Good grief?


Being Watched…

Saturday evening was suppose to be a Clyde trip however at the last moment was changed to a good old Kelvin night out – pretty much because I realised that I was not going to get away early enough to justify the trip. I met up with the legendary Jim Burns who was already checking out rising fish and then I watched as he covered some fish that he had spotted..

The legendary man in action…

The river was still high compared to its usual self and was carrying some color, not enough to put the fish off as I had heard from a couple of people that trout had been rising all day – it seemed though that by the evening they were starting to switch off or tone down their feeding as even though we spotted trout that were feeding they were often small ones.

One of the curses joys  of urban fishing is sometimes having an audience, where we were fishing was a good vantage point for people on one of the road bridges above the river to watch us fish. Many people would stop to watch – possibly in case one of us fell in.

A View from the Bridge….

Of course you always get people who stop and watch you catch a fish and often get told there are no fish in the river despite trout rising in front of them. Often you are told that you are fishing wrongly or should have been here yesterday.

You often see the shadier side of life as well. Jim was telling me tonight about a time he was was checking out the river in Kelvingrove Park and a chap came out the bushes (who he had said hello to earlier) and asked him if he wanted some “action”. Jim commented that the river was too high and fast however the chap stated with a glint in his eye that was not the action he was talking about. I wondered what would have happened if the river was fishable and he had given a totally positive response to the chap when asked, I mused with Jim. “Damn right I am after some action, in fact I have been looking forward to it all day”

Obviously I am not sexy enough to be propositioned – maybe I need a mustache or something?


I met a Salmon angler who was working his way upstream with a red flying c and we chatted for a bit – Jim and I decided to head up river to another spot as the Botanics area seemed a bit on the dead side.

A bit on the dead side…

As soon as we got to the new stretch we spotted a lot more rising trout – a lot of them were close into our bank . I offered Jim the first bash at them however he had lost his fly so I sank into the river. I was glad I did as the first trout I caught was the trout of the evening size wise – a really nice fish that put up a good fight.

Caught with absolutely no skill whatsoever..

I would like to say it was caught using skill and cunning however I was not even looking at my fly when it took and after I seen the fly being taken I thought it was gone – it was only after I tightened my line did I realise it was still on.

I fished on and eventually came to a bend where I picked up a few more trout – I was watched by a couple of anglers set lining on the far bank who were enjoying some cans of lager and some joints – the music I fished to was a rave version of The Police hit “Every Breath You Take“. I listened to them discussing the recent problems with Rangers Football Club  (it is good apparently) and a dissection of my fishing technique “that cunt knows whit hes daen” 

Soon the bats were on the water and the river went back to sleep – it was time to call it a day.

Until next time!

I am assuming you guys are hauling them in?


Giving Some Link Love

Hey guys, you may have noticed I have tidied up the blog a tad and have moved some stuff around and taken away some other stuff. If the site looks strange you will need to clear your cache in your browser however if you just wait a bit it will all sort itself out.

I thought I would take this opportunity to welcome my new readers and to tell you the few ways you can actually get the content of this blog:

  • You can come to this old page. Of course one of the advantages of coming to the blog is that you can take part in the many conversations that take place. I enjoy hearing from people so please if you are shy about commenting don’t be.
  • On the top right off this page you will see two wee icons one says posts and one says email. With the one that says email 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. The one that says posts is where you can 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 –  click it and then click “subscribe with Google”

Keep that symbol in mind and then head over to my links list on the right hand page and sign up to their most excellent feeds as well – most use the same symbol

Here are a few to get you started:

The Hillend Dabbler – One of the freshest writers out there now has a podcast – definetly worth subscribing.

North Country Angler – Legendary Matt fishes the Eden Valley

Crooked Lines – Something a little different – catching coarse  fish on the fly

Taunted by Waters – Trout Fisherman editor Jeffrey Priest writes short thought provoking posts which are always enjoyable when they show up in my news reader.

Polaroid Rig P7202C & Rig P7202A Review

In a way reviewing and writing about Polaroid’s from Polaroid is easy as it is damned difficult to fault them – all I can really do is compare them to other glasses and Polaroids and say why I like them a little bit better.

I always have two pairs of Polaroids on the go – a pair for day and a pair for evening – come proper dusk into darkness they come off as no amount of optic goodness can combat against that kind of punishment.

