Araneus diadematus

So my wife told me there was a monster spider in the back garden and wanted to know if it would bite the children. She thought it may have come across in a banana boat or something. I walked over took one look at the beast and went in to get my flamethrower.


Araneus diadematus


Before doing that I had a quick look on the internet just in case I was being a bit hasty and what I found surprised me. It turns out the monstererous spider is one of the most common garden spiders there is. Its name is Araneus diadematus and is largest in the Autumn when it is full of baby spider eggs. After laying their eggs the females die. Going by the most excellent Nicks Spiders it is:

 … easily identified by the distinctive white cross on the abdomen (although in some specimens it is indistinct or missing). This spider is most commonly called in England the ‘garden spider’, it is also known as the cross spider. They are common in woodlands, heathlands and gardens. They build circular orb webs and can be found either sitting at the center of the web with facing down or in a retreat at the end of a signal line a short distance from the web itself.

So there you go, not a horrible beastie after all. The kids loved looking at it however seeing as it was not catching any insects at that time they wandered off.

Along with my wee books on trees and flowers I think I have a new addition to my Christmas wishlist on Amazon:


Rained Off.

I got to the river at around 6pm, it was up around a foot an running a dark color. There was some visibility in it as pointed out by John in the comments so I was kinda hopeful as I started. I wanted to try out the Tenkara rod that I had swapped for an ad in the sidebar however first I used my conventional rod to check out whether there would be any point.

No pictures as to be honest I could not be bothered transferring a picture of the rain from my camera to my computer. Instead here is a random photo of my last years permit.

2011 Permit.

Thinking about it I must have got to the river at around half six as I got back in the car at 7pm with the rain bouncing off my car windscreen.

Plans dashed by the rain as usual – it is a common theme or this year.


Winter Mode?

Winter Mode? I now drink better beer!

Greetings New People! (and Urban Veterans)

Greeting new readers and urban veterans – if you are a long time reader then do not switch off as you may find out something interesting.

Visitors have jumped in the last month or so and I thought I would tell you again how to access the content of Urban Fly Fisher as well as get more involved if you wish.

To access the content on Urban Fly Fisher you can:

  •  Go to the page (some people only read the email) If you do receive the content by email do not be shy in coming to the site and leaving a comment. I love getting emails from you guys however sometimes I think other folk might like to hear what you say in the comments as well.
  • Subscribe by email – on the right side bar you will see a wee box where you can add your email address and receive posts direct to your email – I will never pass your email into anyone else by the way as quite frankly I do not know how #grin#
  • Subscribe to my RSS feed. In order to subscribe to an RSS feed or newsfeed you will need two things, an RSS reader (also known as a news aggregator) and url (web address) of the RSS feed that you wish to subscribe. For example probably the most common RSS reader around these days is Google Reader – go and check it out. My feed is located up at the top right of this page – it says RSS with a little symbol next to it – click it and then click “subscribe with Google”

If you have a smartphone you can actually subscribe to many different blogs and sites and that is what I use to keep myself updated on what other fisher folk with blogs are doing – usually this happens when sitting on the toilet and often when on the train to work.

Many people have mailed to say they like the new design and I thank you  – I have also got to thank my pal Campbell who took a few of the photos on the header – I have to supply him with a bottle of wine and some dilly wax .

Anyhoo, I have also restarted the Urban Fly Fisher Forum after wiping all memories and members from it – if anyone wishes to join that would be nice. I have made it as serious and fishy as I possibly can in true urban gritty style #smile#

Talking of reading stuff while sitting on the toilet over over the last wee while I have spotted a few blogs that I have really been enjoying:

Owl Jones – I feel like he is a kindred spirit!

Troutrageous – I wish I could have thought of that name – the writing is superb!

 Back Country Nerd – Oh, the stories this man weaves!

So, that is my wee housekeeping post out the way. Autumn is fast approaching and so is the 10th anniversary of Urban Fly Fisher so if there is anything you want me to write about or do (apart from use commas as one wag said in the comments) then drop me an email or post in the comments.


Shock Expose:Hardy used subliminal sex messages in its adverts!

