Autumn Emails..

I love getting emails from you guys:

Hello Alistair i have fished that wee burn in redacted  since i was a lad you should try from its source up at the redacted there is some nice deep pools and runs up that way below the redacted


Gordon is of course referring to the wee burn that saved the 2nd half of the season for me after all that horrible watery stuff falling out the sky.

It just so happens that I am planning on heading up my my wee urban hidden in plain site burn next season – I am looking forward to sharing it with you guys!

A picture lower down in the burn…

I always think that the burns look totally fishless at this time of year however they must still be there feeding away as and when required. So far the weather has been pretty mild and I could have swore I spotted some olives drifting around the other day.

I love looking at all the interesting looking fungus that springs up, anyone know what this is?

I suspect if you ate this you may have an interesting couple of days, and then die!




Any room in your bothy brother?

I was browsing around looking for the usual knick knacks that one may need for a day on the river and found myself perusing the survival area of Outwood Sports. I find myself looking at stuff that I may want however do not actually need.
A classic example is the Lifesystems Survival Bothy.

For around forty bucks you get survival bothy for up to 12 people which is seemingly ideal as emergency protection from the elements for a group of hikers or mountaineers and I assume anglers. Ideal for those that get lost in the hills when hunting for distant lochs.
I am reminded of a story I read on a forum about a couple of anglers who knew the route to a distant loch extremely well, it was halfway up a mountain. As they were coming down the mountain fog descended however they knew exactly where they were going. They met a group of hill walkers with all the gear: backpacks, walking sticks, massive jackets and dressed up for what looked like an artic exhibition, they were also very lost. They looked at the couple of anglers, dressed in waders and a T-shirt’s walking purposefully forward and after a bit of thought asked for some advice.
The two anglers gave them the best advice on how to get back down the mountain and went on their way. Later they wondered about the stories the walkers would recount about the couple of crazies they met on a distant hill.

The fly fishing Prof hits the net..

It is always nice when a new blog starts up however it can leave one feeling a wee bit lonely waiting for some visitors.


The man in action..

The Fly Fishing Prof is the brand spanking new website of Charles Graves the dedicated man who traveled half way across Europe to fish the mighty Kelvin.

He is hugely photogenic as well…

Check him out – The Fly Fishing Prof.




On Cameras..

I have had my eyes on getting a new camera for a while now.
Over the years I have had a lot of cameras; my first camera was a wee credit card sized thing that cost around £12 off Ebay. You just plugged it into the computer and the pictures were there. I had one so cheap as I was nervous about it falling in the water and it getting destroyed. It was attached to me by a piece of string that hung around my neck. I have had other cheap cameras over the years and they have always been fine for taking the odd photograph however over the last few years I have wanted something with a bit more clout. I got an Olympus waterproof camera a few years ago and it was ok however I have noticed that the quality of the pictures in the evenings has always been a bit poor. I get a bit annoyed that the camera on my phone takes better pictures than it does sometimes.
At the moment I have borrowed a non-waterproof compact camera from my sister that takes great pictures however I am totally paranoid that I drop it in the water.
So I have found a waterproof camera over at Uttings that looks pretty sweet, a Nikon Coolpix AW100 16MP Camera (Camo).

It is really Camo!

They say:

The COOLPIX AW100 – ready for the great outdoors.

  • Waterproof, shockproof and freeze-proof
  • 16 megapixel back illuminated CMOS image sensor
  • Action Control lets you operate the camera with one hand
  • Built-in Global Positioning System (GPS), electronic compass and world map

I am not sure how annoyed I would be after the camera survived being dropped in the water, frozen and then run over by my car to lose it in the grass but hey, it’s a Nikon. I suppose that is where the Global Positioning System comes into play? At least it will know where it is. I recently got another Nikon strictly for non-angling activities and it is great so like the look of this one.

All joking aside it looks like the best of the bunch out there. Nikon offered to send me one for a few months to try it out however I decided giving it back would hurt too much so declined.

Now added to the Christmas list!

Kelvinography (back of a truck)

We have not had one of these in while I said to myself as I took this picture when I was stopped at some traffic lights.


As you can see, a company has decided to call themselves after the mighty K.

