Thanks to Yorkshire Water!

There has actually been many benefits to us anglers thanks to Europe – lots of improvements have been thanks to various European Directives and our improving water quality across our rivers is fantastic for trout and salmon.

However in collaboration with Yorkshire Water I am able to reveal some exciting news about the Little River Don also known as the Porter which is a tributary of the River Don in South Yorkshire. It arises on the Langsett Moors in the northern Peak District, the Little Don River feeds the Langsett and Underbank reservoirs. It runs through the town of Stocksbridge before joining the River Don. I have fished the River Don a few times and it is a great river that it looks like may improve even more thanks to Yorkshire Water.

Yorkshire Water, you see, are funding three fish passes which will open up spawning habitat for trout, salmon and grayling. The investment into the new fish passes also contributes to the Don Catchment River Trusts ‘Salmon to Sheffield’ project, which aims to return salmon to Sheffield for the first time in 200 years. I hope that there will be some keen and budding urban angler in Sheffield right now who is starting to gear up at the prospect of Salmon returning to the city.  In the 18th century the Don was considered one of the finest salmon rivers in England.  Salmon were once so common in the River Don in Yorkshire that they formed a staple part of the local diet. However, the harnessing of the river to drive the Industrial Revolution in Yorkshire, and the increased pollution from industry in the 19th and 20th centuries made the river uninhabitable for most wildlife.

This new fish pass was a joint project between Yorkshire Water and the EA

Over the last 20 years, water pollution has been reduced. However this rich local heritage is still undervalued, and the river remains fractured by weirs and locks which threatens this recovery.

Sound familiar?

Yes, because it is almost the same as the Kelvin that runs through Glasgow and look how good that is doing – fantastic!

Yorkshire Water is planning to use the opportunity of opening the fish passes to educate the general public about the importance of fish migration and maintaining and improving the environment in which we live.

You can read more over at Yorkshire Water






Kicked in the ass by the Kelvin

You know that you have fished somewhere a long time when you notice that when you first started to fish somewhere there was no actual path.

This path used to not exist…it shows just how busy this place is.

I managed an hour or so after work and the sun was fairly blazing in the sky however I knew where I could find some shade and headed there. I caught my first trout on the dry fly within a few casts however by the time it came to my hand it was gone. I was using an olive comparadun and sadly it turned out that this would be my only trout as even though I covered a few more they were just not in the mood – very sporadic risers.


Very sporadic risers..

I wandered up to a corner pool where rising trout is guaranteed however they were all just a foot beyond where I could cast. I moved further forward until I reckoned I was balanced on the abyss and managed to spook them. I waded to the other side of the river and found a lovely wee beach where if I had just gone their in the first place  I would have actually caught the trout.

Perfect position….

There was olives on the water and enormous Large Dark Olives dancing around – it was great to be back!

How time flies..

I am never one to push taking up fishing to my kids – sure there have been times when I have happened to have a rod around on certain occasions like holidays, however I don’t bang on about them taking it up. I have a few reasons – most of the guys I know that have older kids that do not go with them it is because they forced them when they were younger and the ones that are passionate it just so happens they were neglected – so I keep it simple by not discouraging them but not full on jumping at them to come.

My eldest and I usually go swimming on a Monday evening however I mentioned I might head around for an hour to the local pond. He asked if he could come instead of swimming and I thought it would be a good idea. Turns out it was not the best of conditions, cold and bright even though it was 7pm.

We shared a rod – I was using my 5 weight Sage SLT and was letting him retrieve the fly after I had cast for him..

“Can I cast?” he would ask every now and again however I did not want to spoil it for him so recommended we continue doing what we were doing. I told him that we would have one last cast and that sometimes it was more about getting out and having some fishing time as opposed to catching time (you know, the usual shite we tell ourselves when we blank) when suddenly he said that he had caught something.

Turns out he had caught a lovely wee trout which put up a fair old scrap before being safely returned.

I was very pleased and so was he I think!




Saturday was hot and bright, however the kids were at a party and it meant that I had a few hours free to hit the Kelvin for my first river session of the year. Alas it was in vain..

I waded up to a nice long pool where after a few casts with the dry I decided to try the old faithful of a dry and dropper. Each speculative cast I thought the dry was going to be pulled under however it just did not happen. Still it was nice to be out and the birds were tweeting away. As I walked back to the Science park I met another Kelvinator and we chatted for a bit – he was having the same time as me however had a lot more time tp play with.

I scoped out some deeper water hoping to see a lone rise however the river appeared lifeless.

Well, not lifeless but certainly not hungry anyway. Other people have been catching though – one of the benefits of the River Kelvin Fishers Page.

Is it that time already?

Had a jolly good day at the River Kelvin Angling Association opening day however it is only now that I am getting ready for the season ahead.

I was out at the weekend for an hour or so after sea trout and managed a few long distance releases however today they were playing ball, or rather one was playing ball and I managed to land him.


