I was a wee bit concerned about the rubber toe section as after the skin came away it looked like it might follow suit as well – I knew it would take a while for that to happen though so was not overly concerned – there was fish to be caught…

All well and good until one fateful day during the first season when the felt sole fell of…I knew it had fallen off as I put my foot down on a boulder and slid around a half metre into a deep hole. It would have been a pure comedy moment if someone had been around with a camera but as it was I just flapped around a bit – got myself to shore and inspected the damage – the whole felt sole had come away.

I went home and wrote up my report for the day – thinking about what I was going to do about it – I paid good money for those boots. I was considering buying more felt and sticking them on myself but I would have to buy studs, I was then thinking of contacting Orvis to see what they could do but because of bad experiences with companies in the past I reckoned all in all it was going to be a pain in the ass trying to sort it out.

Well, within a few hours of that post going live James Hathaway from Orvis US got in contact offering to replace the boots. We exchanged a few emails; the boots got diverted to Canada by accident but eventually ended up on my doorstep.

Now, a cynic might say Mr. Hathaway was just worried about a bit of negative press on the net however I now know otherwise. Yea fair enough, he contacted me first but you know, I reckon if I had contacted Orvis the exact same thing would have happened – new boots. I have now heard similar stories from other people about Orvis, not just about boots but waders, rods and reels as well. In this day and age tackle manufacturers have got to take that little extra step to get the punters to buy the products – it does not have to be the fastest this or a techno gizmo that will help you catch more fish,, good old fashioned customer service will win the day every time

Now you know how much I moan about tackle manufacturers, but I hope you think of my words the next time you are in the market for a bit of new kit as well – that kind of customer service deserves business.

New old boots - they will do me!

Problem is the original boots still have no felt soles on them which I found slightly problematic last night as I slipped all over the rocks – I have been experimenting with bits of carpet however the damn stuff keeps coming off. I decided to coat the entire bottom of the boot with some waterproof Evostik – I could not find the stuff that comes in the metal tin (it gets you high) and had to make do with the plastic tube. Anyway, I had actually done this before however I reckon I had missed out sections – so this time got myself a pair of rubber gloves and really coated every mm of the sole..

Every MM..

Oh yea, I am looking forward to trying these bad boys out – I may be getting a chance to try them out tommorow!

However, that does not solve the issue with my breathable waders proper – they now leave me with a wet foot and weird wet patches on my legs. They have already been sent away to Diver Dave and I reckon the mould that grew on the inside did not do them any good – damn my shed with its leaky roof !

Anyway, I could possibly get another season out of them if I play my cards right!

Possibly!

 

Now, there’s a view not often seen by tourists …

image

Cold Comfort!

The weather turned on Monday evening – during the day the temp was up around the high twenties and then in the evening they plummeted down to just into the teens. It was windy too and it was not a warm wind, it was an evil cold wind that thoroughly stopped the action.

Well, if the truth be told it did not totally stop, the occasional trout sporadically rose and their were masses of spinners cruising around above our head so Atkins and I fished the Kelvin however very few of them came close to the water. Every now and again a trout would boil on the surface and I suspect it was an opportunistic trout taking advantage of a drowned specimen however they were not willing to look at our flies especially in the long slow sections where we were fishing.

Atkins is a lefty...

Just before ten I felt as if something was happening, the spinners got closer to the water and the rises started to get just a little bit more frequent. You could at least tell that a trout was now rising a few times rather than just once – I managed to winkle one trout out from a across the river in a shady side pocket – a tricky cast across the river and then dealing with drag. I managed it by putting a bend in the middle of my line so that the fly drifted perfectly for just the foot I needed. I then had to time that drift with the frequency of the trout rising. I must have targeted that trout a dozen times and on one memorable occasion I watched the fly boil on the surface due to a displacement of water from underneath – the trout had classically refused the fly. On the next cast it took – it was small and I could not believe it had been so picky.

Still, it meant I did not blank.

Targeting the "fools trout" - these trout have been fished for so often they shun everything but the perfect presentation!

