Two sessions of Pike fishing since we last spoke – both strange for different reasons – both occasions I have been using my Loop Pike Booster with a floating 9WF line, 3 foot 30lb leader and a bizarre EP fibre monstrosity.
The First Session (overcast, warm – lasted 3 hours)
Scanning with Polaroids
I spooked Pike – lots of them – I counted over a dozen – big ones – all spooked by lining them as I cast in amongst weeds, they shot off like rockets – they were not amused. I lost two Pike – I worked hard for those takes and both were unlucky. The first broke me off at the braided leader, I have no idea how this happened as I check all my connections before commencing fishing for the beasts. After tying on a new leader I then dropped my scissors into the murky depths, it then started raining.
Added Insult - Rain
Have you ever tried to cut 30lb mono with your teeth?
However the Gods were not against me for long as the second beast I cast to was spotted because its tail was sticking out the water – I cast towards it and there was another huge displacement of water behind my fly – “take it take it take it” I chanted as I continued the retrieve – it took and then dive bombed into some weeks taking several yards of fly line off my reel in a few seconds – it then broke free and my fly flew back in my face.
Weeds on the Loch
The Second Session (bright, sunny, stayed until dusk)
At least I caught two pike on this session – however this time I spooked no pike – like none at all – I have no idea where they were. I took along Paul (KAA Secretary) – he blanked for the first time this season, obviously due to the infamous curse of the first time fisher at a new spot.
Paul Reid - flailing away!
Both Pike were fluked caught with extreme skill and knowledge – no picture of the first however it was a few pounds bigger than the second.
The beasts fought hard even though they are summer fish – on returning to the water they shot off like angry tigers!
At the time I decided to not go back until Autumn however maybe I am being a little quick – I am being spurred on by Scott’s excellent adventure on his secret loch.
I need to tie flies!
So Sunday evening I had a big family meal – full of fajitas I decided I wanted to go and catch some fish – problem was I could not be bothered getting my shit together to catch some trout – I stringed up my Loop Pike Booster and “ahem” boosted a few hundred yards from my front door to the Forth N Clyde canal.
The Pike were not playing ball – even the perch were just chasing my fly – every now and then I would spook tiny jacks by just walking past them.
I had one hook up and that was too a cruising Pike that was just simply swimming along in plain sight – it was maybe three feet long (you measure Pike in feet not inches) and was cruising a few inches under the surface at walking speed. I walked along next to it for 20 feet and then I ran ahead – no pictures of the green submarine as my heart was pounding like a steam engine – I cast at the beast and stripped my fly past its snout – it changed direction and snapped at the fly – it was on.
Here Be Monsters
Two things happened.
1. I thought how the hell am I going to land this beast as there was about 3 feet of vegetation between us and I was two feet above it
2. The beast jumped clean out the water – gave me a glare straight from the depths of hell and spat my fly back at me.
I walked home a contemplative man.
I was given this lovely video of Sea Lamprey’s in the Kelvin last night by Charlie Dunn - he braved the “Heebie Jeebies” to follow them and film them having sex on his mobile phone.
More info on Sea Lampreys can be found here.
This has got to be a good sign for the cleanliness of the river.
Thursday – hot – roasting hot – Glasgow was boiling – overcast and oppressive – Kelvin has no water so we headed to the big sister/brother The Clyde in search of some kind of evening rise – it was even hotter out that way with the added problem of there being no clouds – we cast to spooky sporadically rising trout (possibly huge) which were not interested in my huge flies – and only a couple of smaller ones were interested in my fishing buddies molecular sized flies.
At dusk into darkness the long slow pool came even more alive with trout – big ones too – at one point I looked down the long slow pool and could hardly count the number of rising trout – we could not work out what they were taking – we could not see anything on the surface – no spinners, duns – I suspected they were taking something just under the surface – when I tried casting a fly which sunk just under the surface the trout ignored it.