I have written about the benefits of wearing Polaroids before however I feel I should reiterate them and why you need to get a pair that are well made.

Normal sunglasses decrease the intensity of everything by the same amount. Polarized sunglasses can selectively eliminate the reflection from light coming from above the water surface.

You see certain surfaces, such as water, can reflect a great deal of light, and the bright spots can be distracting or can hide objects such as foot tripping boulders and the occasional fish. Good sunglasses can completely eliminate this kind of glare using polarization and also eliminate specific frequencies of light. Certain frequencies of light can blur vision, and others can enhance contrast. Choosing the right colour for your sunglasses lets them work better in specific situations. To a fly fisher this is pretty good as polarized glasses reduce the blinding effect of glare, they also reduce the effects of reflections on the water (clouds and trees) resulting in the water appearing slightly darker but more transparent.

Generally gray tints are great all-purpose tints that reduce the overall amount of brightness with the least amount of color distortion. Yellow or gold tints reduce the amount of blue light while allowing a larger percentage of other frequencies through. The yellow tint has the effect of making everything bright and sharp. Amber and brownish tints are also good general purpose tints.

However, not all polaroids are made equal – you can buy cheap polaroids everywhere that look exactly the same as the high-priced brand names for a fraction of the cost. Beware – not only will they be total crap at what you want them for they may actually damage your eyes in the long term as they may not block harmful UV. 

The two pairs that I was sent from Polaroid were great (that was easy) – they sent me a pair of Rig’s with Grey lenses and a pair with yellowy lenses.

Rig P7202C

Because you do not want light filtering in through gaps around the lenses they have got to be a good fit which these are. When bending over they sit nice on the face and do not fall off or feel slack. They feel sturdy and have been fairly abused by my one year old trying to drag them off my face when carrying him (nothing to do with fishing but you get the idea)  They are also pretty lightweight, yet remain sturdy.

Rig P7202A

Both were great and I cannot fault them one bit.

Polaroid say:

  • Floatable material
  • Wide wraparound frames
  • Strong, robust arms
  • Black acetate frames with polarized yellow lenses
  • Filter category 2 yellow or filter out less light so are good for dawn and dusk, and give great optical clarity right into the water. Filter category 3 Grey lenses work well in cloudy or sunny conditions
  • Polaroid UltraSight™ premium polarized lenses
  • 100% UV400 protection
  • Comes with Polaroid case
  • Inside frame width 128mm, lens height 37mm

So I have been using these bad boys for a couple of months now and they are mighty fine – considering the recent spell of wet weather is coming to an end (hopefully) and we will be looking at sunny conditions again these are a sure fire hit.


The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Three sessions my friends and each one could not have been any more different.

You may have noticed it has been some days since I last posted and those living on this fine wee island will know that due to a lack of hurricanes the Gulf Stream has not been shifted South to give us some warmer settled weather. It has rained, and rained and then we had a nice day when the rivers were out of action and then it rained some more. Still, some folk have been having fun with the salmon however I am still stuck in trout mode .

So like I say, three trips …

The Good = The Eden

So while on a weeks holiday to Centr Parks in the Lake District I had hoped to fish with the legendary North Country Angler like I did last year at around this time however he passed by me on the same day I zoomed down the M74 on the way to Skye.

Anyway, it rained for a solid two days while I was at Centre Parcs zipping around on the bike pulling a trailer with the kids in the back. I was looking at a webcam of the river pretty much every hour or so and it looked ok on my chosen day.

On the day in question (it was the last evening) I was allowed to zip off early and kinda knew the river was going to be a lot higher than the last time I had fished it – I was correct and after a brief chat to the keeper who I think thought I was wasting my time I had my first cast. I decided straight away that a single dry was not going to work so an oversized Klink was used as a sacrificial fly with a nymph suspended underneath.

That is a funny camera smudge…

I pretty much immediately watched my oversize klink get pulled under the water as my phone started to ring – it proceeded to ring as a monster of a trout took me for a stroll around the pool – it then pinged off. I answered the phone and it was fishing buddy Alex, after a brief chat he totally understood that I wanted to get back into the fishing and the phone was once more put back in the pocket.

