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


A few days have passed…

Well, a few days of interesting life has past since we last spoke.

Yesterday I got the Whip out and took the boy to the canal for an hour – I only had the one worm and needless to say I believe the stories I have heard about the declining population of coarse fish down my neck of the woods may be true. My pal up in Kirki had been regaling me with catches of lots of Perch however our float remained steady …

The boy with his whip – one of the few moments he stayed still….

Still, I spotted a splash in the margins and decided to come back after dinner for a cast to see if I could catch it – I suspected it was a Pike. I sent Jim Burns a text as I know he has been thinking about giving them a bash as well  and he was well up for it.

Pike have been in my thoughts the last few days for a couple of reasons. One is that the trout fishing has once again dive bombed and two some nice readers have been very good to me. I have written this blog now for around 9 seasons and during that time I can honestly say I have met and fished with some pretty nice guys. All the guys I fish with now and in the past 10 years I have met because of this blog and I am always thrilled to bits anytime anyone stops for a chat beside the river and mention they read the blog – I admit that writing is my only extrovert tendency and I usually let other people do the talking however I still like meeting new people and hope that folk do not think I am rude.Then last week Dougie did what Hardy/Greys could not and gave me an old GRX 4/5 weight he was not using after mine met a rather sad accident with a car door – I was pretty devastated when Hardy/Greys did not keep a stock of them and it looked like there was not going to be happy ending until Dougie stepped in. So now I have my old trusty GRX back (I am gonna pretend it is the same one).

Then, James Bennett from Kirkintiloch sent me what I can only describe as a sack-load of Pike tying materials with some handy flies to copy. I now am fully stocked up in time for my peak of the Pike fly fishing year – Autumn.

With all that in mind a sudden change of plans meant Jim and I ended up at the Loch…..

Jim working his way around some weeds…

There were several Pike splashing around however none fancied a bite to eat. We fairly hammered the place and did not seem to be spooking any fish.

Dusk as usual on the Loch was beautiful – the water was like ice it was so still- this meant we could see the occasional splashing of monsters, none close to us though.

I am never really sure whether Pike feed into the darkness, certainly we seen the occasional splash and guys I know catch them during the night on smelly deadbaits however they were really not playing ball.

Into the Dark…shoulda had a tripod!

After seeing some Pike in the margins that looked like Sharks Jim has now caught the Pike bug and another trip is being planned soon.

In other news  first Urban Fly Fisher forum was a great success with well into 200 members – it was busy and interesting however descended into what I can only describe as a total rammy where I acquired a stalker which left a bad taste in my mouth. Server problems caused it to crash and burn and I launched it again afresh under the guise of the “k” board which was a single stream of opinions and chat which was fun – the software I used decided to start charging for support and plugins and after all my sites were hacked the forum was once again scrubbed. Since that time I have been busy wondering whether we actually need a forum – some people are of the opinion that forums detract from blogs as comments on posts lessen. The pluses to having a forum are many – for one you guys have somewhere to post trip reports which I enjoy hearing and also a discussion of common issues of urban fishing can be had.

I am aware there are some great forums out there however there are some pretty bad ones as well – pretty much the only good forums I visit are the Wild Fisher Forum and another super secret no fannies allowed invite only one which everyone secretly knows about #grin#

Anyway, on messing around and deciding about forums I installed one and was again forced to wipe the member base as I could not get it talking to the subscribers on the blog.  This made me feel like shite as I have made folk sign up twice now and really do not want to muck people around. What it does mean though is that this phase 3 forum would be permanent and static, there would be no phase 4 – it would be up and running and that is it.  It is at the same URL and to be honest I am still not 100% sure that I am doing the right thing and I would be interested in hearing your thoughts in the comments (you can also be an early adopter and actually register for it if you like however I will be making a formal announcement in a couple of weeks once I sort out the layout etc)

Out of interest what do you guys think I should do in my tenth year?

Until the next time, over and out!

Curry Rods!

Tonight (Tuesday) was pretty good.

I have been in communication with a reader who very kindly swapped his old Greys GRX for a filleting knife (I had to press the swapped part). Dougie fishes lakes and lochs mostly and had also neen stung by the appalling Hardy/Greys total disregard of their agreements and promises when putting together their “unlimited lifetime warranty” 

Later when I got to the West End Playrooms with the kids I got the rod out – it was only then that I realised that Dougie had made a rod tube for it and a fine job he had made of it. I suspect Dougie also likes curry as their was curry powder all over the handle and the rod bag was saturated with it – I am now looking forward to a nice curry – it really got me in the mood.


Anyway, down to the Kelvin to swish it about in the hopes of a fish – the water has lost its peaty red look and is now looking grey. The secretary for the club had found clay being discharged into the river from a tributary which made it the red colour and that has now abated.

The grey colour is pretty usual however every now and then there would be a whiff of sewage from some of the bigger pipes.

Looking a bit grey

I met legendary Jim Burns and after a quick chat I walked up the river and caught a lovely fish that I spotted rising under a bridge. I was using a wee Klink and had spotted a whirl in the water … It took after just a few casts.

This is probably the nicest trout I have caught out the Kelvin in a month!

I am hoping the Kelvin is now starting to get back to its normal self after all that rain.

I have been hearing rumblings about Autumn being on its way and the thought is terrifyingly real.

Back to the burn..

Back to the burn I fished the other day however no rod with me as it was just a recon mission. I had googled the burn on google maps and found a likely looking spot which I thought may have good access – turns out I was wrong,very wrong!

You can see the river through the trees – I think I am actually standing on the true riverbed as the river appears to be flowing over concrete.

There is no way anyone could actually fish here as it is so overgrown and wild. I do not think a lot of people come here as I found some rough sleeping camps – I heard some rustling in the bushes so I knew that I had disturbed someone. During the hot weather it is fairly typical to run into these camps. A piece of tarpaulin and sometimes and old blanket are all these folk can count on not getting stolen while they are out begging. Sadly lots of people with mental health problems are unable to get it together to get some support and get a roof over their heads. If you see a rough sleeper you know that they have lots of problems that stop them engaging in ordinary society.

Not good for dress trousers and shoes.

If I had been in my fishing gear I would have made it further however eventually the jaggy bushes drove me back – walking with dress shoes and suit trousers really is not the best.

This burn has been in my mind a lot recently as I used to pass by it much further upstream on my way to a loch in the hills above Clydebank and never really thought about it seriously for trout . However after that ball I had the other day and the fact the Kelvin is still out of action I feel it deserves a full on assault.

The reason behind my thinking is that as it is fed by a reservoir it should not be affected as much by the rain as other rivers.

Any of you guys been out fishing at all?