Weekly water photo – 9 of 52

The clyde is not all just about trout and salmon – battleships are also given birth on the river.
This picture is not really that far from the entrance to the Kelvin.

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Kids and the Kelvin kicks off!

Cleaning out our rivers and trying to make sure the fish are a happy bunch is quite a selfish act for anglers. We have a vested interest in making sure the river is clean and healthy because we want there to be more fish for us to catch. We also do not like wading through horrible stuff!

But what about the folk that are just interested in the place looking good – they see a  natural resource and simply want it to be healthy – that is correct dear readers there are people out there that do stuff for the river that do not fish – for the River Kelvin we have folk like “Friends of the River Kelvin” , “Friends of Kelvingrove Park” and of course the Kelvin Valley Leader

We also have Willie Yeomans.

Yeomans is the main scientific chap who oversees all the science stuff on pretty much the whole of the Clyde catchment.  He is the main guy who heads up The Clyde River Foundation. The foundation is a registered charity that researches the ecology of the Clyde and its tributaries – it also promotes environmental education.

Yeomans does not fish – yet he still loves brown trout – the difference between him and us is that we use a rod and him and his pals use something that came straight out of Ghostbusters.

Check out that back pack!

Kelvinators will know of Willie Yeomans because  we haul him out at AGM’s to give a talk on river science stuff (not “just to kill time” as some unscrupulous folk state) and he is also doing a river habitat survey of the Kelvin – part of which appeared to be all about getting  the committee and bailiffs together to walk the length of the river to count leaves or something – allegedly we were trying to mark down where all the invasive plants are.

Here he is – gazing into the distance, pondering life and the universe…

A lucky photo - usually he talks so much his mouth blurs!

A lot of people will know of Yeomans because of his “Clyde in the Classroom” project – Clyde in the Classroom aims to encourage children to take an active role in conserving their local river. It introduces pupils to river ecology and biodiversity by utilising the lifecycle of the most common fish species in the Clyde Catchment – that is trout and salmon to us!

Essentially he gets kids to raise fish and then release them into the river – while doing this they learn about what makes rivers tick.

Anyway, Yeomans managed to secure some funding from the very fine folk over at Kelvin Valley Leader (more strange people that do not fish) and this year  he is doing something rather special – it is called Kids and the Kelvin. It is along the same lines as Clyde in the Classroom but on the Kelvin. Talking of funding – funding for the whole project (as well as Clyde in the Classroom) comes from many different streams – angling clubs usually give a donation as well. This year Orvis provided some cash towards the running of the project courtesy of James “if you type his name three times he pops up” Hathway. I don’t want to sound like an Orvis kiss ass or anything however it is stuff like that we anglers should take note of!

What I like to think is Yeomans is doing something a little bit more subtle – he is encouraging these kids to have a vested interest in the Kelvin.

You see,  you have got to ask yourself why you see litter on the banks of our rivers, why you find the river full of shopping trolleys, sofas and washing machines, why some companies feel it is probably easier just to take a hit of a few thousand pounds fine instead of disposing of their waste appropriately – I think it is because somehow people are so unconnected with the natural world around them they think nothing of destroying something in an unthinking moment.

Education and changing people’s attitudes takes a long time – do you remember when people did not wear seat belts in the back of cars? Now you would not think of getting into a car without belting up. People that are spoiling our rivers just now have never been educated on what makes rivers tick and what makes them such amazing places. If these kids are being educated about rivers then in the future when they have got a decision to make about whether they throw a crisp packet,empty bottle, shopping trolley or even release some sewage or chemical into the river they may think back to their school days and realise their actions have real consequences.

I think that is what “Kids and the Kelvin” is really all about.

Of course some people (me for a start) might think the last thing we want is a bunch of agile and keen eyed young people catching our trout from under our noses however we try and put those dark and black thoughts out of our heads.

Anyway – this is why the RKAA is behind Yeomans and Kids and the Kelvin – if you want to see attitudes changing towards our natural resources you have got to start them young.

I am looking forward to seeing how it pans out this year – I never did anything fun like that at my school, I hope I will be enjoying projects like this through my son when he starts school.

It is 16 days until the Trout Season starts and there is a distinct smell of Spring in the air – Diver Dave has informed me my waders are now repaired (so no early season wet crotch), the mighty Paul Young was in contact to tell me he has used Diver Dave and was impressed with the results .

Ya Beauty!

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly water photo – 8 of 52

To be fair I was hanging off a bridge trying to take this photo so mucho apologies for it being a bit squint!
Top bananas to anyone who can tell me where this is?

~hint~ it is on the Kelvin.

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Did you know SEPA have a new river level data site?

Most anglers in Scotland have used Sepa’s pretty good river level site in the past and I reckon more folk will be using it even more in the future.

There is a full update of the changes to the site here.