I have managed to lose my spinning reel so was using my LRF gear so it was a lot of fun watching it jump around.

Safely returned!

I hope so..

Is there fish in their Dad?

I hope so, I said.

A Newer Sergeant Major…

The squadrons were depleted in last year’s campaign of trout hunting by various means. Lost in action they were – up trees, on boulders, very occasionally in fish, sometimes on shopping trolleys and on one memorable occasion on the back of my jacket. Brings a tear to a glass eye that would – those little lads flying through the air – their mission to sit proudly on the surface of the water in a perfect imitation of a spiky insect. Occasionally (of course) they must dive underwater and imitate some kind of nymph – the danger for the boys makes me shiver at night, the thought of them hooking a boulder or shopping trolley, however the joy they feel when their training and camouflage fool some wily trout is really something to behold.


However, a full year has almost past since the first initial training of the troops from the Academy of Vice – sure there has been reinforcements as the campaign has progressed however these have been in dribs and drabs as time allows. Sadly, now the troops are weary, there ranks depleted – they look at the gaps in their ranks where their fallen comrades once stood proudly with there wing posts ready to be ginked and are crestfallen…


Like I say, it was sad during the season seeing my boys coming out of combat. however they are brave lads…I can only imagine what they face in their watery combat with some hungry trout – those big lips full of sharp teeth ready to rip and tear..


I try not to think about the boys that tempt Pike – maybe one day I will feel strong enough to talk about em’

The Sergeant from the Academy of Vice  is battle weary and due to a rather rash buy unable to clamp properly on to a new  kitchen table to prepare and train more troops (thanks to  the Supreme Commander)

The Sergeant decided it was time to let a young one take over, one that was up to the task of rotary techniques 


Merely standing easy – ready to stand to attention at the first hint of trouble – he now has a companion to share the burden – a comrade in arms if you will. A new recruit from the United States has arrived – a place where they insist on calling the Academy of Vice the Academy of Vise – over here we understand the nature of fly tying – it is a vice – like an addiction!

End of Current Dispatch – More to Follow!

Tale end of last summer…

Tale end of last summer I headed to a local Sea Loch with Alex and had a ball. We were fishing off a ledge into deep water and picking up wrasse and pollock. Later on we would move to an area that had thorn back rays however what sticks out in my mind is the amount of wrasse that I caught in one deep wee spot. It felt like every cast I was pulling up wrasse, in fact it probably was.

Here is a wee selection of them..

A lovely green tinge…

Orange and green tinge…

Orange tinge…

Been doing a lot of thinking back over the last few days actually. I finally found an old pal from school on Facebook. He had moved to where I grew up from Dundee and lived across the street from me. I was the first person to befriend him in school.  He loved UB40 (not the new stuff he would moan, the old stuff) and would talk about his hate of fireworks due to the waste of cash. He was a wee guy and confident, nobody would mess with him and his strong Dundee accent never left him. I guessed he made up a lot of stories about his life back in Dundee but I enjoyed hearing them anyway.

We would hang out smoking and drinking and eventually he got mixed up in a rougher crowd. We remained friends and we would run into each other and still chat away. The last time I met him it was when I worked in the Arches nightclub and he was totally wasted. He sat down to chill out with me as many people did at the time and we chatted for a bit, he disclosed he was gay and was struggling a bit with it. That was the last time we chatted. I finally tracked him down before Christmas and sent him a message on Facebook, no response. I tried again last week and sent one of his family members a message asking if he was still on Facebook. She got back to me a day or so later to say that he had been found dead last Thursday. He had moved back to Dundee and it looks like he got himself mixed up in heroin, there has been a spate of deaths over the last few weeks and he may have been a victim of it.

I need to get my old UB40 album out!

T(r)ying Time!

I am a member of a few fishing groups on Facebook and I look on with envious eyes at their permanent fly tying stations they have in their houses. I look at great wee cabinets that could be converted into a permanent tying station and placed somewhere so that if the fancy takes me I can be at it in seconds. I did in fact buy a house with an extra room with this in mind. Instead we had a lovely third child and my dedicated fishing cupboard is taken up by toys. My tying station pretty much looks like this:

Tying Station

I had dreams of buying a proper dedicated fishing car however my fishing car is our ex- family car that I have just noticed has a horrific oil leak – you know it must be bad when your neighbor is a mechanic and he phones you to say he has never seen the like before!



I appear to be collecting an ever-growing list of fishing related activities that I am unable to take part in due to having to sustain an equilibrium between  work, family and fishing commitments. As you can imagine the fishing part is probably the lightest out of the three. It does not help after moving to the river trout desert that is Helensburgh.

One thing to strike off my list is writing my piece for the Kelvin newsletter which has been penned and sent off to the secretary for his perusal.

Next step – get the vice out!

No swimming!