In Birmingham!

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Out for a walk – wish I had my pike gear!

Consumer Lust…

I love gadgets and new “stuff” that I can use to get shit done. There are a few other things I am interested in apart from fishing and a few things I would like to get more interested in which I just do not seem to have time for.

Now that the leaves are well and truly being blown off the trees and the nights are fair drawing in I start to look up at the stars and want to get a bit closer to those bad boys.

(pics are Amazon links)

Celestron SkyMaster Binoculars 15x70

These bad boys are Celestron SkyMaster Binoculars 15×70 and should allow me to get up and personal with some of those planets that I seek out. Of course I also quite fancy a telescope however seemingly a good quality pair of binos are good for starters seemingly.

Talking of telescopes…

Celestron Astromaster 114EQ

This bad boy should have me gazing at the moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn in no time – I also quite fancy joining Glasgow’s Astronomical Society.

Closer to the planet earth you may have noticed my photos vary in quality – I too have noticed this and therefore I have eyes on new cameras.

Canon PowerShot SX130

Seemingly it takes good photos and is a pretty good price too. Unlike the waterproof camera I covet..

Panasonic Lumix FT3 Waterproof and Shockproof Digital Camera - Blue (12.1MP, 4.6x Optical Zoom with GPS)

Also for those winter nights I quite fancy getting one of those fancy Kindle things..

Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, Graphite, 6" Display with New E Ink Pearl Technology

Saying that, I also hear that Amazon is releasing a tablet – I quite fancy that as well. Of course there is a lot more gadgets etc I fancy and I keep em’ all on my Amazon Wishlist.

Like I say – I am filled with consumer lust!

 

I love it when a plan…God Dammit !

All my fishing plans over the last few weeks have totally went fubar.

Typical example – this afternoon I was driving home when I realized my Mother n’ Law could possibly be at my house – now that I have two boys then two people must be there to assist with putting them to bed. I telephoned Atkins who was already at the river – he had just lost a grilse and things were looking up for another, I told him my plan was to get home, ask the Mother n’ Law if she could help my wife and then me to head to the river for some Salmon action.

The plan reeked of awesomeness !

I pulled into my car park and the first thing I noticed was the lack of Mother n’ Law car. Instantly my dreams were shattered..

Here is a picture of a double rainbow I took when out for a walk with the boys.

Double Rainbows - now that is awesome!

Damn and blast!

 

It does not get much better than this…

Sadly the Gods of the Pike have been absent from my life as of late – my last two sessions have left me decidedly humbled and today’s session was even worse – it rained. I thought things were looking up as David Wolsoncroft-Dodds emailed me the other day – seemingly a reader of this diary was guided by him and they mentioned I plugged his book – this one:

Anyway I was kinda hoping that some of that magic had worn off via email however the green beasts failed to show up. As we were packing up I met a pal of a pal Al Pyke and his buddy who were just tackling up – with usual tact and honesty I moaned “It was bloody awful, we did not even see a fish and then two guys showed up who chucked a couple of herrings at us”*

It was only later I realised how I would feel if some bastard had just told me the fishing was pish and I would be better staying at home earning some brownie points. If you are reading this Al I hope you caught some monsters!

Yes – quite!

*not that I have anything against the herrings or people that throw them!

 

The trouble within FORK?

Meanwhile, what the hell is going down with FORK?

And who's idea was the Cormorant?

Dodgy bookeeping?

The Office of the Scottish  Charity Regulator  has refered the Friend’s of the River Kelvin to
OSCR Compliance. You will see this if you check out the OSCR website atwww.oscr.org.uk

I assume this is due to the fact that FORK has not submitted audited accounts since 2007 etc etc

You will be aware of the ongoing FORK management problems. Which are being addressed!

Hopefully this issue can be resolved before FORK is fully investigated and struck off as a Charity due to management inadequacies with all of the bad publicity etc

 

Shock resignations:

Resignation as FORK Secretary and Other FORK Positions as of 30 September 2011

I have failed in my attempts to ‘sort out FORK’ affairs before the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulators took action.

As a result it is my duty not to seek reelection at the 1 October FORK Annual General Meeting

I would have resigned with immediate effect but there needs to be an orderly transfer of duties during the wind down and the need to be available for OSCR officials.

All I can say is I tried my best but failed.

They appear to be taking a much more West End approach to problems – personally, I blame the whole lot on the Cormorant.

Links between the River Kelvin Angling Association and Friends of the River Kelvin have been great over the last few years since the association took on a new direction, for years I did not understand why the two did not get on and then I found out that the two old dinosaurs that created them fell out 20 years ago when the FORKS founders dog bit Dougie Brown (RKAA founder) – consequently years of mistrust and bickering ensued.

