Autumn – there is no escape!

I went for a walk along the Kelvin today and was pretty shocked by two things.

Firstly, it is bloody Autumn – sure I knew it was on the way however I appear to have missed the actual start of it – one moment I was looking out a pair of shorts for what we laughingly call Summer and suddenly I am looking out my long johns for the Pike.

Got to admit though – the lack of leaves mean you can see every wee nook and cranny – lovely little pools and riffles I doubt get fished.

Lovely pocket water

Lovely pocket water

In that white water there will be nice trout – I have actually fished in that spot – I ended up getting stuck at the bottom of a ditch – such is the life of an urban fly fisher.

I wandered on to Dawsholm Park -past the petrol pool, the smell was particularly strong today – I think I am going to report it again – I spoke to a chap from Sepa about it when I met him a while ago – he said he would investigate however I never found out the outcome.

The second thing that shocked me was in that over the space of a couple of miles I only came across one angler – I spotted him from behind a tree…

"On yersel Big Man"

"On yersel Big Man"

I gave him a nod and a wave however he looked at me with a “piss off” glance – a look I am particularly good at in the busier sections of the river.

There was even noone at the infamous spots along the Maryhill stretch.  One of the last Saturdays of the season and there is very few guys on the river – saying that though there was probably over a thousand guys set lining in the Science park.

1001 Posts – Its a boring one!

The trout season is over –that was a bit quick – I feel I have only been out a half dozen times (obviously a bit more) and I certainly have not fished a lot of my usual haunts on the Clyde. It was fun sticking closer to home – The Kelvin and the other wee rivers that I found. One of the reasons I decided to give up being an office bearer for the Kelvin (note: one of the reasons) is that I found myself attending meetings on evenings where I could actually be fishing – with the young one my fishing time is now precious.

I have been reading a few books over the last month or so and these have been whetting my appetite for next year when with a bit of luck things may be slightly less chaotic – I still have to attack the Pike this year – possibly this weekend I will be armed and dangerous going after the beasts.

The books::

How do you guys with kids manage your fishing/wanting to be with your child/family commitments ? I know one fishing buddy who takes his 8 month old in a special rucksack –  I fall over waaaaay too much for those kind of shenanigans.

Glasgow Angling Centre Open Day – Key of the Door Celebrations

Another weekend of fun is to be had at the Glasgow Angling Centre open day

stars

Paul Young – the only mortal to make a fishing programme that everyone actually likes will be cruising around giving autographs and buying pints (maybe not the buying pints bit however he will not blank you unlike John Wilson)

Not on the list of stars is Steve Cooper who provides some of the best fly tying materials known to man. His demonstrations I have heard are great (I am hoping he will come to the Milngavie Fly Tyers for a demo at some point).

Glasgow Angling Centre – Happy Birthday!

Urban Fly Fisher Competition

Seeing as how stuff got all a bit serious there I thought we could run a humorous competition – a caption competition no less. Extra marks go to people that actually photoshop the picture – winner gets 10 of my enormous flies. Open to everyone feel free to leave any comments in the usual place or if you are a member of the forum chip in on the post – you can email the picture to competition@urbanflyfisher.com

Usual urban rules apply – it will take absolutely ages to get the prize.

You create the caption

You create the caption

Let’s run it for a month.

It is not about fecking rod rests!

(PreambleThe River Kelvin Angling Association Secretary (Paul Reid) has resigned – this started with Paul wanting anglers to cease set lining and using rod rests on the river. This was seen (I think) as a fly versus other methods vendetta (even though Paul is a metal flinging barbarian) and caused a great deal of bad feeling amongst the club members – pretty much all the ones that were busy set lining and using rod rests.  Paul then got on with the job of being a fantastic secretary – attending meetings and dealing with the voluntary job in a very professional manner – he lined up many opportunities and everyone agreed that in a few years the club and river would be in a much better condition than it is now – he then walked the river with the police – something that has been done on many other rivers- it then gets all a bit complicated – this caused problems as they actually met very few anglers, only guys out drinking with outstanding warrants.  Paul was then hunted like a fox by groups of guys out with dogs was then told not to go near the river as some chaps wanted to have a chat about their grievances – he then went back out with the police. To cut a long story short he resigned as he had no other option – when a bailiff says “are you going to feed my kids if I get killed?” it makes you question your position somewhat – for some more sordid details and info please go to the thread on the forum. I suppose it is only fair to tell you at this point I too have resigned my position as an office bearer thus ensuring the conjecture about my on again/off again relationship with the association )

It is not about the fecking rod rests!

