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?

Lunchtime lesson.

Sadly, I had to attend a funeral as my first act of business for the day. The ceremony took me up to lunchtime by which time the drive back to my office seemed a chore just to eat some food as I would be just driving back to the area I was in to visit clients anyway.

So I had a 45min lunchtime that I took next to a burn that runs past some high rise flats in the Clydebank area.

I tweeted today that this river was not loved – that is not strictly true as I met a lot of people (and golfers) who were interested in the wee trout…

It just so happened I had my rod in the boot and after a brief thought about whether I really needed to eat I strung that bad boy up and armed only with a pair of forceps and a fly box I had some exploratory casts – we are talking about really minimal fishing here so minimal that all my gear fitted in a suit trouser pocket.

Within two casts I had a lovely wee trout on the bank. I knew there were trout in this burn as I have heard of them as well as gazed at them anytime I have been passing – what I have never actually done is make that leap to getting a rod strung up and having a cast at them.

The first one was a tiny cracker that took my cdc messy fly with gusto…

The water was higher than normal and was running with a tinge of color – it made the runs beefy and full and made long pools that gave these trout a lot of cover – pretty much every other cast I would watch a shape drift up from the depths to swallow my fly..

Long deep pools, they were full of debris!

Of course, remember that I am decked out for work with a shirt and tie on at this point – next to me some golfers stopped for a chat and they all had a tale to tell about the trout in the burn – seemingly further up the river it gets better.

I walked another pool up and caught some more trout.

I hope you like trout pictures as I have tons of them…just like this one!

I wont bore you with a blow by blow account of every trout that I caught however if I were to give a total tally for the 45 min session i would say at least the high teens – so roughly a trout every couple of mins. There were some bigger trout mixed up in the haul as well.

Not monsters….

These trout took a dry fly with sheer maniac abandon – they were not only fighting the hunger but each other for survival as well. I am sure I pricked some even bigger trout however I can never really be sure – I mean they seemed big as they rose from behind a boulder to intercept my fly however they were pricked – always remember that a trout in the water will seem smaller than the trout in your hand – it is all down to refraction or something..

At this spot I caught around 8 trout – three in that wee deep run across the other side, a couple at the end of the run under the bush and the rest in the middle…

I walked back to my car at the end of that wee session a happy man – everyone I met on the way back to the car smiled and chatted about the burn – I spoke to a couple of golfers, a council worker standing with his top off and for want of a better word a Ned* with his dog.

*Ned is a derogatory term applied in Scotland to hooligans, louts or petty criminals,[1][2] latterly with the stereotypical implication that they wear casual sports clothes.[3] Such usage in Glasgow dates back to the 1960s or earlier.


50 shades of brown..

Decided not to go fishing as my wife was going for a run after work – got a text from Jim Burns to say the river was in fine fettle and he could see rising fish despite all the rain over the last day – wife wanted to finish reading her sexy book – Fifty Shades of Grey so I had a free pass.

In the half hour it took me to get in the car and drive to the river the rain started again and it rose a few inches and turned into a chocolate color – I did not even string my rod up or get my waders wet. As I arrived Jim was getting out the river – we spent the hour or so watching the river rise and talking about holidays – turns out Jim’s wife is reading the book as well (as well as every other female in the Western

Whether it will fall again for tomorrow evening remains to be seen however Jim is up for joining in the bit of Pike action if this keeps up much longer.

Review in progress: Oregon Scientific WMR180

Those kind folks over at Oregon Scientific have heard my bleats about becoming an amateur weather watcher as they have sent me a full on professional weather station.

Oregon Scientific WMR180 Wireless PC Connectable Professional Weather Station 

WMR180 is the latest professional weather station from Oregon Scientific with the addition of a wireless USB communication hub you are able to view, anayse and store all your weather data on your PC as well as the console. With the USB Hub connected to your PC you are free to move the console anywhere in your home enabling you to view all the important weather data at a glance whilst your PC stores the data

Both units receive information wirelessly from a complete set of outdoor sensor at a range of up to 100m. Enabling you to see the Weather forecast, time, wind speed & direction, indoor & outdoor temperature & humidity, barometric pressure, and rainfall reading with bar graphs plus together with max and min readings over the past 24hrs

The Complete Weather station includes:

• WMR180 Weather Station Console
• USB Communication Centre
• Wind Sensor (WGR800)
• Temperature and Humidity Sensor  (THGN801)
• Solar Panel (STC800)
• Rain Gauge (PCR800)

All I can say is that folk are going to regret asking me if I think it is going to rain once I set this bad boy up in the back garden – and oh my it is an awfully big box!

Watch this space!

Aaaaaand back to the “K”

For trout fishing the Kelvin has been absolutely bloody awful for over a month now. I thought thas as we did not have any major downpours over the weekend it would be ok for Sunday night however as soon as I arrived I wondered why it was a dirty brown – it was fishable however only just.

Fishable – only just!

I met Stephen (who is also a Crown Bailiff) on the river (he also would not let me throw any streamers as it was the Sabbath) and we had a few hours casting to incredibly picky trout that I suspected were small.