Kelvinography is the name of spotting stuff named after the Kelvin.


I have met hundreds of people fishing the Kelvin over the years.

All different types of people and all from different backgrounds. I have met guys who are super intelligent and people I am surprised that they managed to negotiate their way on to a bus to get to the river. I have met arrogant guys  who try and tell me that they know it all and try and belittle others even though their lack of knowledge is evident and I have met humble guys who will tell me how good a fisher I am compared to them before totally out-fishing me yet still being a nice guy about it.

This season I was standing next to a great pool on the Kelvin and a couple of guys who were trying to…….I don’t know, impress me with their fishing knowledge and skill told me the trout rising out in front of us was “just a tiddler“. I watched that trout break the surface a dozen times as they tried to justify set lining and I would swear it was not an ounce under a pound.

Some of the guys I met years ago now do not appear to fish the river – I used to meet this guy all the time..

Wish I could remember his name…

He used to trot for trout with a float outfit and was a great fisher, total catch and release all the way. He was English and would always stop for a chat. I met a lot of guys back then , I see none of them now. Some guys I meet now tell me they have been fishing the Kelvin “for years” however I never used to meet them.  Some of them it is because they fished further upstream than me and sometimes it is just bullshit.

I hear a lot of bullshit!

Over the last few years I have witnessed an increase in guys who feel they need to be aggressive when approached. Correction, they feel the need to be aggressive when simply having a chat about fish never mind being asked about permits.  Gladly I think these guys are in the minority.

Some Wank mags, maggots and an Asda bag!

Speaking of humble guys I met someone a couple of seasons ago at a popular part of the river. I met him at the same  place and roughly the same time every evening – dusk.

You see, this guy was fishing my banker spot. The place where I knew I would see some action at dusk. I cannot remember his name however I can remember that he wore a pair of sandshoes, jeans and got to the river on a bike. He used a fly rod and fly and spoke to me about the amount of trout he had caught since he had started fishing their at dusk. He loved it, he marvelled at the size of trout he had caught after I had described using a dry and dropper and I gave him some flies – anyone with that much enthusiasm should be encouraged.  What made this guy interesting was when I pointed out a rising trout just upstream of me and he told me he could not cast for it. Why? I asked. It was because he was standing on two rocks and he could only cast accurately from just that spot. You see, their was a long bank of trees behind us apart from just immediately behind us where their was a break – he had worked out that his back cast could slip just between these two trees while perched on that rock. He could place the fly maybe in roughly a line about a yard wide and the river wide.

He caught lots of trout, and loved it.

This is a random old photo of “somewhere” on the Kelvin catchment, if you can tell me where this is you get to come fishing with me!
My solitude is safe…(Note huge dragonfly on hat)

In other news I received a voice mail message from the Glasgow Angling Centre – my broken Sage SLT is ready to be picked up. That my friends is what I call fast efficient and great service, not just from Sage but from the Glasgow Angling Centre. I would get a photo of me picking it up if I did not look so shady with a camera in a fishing shop. Greys/Hardy should take note  about that warranty experience – maybe  they would not be going bust if they tried to keep their customers happy eh?

At some point I need to officially launch the  Urban Fly Fisher River Kelvin Forum , although I may just let it sit their until next year for the ten year anniversary of this blog.

Let me know what you think!


Pike Lows and Bylaws

Do you remember a few years ago when I was visiting my nearby Pike spot and could do no wrong? It seemed like every trip I was guaranteed if not a dozen pike then at lest some action. By action I mean some follows and at the very least Pike spooked.

This season has been very poor and I am trying to work out why.

My last Pike trip was over a week ago, we arrived at dawn (which was 0730) and it was a lovely calm morning. The water was like glass and the only thing out of place was the tent at the side of the loch with around 4 rods sticking out into the bay, two of which had bite alarms attached.

Right time, wrong place?

Needless to say we stomped around the whole bay (never once getting tangled in their lines which I thought was odd) and failed to connect with any fish. At one point I was using a rather amazing popper that was sent to my by a reader (thanks dude, you know who you are) and was also stripping back streamers at all kinds of speeds. Often when the Pike are not in the mood slower is better as the beast thinks it is going to get an easy meal. When you see lots of Pike activity you can strip em’ back faster.

