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!


A wee batch!


Cup of flees!

In my hour that I had to get my gear out the attic, get suitable materials sorted and make a coffee my final tally was four wooly buggers and just over a half dozen skinny nymph things !

I told my women that if the weather is good I have some serious man shit I need to sort out at the weekend involving waders and big trout !

Trout in Dirty Places – Smashing!

Look, I have kinda given up on reviewing books (although if someone wants to send me one then I am not saying no) however now that “Trout in Dirty Places” by Theo Pike is out I really want you to buy it.

I received my copy on Friday..

My Copy...

As I flicked through it I realised what I held in my hand – it is a manual of all the rivers that you see on City breaks and wonder whether they have fish in them – now you will know and also where to buy a permit – sweet! Already I have spotted a few rivers I should have fished in the  past and will do so in the future when I pass that way again.

I looked at the Kelvin page and wondered just who that hunk of sheer raw manliness was in the photograph, I mean look at the sexy pose, the steely glint behind the shades …

If you look closely you can see some manliness on the page...

Goodness gracious – IT’S ME!!

Just in case you did not know (I have been bleating on about it for a year) here is the original post when I took Theo to the Kelvin.

Anyway, obviously if you fish the Kelvin you will not buy it for that as you will buy it for the other 49 rivers – obviously useful for long distance lorry drivers and other times folk who are near urban rivers and fancy a spot of action.

There are two ways you can grab a copy, one of which is free for someone – the publishers “Merlin Unwin” are having a competition on their site to win a free copy – the question is:

Question: Under which major British airport runway does a fishing river flow, in which beautiful 17-inch wild brown trout can be caught free of charge?

Just in case you are unable to use google – you might find this link kinda interesting: River Bollin

You have until the 30th April so hurry up.

The second way and if you are unlucky enough not to win a free copy is to actually buy the book – you can buy it from many bookshops however if you buy it from Amazon and through my link I get a bung – so here is a picture that takes you straight to the Amazon page where you can buy it..


If you click this picture you go to Amazon....maybe!

In other news I happen to have a shit load of flies that need tied up – a kind reader got in touch to say he was going to send me some (the absolute gent) and they will get used over the coming coming season however I happen to have a free 2 hour window tomorrow morning – on the cards are simple pheasant tail nymphs (with no thread used), some Wooly Buggers (a few colors) and some stupidly sparse dries.

I also have some red wine to drink – I think I am going to enjoy it!






What a difference a week makes!

Last Friday after work I managed a couple of hours searching for some elusive rising trout action. All I appear to be reading just now on the blogs I visit is the rising trout people seem to be connecting with – meanwhile on the few hours I managed to steal away I did not witness any trout action whatsoever. Of course this week we are back to freezing conditions and no flies although I hear today there were some olives coming off on the Kelvin despite the -4 temp when I got in the car this morning, by 3pmish it was up to 11 degrees.

And the wind was cold – I think the cold wind was killing any surface action whatsoever. The air was still warmer than the water however those little olive boats just did not arrive.

I watched a guy fishing down the river in front of me – fishing down and across. I wandered about looking at likely pools and runs until eventually I stuck on a copper nymph and fished it like a mini streamer probing all the knocks and crannies on the opposite side of the river – I may have got a knock however it was more probably a boulder.

Following a guy downstream...

I wandered further down the river and spoke to the guy who had been fishing – he had not had a knock on his wet flies either. We spoke for a bit about the weather, about tackle, about dry fly set ups and also about association business – the usual stuff that decent members of the association want to gab about.

We parted ways and I decided to call it a day – the wind was stronger and was very chilly, you could see the wind breezing up the river making it difficult to cast the 4 weight.

A handy sign!

I scrambled up the river bank to the path back to the car and looked again at the corner of the pool where I expected to see some trout rising – there were none. In the car it was warm and it felt good to be out the cold. I cannot help but feel the weather has kinda fooled us into thinking that we should be having a bonanza when really bright sunshine with a cold wind coupled with intermittent fly hatches can be quite difficult. Saying all that I am pretty sure that on other parts of the river some action could have been seen.

