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.

River Kelvin Angling Association 2013 AGM

It is that time of year again – the finer points of urban river management will be discussed, the accounts will be scrutinized and suggestions made about how the association shall make more money for the urban rehab plan.  People volunteering for roles and odd jobs…

Just kidding!

It is the River Kelvin Angling Association AGM!




This years River Kelvin Angling Association Annual General Meeting will take place at 7pm, on the 7th of February 2013. The meeting will be held at Bearsden Town Hall, 69 Drymen Road.
Invites will be posted to those that were members during 2012, you will need to bring your invite to gain entry. If you have not received your invite by the 25th of January, contact the Secretary. Please bring any unused tags that you might have to enter our free membership draw. Raffle tickets and RKAA merchandise will also be available for sale on the night.

RKAA Fleece (including free choice of hat) – £30
(large and medium sizes are limited, please get in touch if you want to reserve one)
RKAA Hat (skip cap or beanie) – £6

We have taken on feedback from previous meetings, and therefore this years AGM will stick strictly to the agenda which will be posted on the fishkelvin website a week in advance. Copies will be available on the night. Other feedback has highlighted occasions where members have turned up on the night and attempted to steer the AGM towards individual issues. Members are reminded that issues and grievances can be raised at any point through the year by contacting the committee.

If you have a specific proposal that you would like added to the agenda, we would ask that you submit it in advance by contacting the Secretary. If you would like to discuss the matter with the committee face to face, we will be holding an open forum in the Islay Inn (Argyle Street) on the 1st of February at 7pm. Feel free to come along, even if it’s just for a chat.

Time for discussion on proposals will be allotted, however due to time constraints it will be limited. In order that this meeting can progress as smoothly as possible, members are asked to adhere to the following guidelines.

– One singer one song. To avoid interruptions, please raise your hand and wait to be acknowledged before you make your point.
– For the benefit of those taking notes, please stand and state your name before addressing the hall.
– Please speak up, and talk as clearly as possible.
– Be polite. Listen to others when they are speaking. There will be breaks for chat, cigarettes etc.
– Show respect for other association members, even if their views are not the same as your own.

This years news letter will also be posted on the fishkelvin website early next week. If you would like a hard copy, please send a stamped addressed envelope to Box 441, Mailboxes etc. 145 Kilmarnock Road. Glasgow G41 3JA.

For people not from Glasgow you should be aware that in the past the meetings have been a bit of a rammy with accusations of all kinds of shenanigans being thrown about however at the end of the night everyone ends up shaking hands and saying they had a great nights entertainment and it is a great way to start the season.

If you follow me on twitter I announced I would be tweeting live from the event for a laugh, I may not go that far however you may get the odd picture sent from the stage.

If you read this blog and attend please come up and say hello, obviously I will not be able to chat long however it makes my day when folk say hi. If you fancy a chat come along to the Islay Inn on the 1st February and I will let you buy me a pint!

See you there!

Sometimes even the ….


...mundane can be astounding !

A useful book for you (UK Guide)

A pal showed me a copy of this book the other day and it looks great. Good pictures and ideal for the fly angler who wants to brush up on their types of olives and Sedge.

The picture is a link to Amazon of which I am an affiliate.

Milngavie Fly Dressers Spring Program

The Milngavie Fly Dressers Spring Program is now available here.

The 7th of February is looking pretty good as Craig MacAdam of the Riverfly Partnership will be giving a talk. This year a survey is being carried out on the Kelvin (Willie Yeomans has drafted me in as seemingly we can collect samples as we fish) and anyone who is interested in collecting samples will probably find Craig’s presentation useful.

The tying nights are aimed at all levels – if you are interested in starting fly tying I urge you to head along as you would meet a better or nicer bunch of guys. My attendance has been lax of late however now that the madness of having kids is starting to abate I once again will redouble my efforts to make it along.

2013 Resolutions Required ..I guess!

I suppose I need to write some kind of 2013 resolution post as all the cool kids are doing them these days. So what I should really do is look at last year and what I did poorly and then look at this year and see what I can do better.

Quite frankly I was totally great last year and could not get any better.

Job done!

Kind of…

Well, when I really examine the last year I suppose I can begrudgingly come up with a few things I can try and accomplish – let’s have a look shall we?

   1. Try not to break any rods.

I broke two rods last year which luckily for me ended well. First my trusty Greys GRX (old school) 4/5 was attacked by a car door and then my faithful Sage SLT 5# was trampled on by my clumsy boot. Greys/Hardy were totally shite and Sage (with a lot of help from the mighty Glasgow Angling Centre) totally showed how it was done and a new tip was forthcoming. A reader stepped in and swapped me their old GRX for a chib.