Atkins left and I targeted three trout rising underneath a trailing tree branch within a rod length. I had to place my fly in the space of about a quarter of the size of a standard bath which also had a branch trailing in front of it. The trout were rising behind the trailing branch. That afternoon after I had got home from work I had managed to tie up around half a dozen flies all with yellow and white CDC to ensure I could see them in the dusk and dark. I reckon every one of them ended up in that tree. You see, even though I cast over those trout many-many times I still do not think I got a good enough drift for them to see my fly – it was landing just in front of their rise form.

It was totally and utterly maddening.

The darker it got the harder it got and the harder it got the more I wanted to catch one of thise trout, the harder and darker it got the bigger those trout got in my mind – I was at the same spot that I lost the rod bender the previous night so surely as these fish were in a particulary more safer lie then they would be bigger right?

Madness!

Eventually I looked up from my intense concentration and found it was fully dark and my legs were stiff due to the position I was standing – the trout had slowed there heavy feeding not to do with my casting but more to do with the fact they were nicely full up and satisfied with their feasting.

I have unfinished business!

 

Dusky Maidens!

Another dusk session which ended totally at ….well dusk really. I have heard of trout sessions that last well into dark however on the Kelvin the last few nights all action has ended with the bats being on the water.

I fished up the city stretch and as usual found something in the river that lets you know that you are fishing in an inner city sometimes known for its crime.

Who would throw this beauty away!

Either a Chef (or Butcher) decided to totally jack in his trade or someone was trying to get rid of the evidence pronto – it looks like it has been in the water for some time so Taggart may have an unsolved case.

Anyway, I started when it was still light at around 8pm and thought I would see no action until later, however started to pick up small trout when fishing speculatively in pocket water and riffles..

The standard of trout you expect...

I fished on and the park was heaving with folk having barbecues and generally enjoying the hot sunny weather we are experiencing just now.   I am glad folk are using the bins provided throughout the parks however their gets to a point when you have got to wonder when people might think they should take their shit home with them.

Take your shit home...

I fished on and chatted to another member who was out using spiders – great guy who was enjoying the Sunday action.

Lovely pocket water ...

He let me attack some trout he was having difficulty with and I managed one of them before moving on to the main event – a long slow deep pool which I just knew would hold some nice trout – I was hoping the dusk would make them a little more brave. I managed to spook a few before finally an absolute belter of a trout took my big white fluffy cdc thingy and it jumped clear out of the water and then proceeded to take a tour of the pool while jumping almost a foot in the air a couple of times..

I have lost so many trout I wanted a picture......any picture!

I managed to convince it to come in for a quick photo and thankfully for once it obliged – now I am no expert when it comes to fish sizes however I reckon their is a good pound in this beast.

Bloody flash on my camera - never takes good dark shots!

Of course what I should really do is start carrying a tape measure around with me – at least then I can give a fish a proper size. This trout simply sucked my fly under water, no splashy or aggressive rise, one second the fly was their and the next it was gone.

I walked up the river and found another two trout sipping something off the surface – very small rises. I covered the tricky one first and then I noticed another trout rising closer, I covered it and my rod bent over as another best shot down the pool and took a couple of foot of line, stupidly I tried to get it on the reel and with another pull it was gone.

And that was pretty much it for the evening – bats were on the water and the trout switched off. I hung around for another ten minutes however did not see any more risers.

 

Kelvinator Requires “Likes” on Facebook!

Alasdair P – Kelvinator supreme has had his recent Salmon submitted to the “Fish of the Month” section of the Glasgow Angling Centre Facebook page

The fish was caught just after some expert told him there were ” Nae fish in there ya fanny…”

Alasdair has ditched his waders in place of Jeans and Jesus Sandals. The fish of course was returned to spawn another day!

Lets make sure he wins the fish of the month competition by liking the picture on facebook resulting in him having to buy us pints all season!

Here is the link!

Camped a night at loch Lomond – midge madness !

Two views , one of the view from the camp …..

image

And one of my leg in the morning when the evil little bastards descended on me as I was packing the camp up !

image

If you have never experienced the Scottish midges I assure you it is the quickest route to madness that one can take !

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