A Troutastic Day Out!

I had a day on the big river on Sunday – my pal Emanuele was up from Hull for a long weekend and we arranged to meet up for a day’s fishing – we used to fish this place regularly a few years ago.

The day was overcast and warm – at least warm enough for some insect activity, it was also showery and a bit windy. The river was at a good height and a nice tinge of color – perfect conditions if the truth be told.

A wee troot!

I arrived early at 0830 and started fishing – I missed a few trout due to either being too fast or too slow and decided to fish with the duo (a nymph suspended under a dry fly) I finally started to pick up tout and had a half dozen in the space of an hour – on the whole a great start – no big trout however usual Clyde tout with lots of spots.

They got bigger...

Emanuale arrived with his pal David so we got stuck in to dry flies – I walked down river to give them a bit of space and started to pick up trout fairly consistently on dries – the drag was pretty hard going and it took a while for the mental calculations you usually take for granted to kick back into action however soon I had pretty much worked it out.

A lovely side pocket...

I caught well over a dozen trout – the average was maybe half a pound with the biggest maybe ¾ of a pound that took me on a merry dance around a small pool and then downstream into some fast water – what complicated matters was the fact I had managed to decide not to bring a net – nice one!

A Beefcake..

Later in the afternoon I received a phone call from fishing buddy (and kindred spirit with young son the same age as my own) Campbell who was out for a drive with his boy – he came down to the river to join us  – he had a few casts with my rod and caught a trout – he then had the cheek to insist that the flies I was using were too big and that I should use some of his microscopic bits of fluff – Emanuele is over there I was going to tell him (Emanuele loves teeny flies) however resisted.

Watch that back cast....

Flies too big eh? It still managed to catch him a trout – oh yes!

Oh don't worry I got both you and the trout in the photo - the expression on your face is fine - you look happy (that will teach ya for slagging of my gigantor comparaduns)

You know – I actually feel a caption competition coming on :-)

Anyhoo – meanwhile the Italian stallion was busy hoovering up trout in the bushes..

The Micro King..

All in all it was a great days fishing – it was a long day – fishing from 0830 – 1630 with hardly a stop – I think I may have caught more trout in that one day than I have in the last year combined – fishing life used to be like this – almost every other trip was like this – these days travel time eats into the few hours free that I have to get out and catch trout- family life comes to us all eh?

#Grin”

A Nice Frog...

Oh Aye – on my way back to the car I ran into this wee chap – just chilling and taking in the view – he looked absolutely perfect !

Throwing metal in a ditch..

If there is an opposite from my last post this is it – the contrasts between catching lovely wee trout on a burn and attempting to catch an Atlantic Salmon on the Kelvin are two extremes.

What is that in the box? FOR THE LOVE OF GOD MY EYES!!!!!

Our intention (last night) was to fish the City stretches for Salmon as it has been pelting down all day – I promise the intention was to use the fly rod however with Salmon fishing it seems there are some times when the fly will just not fish – usually when the river is a muddy mess – it just so happens that when the river is a muddy mess (to me as a trout angler I would not even look in its direction out of respect when it is like that) that is when the Salmon are in it and running.

The best you could do is try and spear the fish with your fly rod!

Anyway – the city stretch was out of action do we headed up river – way up river to the infamous …… in fact, you know – I would not tell everyone where trout spots are so I think it would be a bit unfair to tell people where Salmon spots are.

""ang on - I will just try and get a cast in he...aaaAAAAAAAAGRH!"

Needless to say we went up river – needless to say this is hardly a pretty place – sure you are kinda in the country (barely) however the river is crossed with pylons and you are fishing on very high banks which plunge down to the depths fairly quickly. And Oh God the grass and mud – you wear felt soles up here at your peril – this is welly boot country and even then you are taking your life in your hands. Going down the infamous “slide of death” was bad – going back up it was worse. The Slide of Death is a muddy slide ending in a metal board crossing a ditch – terrifying. We heard some laughter as the night wore on as some guys traversed it – “obviously a fallen comrade” Atkins mused.

The Slide of Death

To get down to the river there are some nice muddy slippy slides – of course I was paranoid that I would just keep on slipping and dive headfirst into the river. It is for souls hardier than I am – up at this place the worm is king – lots of Salmon get caught on the worm up here and I do not mean by your static ledgering guys – these are guys that keep on the move trotting their worms down the river, bumping them along the bottom – it is actually a skilful way of fishing. I notice that there is a new fashion on the Kelvin with the worm fishers – they now all have wee man bags for their worms – a plastic container is kept at their waist by way of a string around their neck.

