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.
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.
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?
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!
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.
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..
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.
I fished on and chatted to another member who was out using spiders – great guy who was enjoying the Sunday action.
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 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.
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.
Two views , one of the view from the camp …..
And one of my leg in the morning when the evil little bastards descended on me as I was packing the camp up !
If you have never experienced the Scottish midges I assure you it is the quickest route to madness that one can take !
Oh the Kelvin fishers, I just love them.
What makes this whole scene a lot more comedic is when you realise the bench is in fact in the middle of a weir…
It takes the whole “Fuck You”approach to the step between casts rule – this area is actually quite heavily fished, I can only think that the chaps need a bit of rest between hauling in their…..
The chap who sent me the photos (Stephen) has just sent me another one…
If you look carefully you can see that they have wedged them up against some rocks so that they do not get washed away in the floods – also it provides a handy place to put your cold beer.
Their also appears to be a dead body on it however that may just be an optical illusion.
What next? another bench? Some cable for a wee lamp and a TV, a real fridge?
Fishing the dusk again tonight possibly!
So after a quick run after work and then a hectic few hours trying to put the boys to bed in this heat I found myself setting up at around half eight, I spoke to a couple of guys with spinning rods who did not have permits and then dived in the water.
It was a strange evening all round with lots of flies on the water – Yellow Mays, Sedges and I think other wee upwings. There were a lot of trout rising and even though I just never got to grips with exactly what they were taking I still managed to winkle a few out..
Nothing massive however they put a bend in the rod and were lovely to look at – real true wild Kelvin trout. I went through a few fly changes: a small sedge, a large sedge, a yellow comparadun and an emerger. The trout were pretty devious as when they rose to the naturals they would make a splashy rise and when they would take my imitation they would sip it down.
I stayed until well into the dark however the rising fish slowly dropped away and I realised that they were not going to continue into the darkness. I slowly walked down to where I had started dapping my fly along the way resulting in a few boils however they never connected (in other words I fluffed it)
I am off work tomorrow and will be walking along the river with the youngest boy in the back pack – I printed out some leaflets to give guys who do not have permits to see if that has any impact – lets see shall we!
How do you deal with poaching? – not the serious big stuff involving nets and and stuff I am talking about the low level stuff involving a guys just fishing the river without a permit?
I managed a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon and it was spoiled by having to talk to a few guys about not fishing with permits and with spinning rods. Sunday is fly only on the Kelvin as agreed by the members for a couple of years now. Two of the guys were totally pished and started giving dogs abuse saying I was arrogant and a jobsworth for asking them for permits, one of the guys almost fell in he was so drunk – they stated they were drinking in memory of their friend who had died at that spot the year previously of hypothermia, I have looked up the news however could find no record of it. I do not doubt them as beside the river you always find shrines made up out of football tops with the inevitable empty bottle of buckfast next to it. I am pretty sure I had a photograph of that shrine somewhere however could not find it!
The second guy was walking to the river carrying a spinning rod with a bloody great float attached to it. They were Glasgow City Council employees, you could tell that as they were wearing overalls with the logo on them – the conversation:
“Awright mate, you got a permit?”
“Well, you need a permit to fish here and on a Sunday it is fly only”
“How much are they?”
“Ahm no payin’ that I am only gonna fish it a few times” He smiled and winked
“Er, well, I am the Vice Chair and this is the Crown Bailiff and Secretary so it might be best not to fish as you could potentially get arrested”
“Aw well, I will just walk back to work then” they then proceed to walk down the path to the river – the only thing that is down this path is the river.
Luckily there were a few guys fishing down that way who would hopefully keep them right. The few guys were some passionate fly anglers who have done extremely well this season – the one saving grace of the situation is that they would tell them not to fish the water with their spinning gear in no uncertain terms.
You see this is the reason why all anglers need to ask each other whether they have permits or not – you see, every guy fishing the River Kelvin without a permit is a kick in the teeth for guys that do buy a permit.
The bottom line with paying for a permit is the knowledge that the cash is going towards making sure you have fish in the water. Those that do not pay for a permit are not contributing towards making sure that there is fish in the water and consequently are shafting the members. Additionally these guys are probably killing trout which is undoing the good work that the members have put in to ensure the stocks improve.
The thought of a nice brownie that I have caught and returned a few times on the dry fly being butchered by some guy with a maggot fucking pisses me right off!
Speaking of which I caught a couple of nice brownies on the Sunday – as I got their late in the day it was the tale end of the hatch – sedge were again the order of the day and I only had one on my fly box. I managed to tempt one trout in the beginning after many drifts to a small klink that I was sent by Marcel (a reader and regular poster on the forum) and it went absolutely bananas and again I wondered why I had left my net at home. The river was maybe a couple of inched higher than it was the last time I was out and the water was freezing cold. The oxygen content must have been high to make the fight like beasts.
I managed to hook a wee one with a tricky cast standing on the middle of a fallen tree and nearly lost my fly in a tree.
However even when I was thinking about the trout caught and the fish chat with some of the guys I had met at the riverside I was still thinking about the guys without permits who were just out to kill some time (and trout). I am pretty sure every river has them however at least on other river faced with a bailiff or anyone else they usually have the good grace to do a bolt.
