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?


The Weather Observer’s Handbook

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!




May as well brush up while it is raining…

I have this book and so should you!


The Small Stream Dry Fly

The image is a link to Amazon UK!

Charles Graves: a dedicated man!

When you talk about being a dedicated fly fisher you might think about getting out every few days or even every day (before kids) however Chuck Graves has taken this to an entirely new level.

He just shrugged off those miles like cobwebs…

Dedication is driving for hundreds of miles across Europe (after flying their from the States), under the English Channel and then another few hundred miles through England to end up in a hotel next to the Kelvin and then hit some tourist spots for the day with the wife and kid just so that you can fish the Kelvin for an evening.


That my friend is what you call dedication – true dedication!

Chuck catches a Kelvin trout…

The only other time I have seen dedication like that is when last orders is called in a Glasgow pub!

I wanted the Kelvin to be in top form for Chuck and everything seemed to be going well during the day with fairly high temps around the 18-20 degree mark however there were storm clouds on the horizon and if I have learnt something over the years (that I promptly forget as who the hell wants to be a skeleton at a wedding) it is that a few days of shitty weather means the fishing the night before will be difficult.

Chuck still managed to winkle one out!

And it was difficult, however we all still managed to winkle out trout and Chuck got to meet a couple of kelvin legends: Alasdair P & Jim Burns. I had walked down to the river earlier and watched Alasdair fishing the worm in the Big Blue (pool) when Stuart Hunter went to join him – I watched as Stuart strung up a rod which Alasdair told me was his brand spanking new salmon fly rod.

Of course Alasdair managed to snap it almost on the first cast and felt bloody awful about it.

I too managed to winkle out a trout!

We fished on up the river watching the occasional Yellow May flitter about however the big trout were being particularly belligerent and it did not help matters that I managed to catch a few trout before Chuck – some people might think this was skill when in actual fact it was sheer bloody luck!

Chuck – full on urban action!

We did a car dash to another part of the river before darkness came down as it may have been a tad more sheltered and were presented with several spooky trout – Chuck witnessed a monster leaping out the water before deciding that a couple of pints and a fishy chat in a local pub was the order of the day.

Chuck has a go at the ultra spooky tree trout!

Chuck has been reading and commenting on the blog for several years now and noted that the pictures of the Kelvin trout have certainly got bigger this season – I did notice him checking my hands in case I have in fact shrunk however my non- tiny hands have been confirmed resulting in a definite rise in trout size.

Of course this session seems like an age away now as the river is now an unspeakably huge raging torrential mess which is only good for bringing in the  Salmon…

Trout fishing not possible!

What this means is that when this rain stops the river will have a lovely clear out of all the junk, weed and other detritus and we should have some great fun in the  well  oxygenated water.

Bring it on!!




Hardy/Greys Customer Service..

I am going to start out and say I should not really have expected anything more.

I have always had a bit of a weird relationship with Hardy and their customer service. I suppose I should be glad they do not treat an opinionated asshole with a blog any differently than any other punter.

After my favorite Greys rods (the old style 2 piece GRX 8 foot 6 4/5weight) was crunched in my car door by my beloved three year old I was kinda hopeful that the lifetime unconditional guarantee would kick in – I would fork out the £15 that I had obviously paid for when I bought the rod and a new top piece would be in the post.

What of course I did not expect was to be blindsided by a “we have none of them left”  and do you wanna pay £50 for an upgraded model?

Browsing on the net for fishing tackle shops I find a Greys GRXi from North East Tackle for £100 so the £50 offer is looking pretty good. However I do not want a new model with a funny new action that I may not like for £50, I want to pay £15 and get my old rod back that has grown with me over the years – it has a great action that suits my casting style and I love it. Pity it was such a pain in the arse for being in two sections though – and now sadly in three!

I suppose what would have made me happy would be if they had said:

“We are very sorry to hear about your loss, seeing as how we did not take account of the number of breakages of this particular model please accept the upgraded model for the sum of £15 which is what you agreed to when you bought the rod and we agreed to when we sold you it”

How could you say no to this guy – a nice trout caught with my GRX

What do you think?



You gotta have a thick skin to run an Urban Fishing Club!

What seems like an age ago now when the RKAA was run by some old codgers dedicated individuals with some time on their hands I made  a suggestion that we could put up some signs to combat poaching – they huffed and puffed and stated that they would simply get pulled down. One of the first things we did when we staged a coup were voted in to take over the association was to put up signs 

Expect to see more of them…

Of course some folk were annoyed and did their best to try and rip em’ down – after finding we had concreted those bad boys to walls things got a bit more inventive..