Losing fish was the general order of things for the next hour until I put on a nymph with a barb – at this point the trout stayed on.

I have never really had many problems with losing trout on barbless however on this day it was every trout ..

A nice Eden Trout!

I thought after the first couple of hours of catching trout that I was being a bit flukey however Matt had obviously given them a very stern talking to and they were playing ball pretty much all evening.

I hold my fish in my left hand!

It was pretty fantastic if the truth be told – it is not that often I get to fish places that are relatively untouched by City living and I am glad I got the best day for it.

A View from the River!

There was only a few places I could actually fish as the water was so fast and very powerful..

As the evening wore on I started to see rising trout so snipped off the nymph and started to consistently catch them on dries.

I was waist deep in water with trees behind me with rising trout just out of reach of my roll cast – I managed one of them and could not get near the rest.

I was starting to get a bit blase about catching pounders…

Sadly I never landed any of the bruisers that I connected with and I did not mind as it was a fine days fishing – by bruisers I mean the big boys, the big cheese the cream of the crop – you know what I mean.

Even my leaky waders which caused a soaking wet foot and leg did not dampen my spirits! The water was really squelching in my left foot and my crotch felt decidedly wet.

It didn’t half chaff!

Anyway, an example of the big trout problem might be when I was casting for a riser and noticed a teeny weeny dimple a few yards upstream of it – I decided to cast to the dimple so that I was covering it as well – kinda like a two for one deal. I cast, covered it and the trout took my fly, I struck and then stood there with a bend in my rod as the trout just sat there in the water wondering just what the hell was going on – the bend in my rod did not even move the beast. It gave a shake of its head and my fly was gone.

That happened a few times.

These trout are in tip top condition…

All in all it was a great session – already I am planning a weekend camping trip back down South.


The Bad = The Kelvin

I went for a walk through Kelvingrove Park on Saturday and even though the river was high and the color of tea I thought I spotted a rising trout. I headed out on Saturday night for a few hours of catching Kelvin trout after my new found enthusiasm from the Eden for nymphs.

Quite frankly it was totally shite and I caught bugger all and this was after working hard up my usual haunt.

Even my wet foot and leg pissed me right off as it was extra specially wet and cold, drying the damn things out in the kitchen caused a war as well.

I got the aquasure out and coated the heel after submerging it in water as I noticed a few bubbles coming from their – somehow the stuff got on to the kitchen chairs. More bad news for my wife.

The Ugly = Shit Pipe River

I had not fished my shit pipe river since last season – there was something weird going on with it then as it turned white which turned all the trout off – just plain weird. Nobody knew what it was and I got SEPA involved.

Well today I had a spare hour after work as I was out that way and decided to try out the patch on my waders.

Shit Pipes !

I worked my way up some pools with a single dry and did not even see a trout – it was a little higher than normal and with a sigh decided to try a nymph – first cast and I was into a real rod bender..

A real rod bender – possibly fed on sewage!

I worked my way up the pool and striking quickly when my klink was jerked under I had another angry fat trout to contend with – it bounced all over the pool – I decided to get my measuring tape out and it came in at around 12.5 inches..

I bet you would love my fat 12.5 incher ?

The trout from this river are always fat and silvery with lovely big spots – I always get a shock when I see them compared to the actual stream itself – they just do not look as if they should fit in or something – they just do not suit the stream.

The problem with driving to this river is you just do not know if it is going to be that weird white way or not which makes it an unsure bet if other rivers are out of action !

So far my foot appeared to stay dry!

Of course, we now have more days of heavy rain heading our way! In the meantime I have a Polaroid review to post.

What have you guys been up to?

Bleating on about the rain…..

I do not want to keep on bleating on about the rain however the weather appears to be a major talking and thinking point at the moment among river trout fishers. Seeing as how this blog was birthed during a spell of particularly wet weather when I was unable to fish you can imagine how productive I have been.

This morning instead of hitting the river at 5am for a spot of Salmon fishing I instead ran a 6k route along the river – not many photos as I did not want to stop and get out of the “fat burning zone” and believe you me I need to spend as much time in that zone as I can possibly get.


If you have a look at this graph taken from the SEPA site you can see that the river has risen and then fallen.


