Flies on Ebay

On my wanders around the internets I am always amazed at the bargains that can be had for the lazy fly fisher. I remember reading an article about the owner of the Glasgow Angling Center who stated the most amount of cash he makes is due to flies – he buys them in dirt cheap and then sells them at a huge markup. Every week I am sent emails from folk in Kenya who try and sell me flies in bulk to sell on through this site – I suspect these flies are the same ones that are sold under the Fulling Mill banner so you can imagine how much the markup must be. Essentially without any haggling whatsoever they want a few pence per fly.

I suspect a lot of the flies on Ebay are tied in Kenya by the Fulling Mill factories (or ex employees?)

Anyway check this selection of flies out on Ebay – a selection of 40 dry flies for £10 – however you can get even cheaper than that. In fact, here is a selection of parachutes that would so someone an entire season on the Kelvin – 48 of them with a starting bid of eight bucks it probably wont get much higher than that!

48 of these stuck in a metal railing would not break the bank

While we are about it here is some small CDC patterns 10 of them starting at 2.99.

Again – a fly angler starting out need not worry too much about spending extortionate amounts of cash for flies – the trick starts when you need specialty flies like micro flies and personal favorite patterns like Deer Hair Emergers however there are good local tyers who will tie these up for you.

So do you tie or buy?

 

 

Hurricane Bawbag Hits Scotland

Our very own Hurricane has been given a name in true style – personally I noticed it was a bit breezy when a large metal bin went flying down Anniesland Cross high street  towards a gent who then actually punched the thing sending it banging into a taxi.

He did not even flinch.

The taxi driver was raging.

Meanwhile, the wind turbines are going mental..

You can have too much electricity..

edit: I of course had to add this wee gem

 

River Kelvin Spate

Totally random video of the Kelvin in spate – lasts around a minute. I was actually out with Atkins looking at all the arbour work that had been done. Lots of pictures to add to the RKAA site.

 

Weekly Water Photo – 48 of 52

With all the rain we have had you can do a spot of white water rafting if you are so inclined - these pictures were taken before the water was really turned on…

Water Photo 48

I had to telephone the council last week as there was a log blocking the fish pass – it has obviously now been cleared.

White Water Rafting anyone?

I do not fancy going down that in a boat? The Allander and Kelvin had both burst their banks out Balmore way – anyone else have any good photos?

Sadly I could not stick around long enough to see any Salmon running as the wife was in the car tapping her watch!

River Kelvin Forum – Phase 2

All posts gone, all members deleted (apart from around a dozen) what madness is this?

The River Kelvin Forum has undergone a metamorphosis and is now the The “K” board –a single stream of thought,talk and opinions. We don’t have sections to confine us as neither does life. There is a thread and post “voting” system in place – if a post is given an undefined number of down-votes the post will disappear into the ether. This means that the mighty “K” board is Kelvinator moderated – kinda just like real life .

 You can register or re register here.

Enjoy!

 

 

Sneaky Bastard!

To be fair the beast was only doing what the beasts do – looking at lunch!

I walked along the Forth n’ Clyde Canal today – my plan was to take some photos of the works that have been carried out on the banks of the Kelvin however I befriended a pensioner who had walked along the Kelvin Walkway and was now lost. Initially I was a bit peeved as I enjoy my wanders (with my number two son strapped to my chest) all on my lonesome however she was a bit of a lost soul stating that she would follow me back to civilization as she was feeling a bit scared. As it was I ended up taking a two hour walk with the women and pointed out just about every pool and enthralled her with many stories of trout being caught. As we parted I pointed her in the direction of Great Western Road instructing her what bus to get. Within 5 minutes  I was regretting leaving her as I suspected she was maybe a little bit wandered – however by this point she would have been down at the bus stop (hopefully) so there was not much else to do.

The sneaky bastard is in this picture..

Grey Heron

That is correct – kicking around in the bushes behind the Heron was a fox which was trying to work out how to get down for some tasty bird action.

Mrs Fox

I am pretty sure when I was growing up there was not this many foxes around – our neighbor has a pet fox that comes to his house every night for its dinner, in fact I reckon that it is not the same fox but a child of the original fox.

Some work was being carried out on the bridge down at Dawshome Park – “Whats up with it”? I asked . “Its falling down” I was told.

Here is hoping it gets fixed eh?