A young boy – maybe 14 – goes to the river during his summer holidays with a fishing rod and a can of worms – sticks worm on hook and then lobs it into the Kelvin – he catches a small trout and maybe a parr – he is so exited that the parr dies and he kills the trout to show it off (it was deeply hooked as he was not holding his rod). A passion is then born whereby the boy grows up still loving the excitement of catching fish however decides that he only wants to actually kill selected fish – he understands that he wants to get better at catching fish and learn a bit more about how to go about it – he then goes one of three ways:

1. He takes up fly fishing and enjoys catching trout of any size (possibly salmon too if his wallet is big enough) – kills some, returns some. There is a learning curve which ensures his accidental kill rate goes  dramatically down and his productivity goes up.

2. He goes to the dark side and starts to fish for salmon with spinners (occasionally the fly) – he may also fish the worm – he will find he will catch a lot more salmon with a moving bait and will probably find he catches the odd trout as well – due to the bait being moving and the fact he strikes when he feels the take the trout more often than not will be hooked in the mouth – if it is a good trout he will return it or possibly kill it. Like learning to fly fish there is a learning curve involved – productivity goes up – accidentally killed fish goes down.

3. He may not learn anything new – he may continue to fish the way he has always done – tossing out a worm (or a maggot) and prop his rod on a rod rest or stick (or quite often a bush). As the years go by the area that he fishes becomes bare of grass and litter starts to build as others see it as a “good spot”. In truth he has caught some good fish from the pool – trout like worms – and lives in hope of another one coming along – he watches his rod tip for takes – unfortunately by the time you see the rod tip moving the trout, salmon, parr, eel (as to be honest you cannot target fish with this method) will probably have taken the bait so far down the throat that actually removing it will be impossible without killing the fish – maybe not today however sometime soon. Productivity does not change – accidentally killed fish stays the same.

So the main problem is:

It kills em'

It kills em'

I do not want to start an argument about who is a better fisher – however with all this talk about “The War Against Rod Rests” I thought it might be important to point out why the majority of anglers find it distasteful when they see guys sitting with a few rods pointing at the river – it is not because they do not want the guys to enjoy fishing – it is because they know that accidentally killed fish will be the result. There are times that some fish need to be returned – undersized fish (dare I say beautiful fish) and illegal fish – because yes catching a Salmon when it is in spawning colours or when it is a kelt is illegal – they taste like shit as well. Using the option 3 way of fishing does not allow these fish to be returned.

When I meet some young guys who are just out for a fish and a laugh, maybe even the odd bottle of buckie – and to be honest I count anyone under the age of forty – I smile as maybe, just maybe a spark might be ignited that will lead them on to a path whereby they want to learn more about how to fish and maybe they do not want to kill as many of the returnable fish that are the future of our river systems.

What I do not understand are guys that continually fish this way for years and years – and continually defend a way of fishing that others look on as being bad for the fish. Sure these guys are in the minority however they are also the guys that shout the loudest when there are changes that have to be made – they also try and justify their actions by saying they can fish this way as it is not a rule on a permit. A law does not have to be written on the permit – it is written on a legal paper and these pants:

It is Illegal

It is Illegal

Just in case noone believes the pants – over on the Scottish Parliament web site they are pretty explicit about it:

The definition of rod and line as given in the 1951 Act is “single rod and line with such bait or lure as is lawful at the passing of this Act and, in the case of fishing for salmon in an area to which and at a time during which regulations made under section 8 of the Salmon Act 1986 apply, is not specified in such regulations in respect of that area and time.” This causes practical difficulties for coarse anglers. The prohibition of the use of set lines, which was first enacted in the Fisheries (Scotland) Act 1860, was retained by the 1951 Act. Common practices in angling for coarse fish include ‘ledgering’, where a bait or baits are fished using a weighted line, the rod being set on a rod rest. It can be usual for coarse anglers to set several lines when fishing for coarse fish. The courts have determined that laying down a rod and leaving it supported on a rock or stone constitutes fishing with a set line. This would apply equally to the use of a rod rest. Thus, anyone who fishes for coarse fish in Scotland using accepted methods for that branch of the sport runs the risk of being charged with fishing illegally.

So basically – it is not about the rod rest as such – the law came into being as it kills bloody fish – the fish that we want to catch next year and the year after that.

Anyway, I have no idea what happens next – I just want to go fishing!

Good job I found my lucky hat!

A mornings Piking produced one fish, a sodden crotch and a broken rod – good job I found my lucky hat or there could have been some serious casualties that’s all I can say.

Lucky Hat = Happy Face

Lucky Hat = Happy Face

I wanted to be at the water before the hint of dawn however fishing buddy was not made of the same stern stuff – “just tell yer women that sometimes you need to do man shit at man times of the day” was the advice I gave – turned out he just likes his bed and he could go anytime he wanted – which with hindsight probably worked out just as well anyway.

