On the kelvin just now .. it is a lovely height but is a little brown .. anyone joining me?
On the kelvin just now .. it is a lovely height but is a little brown .. anyone joining me?
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Family time by the Loch – strictly no fishing!
Ok – I have totally lost my way with my weekly pictures due to shitty non fishing stuff sucking up my time however I will provide a crazy three in one post and then another two later in the week which should bring me back on track.
For those that do not know I am providing a tenuous fishing photo each week that may or may not have anything at all to do with fishing.
The club assisted Willie Yeomans (he is the one leaning on the fence with a faraway look) of the Clyde River Foundation in doing a river walk to identify areas that had succumb to invasive species of plants along the banks of the Kelvin.
28/52 is of Mr. Burns checking out the plants…
29/52 has nothing to do with invasive plants – the boy managed to lock himself in a car the other day – while my mother in law lost the plot I took photos until the spare key arrived.
All heart I am #grin#
You can see more tenuous fishing photos here
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Flies too big eh? It still managed to catch him a trout – oh yes!
You know – I actually feel a caption competition coming on
Anyhoo – meanwhile the Italian stallion was busy hoovering up trout in the bushes..
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?
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 !
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Of course there was no getting away from the inevitable car parts!
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.
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.
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)
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…
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:
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.
Ok – stuff I have gleaned about the Kelvin:
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”
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.