For us on the Kelvin there are now three monitoring stations – the lowest down being Killermont and also one on the Allander at Milngavie.

Kelvin at Killermont

SEPA River Level Site

Of course it is not just the Kelvin – it covers most rivers in the UK so you can see what has been happening with a river you may be travelling to.

How often do you guys use this?

Happy Birthday Mate!

We miss ya buddy!

Urban Fly Fisher Kicks Ass!

Hello new and old readers – the spring appears to be springing (although we could have -15 temps back any moment).

Just thought I would make a boring old post about housekeeping – don’t panic, do not run away you might actually hear something interesting and possibly slightly controversial – I know there are some folk that wonder what this blog is really all about so I suppose I had better explain it to new folk and remind some of the oldsters.

Essentially this blog started more years ago than I care to remember due to extreme boredom during my summer holiday from university – it had been raining and I could not fish the Kelvin. I had been toying with starting some kind of diary and consequently I dreamt up the fun name of “Urban Fly Fishing On the Kelvin” It was the first fly fishing truly dedicated blog on the internet – I should know as I hunted long and hard to find another one so I would not feel lonely. Of course now fly fishing blogs litter the internet and it was nice for a while there when folk got in contact with me to say I inspired them to start their own – of course the buggers then went on to outdo me on design and coolness but I don’t hold grudges (that is a total lie I hold grudges for years – if you ever meet me in real life ask be about the bus driver I set a voodoo curse upon)

So “Urban Fly Fishing on the Kelvin”was a simple diary of fishing trips which then over time became a sometimes social commentary of fishing in Glasgow as well as heckler of the association that held the fishing rights of the Kelvin. I then changed the name to “Urban Fly Fisher” (should fly and fisher be all one word I never know?) as I learnt to drive and could travel to other rivers. During this time I opened the Urban Fly Fisher Forum and gained a stalker – interesting times all round.

Anyway – posts these days are made up of social observations, posts about fly fishing trips, reviews of gear, weekly water photos, pictures of “things” named after the mighty River Kelvin (we call it Kelvinography) and whatever else takes my fancy, for example why I think the brand Hardy particularly sucks.

Something that has always puzzled me is the fact UK brands shy away totally from the internet – they point blank refuse to have much to do with trying to promote there products on blogs. This is in total contrast with US bloggers who are accepted by the big brand names and whose opinion are sought when testing products.

UK brands appear to have no faith in their own products – they worry that after a few months it will fall apart and we will complain about it. Airflo for example have a policy not to provide products directly to bloggers – I know this because I asked them for a fleece to review a while ago (I only ask for gear I am going to use) and their Product/Marketing Director Tim Hughes wrote back  stating “…we don’t generally send items out for review on blogs.” I would have suggested Airflo needed a new Product/Marketing Director that understands how internet marketing works however I reckon I may have ended up with a sore face. Nope – they would still rather send their gear out for reviews to magazines where they are buying huge tracks of adverting space which in turn is keeping the mags afloat – the mag is hardly going to give a poor review and risk losing the advert revenue is it?

Folk in the fishing world that do understand the value of the internet are few and far between – considering the number of fly fishing shops shutting down and magazine sales plummeting you would think manufacturers would be cottoning on to this fact and looking to the future however they appear to be sitting on their asse

However , there are good companies that have cottoned on to how the internet works – one of which is Orvis. They are the most canny out the lot – they have a slick website (have you guys checked out Orvis News), they have a most excellent podcast and customer service that frankly leaves our UK manufacturers looking like a bunch of chumps. It is whispered that if you  write the Orvis PR Contact’s name three times he pops up to ask how the fishing is: James Hathaway…..

As a direct opposite of Orvis has anyone tried to use Greys “unlimited” warranty? You end up giving them the cost of the part you have broke as a “handling fee”

As you can see folk do not like sending me stuff – because I tell them if it sucks I am going to say it is sucks. Which is probably why you only ever see positive reviews on this site – only the manufacturer who stands 100% behind his product is willing to send it out to someone blindly on the understanding they have absolutely no power over what is written.

Of course sometimes the manufacturers do actually try and embrace this new fangled internet thingy and start blogs – however they then get totally mixed up on what a blog is and call each post “a blog”. For the record a blog is an online ongoing thing and a post is an entry in the thing – jeesh, it aint that difficult – there are sites that help you to sort it out – Sometimes it is like watching your Dad trying to disco dance!

One of the only times I felt humbled by a manufacturer was when I was sent my Jvice – jeepers that guy played me – he knew I was going to love it, he knew his product was the best vice out there – that vice was made with skill and dare I say it quite a bit of man love too.

More than a little manly love went into this bad boy!

