Having a go for salmon!
Having a go for salmon!
Ok – so I managed to fanny up and not get around to posting my weekly water pictures however this time I actually have a decent excuse, in fact I have two of them. One – I have actually posted pictures of fish and two I could not upload photos to the blog from my android phone as something was messing with it. So they may be rubbish reasons however pefectly valid in my wee world of fantasy.
Also I finally got around to putting all the bits of my Kelvin permit together – is this a shaky one?
Right – phew, caught up again!
At the moment it is pouring with rain and we have flood warnings across Scotland – that can only mean one thing – the Salmon boys will be sharpening their worming hooks on the Kelvin.I may well have a fling for the Sea Beasts if the notion takes me – I just need to look out the tags.
In the meantime we are having an interesting discussion in the comments in the previous post about whether there are any truly huge trout in the Kelvin – go join in if you feel up for it.
See you guys on the river dudes!
Sometimes you forget something good that is right under your nose – For a few years I fished the same stretch of the Kelvin and got to know every nook and cranny there was to know – it was maybe a mile or so of water. That is in fact a lot of pools, riffles, runs and holes to keep anyone occupied.
Then for one reason and another I moved on to other parts of the river and then on to other rivers – I still came back to my home mile every now and again however everywhere else just seemed better and new.
Sunday evening I decided to hit the old stretch and relive the memories – and boy did I make some new ones. I remember fishing it at the start of last season and marveling at some of the nice trout – by heck I have left them alone long enough as they have gotten big and fat without me along to stalk their asses!.
It was roasting hot so I managed to tie up a half dozen flies before heading out. With this heat I knew the best time was going to be dusk so headed out at around half seven – my plan was to walk down the river to where it is shaded by lots of trees and fish my way up until dark and then fish some exposed pools.
It was a good plan and for once it worked – the first pool I came to I found rising trout, I managed to spook them all with some downstream drifts – I had forgotten how tricky some of these trout are. At one point I considered how you should be aware all the time your fly is in the water as the fly drifted out of where I thought the trout was it struck – I was left with line around my shoulders and a fly lost in the bushes behind me.
I decided to turn around and face upstream – there was a lovely long riffle maybe around 5 yards long with some depth to it – I ran my dry over it a dozen times and decided that it would be a waste to not try a wet. I decided to stick an unweighted clyde style wet on as a dropper and on my first cast a trout took it – the trout took the fly just under the surface – it was a hefty trout that bent my Orvis Superfine – it jumped all over the pool. It was in great condition and I was glad to slip it back.
I worked my way up the river in some riffles without offer until I got to a big deep slow pool – at its head there were maybe a half dozen trout rising consistently – good confident rises – it was maybe about half nine at this point. I caught two of them – big beefy trout that leapt all over the pool – one was maybe just shy of three quarters of a pound. No photo as the water was just a few inches below my waders – I almost had an accident getting myself out of the pool (by accident I mean in the toilet sense).
I walked up the river leaving alone a big pool that I was going to keep until dark – I walked up the river to a narrow bend where I have usually done quite well in the past.
there was a series of tiny rises on the surface – maybe about half a dozen fish (at this point I had no idea if they were trout or parr) taking “something” off the surface – I covered them with a size 17 cdc n’ elk with no takers and then a small cdc fly – still no takers. There were rising very quickly and confidently with no indication of there size – they were not line shy which made me think they were parr however they were locked on to something and the pickiness made me think they were trout. I decided on a small comparadun (the old favourite) as there was some Yellow Mays around – not that the trout were taking them but just as a change of plan – first cast and the trout took (yes they were trout) and it sped off down the river – it was a fat sleek half pounder.
By this time it was truly dusk and the bats were out – what followed was a great hour or so of casting to these rising trout – I reckoned every one of them must have been over a half pound in weight – I think the biggest one was just shy of a pound and gave a helluva fight on the four weight.
Eventually the trout stopped feeding and I wandered up the river to the car.
All in all it was a great session!
I decided to visit some of my older haunts on the river for a nostalgic trip down memory lane
Maybe see you there!
Mind that book I told you about the other day? The one that nobody knows much about written by someone who nobody really knows?