   2. Try and fish those other rivers.

Last season was a year (technically half a year due to the rain) dedicated to the Kelvin. I am not complaining as it was hot whilst it was fishable however there are another couple of rivers I have neglected of late – one is my shit pipe river and the other is the Clyde.

Obligatory burnt out car on shit pipe river

I also have the upper reaches of my urban burn to explore with my Tenkara rod, which brings me onto….

    3. Seize the day/moment.

One thing that surprises a lot of people is just what lucky bastards we are in Glasgow to have some top class trout fishing within 10 mins of our front doors. There are guys that must travel a couple of hours to get to their local trout stream. This year I truly intend to have the Tenkara rod in the car at all times with a bag made up of tippet, flies and camera so that if the sun comes out briefly in the Spring (the season starts on 15th March) I can catch a trout – absolutely no fannying about.

Tenkara Trout – sieze the trout!

    4.It is the 10th anniversary of Urban Fly Fisher..

I need to do something however I have no idea what – I should really get some kind of jolly down by the riverbank set up. Maybe a fish off or something! Maybe I should try and fish with as many Kelvin fishers as possible in 2013 – heck, if you fancy meeting up for a fish just mail me!

   5. Tie some flies – urgently.

I don’t know, I suppose a fishy resolution might be to actually tie some flies before the season starts. In preparation and to spur me on I am going to share a step by step with you guys of my Kelvin scruffy olive. Will get it photographed and post it in a week or so, how’s that for commitment.

I also need to get my shit together and obtain a new laptop to write these posts on – at the moment I am using a daft wee netbook as the boys managed to break my laptop. If anyone out there works for Bill Gates or Google and fancies tossing me a laptop I would greatly appreciate it. Anyone else can donate to the laptop fund by buying me a gift certificate through Amazon on my wishlist if you wish although I am aware times are pretty hard just now for folk.

So do you guys have any special (or just simple) stuff you wanna accomplish in 2013?.

Save Millport’s Marine Biology Station

Anyway, Willie Yeomans was on the text tonight going on about Millport – he was going on about some “Save Millport” campaign. I did not have a bloody scooby what he was on about and I told him that I could probably find better circles to cycle in however he got all mouthy about it so I decided to do some looking up.

via BBC


A scientific research centre on the Isle of Cumbrae could be set to close with the loss of up to 30 jobs.

Staff at the University Marine Biological Station Millport have been told it could shut by the end of 2013.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England has withdrawn the £400,000 which it gives the University of London to run the station.

A partnership deal to run the site with St Andrews University fell through over a lack of capital investment.

Diane Robertson, finance and administration manager at the Millport station, said staff were “devastated” at the prospect of closure.

‘Fragile economy’

“This will have a big impact on the island’s community,” she said.

“The Island of Cumbrae is a designated fragile economy and we are the largest employer of people who are resident on the island.”

Ms Robertson said the station employed 30 staff, boosted by about six seasonal summer workers, to accommodate about 2,000 UK and international students each year.

She said a “lack of funding and investment” over previous years had led to the current problems.

“Staff numbers have reduced by about 20% over the past few years, due to people not being replaced on leaving or retirement,” she said.

“The station has been running down a bit.”

Ms Robertson said the situation was unfortunate as the station had already raised £1.6m towards its future redevelopment, which the University of London would have backed with a further £1m if the present funding crisis had been averted.

“Over a period of about 15 years, that money would have turned things around, but because the funding has been withdrawn the deficit will be too high,” she said.

Ms Robertson added: “The University of London has been covering our deficit, but with the withdrawal of funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England, it will be unable to continue to do so.

“The university and St Andrews had talks about a joint management venture but the deal has fallen through.”

Joint ventureShe said that without further investment, the station could close by the end of 2013 or possibly by July 2014.

In a statement, the University of London said: “The university’s Marine Biological Station at Millport (UMBSM) has historically relied on a grant from HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England).

“The university has now been formally notified by HEFCE that this funding will be withdrawn.”

It said no decision had yet been formally taken to close the station.

“However, unless a solution is found in the next few weeks that secures the long term viability of UMBSM, it is expected that the decision to close it will be taken at the university’s board of trustees meeting on 30 January,” it said.

“The university will give the maximum possible notice of closure, if that is the decision of the trustees.

“At that point, a timeframe for closure would be agreed. Staff are being informed of all decisions as and when they are made.”


I know times are tough for everyone however taking away funding for something that provides training, research, jobs and ultimately effects everyone who has a passing interest in water and what happens in it (you me and you’re granny) is kinda dumb.
They have set up a facebook page for your support.

Strangest photo on Urban Fly Fisher of 2012 is…

I was wondering why its testicles were so small...

I was wondering why its testicles were so small…

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