There used to be…

Not long ago on the Kelvin there used to be not that many guys fishing the river for trout. Sometimes I would go whole months without meeting another fly angler..

Urban fly fishing on the kelvin..

Urban fly fishing on the Kelvin..

I give a wry smile to myself when I meet guys who say they have been fishing the river “for years”. I was lucky enough just 10 years ago (pre children)  to be able to spend every day on the river at various times. It all depended on my wife and her shift patterns however few days of the season were not covered – I hardly met a soul.

On this night it rained...

On this night it rained…

The last time I moved home we were lucky enough to just have to shift our stuff a few hundred yards from a flat to a house. That was around 8 years ago. Now again we have our home on the market and are looking elsewhere for a new family home. There is a hint of apprehension in all this as I know exactly how long it takes me to get to various parts of the river from my home just now. I have worked out how long it takes me to get home from work and what stops I can make along the way at the river yet still get home at a reasonable time without there being any incidents. When looking at areas and houses I look for that blue line that tells me there is some kind of fishing not far from me. At least all the areas we are looking at still has the Kelvin within striking distance although at one point we were thinking of moving so far out the city that I was almost going to take up Salmon fishing. Still, the upper Kelvin and the newly acquired Luggie were in easy striking distance so I was not too fussed.

Out for a run today and it did look quite nice, met a few anglers as well.

We are going hunting boys!

Once the afternoon looked as if it was heating up some I got the boys into their warm coats and headed along to the Kelvin. I had heard stories of trout in some rivers still responding to olives even though it was snowing and wanted to see if I was being premature in dismissing the river and fishing it until the temp creeps up next weekend.

It looked pretty fine.

Looking upstream from below Dawsholm

Looking upstream – if something rises on this whole stretch you see it.

Every now and again the sun would come out and I would feel it on my face, likewise every now and again the wind would pick up and my hands would be freezing. The boys would look a bit grumpy as well. I decided that if I was going to spot a rising trout it was going to be today, I had a sneaky feeling I would see one (or possibly two)

I set the boys at every opportunity to looking for olives and rising trout…

"Stand next to that rusty fence with the big gaps and look at the splashy water down below - if you see any trout give me a holler"

“Stand next to that rusty fence with the big gaps and look at the splashy water down below – if you see any trout give me a holler”

Annoyingly they kept on throwing stones and sticks into the water which eventually became infectious as I began to throw stones at the water as well – it was actually one helluva lot more fun than what you might think.

We walked a bit up the river and I gazed and spots that I just knew would hold trout..

I can tell people have fished this pool last year due to the path next to it, once the bushes grow in you will not see it anymore!

I can tell people have fished this pool last year due to the path next to it, once the bushes grow in you will not see it anymore!

Eventually we stopped off at what used to be one of my favorite pools on the river.  People like to think that this pool was always fished however it really was not. back in the day on the bridge every weekend would find a new burnt out car on it and the whole area was just a little bit dodgy. If you have a look at the “Urban Fly Fishing on the Kelvin” site you will see a picture of a car on the bridge, it really was a common sight.

Now the pool is pestered by dog walkers (and those horrible dog walking agencies) however you used to not see many folk around even 10 years ago.

Throw stones boys - wake em' up!

Throw stones boys – wake em’ up!

This last pool was where I decided to leave the river as quite frankly if it was going to have happened i would have seen it. I was walking slow enough and studying each pool for so long that I would not have missed a trout. I was slightly disappointed however in the grand scheme of things I know “it” is on the way.

We walked up and came up against my arch nemesis – the Highland Cow

It wants to eat me!

It wants to eat me!

I took the opportunity to introduce them to the boys as I put on my best manly attitude – I don’t want them thinking their father is some kind of pansy that is scared of cows!

aaaAAAAAAGRH - you are touching one of its killing Prongs!!

aaaAAAAAAGRH – you are touching one of its killing Prongs!!

As we walked down the road the sun was still shining and I could still feel that change that was in the air. Maybe Spring is actually finally here, I know we can still have snow however I feel as if we have not only turned a corner but are now fair powering up towards something.

When I think..

Kelvin- Spring 2004

Kelvin- Spring 2004

When I think about what once was

I think about what we have now

And I think about what we might have in the future

Winter, I would like it if you would just..


Opening Celebration! (I think)

As you can see from the last post conditions on the Saturday were not exactly ideal for trout fishing. It was freezing however I managed to combat that by wearing two pairs of thermal long-johns, a thermal vest and some layers. This only meant my hands were exposed to the elements and within minutes they were like ice.

Spring has not sprung and the icy grip of winter continues to grab us by the balls and squeeze out the warm happiness.

Here, have the video from the opening celebration:

Additionally, Glasgow’s resident Angling Superstar decided to join us for a jaunt through the park and some illegal drinking  fishy talk.

Its Paul Young!

Its Paul Young!

