Kids and the Kelvin – its lookin’ Grrrrrrrrrrreat!

I thought I would check in to see how the Kids and the Kelvin project is doing over at there site.

Quite frankly I think it looks great fun – he has somehow managed to convince the Teachers that keeping a hatchery in the classroom and then releasing the fish into feeder streams is a good idea. In fact it is a great idea – I want to know why I was never allowed to do stuff like that when I was at school – at school for me it was all SRA (do you remember that?) and 50 lines for gazing out the window thinking of fish.

I think I have mentioned this before however it is worth pointing it out again. Willie Yeomans and his crazy kids team are educating lots of kids around the Kelvin catchment area about the river and how good it is..

Yeomans showing off some dirty water...

Here he is about to drive these school kids into the river to do a bit of his science work.

He jumps in - the water jumps out!

I wish there was something like that I could do – hang on, there is – it is called the Angler’s Monitoring Initiative for the River Kelvin. Remember I used to go on about the hatch chart for the river well here is a step towards it and we urgently need volunteers.

The AMI was set up in 2007 by the Riverfly Partnership and has been adopted by a growing number of angling associations and local groups across Scotland. The idea is that once some anglers get some riverfly ID training, they can then apply a simple monitoring technique to record the presence (or absence) of 8 invertebrate groups. This is good for 3 main reasons:

– Flags up issues with water quality and alerting the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) to carry out further investigation

– Acts as a deterrent to incidental polluters

– Generates long term biological data for our river that can be used to monitor change

We will be having a meeting pretty soon to sort out who wants to help coordinate the Kelvin AMI and carry out monitoring work. Anyone who wants to undertake the monitoring work will take part in a one-day workshop probably sometime in mid-October. Monitoring involves getting some sampling kit (net, tray etc) and then identifying the invertebrates from a river bed sample. This process would be carried out frequently but flexibly throughout the year at the same sites to help build up a picture of the river health. It is not a massive time commitment, so if you would like to find out more, and get clued up on riverflies then come along to the meeting. As soon as I know the date I will post it here and on the Fishkelvin site.

Will let you know soon.

Like real soon.

Possibly in the next few days.


Now that’s good fishing…

You know – I may just have had one of the best holidays in a long time, it was a great mixture of family fun (own plus the in-laws) at Center Parcs and some unexpected big trout action on the Eden with Matt from the North Country Angler blog.

Before my holiday I had made some posts on a fly forum about spots to fish and was given some advice by Matt about public beats – however getting away was proving difficult due to tight timescales and it was only another chance message to Matt which allowed us to meet up. I can honestly say that on every holiday I pack my fishing gear and make some plans however I hardly ever get around to actually getting some fishing done – there is something about the Lake District though (or at least being near it) that makes things so much easier. Additionally being able to get a 24 hour rod licence online without any trips to a post office was great – it would have been just my luck to get caught without one.

A random picture of my bag and net! (you would think it looks kinda arty until you find out the reason it is sitting there in a heap is because I had to pee!

As Matt and I shook hands I was half expecting sparks to fly or a lightning bolt to strike the ground as we have both been keeping out respective blogs going for quite frankly fucking ages! However it was grins all round and then a quick dash to where we were going to fish.

Matt has already written up a rather lovely and generous account of our evening  together and I want you to go over there and read it just now and then come back here for me to fill in the blanks.

I would like to draw your attention to this little gem:

“Alistair was duly rewarded for his excellent casting and presentation with a cracking brownie of 2lb 5oz..”

Thankfully he did not follow this up with an account of my second trout of the evening:

“After spotting a rise the size of a thimble in the pocket water for Alistair he proceeded to catch his fly in a tree twice and then the top section of his rod fell off – when he could get his fly in the water it was by sheer luck the trout took”

Picture courtesy of Matt - he obviously used an extra sexy filter!

Before all the trout catching action actually started I had already missed a couple of trout and caught a nice Grayling. In fact the first trout sipped down my fly and I was away in a world of my own watching the fly drift along like a wee boat before realising I should strike and finding nothing there. “The big ones often do that” mused Matt – I fished on. The next rising trout ignored my fly again until I changed to a smaller cdc fly – I drifted over a tiny rise in a shallow pocket of water (again spotted by Matt), the trout took, I struck, there was an enormous displacement of water and the trout was gone – I said the F word and Matt very nonchalantly and unfaltering commented how big the fish are in the river.

I was amazed – if had not actually caught anything else after this I would still have been happy that I had escaped from Center Parcs for the evening.

North Country Angler playing a huge fish - but what is it?

I remember having a chat with  The Suburban Bushwacker  about folk actually finding it interesting when bloggers get together to find out what their impressions are of them. So what are my impressions of North Country Angler? Put it this way – this is a guy that pretty much sacrificed his own evening of fishing so that I could catch some fish – he is bound by the same time constraints as I am family wise yet still managed to wangle an evening fishing with only a couple of days notice – after all that he lugged around an absolutely enormous camera and took pictures of me fishing as well as hero shots – now that is what I call a thoroughly decent chap.

Bah! not ANOTHER 2lb Grayling!!!