Anyway, I hope FORK pull through soon – they are really a great wee organisation.

Polaroid Review – a lie, a half true and a true story (and stop telling me how sexy I look)

In my professional opinion as an opinionated person on the internet, I feel able to give you some advice on what bits of fancy plastic you should put over your eyes. Seeing as how I can not just say “Buy these and stop telling me how sexy I look!” I need to place some words, paragraphs and bang some bad grammar in front of it – so here we go….

I have three stories to tell you about my Polaroid Sunglasses – one is a downright lie, one is kind of true and one is totally true.

I will leave it up to you to decide which is which.

Story 1

I walked to the river and it was a bright evening – because I was wearing my fancy  Reach Polaroids  the light from the sunset did not distract me as I fell into the river caught a lovely trout of around a quarter of a pound. They yellow lenses meant that in the failing dark I could pick my way back along the riverbank only getting jaggy nettles on my arms,hands, down the side of my face and weirdly a bit on my nipple.

Side Bits - not for general wear!

Story 2

I took the boy down to the canal – he was wearing his kids polaroids, he could see all the roach under the water – we caught one using a fishing Whip.

Practically unbreakable thankfully!

Story 3

I strolled through the Vet School wearing my Polaroid Voyagers, I was wearing them as it was bright – a startling beautiful 22 year old Italian goddess walking a dog (this does actually happen in the Vet School) walks up to me and in broken English says “Yoo arr verry Secksy,no, in yoor waderz and cool glasess!”

Polaroid Voyagers - guaranteeing "le sexy time" (unless you are married with two kids)

You cannot guess? Let me help you!

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. 

In terms of comfortableness the Voyagers and the  Reach glasses are great – I really could not ask for a better fit – they do not cause annoying pain around the ears or nose even with my handsome round head.

So buy these ones and stop telling me how sexy I look!

Weekly Water Photo 35 – Autumn?

You can tell Autumn is coming, the signs are all there – a chill in the air, dark nights a coming, berries in the bushes and of course hair straighteners are in the trees..

Hair straighteners - can you spot them?

Anyway, so I went for a walk through the park with the boys and most enjoyable it was too – it would have been nice to fish the river (for trout) as it had a nice height and was a very peaty tinge to it. I spotted a few trout rising as well – in fact that is the weekly water photo for this week..

Weekly Water Photo 35

I spent some time checking out the pool – it looked great – I reckon if I was fishing that pool I would have had a few trout to my hand – as it was I could tell that other folk had a bash at them..

Irresponsible?

The float and line was sitting on the grass next to the river – the boy was looking at a squirrel and I reckoned this was a major danger to any wildlife – it saddens me that there are so many irresponsible anglers out there but hey – some people just do not know any better – it could have been a total accident however how come I always seem to find discarded bubble floats, spinners and lumps of lead in trees as I am wading along the river bank – it never used to be the case. I remember a chap called Chris that used to fish up in the Vet School who used bait and a float to catch trout – I have never met another angler like him that watched his float carefully and struck at the slightest nibble – the Kelvin trout were in safe hands with that guy!

As I walked up the river the boys got tired and started to….I can only describe it as scream. It was because of this that I never chinned a group of guys bait fishing at the White House Pool (so called because of the bloody great white house next to it) – I made moves towards them and received a warning glare from my beloved wife so decided to text Stephen (bailiff and committee member) who was on their case in a flash and they were soon packing up their gear – I then heard that some other guys had been cleared out up Balmore Road by Paul Reid (Secretary) and Stephen.

The RKAA members need to make a decision on exactly what they want for their river – we need paid bailiffs we can call on night or day to deal with these characters – I was down the Vet School one night and came across some guy with a fire – asked him to see his permit and was told he had a permit and did not give a fuck about the rules – ended up phoning the police however he was gone by the time they got their – I know this has nowt to do with it however he was fishing with a maggot.

I have no idea when I will fish next – the Clyde is calling me however all possible baby helpers are away for the next two weeks leaving me as the responsible partner!

Urban Fly Fisher – Banned from the River Clyde Forum!

As many of you know I visit a few forums on the net and occasionally make comment on interesting stuff that takes my fancy. One of the newest forums that I did not include in my list of UK based roundup was the River Clyde Forum as back then it did not exist.

River Clyde Forum - Urban Fly Fisher Free Area !!!

I was full of hope about the River Clyde Forum – it started with a bit of a fanfare and it seemed to be pretty slick – its aim it appeared was to draw all the Clyde and tributary fishers together to chat with a common purpose – everyone’s opinion counts n, all that – its tag line is “By the Angler…for the Angler”. Every angler except someone that believes trout should be caught soley with a fly it seems as I was banned for claiming just that. I should actually feel kinda honored that my humble opinion is so scary and offensive to some that I get banned from speaking and discussing fishing technique (this is totally different from the troll problem the Kelvin suffered a while ago by the way).