Truth be told I did not even get my new waders wet, it was a simple case of a wander around the river and then back to bar for some hot pies and sausage rolls (see what you guys are missing) Their were no new members which I found kinda weird as the folk that were their are founts of knowledge to do with the river and are only to happy to tell other folk techniques etc.

I just looked at the 5 day forecast over at the Met Office  and things do not look as if they are going to hear up anytime soon. It looks like Thursday will have temps “feeling” like -1.

This just is not right.

After last years disastrous season I was really looking forward to casting a fly once more and was determined (am determined) to take full advantage of having a rout stream on my doorstop or even the wee burn on the way home from work. I would like to think that if we were given a terrible Spring then we may get a good summer, however the weather and statistics (and gambling) just does not work like that. The weather is fairly random and nobody can really predict what it is going to be like a couple of weeks from now never mind what kind of summer we are going to get. I suppose really it could get a little warmer and just start raining for six months, wouldn’t that be a dream!

Nope, it would in fact be a bloody nightmare!

Speaking of having a trout stream on my doorstep I was having a rummage around some of the other blogs that I visit and was counting my blessings when folk were talking about driving a few hours to get to their local stream. I was talking to a fishing buddy the other day and were talking about driving for a half hour to get to a new bit of water might be a pain in the ass however that has now paled into insignificance as all we want is a bit of sunshine to draw some olives from the water.

Anyway, I am not going to  blether on as I am pretty sure you guys know about the weather just as much as I do!

What have you guys been up to?



I noticed a few emails coming in this week regarding folk wanting “trout & fly only” tickets for the local ditch. We had decided to make them application by post only to stop any riff raff getting a hold of them and fishing with giant salmon lures and the last couple of seasons have seen take up of around 3. This year folk are a heck of a lot more stingy and we have had couple of dozen applications. Unfortunately it seems that hardly anyone has had them sent out.

Anyway, it turns out that the mail is not being sent to Paul Reid who is the local commander of the force, it also turns out he has been brought low by a rather nasty cold and sounded bloody miserable when I spoke to him today – he is still coming on Saturday to the opening day though.

Speaking of which, check this out: 11pm Friday night out my back door

What the fuck?

What the fuck?

It is not exactly looking too promising for the opening day tomorrow, in fact I wuld go as far as to say it is looking totally shite. I may actually just end up spending some time sitting at the bar wadered up drinking some nice tea and eating the buffet!

See you chaps in the morning, half eleven!

This is it!

The start of the season has not seen me fishing. In fact it has allowed me an opportunity to actually have the choice not to go fishing. Instead I have been looking at all my stuff and deciding that I need a few extras to keep me going. I met fishing buddy Alex down at the GAC and I mentioned that I wanted to get another pair of forceps, he told me that he had a several pairs and I thought to myself he is a wise man. There has been a few times that I have forgotten my forceps and it has been a right pain in the ass when it comes to getting a fly out of a trout. Usually I just turn around and go home as I would rather do that than kill a trout needlessly.

The stuff I bought!

The stuff I bought!

Same goes for snips, I keep mine on a lanyard (actually it is an old T in the Park lanyard) around my neck attached to my forceps so if I forget one I forget them both. So not only cannot I get flies out trout easily I also cannot tie knots properly without a pair of line snips. You can start to see why I just turn around and go home.

Bottom line is I bought some snips, forceps and a new fly box to keep me going.

The temp my friends is low, the forecast is for ultimate shite all week and I doubt a trout will even think about looking up at a dry fly.

How is that for an outlook?


New season, new forum, new other stuff.

Welcome friends to another season on The Urban Fly Fisher!

This is now my tenth year writing this pish diary of musings and I must say I am not in any great hurry to end it. As long as i continue to make new friends and folk keep mailing me I will keep on writing. Something that will make things slightly easier is the fact that I have got myself  a new laptop after the kids bust my old one. Writing posts on my phone and on a tablet was pretty difficult to say the least however I still managed to rumble on through. Trying to edit pictures was difficult however like I say I am now back in he hot seat.

Speaking of new things the forum is gaining members back again, it is now on its third and final outing (promise no more deleting members and posts) and has around 70 members. When I scrubbed it we had over 300 so slowly but surely we are getting there. If you have not joined (again) already please do sign up over here. 


Seeing as how this is my tenth year I was wondering the best way to celebrate and have not managed to come up with anything other than to give you guys an open invitation to meet up and have a fish and a chat. All you have got to do is send me an email using the contact form and we can meet up whenever I get a chance to get out.

I am looking forward to it already!

As usual if you wish to donate some cold hard cash to my hosting fund to ensure my wife never actually finds out how much it costs to run a successful fly fishing blog then you can donate by pressing the donate button on the sidebar, it takes you to paypal and to be honest  even a couple of bucks go a long way when I am scrambling around on hosting fees month.

As posted on Fish Kelvin unlike other clubs who get out there and freeze themselves with no hope of a fish in February we wait a few weeks until it has warmed up a tad and there is still no hope of a fresh fish but we may catch a trout.