Anyway, this is also your weekly water photo:

Weekly Water Photo 47 of 52

 

So the future – what does it hold?

Tying, lots and lots of fly tying!

Between now and December I need to churn out a couple of dozen flies for a fly swap I foolishly committed myself to on the spur of the moment. It seemed like a good idea at the time however now that I have got to stay up past my bed time to tie the buggers I am feeling a bit overwhelmed, at least it means I will get some back that are actually half decent.

Now – what flies to actually tie up for it? I think my classic “Scruffy Kelvin Olive” will be a contender, I am not going to show you it just now I will wait until I have handed them in before I post pictures in case some other bugger nabs the idea.

Weekly Water Photo 46 of 52

Of course some of you will be laughing into your genetic capes at a couple of dozen flies to be produced in a leisurely month or so as you churn that many out in an hour however considering that I arise at a totally unholy hour in the morning (for the love of God the boys got me up so early the other morning the announcer said good night as he ended his shift) I need to get to my bed at a fairly half decent time.

However, I am committed as it may actually have a side benefit that will allow me to tie flies in relative peace. Anyone that has ever looked at my Amazon Wishlist knows that during the winter months my world gets a little bit on the gray side and I crave the light – well it just so happens my fly tying lamp is equipped with a sunshine light that should burn away all those winter cobwebs leaving me chirpy and smiling – or at least tying flies with a cold beer to accompany the hooks should keep me chirpy anyway.

Weekly Water Photo 45 of 52

It is about 123 days until the trout season opens again – that is potentially 123 days of freezing coldness that will eat at your soul. I have joined a fly swap in the meantime!

Weekly Water Photo 45

This weeks water photo is a lovely pool on the Kelvin – I have had nice trout out of it – they are all away having sex right now hopefully :-)

Bombardier – Bang On! Guide to Fishing

Two favorites - one old and young new.

Rik Mayall is one of the funniest men on earth and have liked him for years. Beer is a new thing for me – most people will be suprised to learn that I have managed to reach the grand old age of 30 something before I have fallen for the amber nectar.

Combine all three and what happens?

 

Celestron Skymaster 15×70 Binocular Review

If you go camping in the wilds for your fishing or if at the end of the day gaze up at the stars in wonder and want to feel a bit closer to them I have just the review for you – a pair of Celestron Skymaster 15 x 70 binoculars which are designed especially for astronomy although you can use them for other stuff too.

I have been wondering how to do a spot of astronomy for a while now, slightly more than a vague interest but less than wanting to get all crazy about it! I actually have been hankering for a telescope for years and decided to have a look around for one that would fit my “young family budget”  however once I started reading about astronomy what it turned out I needed was not a telescope but binoculars. They’re light, durable, easy to use, and seemingly allow you to see objects in the night sky that you just couldn’t see with your own eyes.

So I started hunting around for a pair and it turns out there are a bewildering amount of types and makes of binoculars (just like fishing rods).

Nearly all binoculars will have two numbers written on their casing, like this: ‘8 x 25’ or ‘10 x 42’. The first number is the binoculars’ magnification. This tells you how many times larger an image will appear compared to that seen by the naked eye. A magnification of ‘8 x’ means that the object you observe with binoculars will appear eight times closer than it does in the real world. The second number refers to the objective lens diameter. This is the lens through which light enters the binoculars. The larger this number, the brighter the image in the binoculars will appear. The larger the objective lens diameter, the larger and heavier the binoculars are likely to be.

So my reading took me to a land where I had to choose a pair of binoculars for gazing up at the stars – the advice that people give is to buy a pair of 10 x 50  binoculars as they are the heaviest that someone can get away with before having to buy a tripod – I bought a pair and I duly gazed up at a bright star in the sky and armed with my Android Google Sky Map . I discovered that this was actually not a bright star, it turned out that this was in fact Jupiter. Through my 10 x 50s I could clearly see the moons (4 of them) and this was in my living room gazing through my window.

The neighbors were not amused and there was much rustling of curtains –  however I duly gazed up for a few nights and looked forward to the clear nights of winter so I could go and check out other stuff, for example, Andromeda.

It was around this time that a very nice chap from a company called Idealo got in contact with me after reading about my wishlist a few weeks ago and offered to send me a pair of 15 x 70 Skymasters to review. I must point out that Idealo is not actually a shop but a price comparison website so essentially you type in what you want and then you see what the cheapest price is – they also have a fishing section on Idealo.