(I wrote this post back in February 2011 – I have no idea whether they still use sex to sell fly fishing gear #grin#)

Oh Hardy – you used to be all butlers and stupidly expensive reels – where did it all go horribly wrong?

So I got home from a hard day of shopping with the wife to find the new Sportfish catalogue sitting on my doorstep (I curse the day I ever gave them my address) opened the first page of stuff they were trying to punt me and there it was – it hit me right in the face!!!

Hardy has one of the most amazing marketing strategies…

Lets look at the advert….

(by the way I had to take a photo of it)

For the love of God think of the children!

See nothing wrong eh? You see a middle aged chap fighting a huge Sea Beast? I see Hardy using red hot sex to try and sell you rods and reels!

Let me explain the sexy facts of Hardy to you!

You see advertising agencies think nothing of using a little risky sex to try and sell you stuff, it has been going on for years, recently they get blatant like the “Diet Pepsi” guy ads however they are sometimes a bit more covert – let me show you a few examples:

Look where the rocket is aiming!!

and another:

Look where the bottle is pointing…

and another…

The lipstick is supposed to be like a willy 😀

I have got to admit that I stole all these pictures – before reading on you might like to check out a bit more about how subliminal adverts work:

Subliminal Images and Hidden Images

Sex and Death amongst the Ice Cubes

Ha – now go back to our Hardy advert and with your new found knowledge have a think – you can click the following  link when you think you have it.

Continue reading Shock Expose:Hardy used subliminal sex messages in its adverts!

3rd time unlucky…

As we were walking back to the car I spoke about every reason for why we should have caught some monsters.

  1. The Pike were their!
  2. I had caught them there at this time in previous years.
  3. We had huge flies.
  4. I had read some stuff on the Guru McFluffchucker site.
  5. You cannot have a third time blanking for the beasts surely?

Turns out you can blank three times in a row…..

So what went wrong?

Well, for a start it was bloody windy which made casting interesting. The Loch was also higher than usual, maybe a foot or so which made wading tricky. Considering I had fished it on Sunday and it was a lot lower I suspect that the Pike do not like the big fluctuations that the on going rainy weather has been giving us.

Next time Jim, I promised, we shall catch a half dozen.

Here is a picture of a fish just in case you have forgotten what they look like:

Look a fish!

Guys, Autumn is fast approaching and with it so is the end of the trout season – roughly 5 weeks by my counting! You chaps got any plans or is the weather pretty much knocking your trout fishing on its head?




Awake at 4am.

Picked up at 5.55am

Arrived at 6.30am

Yea sure, I mean it LOOKS fishy!

It rained on and off.

Cast over a hundred times with streamers and an amazing popper that went Gloop, Gloop, Gloop!

Caught one Pike of a few pounds.

Left the loch at around 10am.

Alex turned to me and said “that was totally shite”.

I agreed at 10.01am.


The talk of the steamy are the two park benches that are on the falls at the Sea Pool on the Kelvin.

You can see a newspaper tucked into it!

They are going to be removed very soon using a chainsaw so that they cannot be put back again. Personally I will be sorry to see them go, not that I liked them at the top of the falls however I used to see them on a regular basis at different parts of the river and park. Someone probably removed them from the Botanic Gardens as there are so many however I hope they do not have any kind of inscription or dedication on them.

I walked through the park today – I met one women fishing with her son and wandered up through the gardens with my boys. I really noticed the number of benches in the park and read a lot of the inscriptions. Some were new and some old. Each one had been bought and paid for by someone who wanted to mark someone’s life and I wonder what they would have thought if they knew their bench had been stuck in the Kelvin.

What do you call a grouping of benches?

I mentioned to my wife when I got home that I quite fancied a bench when I shuffle off – the thought that someone may sit on my bench and glance at my name and wonder who the hell I was tickles me in a way that rotting in a box under a stone does not.

In other news I felt Autumn in the air this morning. The leaves are starting to fall from the trees and their was a cold chill that took a while to burn off. The sun felt old and worn out.

It started to rain late afternoon and has not stopped!