Anyway – now that I have thoroughly pissed off most of the UK manufacturers I should really tell you all to please support our UK fly fishing magazines – the problem with the amazing internet is that it is difficult to read it when you are on the toilet – sure sometimes I read stuff on my smartphone however sometimes you just want an honest to goodness mag to read. So please, if more people bought Fly Fishing and Fly Tying, Trout Fisherman etc they would not have to rely on the advertising poppy.

In a couple of days I am going to show you how sex sells fishing gear and how one company have finally taken things too far – watch this space.

#smile#

So there you have it – a rough and dirty history of Urban Fly Fisher with a hint of what has yet to come – one future might be “Urban Dad Who Used to Go Fishing But Now Just Gets Sent Free Stuff and STILL Complains About It” however I am betting the ten minutes a week it takes to drag my fingers across my keyboard to compile something that keeps my loyal band of  readers (all eight of you)) happy will also ensure I receive absolute bugger all attention in the mainstream media ever again – other than possibly this:

It is now 22 days  until the trout season opens – I fear that Trout Madness may be setting in!

A man can dream cant he?

Diver Dave’s Wader Repairs!

It is 22 days until the brown trout season opens – I am hoping to get out after Pike fairly soon however I have a bit of a problem – my waders have a bit of an evil leak in them. Not a horrific leak or anything but certainly a couple of creepers – one is right at my crotch as well so it means that any sneaky sessions after work will be hard to explain away.

So I was looking at the price of new waders in the Sportfish catalogue that thumped through my letterbox the other day. I nearly chocked on my porridge – how much for a pair of waders? For the price of a pair of these waders I could put my car through its MOT and probably get some new brake pads (possibly)

And remember the chances of these waders actually lasting a long time are somewhere between slim and slimmer – by a long time I mean more than a couple of seasons of serious fishing. Sure my old Vision Endurance lasted a while however those bad boys had seen more aquasure than…..well someone that likes sticky stuff:

And that was just the start..

After mending my old ones at the crotch I then managed to fall over a barbed wire fence ripping big gashes down both legs – I mended them as well.

Eventually I acquired a new pair of Scierra’s from the Glasgow Angling Centre – a trade for some advertising and they have been with me for a couple of seasons – however like I say they have been leaking – I just cannot face going at them with a torch and some Aquasure – I just know it will be the beginning of the end.

However, I then learned of a certain Diver Dan who is fixing problems with waders before they even start sometimes:

For the last few years I have been repairing anglers waders. For many years I was a diver, running my own business. A large part of the business was dry suit repair, as they are very expensive and only last about 5-10 years.

However like most anglers I found myself replacing my waders every second season.

I decided to attempt to pressure test the wader’s using the same technique as I used for dry suits, and then to repair them to dive suit standards. I got a loan of all my friends waders, most of which had a leak or two and pressure tested them using compressed air. I found that they all leaked in the same places, and that the problem was always the manufacturing technique, they were simply not made to last, the seams, particularly in the crotch and feet being the common leak points. I then compared the seams of dive suits and waders and found that the taping was very poor, however this was an easy fix.

Diver Dave also has an absolute classic tag line – No one has a patch on us!

Seemingly some folk send their new waders to him to have them sealed properly to ensure they do not actually start leaking.

To cut a long story short I wrapped up my waders in a bag last week – first of all it was a white bag however someone in work told me it looked like a huge big maggot and it gave them the creeps so I swapped it for a black bag which looked less creepy however will now probably get lost in the black hole that is Royal mail.

I will keep you updated on their progress!



24ish days until the season opens – buy this book as well!

Ok – so you bought the book I suggested yesterday – you will be reading up on all the insects you will probably meet by the river so you will actually have some kind of idea what fly to put on – but what about the times you do not actually see any insect activity at all – the answer my friends is in this book which I also have a rather subtle affiliate image to:

oooOOOH – he looks aggressive all right – crouched over like some kind of pantomime villain – A bit  like Pale Watery who likes to kid on he is all tiny flies  and insect life instead of giant Wooly Buggers made out of tortured sheep for the smell (only kidding Jim)

Anyway – it is a good book – I do actually have these books by the way – I don’t just pick books on Amazon and then try and punt them to you – this is why I keep on recommending the same book a few times, its because every year I get them out again usually at this time of the year.

Enjoy!

25 days until the season opens – buy this book!

Seriously, if there is one book you are thinking of buying then buy this one – until next week when I tell you to buy another one.

(The image is an affiliate link to Amazon)

Essentially the book breaks down the UK hatches into Spring, Summer and Autumn detailing what artificial flies you can use to cover all possible insects – the aptly named “Dirty Dozen”.

I like this book as it is easy to read and reminds me of what the insects are when I find them on my hands. Plus it gives you extra brownie points when you tell your fellow fly fisherman the Latin name for insects.

suavis.

Weekly water photo 7 of 52

I have no idea what the name is of this wee burn – I don’t even think it has ever been fished – in a serious way anyway!
It really is a nice wee urban burn!

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