For a change from the Loop Pike Booster I used my BROMANoDELL’s Esox Lucius 9ft #9/10 coupled with a new 9 weight line as I was informed my previous line bought from Ebay was a “pile of shite” by fishing buddy Campbell.

I bought my new line from Pike Trek after getting some advice from Pike Guro McFluffchucker it cost around 15 bucks and if McFluffchucker does not say it is absolutely rubbish then it must be very good. It was very good and cast out the big flies with ease.

BROMANoDELL’s Esox Lucius 9ft #9/10, Vision Koma Reel and a Pike Trek line.

If you have not visited the McFluffchucker blog I urge you to do it, his posts are long, his flies are pretty damn amazing looking and his attitude and opinions totally rock. If he finds something to do with Pike fly fishing that he does not agree with he will bloody well tell you.

Fishing buddy Campbell did not connect to any of the beasts either despite many a wisecrack about my line.

Fishing buddy Campbell

Anyway, as we were finishing at around 1030 the guys from the tent emerged, their were four of them and one of them was wearing a pink tutu, seemingly it was his birthday. As we walked up to them we looked at the amount of litter spread around their tent and their bleary eyes. I would just like to point out that wild camping has been banned from around this area due to the large amounts of characters not tidying up their shit, sometimes literally. They regaled us with stories of catching over 200 pike since June and only the day before had caught one at 37, nope 37 and a half his pal corrected him while casually chucking his fag packet on the ground.

As we walked back to the car we wondered if this was the reason for the lack of Pike, have they either been mishandled  and died or is the fishing pressure too much. We talked about a statistic that Campbell had heard about from some biologist that a Pike can be caught around 5 times before the stress is just too much and it dies. No idea if it is true but I find it a bit scary.

As we approached the area where the cars were packed a Rangers Van was parked up and four guys were walking towards us, it turned out that two of the guys were from the tent and the other two were Rangers. The Rangers were going down with plastic bags to clear up the rubbish that has been left behind by anglers. It is my understanding that these Rangers can give out fines of up to £500 for breaching the bylaw – I wondered if it would be enforced this time?

In other news we have a Kelvinator in need of likes on facebook to win the fish of the month competition. Davie Cleland caught this 26.5 pounder not on the fly but on deadbait (we do not hold this against him though)

Someone should have said “smile for the camera Davie”

Anyway, please like his photo on facebook – use this link right here. Winning a hundred bucks of Glasgow Angling Centre vouchers may actually make him smile for the camera next time.

It may also earn me a pint at the local pub.

Or a smack in the face.

Go and like it, hurry!




Kelvin in spate – shock !

Laptop is dead so do not expect any fancy posts for a while, this bad boy is being typed on my phone.

Out for a run this morning and the Kelvin once more is in full spate.


In the distance you can see the raging torrent that is the slush!
I also could not help taking a photo of this highly photogenic tree…


I have not seen many chaps out fishing recently, maybe it is the cold. I drove down to Birmingham tonight and watched the temperature rise the further south I went. When I left Glasgow it was 7 degrees, in birmingham it is 11 and that was at midnight.

2012 Trout Season – you were like a batshit crazy girlfriend!

That is correct, you were like a crazy girlfriend. On one hand you promised so much (the sex was good) however on the other you turned up at crazy times at my house and made unreasonable demands.

You were like two separate people, the problem was the crazy part far outweighed the good part.

The good part of the relationship was from the start of the season until June the 22nd when Chuck from the states came to visit. This was the getting to know you stage, you were totally great and I was happy getting to know you. The spring was mild and I spotted my first rising trout on March 25th in just about every pool of a wee burn in a park I where I was having some family fun. Of course, forums and the Central Scotland boys were already talking about the great amount of rising trout even before the season opened so it was not really a surprise to most folk. We had a mild winter after two rotten ones and almost immediately a hose pipe ban was slapped on most of England, up here in Scotland we do not get hose pipe bans as we know it will rain “during the week” at some point which is why the fishing is better.

Of course, I was still sitting around a lot just looking at the water …..waiting!

Being out at the start of this new relationship was great even though there was lots of sitting around and gazing at each other – I will always be reminded of you when I smell wild garlic and the buzzing around of busy insects reminds me of your voice.