Anyway, never one to pass up on free shit a golden opportunity to pass on wisdom to my wonderful readers and as I am an opinionated person with a website I duly accepted.

They arrived in a huge big heavy box and they certainly were bigger than my 10 x 50s

Celestron-SkyMaster-15x70

It then proceeded to rain and be cloudy for a week when they arrived. In the meantime I bought myself a tripod to fit them to. Before I go any further I should tell you the specs:

Specifications:

  • 15x magnification porro prism binocular
  • Large 70 mm objective lens offers maximum image brightness in low-light and long-range conditions
  • Ultra sharp focus across the field of view
  • Multi-Coated optics for sharp, clear views
  • Suitable for terrestrial or astronomical viewing
  • Protective rubber covering for ultra-firm grip Large center focus knob for easy focusing
  • Tripod adapter included
  • Long eye relief ideal for eyeglass wearers
  • Carrying case included for travel and safe storage
Right, I should point out that I do not know a lot about binoculars, from my reading I found out that you have got to have a pair that are in collimation. For perfect viewing, both sides should be parallel so that one circle is seen when looking through them. A binocular that is out of collimation (or out of alignment), usually the result of a knock or poor factory standards, will have slightly different images in each side, and can cause considerable discomfort and eyestrain when used. The Skymasters are pretty cheap for 15 x 70 binoculars and I read a lot of people claiming a lot of them had collimation problems. From my reading I reckon these are like the Ron Thomson of binoculars – perfectly acceptable tools although there is always a danger of buying a duff one. However the pair I received appear not to have any problems, at least all the simple tests I did showed they were fine.
When gazing through them at local landmarks and my neighbors windows (only kidding neighbors) I was not that impressed and did not see what all the fuss was about, they were certainly a bit stronger however I could not immediately see the benefits over my 10 x 50s – I got another gander at Jupiter and its moons and it was pretty impressive however only slightly more so than my 10 x 50s.
Thankfully however the weather Gods smiled upon me and I then had a totally clear night (Guy Fawkes Night) and headed out to Mugdock Country park where it is a little bit darker (to see stars you need somewhere away from streetlights) and whereas serious astronomy type people would frown at the moon being in the sky blanking a lot of stars out I was happy to gaze at it through the 10 x 50s and then the 15 x 70s.
The difference between the 10 x 50 and the 15 x 70 was pretty substantial – you have got to remember that even in these slightly darker places for every one star you see with your naked eyes you see a dozen through binoculars. I pointed my 10 x 50s at a wee cluster of stars and was mighty impressed – I took my new 15 x 70s off the tripod (as the included tripod adapter makes the view shake worse than holding them) and pointed them at the cluster of stars.

Point those bad boys at the stars...

The view was incredibly impressive – I lent my arms on the car to keep them steady and wondered just what the hell I was looking at – it turns out I was looking at the Pleiades or the Seven Sisters as it is otherwise known. I gazed at that sight on and off all night. The moon looked great showing lots of detail (you can see craters) and of course mighty Jupiter looked even more impressive – you cannot see any detail however it looks like a bright disk and you can quite clearly see dots of light which are the moons.

Other stuff I noticed about the binoculars:

  • I liked the rubber feel to them (and not just because I wear rubber pants before any of you wags get in there first) as it made them comfy to hold.
  • They were heavy however not too heavy to hold for short times.
  • Light was let in at the sides of the rubber eye pieces – this would not be problem in a totally dark place.
  • They were well packed meaning any bumps would be absorbed.
  • There was some distortion around the edges – I have read this is normal on cheaper binoculars.
  • As stated the included tripod mount is rubbish, it causes the binoculars to wobble like a jelly fish so you will need to buy a metal one or find a way to strengthen the included one.
  • Unlike my 10 x 50s these cannot be carried around and used casually – people would think you had someone under surveillance with these bad boys.
Conclusion
I thoroughly recommend these binoculars as a reasonably budget friendly way to start star gazing through the winter months or during the summer when at the end of the fishing day you want to gaze up at the universe around you. To check out the best prices I would not be chivalrous if I did not point you towards the Idealo site who sent me these binoculars. Next on my hit list of astronomy gear will hopefully be the mighty Celestron Astromaster 114EQ so that I can start seeing some detail.
I have a horrible feeling that like fly fishing astronomy is going to be a never ending process of wanting new gear.

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