Well, even though Amazon have totally sold out there are around 10 copies for sale on Ebay.
(Picture of book takes you directly to Ebay)
You cannot go wrong – instead of fish on the front cover there is a cow!
So I have been tying up some flees in preparation for some hot evening action. Reluctantly I took the advice (you can substitute advice for pretty much constant ribbing) from pals regarding the size of my flies. You see in the past I fished a place where a big bushy fly was a essential as it was pretty much all pocket water. Now as I am hanging around where the big kids are I need to step down my size of fly – bloody picky trout.
Also I need to make sure I have flies for every occasion – which means my repertoire of Giant Deer Emerger or Scruffy Olive must be expanded. So I spent some time tying up some small CDC n’ Elks and some small CDC Olives (with tails). I also decided to tie up some Deer Hair Emergers on small hooks – they are always good flies to have in an emergency especially in small sizes. I know that Mike from Tamanawis always does very well with them.
Saying all that fat lot of good it did me.
On Saturday night I decided to hit the Loch for some Pike action – I reckoned the conditions seemed pretty good; it was overcast and kinda warmish with a light wind. I did not even spook a Pike the whole times I was there which is always a bit of a bad sign – at least when you spook Pike you can be slightly hopeful that eventually you will not spook one and it will take your fly. Casting aimlessly at likely places to find that all you drag back is your own hope is kinda demoralising after a while. Of course this was then topped off by on the way home being stopped by the police for two busted lights – I was given a ticket and told to get them fixed.
With the Pike not playing ball I decided I needed to catch a trout – I wanted to catch a trout on an honest to goodness dry fly – preferably a rising trout and big – if it was gigantic all the better. I decided on the Clyde and the big trout decided to play the Pike game and totally hang out somewhere else. Dusk was alledgedly the time to be there so I dutifully fled down the M74 after 7pm.
I caught some small trout which was fun as they were rising incredibly sporadically. Paul noticed the mist drifting down the river first which may have killed any action dead – certainly when it was proper dark the trout still did not feed.
Turns out I had forgotten my torch as well which would have been fun if the big trout had actually been rising all around me and I needed to change a fly in the dark would have been fun if the big trout had actually been rising all around me and I needed to change a fly in the dark.
I cannot help but notice we are now half way through the year – the nights are fair drawing in by a few mins every night – that is some scary stuff to contend with – the thought the season will be almost over in a flash – to me it feels it has hardly even started. It seems like only yesterday I was on the Kelvin at the start of the season wondering about the lack of hatches and the good height of water. Well, after work I had a spare hour – literally one hour that I could use to catch a fish. It was overcast and warm and I just knew the water should be in a good condition. I parked the car and peered down a steep embankment and could see it had some dirty color in it however could still see some rocks at the margins.
I got my shit together and promptly fell down the embankment (there has got to be an easier way) As soon as I got to the river I spotted a trout rising..
I worked my way up the edge of the river and almost immediately lost my fly in an overhanging tree branch. This area is about to be targeted by the River Kelvin Angling Association for some tree cutting – nothing major, just some of the biggest overhanging branches. Anyway, I spotted a trout downstream of me right in at the right hand bank..it seemed a nice trout and rose twice as I was getting into position..
I false casted a few times and decided on an experimental drift just to see how close I was to the target – it was a downstream cast so the trick is to try and have your line snaked towards the target so as the fly drifts down the line straightens giving you a drift. The trout took the fly that first cast – it went bananas!
By heck – it was pretty strong, initially I thought it was going to be a monster however it turned out the trout was foul hooked in its side causing the tussle to be out of proportion to the size of trout. It is something to do with the pressure of water as the trout twists and turns.
Anyway – it was a lovely Kelvin trout caught within my timescale of an hour – actually it was around 45 mins..
I was looking forward to tying some flees up at the RKAA fly tying night however lay down at half six and woke up at 5am having totally missed it. As it is I have got to put in some serious effort to get some more tiny CDC n Elks tied up.
Looking forward to my next session already!