Atkins and Alex - soon to be carrying wee plastic moss filled containers..

There were over a dozen guys fishing – we seen a few fish – Atkins witnessed one over 10lb and I cast my pink “Flying C” fruitlessly at a patch of water where I had seen a big swirl (twice).

It was in here - honest guvner!

Anyway – we could only last for a few hours of this and headed home – it was still raining as we left.

I am sure I will give it another bash at some point – when trout fishing is out the window.

Trout at Last..

All this sea fishing and Salmon fishing has been fun – I am expecting a few more sessions like that before the season is gone. I may well go after Salmon again this week with both the dreaded spinning rod and the fly rod however today I needed to do what I love most – catch trout on the dry fly.

Small Stream Calling...

It feels like ages it really does – I had some nice late night sessions on the Kelvin around a month ago however the drought then really hit us and it made fishing pretty difficult. It has now been a good old fashioned Scottish summer (raining) for over a week now and the rivers are replenished with fresh water and oxygen – the only problem is we have a little too much water to contend with – the Kelvin is out of action for trout as it is running a bit too high for them and the Clyde is just a tad too far away to check at short notice.

Anyhoo – today I had a few hours spare between finishing work and home time so decided to hit a wee burn I know within a half hour of the city – it was a bit of a gamble as it has been raining overnight and there was every possibility it was going to be a muddy mess – turned out it was just perfect.

Tricky Casting

It is a peaty wee burn and it was full to the brim – any higher and it would have been impossible to fish however I could see on the rocks how high it had been and how much water had actually ran off it.

Perfect..

This was not easy fishing – and not for the fainthearted – crawling over huge boulders and gingerly nudging into pools only to find them damn near bottomless – trying to get across the stream with a very powerful pressure shifting your feet – absolutely fantastic fun.

A fair bit of water was still coming down...

Oh yea – the fishing – it was pretty shit hot actually – I did not notice any flies on the water however some upwings were generally buzzing about the place – I did not even bother trying to identify them I just stuck on a usual deer hair comparadun and went for it. When that got lost in a tree I tied on a deer hair emerger and it seemed to do the job the fish were not choosey.

Fat and dark - just the way I like em'

What made life difficult was the casting – the stream is deep in its own wee private valley criss crossed with trees – trees that eat flies and make overhead casting impossible so it was a case of roll casting my way up the stream.  I think I have now located my favorite tippet material – for ages now I have been using Fly Rite Inc Dilly Wax on all my dry flies as a dubbing wax – I then use it as a floatant on the fly when I am fishing – this magical stuff can also be used on your leader to help it float although to be honest I do not bother. It turns out that Fly Rite Inc also make tippet material – and oh boy if I liked there Dilly Wax I now love their tippet material – it is lovely and limp – I was using some 6x Suppleized mono and I was mightily impressed with its strength and the way it did not kink at all.

Dark Peaty Water = dark fish

A deep gully....

The picture above is where I caught around half a dozen of the trout – you can see the riffle at the top of the pool where all the trout enjoyed hanging out – there was around 4 inlets of water into the one big pool so dealing with the drag was a nice challenge – they posed a few problems – every now and then I would notice another trout rise in the faster water – I would then target it until I managed the drift correctly.

Even here of all places...

Of course there was no getting away from the inevitable car parts!

Going back...

Every time I see one of these lovely wee trout I wonder how people manage to kill them – I mean sure out of sheer ceremony a wild trout every now and again is lovely however why do people insist on killing wild trout every time they go fishing.

Another view...

I was using my Orvis Superfine today however I kinda wished I had taken my bamboo with me – still then it would not have been a spur of the moment session.

Fisherman’s Stories (morphing misinformation into factoids)

This is a post about how stories can grow arm and legs and eventually morph out of all known facts into a completely different scenario. It is akin to someone telling another angler they caught a trout on a dry fly and then eventually the story ending up as being they were attacked by a herd of wild donkeys under the control of the evil committee.

The Kelvin has a great angling community, There are lots of very good dedicated anglers – lovely guys, salt of the earth n’ all that.