Well this has been the case pretty much every day for the last couple of weeks. This I suppose is good and bad – good for the Salmon fishers and bad for the trout fishers. I suppose the chaps that fish regularly on lochs are not as obsessed as the river fishers about the amount of rainfall however and for that reason I am envious of them.

The Slush!


Suunto Vector X-Black Negative Face Watch – helping with the pressure!

Ever since I got my fancy watch a couple of years ago for my birthday I have been obsessed by watching the barometric pressure change from hour to hour and day to day – I have been trying to link the changes to not just the weather (which is obvious) but to whether fish are going to feed or not.

I have a Suunto Vector X-Black Negative Face Watch – you can buy it and others like it over at Outdoor GB

It is a sweet piece of kit which apart from being a watch also includes a compass, barometer, altimeter and increases your ultimate sexiness by a factor of ten. One of those was a half truth however I shall let you guess which one.

The altimeter has been good when I have been out hill walking as well as watching the numbers go up and down when zipping up and down in elevators in the high flats that I so often visit.

When fish are just nor responding we anglers like to come up with just about any old excuse and quite often we talk about the air pressure –  the theory proposes that a dropping air pressure brings on feeding activity, rising pressure turns the fish off feeding, high pressure results in the fish moving to shallower water, and low pressure results in fish moving to deeper water. That is the standard theory however I have often found the opposite to be true – for example just before all this rain we had a period of high pressure and then the next day the pressure dropped – on the last night I fished for trout it was pretty tricky however I suppose that could have been something to do with the lower temps as well. Sometimes I think that the theory holds more weight in deep water like lakes or ponds rather than rivers as it may affect the movements of trout more.

However, I reckon it may just all be connected with the wind and rain that is connected to the changing of air pressure rather than the pressure itself.

Still, it is a nice Suunto watch and it is fun to watch the pressure change and predict what weather will be approaching.

For the record – it looks like more rain!

I want some of this…

I want some of this…

As opposed to lots and lots of this….

This rain…

For those that live outside Glasgow and the Americans you should know it has been raining pretty much non stop now for ages. Probably since Chuck left Glasgow which shows just how jammy he was with his dates. The River Kelvin is in a crazy spate and so is pretty much every other river within peeing distance of Glasgow.

Just outside Glasgow is a wee burn that I have fished once before however did not do well as it was high and colored. The stream is fed by a stocked loch and I have been told  it not only has monsters in it but it is usually high due to draining the loch. I passed by it on my way home from work and decided I should give it a bash as I had nothing to lose – I could see what looked like long glides from where I was standing 100 yards away however up close they were anything but…

Do not kid a kidder…

It was fast and fairly furious and after a few casts of using a dry and dropper I did what anyone else would have done in the situation – instead of facing upstream I faced downstream and swung a wet fly – well, it was actually a nymph as I had no wet flies however I could not get a CDC n’ Elk to sink so the nymph it was.

I fished several pools and noted that I was not at all that far away from my usual urban environment as a train sped past behind me and the usual weird concrete blocks faced me..

I have absolutely no idea….

At every pool I felt trout attacking the nymph, I would feel a quick thump thump thump and then the trout would be gone – am I supposed to strike or something? When I fished down and across years ago they just used to hook themselves. Finally, one stayed on long enough to put a bend in my rod and I gave out an audible “Awwwwwwww” a few moments later when it got off.

It was still a good wee session of an hour or so considering there is no respite from this rain in sight – if it carries on much longer a Pike trip may be on the cards!

At this rate we could be jacking in the fishing and taking up other weird hobbies – weather watching anyone?


How you guys holding up?


I am reminded of the North Country Angler..

It was around a year ago that I finally met the legend that is Matt Eastham who writes over at North Country Angler. He took me to a spot on a river that he fishes and I had a ball – it was a lovely evening and I was immensely envious of the way that Matt makes chewing straw look cool as fuck!

He also wears a badass orange hat!

Anyway,  I have another trip planned for Centr Parks booked for next week and this time will not be joining him as we at some point will pass each other as he is heading up North to quite possibly be killed by midgies on the Isle of Sky!

Being the gent he is he sent me a day permit for the spot we fished last year – already I am anxiously looking at the weather forecasts under the guise of planning family barbecues when in actual fact it is choosing the best evening to catch some of Matt’s trout!




Page 28 of 163« First...1020...2627282930...405060...Last »