Busy, busy and more busy..

Busy is an understatement – with both family life and fishing.

I have been enjoying looking with wonder at the small things in  nature through my sons eyes – we have spotted lots of young frogs over the last week and we always stop to examine them before carefully sending them on their way..

Fun with frogs...

I think since the last time I wrote I have been fishing a few times and caught a fair number of trout – had a few trips to the Kelvin and a trip to the Clyde – all were fun.

My most recent trip to the Kelvin was during a lull in the rain of the last couple of weeks – I had planned to fish my “shit pipe” river however my wife wanted me to stick around the Kelvingrove Park in case she needed a lift – I was happy to oblige. The “Shit Pipe” river is a little stream I found that is criss crossed with lots of pipes – considering the amount of raw sewage that goes into the stream the name stuck..

Now that I have done my part for the Kelvin habitat survey and pinpointed areas that have problems with invasive plants I now find some of them imposing and alien in the way they tower over me at the river bank..

Can you spot the odd one out?

The day was overcast and warm – the grass was wet and it was very “close”.

In fact I am going to leave that session and tell you about a wee incident that happened last week – it just popped into my mind. I hit the Kelvin one evening as conditions seemed damn near perfect and after a few casts looked up the river to see a crowd of folk in the bushes – one of them had a backpack – a bit like the one out of Ghostbusters. Anyway – it turned out it was none other than Willie Yeomans ( Scientist and all round fish boffin) out giving a talk to a  group of people  from some horticultural society (I think). The person with the Ghostbuster back pack was in fact electrofishing and catching all manner of tiny fish while Willie was giving the talk and showing what they were finding – Willie introduced me and the group of people all smiled a hello – I felt like a commoner at a banquet.

There was one problem – the electrofishers were having a problem getting a trout – I made a joke that I could have caught two in that time..

Da Da Da Da Da Dad - Ghostbusters!!!

I wandered up to the Sanitary Towel pool as I wanted to actually get some fishing done and approximately two casts later I had a nice trout for Willie to show the group. I was chuffed about that – it is not often the God’s of chance smile on you however it seems to happen a lot in the Kelvin – must be something in the water.

Anyhoo – I fished on Sunday for a few hours and caught maybe a half dozen trout – there were a few stocked trout mixed in with them – you can tell they are stocked trout as they look absolutely stunning – fin perfect with lovely big spots, they tend to swim about innocently before finally getting a bit panicky at the last minute – not like the crazy indigenous Kelvin trout that instantly go bananas and look quite frankly a little bit f*cked.

A little bit f*cked?

I fished on and caught a nice stocky at the Half Penny Bridge – a women took my photo from the bridge – sometimes I feel like a piece of meat beside the river – if sex was personified it would be an angler stuffed into a pair of leaking chest waders carrying a fly rod – he would be wearing a green hat the sex god that he is.

Long steady pools...

Look at the picture above – it will be a familiar site to many – to those of you that do not know Glasgow understand that there are many people walking along the banks on each side of the river and within a few hundred yards there is the busy West End of Glasgow. As I fished I heard many gasps – “look there is someone fishing down there” As usual as it was a busy day I spoke to many people who wanted to know if the river was clean enough for fish to live in.

Tree Pool

I am actually amazed that some people can sit in their office blocks and watch guys catching Salmon in the pool directly below them.

I was planning on a trip to my “Shit Pipe” river tomorrow night however I am reminded that my other half is working so that must be scrubbed – I past by it today and it was running with its usual weird tinge – I watched a trout rise and tried to tell a female co worker why a trout was so special – I think she believed me.

I never met another angler the whole day on Sunday – I felt as if I had a private beat all to myself – nobody wants to fish for trout now that the Salmon are in the river – I find this both a shame and uplifting – a shame that some anglers see them as 2nd class citizens in some way and uplifting as it means they are not being targeted and harmed.

I have watched over the last few years as trout have been shunted into a corner as just something to pass the time while the runs of Salmon are waited for – I have met  anglers that are happy to kill trout without any thought to guys that might actually enjoy catching them a couple of times. I have watched the same old situation that develops on every river in Scotland that has runs of Salmon – plain old Salmon snobbery. Snobbery towards guys that are just old fashioned and want to catch a trout of any size – I have said it before and will say it again I am happy to catch a 6inch trout and will proudly post a picture of it as I am to show a 12 inch trout.

I think the humble trout is the most beautiful little fish in the world – if someone truly “got it” with trout they would never try and deceive such an innocent creature with a worm or glittering bit of metal again – they would stick to some fur tied to a tiny hook that does actually roughly look like its normal everyday food.

I keep hearing about this snobbery of guys fishing with fly rods and I do not understand it – if anyone should feel marginalised on the Kelvin it should be the guys that fly fish for trout – I mean there are only about a dozen of us!

I do not think it is snobbery – I think it is wonder at why people don’t look at trout in the same way.

But hey – I don’t wanna be preachy – I don’t have to tell you guys my views – do I?

On the kelvin …

On the kelvin just now .. it is a lovely height but is a little brown .. anyone joining me?


Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-08-08

  • Hunting invasive plants on the kelvin today … we have maps! #
  • Groups walked the length of the kelvin system identifying invasive species http://twitgoo.com/1fgryd #
  • It would have been easier marking where we found none! http://twitgoo.com/1fgs21 #
  • Having a picnic at loch Lomond!http://twitgoo.com/1gm4qo #
  • We have a huge flying ant hatch ! They are even in my garden …. pretty much all over the city! #

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Having a picnic at loch Lomond!

Family time by the Loch – strictly no fishing!


Tenuous Fishing Photos 27,28,29/52

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.

We split into pairs and walked a section marking down Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan Balsam and Giant Hogweed.

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

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?


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.


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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