Well this book snuck up on Clyde fishers everywhere – it seems to have slipped on the scene without any kind of fanfair at all – I suppose it is a fly tying book so does not get the same treatment as say….Harry Potter but still #grin#
(image is an affiliate link to Amazon)
It is of course out of stock on Amazon already so am sure it will go the way of every other book on the mighty Clyde – totally disappear and become hideously expensive. Seeing as how there is no info on Amazon about what the book actually is I should tell you I believe it is a fly tying book – it details flies for the Clyde and entomology aspects of the river.
Maybe one day I will write one for the Kelvin – “Crisp Packets n’ The Kelvin – an insiders view of the gossip, scandal and inner-workings of an inner city fishing club”
Beer is made from water right?
So finally managed to get some fishing squeezed in amongst the madness of 2nd time fatherhood.
With hindsight maybe I should have chosen a different river, I decided on the Shit Pipe River pretty much because it was far enough away to feel I was on a trip yet close enough to bolt home if things turned nasty the first time the boys were alone with their mother.
I flicked through my phone to see who would be around and decided that I have not fished with Jim Lees from Palewatery nearly half as much as I should have – I have fished with him once back in 2008 and apart from some random meetings on the river bank never again. Jim informed me he was supposed to be renovating his house however after what seemed like a second of weighing up the pros and cons ditched the decorating – top priorities!
With hindsight we should really have chosen another river – usually when you get to a river you judge whether it is fishable by whether it is too high or too low (sometimes), the water clarity and other stuff like that. Weather conditions can be combated on wee rivers, if it is too bright you look for pools in the shade and just work your way up.
Fridays conditions were pretty damn good, it was bright intermittently mixed in with a lot of heavy clouds with a temp that stayed around the the 14 degrees mark (possibly a little higher), there was also lots of insects around: spinners and terrestrials.
So after all that why should we have chosen another river? Because, there was also a very grey color to the water.
Oh there was trout there all right, I managed to winkle a couple out – one was a good one maybe around the quarter of a pound mark (both released without actually touching my hand or getting with a couple of feet of me). The bigger one was sitting in a tiny pocket between some slack and faster water – I cast, cast and cast again covering the same spot – I knew that if I just get the drift right a trout would take the fly.
We also saw some trout rising however considering the conditions you would really expect to have seen some consistent sport considering the conditions.
Still we gave it a good go though – most pools had a cursory fly thrown at it and Jim even stuck on a nymph. However there was still that nagging feeling that we “should” be picking up trout on every pool we really concentrated on – some of the pools just looked unbelievably fishy and there was no real reason why the trout would not take.
If I had been fishing myself the trip would have been ok bordering on mild disappointment that the shit did not come together – as it was we chatted about the rivers we fish, the characters we both mutually know, the current state of pish fishing forums that litter the internet and the headbangers they attract, flies, casting and how a good caster can still be a shite fisher and many other interesting topics (I am a shite caster and a mediocre fisher who can talk a good game which makes up for a lot) – Jim is also a web man so rates highly in my geeky world.
Of course I spotted the usual obligatory burnt out car – looks damn old, maybe from the 80s?
Jim has fished this river a lot more than I have (albeit downstream) and has witnessed the grey color before and stated that it usually puts a death knell on the fishing – we wondered exactly why this might be the case as the visibility in the water was still fairly decent and trout can take flies in pretty murky water. I remember fishing buddy Campbell telling me that the grey color is usually caused by treated sewage which would probably be legal enough to be pumped into the river. I decided on returning home that a call to SEPA may be worthwhile – they told me they had reports of a problem at a sewage plant out that way however they would check it out. They asked if I could be more specific about where the river was white “You don’t get it, the whole river was white – at least a couple of miles worth” They could see how that could have been a problem. Another warning sign that this river may have some kind of underlying problem is the weed growth – there was a lot of it – that stuff was probably feeding on affluent – like I say, I do not call it “shit pipe” river for nothing.
In fact that is another thing that Jim and I spoke of – how overlooked some of these wee rivers can be, only being fished now and again by a few guys. It does not have a club to look after it so problems relating to sewage go unreported. I suppose in a way I am glad that on the day I managed to get some trout fishing done something was causing a problem with the river – it drove home the point that every problem should be reported so that on the days you do get out there are no problems – does that make sense?