Dusky Madness

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..

Thoroughly winkled!

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.

Sipping them 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)

Fluffed it, a bit like this photo of a trout...

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!

Assholes spoil my day!

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.

I hope someone does not damn well kill it!!

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?


I am running for Yorkhill Hospital!

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.

Many thanks!


Stolen Gold

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.

Clear Water!

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.

I telephoned Paul in case we had actually stocked again by accident...

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.

Rod Bender 2

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..

I was kinda getting sick of hand shots - the trout was on wet muddy stuff by the way..

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.

Basic Entomology – NSFW


Kelvin Crazy!

The Kelvin trout were especially kind to me today even if the Kelvin itself was not, you see I managed a very quick session after work today and decided to fish an old haunt for quickness.

Yay - a burnt out car - they have been lacking of late!

As soon as I arrived at the river I spotted a rising trout so dashed downstream to where I wanted to start – this particular pool has been crying out for some Alistair Lovin’ for some time now. I was not disappointed as I found several trout rising in various parts of the pool, I jumped the rusty fence and got myself into position.

It was all downstream casts and roll casts to get to the trout as behind me there was high banks and trees – I quickly spooked a couple of trout and then caught two lovely ones in quick succession.

Sweet - on a Klinkhammer

As I was starting to get into position for the next cast I felt something in my wading boot, when I put my foot down it felt like a big stone . I thought that maybe the side of my wading boot had given way and a stone had managed to get in it however it would not budge for all the wiggling in the world – I had to kinda hop to the bank, occasionally putting some weight on my foot with the “stone” in it – when I got to the bank I was horrified to find the “stone” was in fact a sharp metal spike around 3 inches long that was attached to a piece of metal it was stuck a good centimeter into the sole of my wading boot. I shudder to think what might have happened if I had slipped and put my foot down too heavily – the thought of metal spikes through foots in the waters of the Kelvin just don’t turn me on. Thankfully the spike had not went through the sole of my neoprene booties so I got to fish on bloodlessly and dry.

Here be belters ...

I walked up the river to pools I have fished a lot more of in the past and caught a couple of belters in some slow water, I only managed to creep up on them as I came up from the pool below in some fast water – anyone else walking up on the bank and they would have been off like a shot.

Throughout all this time there was a steady stream of Large Dark Olives hatching – there were plenty in the air and plenty on the water. The rises were good confident boiling rises – it felt good to see rising trout consistently again.

I moved on and found a pod of a few trout rising at a small pool, these trout are usually guaranteed to me on the take, there were three or four risers and they looked like good trout too – I managed to spook every one of them with my first cast. I stayed around for 10 mins until one started to rise again and spooked it properly this time. I moved back down the river heading for home and watched three or four trout rising at the tail end of a very long slow pool just before it starts to get fast before tumbling down into another pool – I always walk by these trout as they are very spooky in the slow water however today decided to give it a go – I am mighty glad I did. I hooked three and in my hand was one.

A real Kelvin rod bender...


All three trout were real rod benders and caught on a downstream roll cast that had to be right in the correct place so as not to spook the trout, close enough that drag was not going to effect the fly before the trout saw it and far enough away that it was not going to be spooked by the line.

The water was like glass....

All in all a bloody good session considering I was only out for a couple of hours, the final tally was maybe a half dozen trout with many more pricked and around a few hundred spooked. I believe we had some north wind action going on today however the Kelvin trout could not care less as they were totally going for it big style.

You guys been fishing?

Ugh! The dangers of spinning.


Bridge Work – Challenge Completed!

I posted this over on the FishKelvin site however thought you guys might like to see it as well.

Essentially, the Kelvin legend Jim Burns took a walk up to the infamous Balmore stretch of the Kelvin and noticing the ditch that everyone complains about only goes and builds a bloody great bridge at home to help everyone out.

Last Sunday we went and put it up.


Good session – phew!

After some back breaking work on the Kelvin putting a bridge across a ditch * I found I had a spare couple of hours to fish the Kelvin.

I arrived at a spot I have only ever glanced at as I hurried past towards other pools however while I have been out for a run I have spotted some trout rising in the area so decided to give it a bash.

As soon as I arrived at the river side I noticed a few rises, it turned out that they were silver smolts heading out to sea. It took me a further five mins before I located some actual trout in the most tricky of places.

Tricky !

It was a tricky cast upstream and I had to allow my line to lay across some river debris (you can see it on the right hand side of the photo). The debris in this area is pretty bad and the banks are made up of rubble,weird bits of metal pole that stick out the ground, heavily rusted shopping trolleys, invasive plants and broken glass – not nice !

Also because the water was a bit murky I could not see the bottom which was a bit dodgy!

Out of that water I landed two and lost a couple, essentially I just felt their weight and they were gone.


I moved up to the top of the pool and thought it would be a good time to try a nymph on a dropper – it was one of the nymphs that I had been sent the other day (it is now stuck on a tree so a good job he sent me a few) and with the first cast a I was into a lovely rod bender which after a brief tussle was placed back in the water!

A nice rod bender...

It was just where you would expect a bigger trout to take station, right at the top of the pool in between two tongues of water – there was really no mistaking the pull of the dry under the water for anything else. I thought I might have got another trout from the pool however nothing showed up at all.

I spent some more time trying to tempt some wily trout with a downstream drift however they were having absolutely none of it with my shenanigans.

I showed the pictures to some teenage girls who couldn’t believe there were fish in the river, they giggled as the touched the camera as if they were  touching the fish themselves.

How dare you touch my fish and giggle...

As I wandered under the Kelvin Aqueduct I wondered about the tons of water and stone above my head. The Aqueduct carries the Forth and Clyde Canal over the River Kelvin. It is 400 feet (120 m) long and 70 feet (21 m) high, and when opened in 1790 was Britain’s largest. It is protected as a category A listed building.

Not many people see this view…

Not many people see this view...

At around 3pm(ish) I called it a day, as I wandered back up the path some guy pointed out his drunk girlfriend who was peeing in the bushes – he was holding a bottle of wine and he informed me of the many good pools he had seen on his wander up the river.

I wished him well on his travels.

* That I took photos of.

Like an early birthday present…

It is my birthday this Wednesday and I shall be over a hundred years old (late thirties with two young kids).

After my post last week when I posted my wee batch of flies Marcel Karssies through Facebook said he would send me a few in the post – what arrived was a huge goody bag of every fly a guy would need to catch a trout!

Oh man!!!

Now that is me totally fixed on the nymph front (as well as numerous dries) all I need to do is actually go fishing. This weekend (as in yestreday and today) I was planning on hitting the river however after a rather disastrous DIY lawn situation I have had to take a pass, so it looks like my next trip out will be next Sunday. Today I am hitting the Kelvin with some guys from the committee to build a bridge over a ditch (commonly known as dead mans jump) up at Balmore. I will take some photos and post them on the Fish Kelvin site as well as here.

If any of you guys fancy buying me a birthday present you can have a look at my Amazon Wish List where you shall see I am a simple soul with simple pleasures!


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