Happy Christmas/Winterfest (whatever)

An average xmas night out of a Kelvinator!

I would like to wish all my readers are truly Urban Merry Christmas – or Winterfest or whatever it is people are calling this time of year – actually – looking back this is the first year I have called it Christmas for quite some time – must be something about having children.

Anyway, have a lovely time and I will see you guys on the other side!


Tenuous fishing photos 51/52

The view from my office ….
Only one left!


Winter solstice … over the hump!

That’s it folks – we are over the hump.

From now on the days are longer and we are heading towards spring – seeing as how it feels like yesterday we were fishing for the trout with dry flies I am hoping that spring will zoom upon us equally as fast !


Grayling – sub zero.(inc Tenuous fishing photos 50/52)

Ok – even though I have caught grayling in the past it has been totally by accident, usually when I am on the Clyde fishing for trout I pick one or two up. I have only ever been proper grayling fishing once before and conditions were poor – not only was it cold it was also a howling gale – not that they mind the cold much.

Anyway – I decided it was time to go proper winter grayling fishing so had to get suitably attired so that I would not moan about the cold all day (something I am aware I am notorious for – as well as coming down with blinding migraines) – so I was prepared with: three pairs of socks, two pairs of thermal long johns, two thermal vests, two t-shirts, a polar buff, a wind proof jacket and my fishing jacket and waders – of course this was all topped off with a classy hat stolen from the wife.

The cold is somehow still getting to my wang!

As it was I did not get to put on my actual fishing gear as the river was bloody frozen!

My pal Campbell told me he had once caught 30 in the one day , my pal Allan told me they average a pound and a half – therefore I was expecting to catch thirty fish averaging a pound and a half – no such luck in these conditions.

Sunlight - as strong as a ....something weak - like a little bird - a finch!

The drive to the river was a mixture of highs and lows – really quite literally – at one point we were happy that the temp was minus 4, we then got a bit down as it plummeted to minus 13, we were then elated when it reached a rather balmy minus one just before we got to the river only for it to plummet back down to minus 13 again to ensure that the river was absolutely full of groo (thats floating ice to non anglers)  making throwing bugs around pretty difficult – Campbell assured us his bugs would smash through the ice however seemingly the Grayling do not fancy the cold much. Additionally at these temps not only does your reel seize up your bug also transforms into an ice cube which are notoriously hard to get a fish to keep in its mouth unless it is chilling with a Gin!


Additionally in the half hour we walked along the river bank Campbell’s beard turned white with the cold while Allan informed us he could not now feel his face meant actually being in the water for any length of time ensured freezing cold nuts (I had a packet of KP Jumbo Salt & Pepper Flavour Peanuts in my pocket for energy if the going got tough)

"I can't feel my face"

The river was only a few steps away from actually being a glacier – not that it was not the most prettiest sight of the winter – I mean it was pretty damn impressive – we could actually hear the ice moving in the water..

One step away from actually being a Glacier...

There was quite a lot of mist rising from the water – if you used your imagination it looked as if the water was actually lovely and warm and inviting – a bit like a hot tub – you could just strip off and jump into the lovely warm water – certain death would probably ensue however I did say it was supposed to be in your imagination.

Jumping in "seems" like a good idea...

Maybe some folk would have actually dived in (figuratively) and had a cast however we decided to get our asses back to the fishing hut before bolting back up the road – even the cat seemed surprised we were out..

You guys are pretty mad!

Anyway, it was not all bad news – it meant I was forced to get my JVice out and tie some flies – it was great and now it is out I have decided it will stay out for the remainder of the “tying season” – not only have I bugs to tie up but also a brand new selection of dry flies for next year – judging by the amount of trout fishing I did this year by my reckoning next year I should need at least a dozen – not of each pattern – a dozen full stop #smile#

Oh – for this week you can take your pick of any of the pictures above for the 50th tenuous fishing photo – they are all on a shaky hook.

Any of you guys doing any fishing at the moment?

Let me know in the comments!

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-12-19

  • GOing after grayling tomorrow – I have a long way to go as starting from nowt – easy simple ties anyone? http://twitpic.com/3h0kj6 #
  • I have been told I need bugs that sink like a stone ! Mine I fear will not get down quick enough! #
  • Another great post from someone that tried normal once …
    http://bit.ly/g0yapq #

Tenuous fishing photos 49/52

I did not get to fish half the places I wanted to this season!


Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-12-12

  • Fishing buddy Alex spent the night in his car – seen him on the news this morning ! #
  • LOok – everyone else is worrying about getting to work and he is us a mountain – typical ! http://bit.ly/dJjImN #
  • Stranded Scots forced to deep fry each other http://bit.ly/hFNRNY #

Christmas is coming…an idea to slash the possibility of dodgy fishing presents!