The river is made up of three types of anglers – dedicated Trout anglers (who occasionally have a bash at Salmon), dedicated Salmon anglers (who sometimes fish for trout until the runs of Salmon arrive) and the chuck it and chance it anglers who fish with no dedicated method and are happy to catch any fish at all. I have got to say the chuck it and chance it anglers are on the decline due to the clamp down on set lining. They either go elsewhere or slip into the other two camps and become better anglers for it.

What unites them all is their capacity to gossip like a group of women at the Bingo.

Stories about catches, rule breaking, and devious plots by the committee all get banded around by everyone – people add on other wee bits they heard until eventually usually story fades away into obscurity or becomes legend.

I wonder if all rivers have the same focus and attention as the Kelvin though – I mean I have ran this blog for ….good grief around 7 years now and it has grown from just a few visitors a day to several hundred. Plus the Kelvin forum is frequented by a nice bunch of guys – I set that up as I get quite a lot of emails from people asking for advice (as if I know what the hell I am talking about) so thought a dedicated place for a bit of peer support would be useful.

I have heard a few things about myself – a few years ago I was attacked and had all my gear stolen off me (not true – I have never even been threatened other than by email). I have had several huge trout from the Kelvin (not true sadly) and I only ever catch tiny trout (kinda true – I just love em’). I have also heard I am a sullen bastard who refuses to tell anyone spots that I fish – kinda true.

A new one reached my ears the other day – I take it you guys read my post about my stupendous blank salmon fishing on Saturday morning. Well, we never even see a fish and did not see anyone catch a fish – what we did see was a few anglers fishing for salmon and Atkins told someone they could not set line – I never said a word as I was on another planet mentally – shell shocked at carrying a spinning rod (the amount of stick I have been getting for that is unbelievable by the way).

Anyway – the story goes that not only did we witness three salmon being caught but we advised the angler who only had a single tag to take all three fish – breaking three of the association rules: one salmon per day and all killed salmon tagged (or was that 2 rules just 4 times)

Even Lord Kelvin hears gossip!

This story was recounted to the association secretary on one of his jaunts to the river – there is still some confusion about dates etc as he thought it was last week they were talking about and he knew for a fact I was not fishing as I blanked the clean up day due to a kids party and I thought he was talking about that Saturday just there. However the facts remain – seemingly this is what I did.

Additionally – someone telephoned the association this highly important piece of gossip even though they did not even meet us that day.

There are a few problems with this – most guys know who I am on the river even if I do not introduce myself (which I don’t do anyway as I am a shy bugger) and can you imagine the amount of stick I would take if I ever did condone someone breaking the rules – after all the preaching I do about trout conservation? – there would probably be ski masks, shovels and shallow graves behind the Art Galleries involved.

Wry smiles all round…

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-07-11

  • River has risen .. I might look out the metal work and have a cast for salmon! #
  • Planning a dawn raid on the kelvin for sea beasts! #
  • Up at half four – dawn raid for salmon! #

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Salmon trip – dawn raid (outcome blank)

It is Saturday evening at around 10pm – it is pouring with rain, like really teaming it down – cats and dog’s rain – if you are reading this in Glasgow and you have not looked out the window it is pissing it doon by the way.

I am talking about the rain for two reasons:

  1. It has not rained like this in around 4 months meaning the trout fishing will improve as the Kelvin has had a good flush (some people unkindly say like a toilet)
  2. I went Salmon fishing today and rain plays a big part in Salmon fishing – for a start it actually brings the fish into the river.

Before I am heckled by people telling me I know nothing about Salmon fishing (and the Salmon in the Kelvin) let me state the caveat that I know nothing about Salmon fishing on the Kelvin – the only info I have gleaned is through chats with people who do fish the Kelvin for Salmon and people that Catch lots of Salmon on other rivers.

Who Knows #shrug#

Ok – stuff I have gleaned about the Kelvin:

  1. A lot of people fish the worm on the Kelvin and consequently it is known as a worming river.
  2. Not many guys catch Salmon on the Kelvin with flies – pretty much nobody knows the holding pools in the middle of the river that they rest in – or whether they just bolt upstream missing out lots of water.

So this morning I decided to join Atkins in an early morning dawn raid for Salmon – my alarm was set for 0430 as I was being picked up at 0500. Atkins meanwhile decided not to set an alarm and instead use my phone call at 0515 to find out where the hell he was as a fishing prompt.

The river was at a good height and was clearing very nicely – we started with fly rods and later moved onto metalwork – metal work meaning spinning rods and “Flying Condoms”

Any moment now.....