Back to the wee burn…

I have really been enjoying the wee burn that I discovered a few weeks ago. It is strange as I have worked near it for years and have always wanted to have a cast on it for just as long and it is only now that I have finally got around to it. I am now finding new wee pools and riffles and using standard watercraft o work out where the trout will be sitting in what height of water. I have been watching the height go up and down and how it effects the spread of the trout. When it is high it feels that there are a lot of trout spread out and I wonder just how concentrated they must get when it is low.

When I arrived at the burn it was higher than usual and I could not help but think what fishing and casting opportunities would open up if someone took a saw and cut the odd branch here or there.

There are around three or four good pools that area easily fished – this is one that is easy.

The burn is up a good half foot spreads the fish out and makes them braver. I wondered up here last earlier this week and I watched black torpedo’s shooting past me upstream as they were spooked by my shadow.  As usual I caught many at around the 6 inch mark and a few larger ones that were great to see.

This spirited little devil took a generic paraloop !

Later, I took the kids to the park after I got home and met the renowned all round angler Vinnie – many a time have I met him zipping along the canal on his bike checking out his pike spots and I have seen him at the odd Kelvin AGM as well. Over the years we have got to know each other and we always stop for a chat.It was especially  nice meeting him as I spotted him on the Loch Lomond Angling Improvement Association site the other day with his first salmon from the Leven. We also had a chat about Pike fishing (which he is a master of) and the size of trout that I sometimes catch and love – Vinnie gets it, he understands that the size of the fish just does not matter as they are so beautiful.

From the burn…..

The trout from this wee burn are stunning, in my head I keep thinking about the trout upstream of where I am – most of it is shaded by overhanging trees and big bushes however what I can see looks great – long riffles and runs. I know people fish it as I have heard people talking about it however I do not know if it is just a “when I was a boy” type fished it.

Looking forward to my next session!

On being asked for a permit..

The river remains best suited to Salmon fishers after another downpour of rain.

A view from the bridge on Kelvinway.


Just to show that a committee members life is not all cocaine fueled wild parties here is an image of a meeting in the Islay Inn involving some of the committee members discussing recent events on the river. The Islay Inn in case you did not know is the Associations adopted local boozer as it is in walking distance of the river and give us free sandwiches when we book it – result!

It never used to be like this…

The Secretary forgot to book it so I made him buy some crisps.

The head bailiff was present as well as a new chap with some great experience who wanted to get more involved in the bailiff side of things. We ended up having a chat about the various characters we meet on the riverbank.

I will not deny that Glasgow has a bit of a reputation as being a bit……hard. Well, something that really gets to me is the inability of some of the Kelvin fisher’s  to appropriately respond to a request to see a permit. What should happen is that a member asks another member if they have a permit and the member says yes and shows them it – job done. If the person does not have a permit then a quick explanation of the reasons why they should have a permit are explained and then a quick call to the bailiff to let them know someone is fishing illegally – job done!

Sounds simple doesn’t it?

Alas, it is not that simple. A simple request to see a permit is often met with suspicion and a frown from guys that legitimately have a permit. Questions about who you are and why you are asking often happen and I always wonder why this is from guys that actually have a permit. I have heard some guys getting a bit extreme with their defense and I have experienced it myself. Last year one chap refused point blank to show me his permit and told me to get to fuck lost despite asking him in a nice way. When I have been out running along the banks of the Kelvin I always stop and ask guys I see fishing whether they have a permit, most are happy to show me however some are clearly unhappy and one guy asked if the bailiffs were now “sneaking up on members” as I did not look like a bailiff with my running gear on. Quite frankly, yes, it is sneaky to ask people when I am out running however is that not a good thing?

Maybe we should ensure that members display their permits at all time, we give out permits with a clip to attach them to ourselves. I am aware that some states in the US insist on this and some baseball caps have built in see through pockets to display permits. It means that if someone is in the river and you do not want to drag them in to see their permit then a quick look through a pair of binoculars solves the problem.

Anyway, after we discussed the business we made a stop at the Sea Pool which we thought might be busy with Salmon anglers – as it was we met one regular who was in the process of packing up.

The rest are behind a tree hiding – we arrived mob handed however there was a lack of punters to check!

I would be interested in hearing whether this is just an urban issue?

In the meantime here is a book that might be worthwhile #grin#

Glasgow’s Hard Men: True Crime from the Files of The Herald, Evening Times and Sunday Herald


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