Consequently our annual opening day ceremony will be on the 23rd March meeting at the Islay Inn pub the address is:

1256 Argyle St  Glasgow G3 8TJ

Please click this link for directions. – if you are unsure where you are going please contact the association.

The ceremony will start in the bar at 1130, we will meet have a chat and then be piped down to the river where someone will brave the Glasgow City Council anti drinking bylaw and toast the river with a dram whilst tourists take your photo.

Here is last years:

Rivefly Monitoring

Paul posted this over on the Fishkelvin site:

Here is some more information on the Riverfly Monitoring Project that was discussed at the AGM. We need as many volunteers as possible to commit to taking samples once a month. This is your opportunity to help protect the Kelvin and ensure it’s continuing improvement. Please get in touch if you would like to attend the meeting. There will be volunteers from other organisations associated with the Kelvin, so it’s important that we are represented. In fact it is important that we are seen to be providing the lion’s share of the volunteers.

Clyde Riverfly Monitoring Partnership (CRIMP)

The Clyde River Foundation and Riverfly Partnership warmly invite all club members to the Clyde Riverfly Monitoring Partnership launch meeting to be held on

Sunday 17th March 2013, 1.00pm – 4.00pm.
Lecture theatre 1, Graham Kerr Building, University of Glasgow, G12 8QQ.

CRIMP is a citizen science project which aims to provide training in riverfly monitoring to volunteers across the eight counties of the River Clyde catchment. Riverfly monitoring can help protect the quality of our rivers; increase our knowledge and understanding of invertebrate populations and promote the conservation of their habitats. Volunteer involvement is important to the development of this project and will allow us to assess the sustainability and practical benefits of using the method on a large scale. CRIMP will provide another tool to inform management of the fishery and freshwater ecosystem. For example, we have had two recent examples of river pollution (one in Lanarkshire and one in Renfrewshire) where well-trained volunteers could have sampled the incidents more quickly than even the statutory bodies – we see this as a way of helping to protect your river; your fishery.

CRIMP will involve the Clyde River Foundation (CRF) coordinating monthly river health checks undertaken by specially trained volunteers. We will deliver training workshops in riverfly monitoring three times per year, followed by a half day site selection and sampling “run through” day with each angling club. From there, volunteers will monitor their given sites monthly and report their results to the CRF. The CRF will collate and check results, and report back every three months to contributing angling club secretaries, with a facility for more rapid communication with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) if pollution is detected.


Bottom line is I am doing it as I just enjoy being next to water and this will be easy to do. If any of you chaps can make it along that would be great!

See you on the river, in a classroom or across the internet!


Fishing Sets?

Do people still buy fishing sets ?

I ask because I have been answering some questions on the forums from new anglers (to the fly anyway) who are needing some advice about what stuff to buy etc and it made me a bit nostalgic.

I can still remember my first ever “spinning rod” and fly rod – in fact I still have them both stored away. My first “spinning rod” was in fact a coarse fishing tool that I bought as part of a set from a catalog. Nope, not like the fancy fishing magazines you get these days it was probably Littlewoods or something like that. I looked at all the sets you could buy and chose one at random. I did not really have anyone to take advice from and the whole lot probably cost £20 which was a heck of a lot of money 30 years ago or thereabouts. It did not even have a cork handle, it was a plastic handle and I think was around 10 feet long. it was good for catching small Jack pike on the canal as I could get past all the reeds.

My first fly rod was bought in Morcombe near Blackpool and as I did not have a scooby what I was doing tried to catch a flounder with a weird bee imitation. It did not end well. I do still have that reel and line in my loft actually.

Fishing Pro Tip – What to wear under your breathable waders?

Chaps, I am about to give you the best tip you have ever heard so pay attention.

Those just starting out fly fishing and wearing breathable waders often wonder what the hell they should wear under the things. Some people wear jeans, walking trousers, shorts(during summer) and other miscellaneous outdoor wear. If this is you then I am about to change your life, get yourself a pair of these bad boys:

Obviously you can buy plain ones!

Obviously you can buy plain ones!

I picked up a pair of thermal ones for a tenner from Marks & Spencer however you can y buy them off Amazon for very cheap.

The reason I like them are:

  • In normal season temps you are neither too hot or cold.
  • As they fit so close to your body there is no chaffing at all – the added bulk of jeans or other trousers will put strain on the seams of your waders so wearing longjohns may make them last longer.
  • While fishing you are extremely comfy – I cannot describe to you how you will feel the first time you head out with your longjohns – everyone will wonder why you are smiling.
  • That’s it !

What I do is put them on in the house and then drive to the river and put on my waders. I have been stopped by the police while coming home from fishing and the good officers did not even bat an eyelid as I sat in the back of their car in my longjohns with no ID. Obviously an angler reeks of sheer manliness so we can get away with wearing them and showing them off at all times.

Buy a pair and wear a pair – you can think me when you meet me!