Stephen surveys…

Stephen showed me a technique to attract the bats to you whereby you rub your thumb and index finger together. I have no idea why you would want to do that. That was about as exciting as the few hours got – oh we each had boils at our fly of what could have been nice trout.

We decided if the Kelvin remains pish for trout we would attack the Pike.

Over and Out!


Bank-side Surgery and a Giant Inflatable Penis!

I am still trying to get my head around the evening session on my other river. I mean it was a great session however not many fish were caught, I caught a couple however only one of those ended up on my camera – the fishing was hardly the talking point of the night it was the events of the night that made the evening.

There we go – the trout!

I mean it was a nice trout and I am glad it showed up and took my dry fly in the fast turbulent water as if it had not then the night would have been a blank apart from the events of which I will speak – so thank you very much trout for making me not blank.

Like I say the river was fast, big and turbulent – the weather was changeable in that one minute it was blazing sunshine and roasting and the next windy and cooler with a smattering of drizzle. I was glad I had on my jumper and cagoule and the next cursing the extra heat I was holding.

Fast and Furious – with a smattering of sunshine…

Part of the reason I had chosen this spot for our first stop on this river is because my old time fishing buddy Emanuele left a comment on the last post and it made me realise I had not fished here in so long. Long time readers of the blog may recognise it – It was a regular haunt before my time became limited due to kids. Still, I do not complain as I still manage to fish a lot – if the fishing had not been as good on the Kelvin this year maybe I would have been down here more however as it is I have been staying local as you guys know.

I was fishing with another old time fishing buddy Alex  called over that he had a bit of a problem – he had a nymph stuck in his lip. He came over and showed me the offending nymph which he had a  tug at but would not budge – there is not much pain he told me however the barb was well and truly in there. The sickening reality of the situation hit me – I was the one that was going to have to perform any kind of bankside surgery on the boy as he could obviously not see the nymph.

He could not see the nymph!

What made things slightly more difficult  is the fact he has a big man beard. I knew there is a technique to get barbed hooks out and googled it on my smart phone – I found this page and studied the instructions carefully.

Ah, yes – quite simple…

He lay down and I sat almost astride him with some strong fluro – now the procedure calls for a short sharp yank. I will not deny that I was a bit nervous however we were faced with a trip to Casualty on a Friday night – the local drunks would eat a couple of outdoors men like us up for breakfast if we let something as simple as a hook in the lip stop us fishing. Anyway, the the instructions said:

Using this hook removal method, there is one common factor – the almost complete, and surprising, lack of any pain

When I gave the short sharp tug I wondered then why long time fishing buddy Alex appeared to be in great pain and discomfort and then lay still on his back moaning for a bit with the nymph still stuck firmly in his face. I am sure if I was a cannabis smoker I would be describing this whole experience as a bit “heavy”

I wondered what his wife would say if his smooching abilities were ruined if I had tore his lip off.

Anyway, he was made of sterner stuff and we had another go at it – in true male style we threw the instructions away and I used my fishing forceps to grab the nymph while he stretched the skin around it.

All he had to worry about now was the huge amount of blood and possibly some kind of infection setting in making his head swell up to double its normal size – result!


We fished on!

Now as you know I am not a big fan of cows. Quite frankly I do not trust the creepy fuckers with their munching and mooing and sneaking around fields – people do actually die every year from being trampled by them.

Bullocks my friends are ten times worse.

So there we were happily standing by the river when we heard a thudding – I looked around at the same time as Alex exclaimed something along the lines of “Uh Oh” and witnessed a bullock charging towards us – it was not a fake charge by the way it was a full on gonna getcha charge – there was another dozen behind it.

I went into full on Commando Ninja Mode as the “Fight or Flight” reflex kicked in – thank God it was not “Flight and Shite” as I dropped to the ground and rolled under an electric fence and down a hill away from the beast from hell.

The electric fence stopped it and the rest of the beasts were left at the top of  a short hill stomping their feet looking at us. The electric fence was essentially a bit of string with a thin wire going through it – I am kinda amazed that it stops them but that is intelligence for you.

Just look at them – milling around pissed off as they did not get to kill us!

We laughed for a bit about it however we wondered what would have happened if that fence had not been erected – I suppose it would have been a dash to the river and a quick wade. We could have splashed it with water or something.

We fished on.

Alex was fishing upstream of me and I called to him as it was time to move on to another section of the river for dusk – instead he called me over.

I will cut to the chase – it was an inflatable penis stuck in at the side of the river.

I was wondering why its testicles were so small…

We wondered what chain of events led to this obvious bag of fun ending up discarded next to the river. We are well upstream of the city with only smaller towns close by – someone probably had to make a real effort to lob it into the river. What the hell was going on?

We fished on – or rather got in the car and drove for a bit and fished on.

Fished into the gloaming…

We fished into the gloaming and darkness tossing streamers into dark deep pools to little effect – Alex felt some tugs and I had one take.

At the end of the night we somehow still felt fully satisfied with the evenings events.

I met Alex down at a shopping center today with his wife and child, he had no scarring whatsoever.

Kelvin probably on Sunday evening – any takers?