The loch was a good bit higher than expected  meaning our flies were getting caught in weed every other cast – we had to miss out our usual spot as a couple of guys were dominating it with around a dozen rods- the cost of batteries for their bite indicators must be scandalous!

We had to wade a bit deeper than normal!

We had to wade a bit deeper than normal!

There was little wind, the water was clear and it looked set to be a sunny day – we had a little cloud cover every now and again – I did not see any correlation between the cloud cover and when we seen Pike feeding – we would start to see lots of  nervous water and pike crashing into prey every half hour or so and then it would all go quiet.

Working my way down a shoreline I swayed slightly, I swayed back, I slipped a bit and then realised I was going to get wet (this is ironic as just a few mins before I was marvelling at how cosy and warm I was in my chest waders and fleecy jumper) I had to put one hand out to steady myself – straight down -it was now totally sodden right up to my armpit which then allowed some water to enter the forbidden zone over the top of my waders. I stood up – I  felt the icy hand of doom dripping down my chest, slowly creeping over my stomach (Stop! Stop! I silently screamed) invading my crotch before advancing down each trouser leg to then freeze my toes – sure it was not a lot of water however still enough to chaff when I walked – instead of moaning about it decided to carry on fishing – which is just as well really as I caught a nice Pike…

Not in control of the moment..

Not in control of the moment..

The beast shot off like a steam train ripping out line – at no point did I really feel in control of the fish – I would try and get the fish on the reel and it would go for another run pulling the loose line out my hands – trying to keep some tension on the beast at these times was problematic. Eventually the creature was tamed and in my hand for unhooking and a quick photo opportunity.

Note: Lucky Hat

Note: Lucky Hat

Fishing buddy waited until the beast was freed before showing me his broken rod – I commiserated and then we continued fishing sharing the one rod – the pike were not playing ball – we seen plenty of them – one in particular we watched coming towards us for about fifty yards its actual head out the water with its mouth open – it looked like one of those basking sharks sooking up plankton from the surface – it was not impressed with my fly anyway – we seen it again a little later doing the same thing – very strange. We managed to spook lots of pike by lining them and even through some poppers over the weed beds all to no avail. We used the usual streamers..

Streamerzzz

Streamerzzz

Every now and then we would see an enormous splash and then try and cast for whatever might have been there – at one point I saw a pike that looked like it had a back the length of a horse – of course now I realise I was just being silly – the pike probably just took a horse from the surface.

See if you can cast to the beast while I hold the bat!

See if you can cast to the beast while I hold the bat!

Fishing buddy had a follow – it is not as easy this year as it was last year – in fact it is bloody hard – all the rain we have had has messed around with the beasts and changed the layout of the venue – still good fun though!

Urgent:Lost Lucky Hat – Huge Reward*!!

I have looked everywhere – in my car, in all my fishing bags, behind my fishing books, under my bed etc. – some of you even got a text message – That is right – it is the news of the year week moment – I have lost my lucky green fishing hat.

Lost Hat - look closely!

Lost Hat - look closely!

You see this is no mere piece of cloth (with a plastic bit as a visor) bought in an outdoor shop several years ago – this is a Lucky Hat – when I go fishing without it I feel decidedly unlucky – for a start I trip over shit due to being dazzled by the sun.  Due to it being green I also feel as if I blend into nature – unlike my stand in Orvis hat which is cream and feels like I am wearing a lighthouse on my head. I have worn this hat for pretty much all my fishing – it had a nice sweatband that stopped sweat dripping down on to my nose…

Attracts Nature

Attracts Nature

…and it smelled just nice too – it was is comfy like no other and has been through thick and thin with me – it has even been up mountains  with me..

It is not up there - I looked!

It is not up there - I looked!

I remember thinking it was in my car however a thorough hunt has turned up doodle squat.

You may have noticed I love my hat – sure I could break a new one in with time (not the cream orvis one) however I would need to wear it like …non stop…to get it anywhere near the level of luckiness my original green hat gave me.

I think I am obsessed  – do you guys have a lucky hat?

*Reward may not involve actual financial gain – more like eternal gratitude and possibly a few flies.

Belter of a Session!

While all you suckers were out working last week I took the day off and ended up with a mid week belter of a session on the Clyde – overcast and warm conditions (the river was also a little high and coloured) meant I caught around 2 dozen trout on the dry fly between 1000 and 1500.

Lovely Clyde Trout

Lovely Clyde Trout

All my trout came to comparaduns with only a few disasters.

Disasters:

1. My tippet went bad in my pocket and was totally ruined.

2. I realised that the hook had snapped just below the tail of my fly (took a half hour to work that little gem out)

3. I forgot my net (not good when a nice trout is going bananas in the pool in front of you)

4. I jammed my foot in a rock and could not get it out (ok, yes eventually I did)

5. I have lost my lucky hat so have to wear my light coloured Orvis one (it is too bright and feels like a beacon on my head on hot days.

