Weekly Water Photo – 6 of 52

Here is the next picture in my water photo series – this time of a stretch of the Kelvin …

6 of 52

By heck it looks grim!

Can you see the big black birds? Seemingly they eat lots of fish. They sit up their like big black vultures waiting to swoop down on some unsuspecting prey – what are the chances of trying to get them to eat the crayfish ?

Kelvin AGM 2011 – Outcomes!

So the Kelvin AGM was a lot of fun – if someone had told me a couple of years ago that we would have a strictly no kill policy for trout I would have thought they were havering but there you go. Someone who shall remain nameless who allegedly caught a 3lb brown trout and killed it last year was named and shamed by another member – he also voted in the no kill policy.

There is every possibility that some folk just wandered in out the rain...

As usual the biggest argument was about money – still, the permit price was put up enough to get some bankside work done – get some trees cut down to make casting easier.

Lets see what happens.

Weekly water photo – 5 of 52

So I drove past shit pipe river yesterday – it was in full spate.
Not long to go now before we can catch a trout!
You can see the river between the trees!
Questio: when does a burn become a river? At what point does your attitude change?


River Kelvin Angling Association AGM – this Thursday!

It is that time of year again – the infamous all swearing and general craziness that is the River Kelvin Angling Association AGM.

I wonder what will happen this year? This is only the 2nd time in around 20 years there has been an agenda so lets have a look at it shall we?

Alan Atkins is standing for Chairman

Alistair Stewart and Frank Cook have both served 2 years and are standing for re-election

Unlike Paul Reid who I only met a couple of years ago when he became Secretary I have known Alan for several years. I first met Alan in Dawsholm Park –  Alan was/is an advocate for “Clyde Style” flies and he was a dedicated trout angler – oh how things change.  He is now a dedicated Salmon angler (although I do not hold that against him much) and is a fierce advocate for Salmon fishing on the Kelvin.

Frank Cook I have met a few times and always turns up to meetings, he is a thoughtful chap with some good sound insights. The problems involved trying to get folk to join the committee are legendary – remember the amount of AGM’s when a request was made for people to join and a deathly silence hung in the air as folk looked thoughtfully into the distance? Has it really been two years since the reboot of the Association?

Problem is you have really got to be committed to making improvements – everyone has great ideas about how the association should be run however put them in the driving seat and ask them to do it and then they realise just how difficult it is.

One of the big questions is “How do you get on the Committee?” – it is actually incredibly easy – you volunteer and then someone 2nds you. You then have to turn up to all the meetings and have a shit load of hard work to do – such as counting every leaf in a 4 mile stretch of river.

1000024, 1000025, 1000026 only another few million to go..

Stocking: The Committee proposes that Association do not stock brown trout in the 2011 season, or in any following year unless proposed and voted on by the Association.

Alternatively the members could vote on taking a big bag of money to the top of Queens View and letting it blow away in the wind.

Catch and release for all brown trout: To allow stocks and quality to improve.

It only makes sense – for year’s people have been wondering where all the good trout fishing has gone. It is really quite simple, if you kill a trout it is dead plus the live indigenous trout are fighting mutant trout that have been stuck in with them.

Access: Proposed plan of action (phase 1) for improving access. The Committee are seeking approval for works and agreement on the areas that should be targeted in this initial project.

Unfortunately we cannot attack trees with chainsaws – seemingly landowners and the Council get a bit annoyed at that. Also the fish don’t like it much when all their cover is taken away. Much better to get a qualified professional into do it for you who know what they are doing. It ensures nobody gets sued or their leg chopped off.

Bailiffs: The Committee are proposing that 4 bailiffs should be appointed by the Committee to work on a part time basis. They will receive an honorarium of £5000 per year, paid pro rata on a monthly basis. The honorarium will cover all expenses incurred while monitoring the river and protecting the Associations assets.

Yippee – paid bailiffs (kind of) who we can phone and grass up our poaching, red fish killing, out of season slaughtering brethren. Problem is if it is not voted in then you cannot complain about our poaching, red fish killing, out of season slaughtering brethren.

Permit pricing: The lease from the Crown has increased (from £1000 + VAT, to £2500+ VAT) and the proposals above will increase the operating costs. The Association must agree on the permit price for 2011. If all proposals are accepted the suggested pricing for the 2011 season is: Existing £50, Concession £30, Under 16 £10, New £70

£50 is roughly 14 pints or 8 packs of cigarettes, or 4ish music CD’s or not even a full tank of diesel– when you put it like that it is not exactly a lot of money for salmon fishing. A yearly permit for the Leven is  £114 (the most expensive) and UCAPA is £125 and a day permit is £25 – £35.

£50 is not a high price for a Salmon permit – the vast majority of anglers that I met last year were in favor of a price increase – in fact they requested it. If you pay more for your permit then you and others value the fishing more.

Trout only permit: Only available by post and limited to fly only. Proposed price £30

OoooooH – Controversial! Honest it was not me that thought of this little gem – if it was up to me anyone that fly fshes for trout solely should be given a free permit for life.

Anyway – it is there so I should comment on it. The way things stand just now I would be getting a Salmon ticket as I liked the change of pace last year. However, if this had been 5 years ago there would be no way I would pay £50 for a trout ticket – maybe in a few years once the trout population has recovered but not just now. So, what do you do about guys that want to fish solely for trout as it is mighty unfair to charge them the full fifty bucks– you bring in a trout only ticket. So what stops everyone just buying a trout only ticket and just spinning and worming stating they are “only” fishing for trout – well, you put a major restriction on it forcing the person to solely fish for trout – use a 4 weight fly rod for example.

To be honest though I do not think we will get a lot of trout only anglers until  the catch and release and no stocking on the brownies has been given a chance.