It is December and we are now well on the way to Christmas! This leaves us as anglers a problem – well meaning relatives that attempt to buy us something to do with our hobby however actually buy us something pretty crap.

People that know me know I loathe a spendthrift – which is pretty much why I dislike the way Christmas has become a time when money spent is a substitute for love – you spend more money you love the person more. I just don’t think that is right!

Dont get me wrong – this is not about being against spending lots of cash on presents – this is more about money being spent on thoroughly useless items that end up in the bin.

Let me tell you a story that I bore just about everyone with – a  few years ago we had a Secret Santa scheme in my work – I am in a team all of whom are women, it has always been this way throughout my working life due to the nature of my proffesion. Anyway, a “secret santa” is when you pick a name out of a hat and you buy the person a present.  The first year my newly formed team did this someone had the bright idea of having a “bad taste” theme. This then meant for almost three years a pile of shite was bought that ended up in the bin – the year when the budget was raised to ten quid was the final straw – I received a comedy novelty tie that sang a Christmas tune – in other words utter junk!

So I put my foot down – I told my team it was a waste of money and I would rather give someone I did not know the ten pounds as opposed to buying junk – some people laughed at my moaning but nobody laughed at Christmas the next year when everyone was sitting at their desks with nice gifts – heck even a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates gives you about a 1000 times more enjoyment than a musical bloody novelty comedy tie.

By the way I am the sole bloke in a team of women!

Anyhoo – last year someone bought me some rather funky neoprene fishing gloves – the fingers even fold down so you can tie knots!Now that my friends is a good fishing gift.

I then took the same stance with family members – this was after receiving the same “how to fish” book three years in a row – FROM THE SAME PERSON!

The answer was easy – I created an amazon wish list – the premise is simple – you create a list of stuff you want – send a link out to all your family and they buy you the booty – they are given the option of either sending the stuff straight to your door or to them to wrap up to give to you!

So basically you add the odd book, cd and stuff you might actually want to the list – family then choose a book or cd and you are happy on Christmas day instead of sitting looking forlornly at some weird greatest  hits cd.

So that is pretty much how I cut down on folk wasting there cash unless someone buys me socks, underwear,smelly shower stuff or work shirts – that gear is standard man shit that every true man accepts – no man has enough socks or shower gel! The other good thing bout Amazon is that they sell other stuff as well – not just books and CDs.

And that my friends is how you approach it – create the list and then get the word out there that you have it – maybe get the wife to tell folk or something!

Here is mine if any of you are inclined to buy me anything for Christmas or jut want a nosey at the gear I fancy:

Alistairs Wishlist

I will tell you something – one of the things on my list is one of these funky Kelvin multi tools:

Every Urban Fly Fisher needs one of those bad boys!

Or um….for the folk that absolutely loathe the cold – my hand goes up as I have been known to moan for an entire day about how cold my feet are:

Oh man – they look the biz!

No more musical ties for this Urban Fly Fisher!

I am stuck in the snow!

Right now I am stuck in the snow!


Update: It took me around 4 hours to get home from work.

Check it out – a Kelvin Job!

Willie Yeomans (the River Clyde Scientist who is obsessed with Crayfish and who thinks I need to start jogging) posted in the forum about a new post that has arisen for someone who would like to become a “Kelvin Catchment Trainee”

Job title – Natural Communities Trainee: Kelvin River Catchment . Based in Glasgow.

Natural Communities is an innovative new programme providing 12 month long programmes to equip trainees with the skills to engage communities with the environment.
The Kelvin Catchment Trainee will be based with the Clyde River Foundation and will assist with increasing community awareness of and participation in river management. The project will focus around developing a new Kelvin Catchment Forum, delivering an education programme to primary schools and developing riverfly monitoring within the Kelvin catchment. During the placement you will be supported to learn and put into practice a wide range of natural heritage and community development skills, work towards gaining an accredited qualification and develop and deliver your own community environmental engagement project.

• You will need to have a basic knowledge of natural history and a commitment to conservation. Experience of the natural sciences and/or a demonstrable interest in river ecology will be an advantage, as will some experience of working with the public. You will be highly motivated and able to work efficiently without supervision. This role requires excellent communication and organisational skills and an aptitude for enthusing others to value, enjoy and protect our natural heritage.

The post is temporary for 12 months

Terrifying – in other words you will be thrown to the lions at fishing club AGM’s to be ripped apart like a zebra at the watering hole.

Only kidding – in all honesty if I did not have a job (and I was younger without a family and with a gigantic mortgage) that already sucked out my soul when you consider the amount of hours I have left to be near flowing water I might actually have went for it.

As it is I can only stick my oar in and hope that someone who actually deserves the job gets it  – speaking of which I have a request for Yeomans ..

Interview Panels need all stakeholders!