Additionally he has one of the best sayings I have ever heard – let me explain. Your fishing session can be split up into various times – there is the wading around, the gazing at the water looking for trout, the chat if you are with a pal and the actual act of fishing when you are actively trying to catch a trout. After my second trout (the one when my fly got caught in the tree and my rod tip fell off) he said it again – the phrase was “That’s good fishing” , and you know something it was bloody good fishing, the best in a long time if truth be told. Matt was worried about the curse – you know, when your home river looks like a muddy ditch and the trout show a particularly high level of belligerency for visiting anglers – he did not have to be worried in the least!

You always learn when you fish and I learned a valuable lesson from Matt – I need to get back to my roots of spotting fish as well as taking a bit of time reflecting on my trips – that is after all the reason I started this blog.

As I looked at the final quote on Matt’s  blog it really struck a cord with me – in fact I think it will strike a chord with every family man out there:

“don’t get me wrong here, I accept  – and am very grateful – that I still get out plenty……’s relative – I used to get out a lot!”

I will be back if Matt will have me – below you can look at around a dozen pics that were taken on the evening – the best ones are Matt’s.

Now that my friends is good fishing!



Decision: Pike or Trout?

So I had one evening to go fishing and consequently a decision to make – would it be Pike or Trout?

It was the conditions that made me wonder – you see I pretty much can only get out after 7pm once the boys are put to bed which pretty drastically cuts down on fishing time if driving any distance. The night before I had fished the Kelvin for Salmon (with a spinning rod) so wanted some proper fly action. I studied the weather and noticed a very definite divide in conditions – if I traveled to the Clyde the temp would be be around the 12 degrees mark with an east wind and if I traveled up to the big loch it would be warmish and muggy. The big loch won and Alex picked me up just after seven.

The cloud cover keeps the heat in...

Let me tell you right now that even with a hundred or so casts I managed to blank – I spooked a Pike however none of the critters wanted to play with me. Alex on the other hand managed to hook three of the brutes and land two of them – one of which was his personal best.

I have a habit of taking pictures of folks personal bests...

Still, it is not all about catching – no seriously – it was a gorgeous evening,  not too warm and not cold, overcast and a flat calm.

Muggy, Warm, the Sun...

The clouds were huge in the sky – that might seem weird however if you are a cloud watcher you know what I mean – there did not seem to be just one single big cloud, more hundreds of massive clouds that made you feel small under them. I was using my new evening Polaroids with rather nifty yellow lenses – I am always amazed when I wear polaroids that actually seem to brighten the place up. They did the job well although the fancy side shields were not needed as they was no side sun to bother us.

"Look Serious"

 “Look Serious” I instructed the fishing buddy as he played his croc – “make the beast jump” and “try and get it to swim past me and I can take its picture underwater”

The crocs showed him who was boss though...

There is always something a bit of intimidating about big Pike when you have not handled them in a while – when you have a fly lodged in a Pike’s mouth and the creature is coming towards you and you just know that you are gonna have to pick it up and get that fly out you can get a little anxious – only with the first couple  though and then once you know that your fingers are not going to get scraped when you hold it correctly and you have the proper tools to get the fly out your confidence comes back….

It's mouth is the same size as your fist...

We did not see a lot of crashing Pike – at dusk there was two Pike that crashed into its prey – Alex managed to catch his however mine never came back.

Seeing as how I was catching no fish I took pictures of my rod…

We seek em' there...

It was a great evening anyway, there is something relaxing about being up to your waist in water and casting to likely spots – it improves your accuracy as you are trying to get your fly right next to the weeds. It is funny that, as after a while pretty much every cast can be as accurate as you want it – often the fly lands within an inch of the weeds without too much thought.

Within inches of the weed.....

It is Saturday morning just now – I am wondering if the Kelvin has cleared at all for an other evening trouting?

Looking at the SEPA water level site I think maybe it will be ok..

Looking good?

Lets see if I can score some brownie points eh!

On the Kelvin just now…


Having a go for salmon!

Weekly Water Photo….er 25, 26 and 27

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.

Glue for my waders - 25

Also I finally got around to putting all the bits of my Kelvin permit together – is this a shaky one?

Kelvin Permit - 26

And finally…

The Kelvin - 27

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!

I had forgotten…

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.

Challenge Accepted!

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!.

Looking Good!

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.

Th etrout was just next to that bit of wood - it was a tricky downstream cast!

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.

A nice one!

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).

At least people cannot see you from the riverbank!


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.

Narrow Bend before darkness...

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.

Nifty bit of juggling camera work there...

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.

Photos never do trout justice...

Eventually the trout stopped feeding and I wandered up the river to the car.

All in all it was a great session!

Sunday evening – heading to some old spots on the Kelvin…

I decided to visit some of my older haunts on the river for a nostalgic trip down memory lane

Maybe see you there!

Anglers Book of the Clyde on Ebay

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!

It was on my doorstep all along!

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.

Not what you want to see....

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.

Dusk is always nice....

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.

Paul had forgotten his torch for later...

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..

Some colour..

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 seemed a nice trout and rose twice as I was getting into position..

It was right at the margins under the trees!

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..

A nice Kelvin trout..

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!


Anglers Book of the Clyde?

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”

Worth £25?

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