It just depends really.

Radio Blunders & Sunny Weather


Did any of you catch the shenanigans on Radio Scotland today? If not you can listen in again here. Essentially Theo Pike was being interviewed about his book about urban rivers and they asked your truly to fish the Kelvin with there outside reporter Richard Cadey.

The Hi Tech Gear of the BBC!

Anyway, go and listen to it if you have not already – you may have to fast forward to the fishing banter – my major blunder was stating that the River Clyde Fisheries Management Trust did a lot of good work for the river in terms of environmental stuff – what I in fact wanted to say was that the Clyde River Foundation does all the hard work. What made it all the more embarrassing is the fact I phoned Willie Yeomans for a bit of moral support as he is a man that talks a lot (I mean sometimes you cannot get this guy to stop) and I still managed to fanny it up – ah well.

You know, something actually annoyed me in the Vet School today, at least 4 people (two security guards, one gardener and on guy who said he did some “work” in the Vet School) told me that I could not fish on the bank we were standing on. Now this is all very reasonable however as I looked about at the dog walkers with their dogs off the leads even though the rule is that dogs stay on the lead and the areas where fires have been started and the fact that last year the security would not phone the police or move on the guy that threatened me one night I wondered whether there was a smidgen of selective security enforcement going on – maybe next time I should take a big dog, sit with my top off and drink a bottle of buckfast with some mates. Oh the joys of urban fishing – only the law abiding sensible folk actually obey laws – the rest just do whatever they want.


After the show I was left on my todd so went for a wander about the river for a fish – I wandered right down the river and as usual it was around 2pm that the wee boats that are Large Dark Olives started sailing down – not many trout responding in the faster water however in some of the slower water I found eager trout slurping them down with gusto..

Slow water, like glass....

Of course the trout would be rising in the slowest possible spots where the water was like glass, as I slipped into the water, ripples were sent out across the water and spooked them – it took a further half hour of standing in cold water stork like before they started to get brave again, I roll cast my fly under branches several times before my drift was just prefect and I was rewarded with a nice fat Kelvin trout…

It has spots !

The water was icy cold and a lovely height – that height of water that is not low, not high but just flowing and full. A perfect height and also dare I say smell – it had that tangy vegetable smell off it today – that smell that gives it the name “Smelly Kelly” you must know what I mean if you have ever fished the river – it is a summer smell, not pleasant yet not unpleasant – a thick, vegetable decomposing (not rotting) smell that really fills our nostrils.

I can honestly say there is no other smell like it – I kinda like the funky Kelvin smell – it feels homely!

I fished spotting the odd riser and covering it a few times before moving on – my heart was not really in it as I reckoned we had a bit of east wind action going down – the wind was heading downstream which made properly accurate with presentation was a tad difficult – not impossible but difficult – you would cast perfectly at tongue of water with a rising trout and a gust of wind would take it a foot to the left and the leader would double up at the last minute – annoying.

Even though it was bright sunshine and hot it was still an ice cold wind.

I fished on and then came across what I can only describe as a weird bothy/den built out of fallen branches and blag plastic bags – it freaked me out.

Does someone live here?

To be fair I have came across a few of these bothies in my time, I suspect it is local youths looking for a dry place to smoke cannabis or drink alcohol – it certainly is not a sexy love nest as it looks a bit more rugged – I did not see the usual booze bottles littering the place.

I fished on for a bit and missed a few more fish before calling it a day at 3pm as I had to pick the boy up at nursery.

I need flies desperately!

Tomorrow ( 28th March), 10:30 on BBC Radio Scotland

Angler Theo Pike talks about fishing for trout in city rivers, plus travel writer Alison Rice looks at fitness holidays, and hear from Mrs Brown’s Boys star Brendan O’Carroll.

Listen in for a special surprise!


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