I suppose the danger with some of the guys on the Kelvin is that they often get aggressive as that seems to be the standard macho bullshit when challenged on anything that they may be doing wrong.
I have no idea what the solution is – although I keep on coming back to a paid bailiff force that is on call 24/7 however the prices would be high. What gives? How do you guys view it when you meet someone that is clearly breaking the rules? Do you ignore it or say something?
Chaps, you may or not be aware that I have not exactly been the fittest of specimens over the last year or so. However, in February I decided to get myself a little fitter and started doing a spot of jogging, this then led on to having a goal of doing a 10k race (so that I was not going to wimp out) and now I am trying to raise a spot of cash through my aching legs and pints of manly sweat for Yorkhill.
Why Yorkhill? Well, you see when my number two son was born there was a wee bit of a panic as he was born with what is called a Postermedial Bowing of the Tibia – essentially above his foot his leg angled at 60 degrees. Now, it could have been a lot of things (I had no idea problems of the foot can be caused by issues in the spine) however on day two of the boys life we arrived at Yorkhill and the Consultant pulled out all the stops to make sure we had the best care available – it turns out the condition is uber rare and often it is misdiagnosed as other things.
While I have been in the waiting rooms up at Yorkhill I have been truly humbled by the way in which these young children cope with some of the most severe disabilities and problems. I am going to hazard a guess that you have children or you at least know someone who has children – if you live in Glasgow or the surrounding areas I can guarantee you that they have been at Yorkhill at some point over the last year.
So I have created a Just Giving page where I would love it if you donated a couple of pounds to this worthy cause – the money goes towards buying new machinary and new expensive stuff that children need to live some kind of quality of life.
Please don’t go thinking that this will be an easy 10k as for your cash you can expect me to sweat like a wildebeast when it is about to cross some suspicious looking swamp, undergo huge mental torture to keep going and probably be sick at the end.
Here is the link to donate – my work buddy who I have been training with is also running for the charity so we are doing it together.
The race is on Sunday 17th june - I will post some pictures of my sweaty finish if you like.
So I managed a couple of stolen golden hours after work to try and again tempt some Kelvin trout and to be quite honest I was almost going to be waxing lyrical about spooky trout and pricked lips.
Not my lips, the trout I managed to prick. You see the first few trout that I managed to tempt to my dry fly were pricked and away quicker than I could say “Ya Beauty” As it was I felt a deep thump thump and felt solid trout and then they were gone – the takes appeared solid enough, in fact the flies were pounced on like a tiger and a lamb. Maybe it was the downstream drift that caused the problems.
I walked, well scrambled, along the bank to where I had spooked some trout a few days ago. I would like to say this time I went after them in a different way however as expected with the exact same tactic of casting directly upstream and lining them they promptly fu*ked off.
I took a few moments to drill into my head again the need for stealth and wariness and then took a few steps upstream.
At this precise moment both soles fell off my Orvis wading boots.
At the next pool I spotted a tiny rise on the surface about the size of a saucer – the water was so clear that I could see the trout come up from the depths (a foot of water) to take stuff off the surface.
There was a huge hatch of grannom I think hatching and for once the trout were feeding on them. Well, not every trout and in fact it turned out only the big ones as I proceeded to catch within the space of a few mins two of the finest trout I have caught from the Kelvin in quite some time , real proper rod benders that leapt all over the pool and back again.
The second trout was in roughly the same pocket of water as the first, I only had one wee sedge thing left so knew that if this one got stuck in a tree (I had already lost a few flies) then my session would be over. The trout was dimpling the surface and I cast over it a few times, when it took the fly it shot all over the pool in an absolute fury before jumping out the water a couple of times – it actually flashed into my head that maybe we had accidentally stocked this year however again it was a lovely truly wild Kelvin trout in my hand ready to be returned to get even larger.
Over the last few weeks I have been hearing great reports (and we have also been chatting about it in the Kelvin Forum) of the trout fishing on the fly being exceptional this year – you know what, folk said we were crazy to stop stocking trout and impose a catch and release policy for them however this year we are really seeing the benefits. Just wait another couple of years, guys who solely fish for trout on the fly should take advantage of the £15 trout only ticket and fish absolutely nowhere near me.
Anyway, on the way back to the car I spotted another swirly rise which was so easy to cast to as a tree had fallen down behind me and it was a rod length away it would have been churlish not to take it up on its offer, the trout appeared to be patrolling as it would boil on the surface a foot away each time it rose, I judged my cast and the fly was bored down to the depths before again another stonker of a trout came to the bank..
All first trout looked like a lot of the trout that I catch from the Clyde with lots of small spots while the other two were your typical Kelvin bastards who have no idea who their parents are – probably a cod or something.
I had wondered where all the good trout at this stretch had vanished too and a thought occurred to me, last season I kept on meeting guys fishing downstream with wet flies (a lot of guys do this), the problem is this will ruin the whole stretch of water and the trout will be thoroughly spooked for a few hours anyway. It stands to reason that if someone is tramping down through pools then trout will be spooked. Another thing to keep in the head is that if you are fishing upstream then the trout will not actually see you – unless like me you cast your fly directly on top of their heads in a big tangled heap.
Raining tomorrow seemingly, and the a showery day on Friday.
Fingers crossed n’ all that I may well see you on the river.