It was good – I enjoyed it – we were doing something a little different – we had identified a few pools that were lovely fly water and covered as much as we could – we had never seen anyone else use the fly on these pools – we knew that one person has caught a salmon on a worm from one of the pools so we just have to keep plugging away until finally we hit it right. It was obviously not today as we caught bugger all at those few pools – it could need more water it might have to be clearer – who knows!

They could be in any nook and cranny!

It could have been any country river – not a soul around and absolutely beautiful – only the smell of diesel from the petrol pool gave the game away.

This could be any country river!

After a while I got the thirst – I wanted to catch my first Salmon so we headed to where everyone heads to on the Kelvin when they want to catch a Salmon – we went to the Sea Pool – this is a pool just below the first proper weir on the river. Needles to say a lot of guys fish it.

They use this Alien Gear!!

When we got there two guys were fishing and another couple turned up. When we left another couple of guys were arriving  – it must get busy.

It was like fishing on another world – huge heavy stones littered the river bed – you had to traverse some pretty big slabs and the water was in chutes and then long deep channels. I had seen this part of the river when it has been in spate – huge amounts of water flood down here – I suppose that is why the stones are so big – all the wee ones have been swept away.

You might not see me in this picture - I have a new camo jacket on!

In the end we never touched a fish – or seen one for that matter – we have heard stories of lots of Salmon in the river from reliable sources however they were obviously somewhere else – or possibly right in front of us – I suppose that is the funny thing about Salmon fishing.

If I am going to make a prediction it might be that like a lot of people I might have my first Kelvin Salmon on a Flying C or even a Toby (I had better actually buy some extra terminal tackle as I reckon people are getting annoyed at me borrowing their non fly gear – and then promptly attaching it to the river bed)

Anyway – as I was writing this I suddenly realised that the burns I fish will now be full of water and fishing well – should I forget the Salmon next week and go after trout or actually just keep on at the Salmon.

Decisions, decisions!

We have changed conditions!

I have fished twice over the last week – one was on Saturday evening (before all the rain) and the other was on Tuesday evening just as the rain started.

Both sessions were what I can only describe as “pish” – I am glad that you guys do not just come here to read about huge trout being caught and fantastic flies being tied as if that was the case I would probably post around once a…..well not often anyway.

Saturday’s session was just before this turn in the weather – I arrived at the river and found it dead low with some flies on the water however no trout making any kind of show. This is my usual wee spot however I doubt I will be back as for some reason all the trout appear to have scampered off somewhere else. It is like that on the Kelvin – you will find a pool that will fish very well for a season or two and then suddenly you will never see another fish in it again for another few seasons – I have spoke to a few Kelvin fishers about this and we think it has something to do with the floods moving the river bed around. To get to this spot you have to manoeuvre yourself down an embankment made up of stones, earth and bricks – I was just thinking about local angler Derek and his rather tragic accident (he jumped over a wall resulting in a smashed heel, broken shin and a broken arm – then the wall fell on top of him) when the brick I was standing on gave way causing me to fall downwards about 3 feet on to my back – glad I had a lucky escape – even my waders were not damaged.

Anyway – the session was poor – caught a couple of micro broonies (you can tell brownies from parr as brownies have spots on their gills) and that was about it. And then the rains came on Sunday – the river rose well over a metre and then plummeted back down again. I went out after work on Tuesday with Atkins – it looked great conditions – overcast, a slight breeze, warm – once we started casting it started to pour down with rain – only a passing shower – said Atkins – yes – only problem was it was around 2 hours long.

A passing shower my arse!

I eventually caught another micro trout on a nymph.

While we were fishing we heard a chap from the forum had caught a Salmon up at the park closer to the city. Sadly we also heard that three Salmon had been caught on the Monday evening and left the river without being tagged. Damn shame that guys cannot abide to rules that they themselves voted in – the reason the rule with the tags came into force is to conserve stocks so that you can catch more salmon in the future – essentially if this is true what these guys have done is try and ruin the salmon fishing for every other angler on the river.

Looks like more rain over the next few days – looking forward to it!

Tenuous Fishing Photos 26/52

We are well past the half way point of my weekly tenuous fishing photos – this week we have a weather photo.

Lets go fly a kite....

It has been months now without rain –  the golfers are having a good summer although even they are saying the greens are starting to look a bit brown.

This hot dry weather is pretty bad for fishing – what the wind signified yesterday was that a change was in the air – the wind was blowing the rain towards us (I like to think f it as that however it is a lot more complicated)

So I woke up this morning and thought about what photo to post – the rain or the wind – the wind one obviously.