Finally a trout took my fly – I had put on a deer hair emerger out of sheer desperation – I spotted some nervous water and drifted my fly downstream over it – a trout nosed towards my fly causing a v and gulped it down – I set the hook– it ripped 20 yards of fly line before jumping all over the pool – when I landed it I estimated it to be around 2lb – a monster brown in anyone’s book.
More than Two Location shots mean no trout caught!
Hang on – that story was totally fabricated – what actually happened was I had put on a deer hair emerger out of sheer desperation – I spotted some nervous water and drifted my fly downstream over it – a trout nosed towards my fly causing a v and gulped it down – I set the hook and with an almighty splash the trout was gone.
What could have been eh?
It is sometimes easy to see why some people think the Kelvin is not an urban river – especially from the pictures that I post on this site. You see – there is a green corridor that cuts through Glasgow and down this passageway the Kelvin runs – the corridor has its own compliment of wild animals including its very own deer population. The whole length of the river is covered in bruises from its industrial past – a lot of the river bed is not just made up of gravel – it is made up of masonry from old mills and destroyed bridges.
I love walking along this green corridor – you feel as if you are doing something secret – when you see the ruined bridges and old abandoned mills it makes you think of what the river will be like in another hundred years – in fact it makes you wonder what the whole city will be like !
While fishing the river you feel as if you are doing something secret – especially if you are somewhere only an angler can get to – this is why I like to find wee spots that are not easily accessible - you are still guaranteed solitude.
To the not so Urban..
I took reader Ewen Thomson out for a trip to the Clyde on Friday night – rumours of my death from swine man flu have been greatly exaggerated by the way.
(Ewen is a TV Director – his current show is on Sky 1 and is called “Ross Kemp in Search of Pirates” – seeing as how he faced up to pirates I reckoned he was man enough for the Kelvin however it is desperately needing rain – the last time I fished it an evening rise just did not occur)
Turned out the Clyde is in need of rainfall as well- the rocks stuck out parched like bones…
Bones of the River
Still, we both managed to catch some trout on the dry fly and Ewen managed to catch his first Clyde trout within a few minutes of starting which took the pressure off things.
Ewen is sporting a rather nice pair of Polaroids bought using the discount code I mentioned a few posts back – I forgot to ask him what he thought of them – I found them great in the low light conditions – this section of river has treacherous wading which means a good pair of quality Polaroids are a must to see ankle breaking boulders never mind your fly on the water.
At around 11pm the wind picked up blowing sedges and upwings into our faces, hair and mouths – the trout responded for a few moments and were then gone.
Talking of sedges – they are out in force on the Kelvin – now where is my cdc and deer hair – I have a dozen sedges to tie up!
I headed out with fishing buddy Alan Atkins for an evening session on Tuesday night – the conditions looked perfect: overcast, warm and flies on the water – sure the river was low however this exposed a lot of pocket water where I suspected the trout would be sitting. As it was it was strange evening – as dusk settled there was a lot more flies on the water, drowned Yellow May spinners with a lot still in the air. The rising trout peaked at around 1030 and to be honest it really was not what I would call a proper evening rise – usually when the bats are on the water you see a lot more trout rising in the slower water and they are a bit braver at taking slower moving dry flies when an hour before they would not even consider it.
Alan did two things which deserved ultimate respect.
1. He caught a trout in poor conditions – a nice trout at that – certainly around the 3/4 pound mark – it fought like a devil and ran absolute rings round him – we had a good chortle about it and I promised not to write about or humiliate him publicly.
2. He ate a drowned Yellow May spinner – he picked it out the water and I asked him to taste it (half joking) he popped it in his mouth and “chewed” before staring off into space and said “tastes sweet” . I feel he now has a definite advantage when flies are on the water !
Still it did not give him any advantage over the next hour – he text me today and has not mentioned anything to do with stomach cramps or hospital admissions so the pluses of eating insects are still on the positive side.
All very Zen!