Let me explain…

I like Bob Wyatt – he is a good author and is extremely poetic in his writing – on fishing for stocked trout he writes:

 The difference in required skill between catching a big, farmed trout and a small one is completely artificial and meaningless. If you applied the put and take model to some other domestic animal the point becomes pretty clear. Its rather like the difference between going out for a romantic evening with a women whom you find interesting and attractive, and hiring a hooker.(page 22)

I like that analogy and I must confess I  kinda stole it – I noticed a thread on the River Clyde Forum which talked about the “art of spinning” and how it is a dying art. Now the main focus of the thread was about spinning for trout (not Salmon, Pike etc just the humble trout) – let me ask you this, have you ever read a magazine article or read a book that gave a detailed explanation of how to spin to trout – if not I can do it in one sentence:

 You cast the damn thing out and a trout will try and eat it – with a bit of luck the treble will not go through the trout’s brain.

Sweet!

 Anyway – being the ever blunt one I stated (on the forum thread)

 Any trout not caught on a fly is an abomination ..

 …or words to that effect. A couple of folk chimed in – one in particular (who happens to be a pal) stated that spinning is good for kids etc and then around this point the shit pretty much hit the fan. There was a real bit of an uproar so I decided to explain myself a bit more by paraphrasing Mr Wyatt…

 “Casting a fly to a trout is like seducing a beautiful women, casting a mepp is like throwing money at a hoor”

 The next time I tried to log in I found this:

What?

I contacted them however they never got back to me…

So what does this tell me? – well what this tells me is that sometimes I can be a bit of a dick (smile) – it also tells me that folk who have absolutely no way of winning an argument (or are not eloquent enough) to argue a point will just shut you down with no explanation. It also tells me something about the River Clyde Forum that I find a bit distasteful – I am not going to bleat on about censorship or any of that pish as quite frankly moderators on forums can do what ever the heck they want as they pay the cash for their hosting and site – however  to effectively ban the dedicated fly fisher from their site for stating a personal opinion is kinda  weird for a place that is supposed to embrace all kinds of fishing.

I am pretty sure I am gonna be called a fly fishing snob – personally I like John Gierachs view on what the differences are between a purist and a snob fly fisher. He says a snob is a fly fisher who looks down upon all other forms of fishing – fishing with a spinning rod is totally out and in fact to a snob you would be the worst kind of angler. A purist is kinda the same as a snob however they do actually own a spinning rod and use it in certain conditions and for certain types of fishing however they are a bit embarrassed by it on the whole. I do happen to own some of “the spinning rods” – one is a “Shimano Vengeance” and the other is a generic no brand that has the words “Fandango” down the side – I keep it in the car for sheer comedy value.

River Clyde Forum - Fandangos!

Anyway, so that my friends is that!

Comments, observations?

 

 

Fantastic Cloud Display Sunday Evening!

We had a wonderful display of Mammatus Cloud on Sunday evening – I was actually sitting on the computer and commented to my wife what a lovely light was coming in through the window – she then proceeded to tell me the clouds were starting to freak her out – I managed to eventually find my camera and take some shitty pictures that hardly do them justice!

Mammatus 1

Damn and blast – what my camera does not show is just how solid the clouds were …

Mammatus Cloud 2

 

Mammatus Cloud 3

Mammatus Clouds are actually fairly rare and are very ominous looking – they are like something out of a Spielberg movie as they drift across the sky looking all foreboding and broody. They are caused by sinking air and are often seen after a storm has passed although sometimes before.

Anyone else witness the show?

You would be forgiven…

…for thinking that all I appear to do these days is get myself banned from internet forums for making statements about how lovely trout are. However I have actually managed to wet a line – in fact last week twice. Both times were nothing much to write home about and on one occasion I forgot my camera.

The first session was in a tiny burn that was rumored to hold nice trout – my skills were found wanting and I left with a new found sense of  shame at my casting ability..

Damn you trees!

However I was not to be outdone and headed down to the Kelvin for literally half an hour after work one day – the river had risen around 6 inches however had dropped back down leaving the river the color of what I can only describe as shit. Still, the trout did not appear to mind and they rose in the most annoying and had to reach places – I managed to raise one trout eventually and lost another nice one due to a dodgy knot – like I say I forgot my camera so this highly accurate representation will have to do..

As you can see - I was using my Orvis Superfine...

I am hoping you chaps are fairing better than I am at the moment – in fact I know you are as I keep reading about it.

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