By the way – I went out for a trout session last night and it was terrible – all I caught were micro trout.

You can see more tenuous fishing photos here

Saturday Sea Fishing – Man Shit!

A family barbeque was scheduled however I had other plans arranged – awesome man shit was required. And why the man shit? – because fishing in the Sea is all about big rods and smelly bait (and also checking your nuts for ticks but that comes later).

Block was applied - of the sun variety.

Also I have never been sea fishing before which usually brings people out in incredulous wonder how I have managed to get this far into my life without casting with anger into the salty stuff – sure I have fished the estuary for Sea Trout and caught Mackerel too but not the chuck it and chance it affair that is proper sea fishing – you know casting out with baits and drinking beer, not knowing what strange beast may take hold of your smelly worm – probably what 80% of the anglers do on the Kelvin actually – being beside a river that is a few meters wide does not stop people using beachcasters on the Kelvin.

Alex with "Big Bertha"

Anyway – it was a 0700 start so of course Alex and I stopped in to pick up Allan last (he had slept in) – we were then off to the Mull of Galloway. It was a baking hot day although there was a fresh wind at the first mark with a very short smattering of rain.

We stopped off to buy bait – good grief – £6 for a bunch of worms – plus they caught us bugger all which was annoying – in the end it was the sand eels that done the job bait wise – yes, sand eels with their guts hanging out – yummy!

We fished at two “marks” (that is what Sea Anglers call fishing spots – what we might call beats) the first was merely treacherous to try and get to with sheer drops into the water below and the 2nd involved a walk along what I can only describe as a mountain goats path with a sheer drop on one side and tick infested plants on the other – in one hand I carried my rod and in my other a cool bag with some sausages and some smelly bait – I pretended not to be terrified and did not look down.

Certain Death - half a foot left!

Certain Death - half a foot left!

Alex and Allan both and two spinning rods and I had one with my fly rod. I cast out my spinning rod with a ledgered  sand eel and watched Alex cast “Big Bertha”  – his huge beachcaster.

Big Bertha in Action...

It was Alex that caught the first fish – a Pollack while spinning – by this point I had my BROMANoDELL’s Esox Lucius 9ft #9/10 Fly Rod – a Pike fly rod that I cunningly modified for the sea by giving it a wash afterwards – casting was a piece of pee – the wind helped  a fair bit and I was damn near putting out the full fly line (I was using a sinker) and out of the blue caught a wee Pollack – listen – it was small right but the significance was pretty big – my first proper sea fishy (other than mackerel) caught on the fly – a quick photo and then the beast was sent back to the depths.

May be small however it was an honest to goodness sea beast caught on the fly!

Of course Alex and Allan then caught two beasts on their spinners…

Bloody Show Off!

….and of course Allan…

Not caught on powerbait!

– at that point I should have changed to the spinner however I just persevered with the fly until eventually the action stopped – we wandered off our rock and drove to our second mark – the one at the bottom of a sheer cliff – lovely – however by mimicking a mountain goat I got there.

Plenty of action!

2nd mark was all about doggy style – after all we were having a day of Man Shit so doggy style was inevitable – at this mark all we caught was dog fish – Allan appeared to be attracting the hounds with their funny blinking eyes and weird noises – when I finally caught one I felt an appropriate ridiculous photo was called for – so I stuck out my tongue – I regret it now as it does not show the gravitas of the moment.

Serious Stuff!

I am also sporting some rather nifty polaroids from….well – Polaroid which I have been told make me look like a gimp – however they were very comfy and the lenses I was using got a very firm thumbs up.

Constant doggy action...

We had a very manly barbeque involving burnt sausages and wanted to stick a mackerel on it however none showed up – we also drank beer – all was right with life.

Rod Bending Things!

Would I do it again?

Damn right I would actually  - it was great fun – even though the dog fish were a bit pesky it was still something totally different – I have still to catch a bigger pollock an also a multitude of other strange beasts – I mean when you cast at a rising fish you know it either going to be a trout or a grayling – when sea fishing it could be any number of strange creatures.

Casting into the abyss!

Looking forward to next time already.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-06-27

  • never too young to hold a rod ..http://twitgoo.com/14lkww #
  • First day back at work after a fortnight break ! #
  • On my way home from a sea fishing trip … lots of doggy action ! We all love a bit of doggy! #

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