Anyway – I am off – see you all in a couple of days – before I go the Big Man wants a word…

Questions? Want to complain – do it in the comments!

Weekly Water Photo 04 of 52

I was out for a jog this morning and came across this rather brave heron. My route takes me along the canal so it must be fairly used to seeing folk.
Usually when I see them and they see me on the Kelvin we are separated by a good hundred yards or so – this cheeky wee monkey calmly watched me cruise past.


What fly rod for the Kelvin?

One of the questions that folk ask an awful lot is what weight of fly rod you need to use for the Kelvin.

Look - if a 4 weight is good enough for Lord Kelvin...

Have I got to explain it? Ok – essentially the weight of a rod is irrelevant – it is the AFTM rating that you have got to look out for. Secretly fly fishers like to kid on they know what the AFTM rating is – roughly it is to do with the weight of the fly line, or more importantly the first part. You have got to match the rating of the line to the weight of the rod – that is easy enough!

An easy peasy explanation is the bigger the fish the higher the rating – I can hear a thousand angry technical gurus screaming in fury however really it is the most simple explanation I can give.

So – when I fish for monstrous Pike I use my nine weight or my ten weight depending on conditions – this is because I am catching big strong fish and must catch them by using big flies –a higher rating rod and line makes this easier.

You need a big rod for these beasts..

I hear most people use a 7 weigh when fishing at fisheries for Rainbow trout. In big rivers when you are going to catch big trout you will want a rod that is nice and sensitive to cast smaller flies but still have backbone for bigger fish (or to pull your fly out a tree with greater force).

For my own river fishing I have two rods – a 4 weight Orvis Superfine and a Sage SLT 5 weight. I use the 5 weight on bigger rivers like the Clyde and the Tummel and I use the 4 weight on smaller rivers like the Kelvin and …er, other smaller rivers like my shite pipe river.

Orvis 4 weight

However the important thing to remember is that not all 4 and 5 weights are created equal – they all have different “actions” – essentially this means how bendy it is – if it is very bendy it is called being a “slow” rod and if it not very bendy it is called a “fast” rod. For the record if you have a bendy rod you can cast easier as it covers up all your mistakes – both my river rods are medium bendy. I also have a 4 weight bamboo rod that is extremely bendy and will keep on being bendy and wiggling about for ten minutes after I have cast – that is maybe too bendy for some people but sure is a lot of fun when you catch a small fish.

Ok – so we have covered the numbers on the rod and the bendy factor and you can see that with the size of trout you will catch in the Kelvin you want a nice light rod that has enough backbone to handle the occasional pounder – a 4 weight will be ideal. Once you get better at casting you can delve into the world of 3 weights, 2 weights and 1 weight.

So – you want a four weight for the Kelvin although if you were ever only going to buy one rod for all your trout river fishing – for example if you fished a big river like the Clyde every other day then you would be better off with a 5 weight. Although saying that a lot of it is down to personal preference as some days I use my 4 weight on the Clyde yet never use my 5 weight on the Kelvin.

I hope that made some sense.

Questions? Comments?

50 days to go..

That’s it lads – it is now (Monday) 50 days until the start of the trout season. The temps appear to be sitting above freezing now and there is a sun in the sky. In fact today we are getting 8 hours, 6 mins and 28 seconds of daylight.

Conditions are possibly balmy (or possibly barmy)

50 days is what? – a month and a half – that’s like 6 weeks, if you get paid monthly you will probably only get one more pay packet before you can catch a trout again (possibly two). That’s hardly any time at all – ask me how many flies I have tied up?

The quick answer is bugger all – this is because I go to bed at approx half past eight at night due to sleep deprivation caused by number one child (and it doesn’t look as if the sleeping situation will be improving any time soon however more on that at a later date).

Talking of number one child he is two today – two years of fun filled adventure – that is two seasons in “trout talk”

You'll walk the plank fer that, Land-lubber!

I was on the phone to a buddy who is in the same situation as me and he tells me I am missing the “golden time” where the kids and the missus have gone to bed leaving you to do some fishy stuff – he is made of sterner stuff as I crave some shut eye – I am kinda hoping the sleep will be held in reserve for Summer when I can head out for some nice evening sessions when the kids go to bed.

Anyway – what else has been happening – lots of Kelvin anglers are now bricking it as they did not hand in their returns – for the record even if you caught nowt you still need to hand in a return – if you do not then you get classed as a new member and are required to pay a new members fee.

Additionally if the permit prices are put up by the members at the AGM then you will be protected by any new increases to the new member’s fee. All the members who did not send in a catch return received a letter about it which resulted in another couple of hundred catch returns being submitted – sweet action!

Anyway – I am taking the boy for a walk in the morning so will send a few photos from the riverbank – possibly!

Weekly Water Photo 03 of 52

Third week and this time I decided not to wait until the last minute.
I am out and about quite a lot visiting clients and every now and then I stop at wee burns to check em’ out for the fishability factor – this is one of them.
Usually you cannot see this bit of burn due to the trees – I reckon there must be trout in there however how much pressure they get from the surrounding area I do not know – this burn is between a group of high flats!


I need you to vote on something for me!

Do me a favour and vote on “circle of tyrants”  to win a competition to play a gig in a club – it is a simple click no need to register or anything – promise I won’t ask again ….link below


Ta very much!

Weekly Water Photo 02 of 52

Good grief – it is week two already (and the end of the week at that) of my weekly water photo.

I thought this photo was pretty apt as the temperature has now risen and has stayed above freezing for a few days now – in fact the other day I got in my car and it was approaching a  positively balmy 283 Kelvins.

Of course what this temp brings us is the rain…

Weekly Water Photo 02 of 52

On my way home from work the rain was causing lots of flooding in the roads – as I got out my car there were hailstones bouncing off my head – ouch!