Early and mid-relationship was made even more interesting by the fact my soles kept falling off my wading boots, I found some old carpet in the street and tried to stick them on to my sole as my local stopped selling felt soles for some reason. You found this pretty funny even though I was getting a bit pissed off by it all.

Like walking on carpet..

It took another couple of months before I finally got the right carpet (taken out of someones bin) and the correct glue (Evostic) and I was happy with them, of course just at that point Orvis kindly sent me a new pair of boots so the old ones were lovingly placed in my shed. Every trip was a trial of some new glue that I had bought, waterproof no more nails is no good, by the way.

Of course, during this early part of the season I was catching trout in the few snatched hours..

Nice trout….

Oh yea, and Theo Pike published his book Trout in Dirty Places: 50 Rivers to Fly-fish for Trout and Grayling in the UK’s Town and City Centres and I went on the radio to be the Glasgow punter fishing while he sat in a studio in London. That was great fun and to see my picture in a book was ego boosting.

The sex was amazing Kelvin was fishing its socks off however it was anything but easy. I remember creeping up behind a few rising trout and presenting a dry to them and after a few refusals they were gone. I started to meet other trout anglers who were also marveling at the big trout. You played me well, you knew what I wanted and was a bit of a tease about it.

For the Kelvin this is a specimen on the fly..

Our good weather stated in mid May and we started being able to head out for dusk sessions – they were amazing. Slipping away from the wife felt all a bit dangerous even though she knew where I was heading too. However there were some flies in the ointment. It was around this time that I started to notice the amount of assholes out fishing without permits. I printed out a leaflet to give these guys as I could not be bothered talking to them any longer than needed. It was around about this time that I started to think that the evening sessions were going to be very productive come proper summer in July and August. I could just imagine heading down to the river before dusk and plonking myself down at a pool and watching the trout rise. There was some pools opened up by some arbour work and I was looking forward to exploiting it to its full advantage. I tied small flies, lots of them and even bought some new tippet.

However, it was around  June the 20th (just after) that Chuck visited from the states and you showed yourlsef to be an absolute pyscho that would drive me crazy with your downright bizarre behavior. I remember it well, the day was warm and humid and I was sure Chuck was going to be in for a belter of an evening. Instead we found ourselves down at a pub feeling pretty cold remarkably early, a cold front had moved in and killed the action. That action never returned for the rest of the season. The next day it started to rain and did not stop, the river rose and fell however never cleared as normal, eventually the ground became so saturated that some rain upstream hit the river almost immediately. One evening fishing buddy Jim Burns phoned me to tell me the river was looking great, in the time it took me to drive to the river and set up (around 20 mins) the river had turned a chocolate color and was rising, we continued to watch it rise for another hour and were amazed at how fast it shot up. The secretary for the association discovered run off from a building site on the Luggie was making the river turn the color of clay when it should have cleared.

Up, down, Up, Down – a chocolate river that never cleared and the rain just kept on coming. Sometimes you gave a reprieve for a few days and just as soon as the river was about to return to something that may resemble normal you rained again.

I still managed to winkle some trout out however they were hard fished for and it wad difficult going. I also found that the rain was affecting other rivers when I visited the Lake District and was almost washed out on the Eden however it turned into a great session.

I also caught some lovely trout down on my shit pipe river – somewhere I hope to be fishing more of next year.

A trout from the shit pipe !

I cannot remember the exact date that I bust my Greys GRX however I was not happy with the response from Greys. In the end I swapped a filleting knife with reader Dougie for his GRX and the issue was resolved – yippeee!

Where was I?

Oh yea, when the season went totally psycho I decided to go after Pike they were not playing ball either. 

The one positive and total saving grace was that a wee burn that I often pass by due to work holds plentiful trout which are eager to take the dryfly when it is high with a tinge of color.

A tinge of color.

I spent quick half hour sessions on this wee urban burn whenever I could squeeze the time in, unfortunately on my last visit I was told someone had killed over a dozen trout for pike bait. I just hope it will be able to recover for next year.

2012 season – it will take me a while to get over you, you crazy batchit like a horse wench!

Did you guys have a love affair or was it like a visit to a strip club?


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