Mid Summer

Mid Summer

The hidden disaster of course is that we are now on the home stretch towards Autumn and the close season – Mid Summer is the year in the prime of its life – Autumn  old age and the inevitable long cold sleep of Winter.

Lovely Trout

Lovely Trout

The trout above was the average – around the half pound mark  – It was just one of those days that I could do no wrong – if I seen a trout rise (and there was not many) it would take my fly as long as my presentation was fine. Like I say sure I seen the odd trout rise however most of my trout were caught purely speculating – so I would look at a riffle and reckon a trout would be sitting in their somewhere (fancy people call this reading the water) and then cast – more often than not my judgement would be correct.

Pocket Water

Pocket Water

It did not mater if it was long pools or pocket water – all the trout were fair game.

I did see flies on the water – there was no matching the hatch or more accurately matching the size – during the course of the day I went through three flies – only because the first hook broke and the 2nd became so waterlogged that it was become difficult to float.

The could have been taking this!

The could have been taking this!

I suspect they were Small Dark Olives however I am happy to be corrected – I know you guys know more about this than I do!

The Trout Kept Coming!

The Trout Kept Coming!

Their was several trout nudging past the pound point – taking pictures of the bigger trout was difficult due to lack of net!

All the trout fought like demons on fire – jumping out the water and trying to dive under rocks and into weed – they were obviously so vigerous due to the extra oxygen in the water.

Thistle

Thistle

In 2008 my last trip out for trout was at the start of August - it was great – that trip has always stuck with me – after that trip I started to target Pike instead of trout and I had a whale of a time. I could not help but feel things are not dissimilar this year – I suppose the one major difference is that this year I have fished probably a tenth of the amount of previous years however that is to be expected with a child.

Anyway – from this point on I have two new goals to work on with my limited time:

1. I want to catch a Salmon from the Kelvin.

2. I want to catch an enormous Pike.

Wish me luck!

Fishing in Lilliputian Style!

Fished a tiny stream on Sunday – the day was warm with a forecast of rain – it began to cloud over by midday – the rain never arrived. The stream was in a gorge and for once there was no burnt out cars (although strangely still an exhaust). I fished with Paul the KAA Secretary before checking some permits on the Kelvin.

Casting could be problematic

Casting could be problematic

Fishing this small stream made you get down and dirty and think about your presentation, casting and your stealth. The trout were never big and some were certainly par – some were true brown trout and were absolutely gorgeous.

Spots!!!

Spots!!!

Casting was difficult; the gorge has trees up either side so roll casting was pretty essential for most of the small pools. Every now and again I would forget and my fly would be in a tree.

Even taking pictures was difficult!

Even taking pictures was difficult!

We found some surprises in deeper pools which came up to above the waist when waded through – in these pools we spotted trout which were a lot bigger – possible between a quarter and half a pound – real monsters for small streams – these trout were super spooky and it would only take a few casts to spook them and they would stop rising. I think I missed more trout than I caught, in fact I don’t think I know!

Deep Pools

Deep Pools

The gorge itself was stunning – with small cliffs at some parts with dark peaty water – ideally I would like to see what this river fished like after a spate and dropping – it would make some of the pools even more fishable and maybe spread out the trout.

Steep Cliffs

Steep Cliffs

I stuck to a couple of tried and tested flies – a small comparadun (using cdc instead of deer hair) and a deer hair emerger – I used my Orvis Superfine with a 4 weight line – thinking about it I could have overlined to make presentations at short distances easier.

Peaty Water

Peaty Water

The river probably only gets fished by a few people every season – and for good reason – hard fishing to spooky trout – fantastic fun though!

Avarage

Avarage

I had one kinda spooky moment – I was fishing a small pool and heard some noises behind me up an embankment in the bushes – it sounded like thuds. I thought maybe Paul had got out the river to walk up the bank to join me and listened to it for a few more minutes – I then fished on waiting for him to come out – I was then hit with intense heebie jeebies – what if it was not Paul (I watch far too many X- File repeats) – I called out however there was no answer – I moved up a pool and away from the noise and possible strange slithering thumping brain sucking creature which was probably a hedgehog.

Returning Trout!

Returning Trout!

A Good Days Fishing?

For some folk a good days fishing involves a look at some flowers, casting a dry to a rising trout or two  – maybe even a nip of whisky. Every inch of mono is safely put away in a pocket to be disposed of later so that the riverside is not polluted !

For others it involves some wank mags, a tub of maggots and some booze in an Asda bag.

Ingredients of a great days fishing!

Ingredients of a great days fishing!

I now understand where I am going wrong!

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