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!

Alas Griff Rhys Jones

I never really found Griff Rhys Jones funny even when he was part of Alas Smith & Jones – the other guy was always funnier – the fat one.

So I did not find it in the least bit funny when Jones asked canoeists and boaters to disrupt the enjoyment of anglers who are minding their own business – even though the anglers have paid for the privilege.

He later tried to retratct his comments – kinda

“I am a supporter of all angling associations and thoroughly respect the rights of fishermen to peacefully fish on riverbanks, but I am also a great supporter of canoeists and want to see as much access to the rivers of England and Wales as is readily available in Scotland and much of the rest of the world.”

Um – nice one Griff – sounds like someone wanted to cause a bit of controversy for their new show and then had to rethink – possibly encouraging members of the public to assault law abiding citizens and get involved in breach of the peace incidents does not help a complex topic that is causing a lot of people problems.

I asked Lord Kelvin what he thought of Griff and his comments – he was uncharacteristically mute on the subject…

Q. What do you think of Griff Rhys Jones comments?

Q. What do you think of Griff Rhys Jones comments?

I believe The Angling Trust and Trout Fisherman are both out for apologies.

Way to go advertising your show about rivers Griff!

Why?

I recieved an email (no name or contact details so fair game in my book) which I found kinda puzzling:

Why, you have so readily popularised fishing on river kelvin or was it inevitable, point being, banks of river even more populated by buckie swilling dope smoking idiots, fishing size 6 trebles on Sunday for brownies. Ooh where are bailiffs now.

regular folks getting pretty  fed up whats happening

Ok – Seeing as how I cannot reply conventionally I thought I would reply here and also open it up for discussion.

This email appears to be asking me if because I have a diary dedicated to the river I have somehow contributed to the problem of Buckfast drinking, cannabis smoking individuals who fish illegally. I think not – purely because I doubt these guys read my website – if I was being blamed for an increase of guys fishing with the dry fly upstream then yes I would probably hang my head in shame.

I think the rise in number of guys fishing is proportional to the number of Salmon returning to the river – it is also the closest bit of water to the local off licence which is a bonus for these guys.

Is this the clubs problem? Should the club be policing these guys? The quick answer is no – last time I checked smoking cannabis and drinking in public was illegal and should be a matter for the police – if members phoned the police often enough about these guys then the police would take a stricter view on them and probably be a bit more proactive in dealing with them.

Regarding fishing for Salmon on Sundays with trebles – well, head along to the EGM and listen to the proposals – if you reject them then you had better come up with a better solution instead of just dismissing them out of hand.

And Now For Some Great Scottish Muzic!

Ok – I am away on holidays for a bit – hopefully catching Bass, Mackeral and Sea Trout off the Cornish Coast or quite possibly catching Carp, Roach and Tench in a stocked pond.

So, no posts for a bit however I thought I would push you to buy some Scottish bands which I think are simply fantastic.

Four great Scottish bands which are well worth a listen !

Dean the Diving Decorator

Thanks to Stuart B in the forum for finding this little gem from the BBC I Player

Wildlife documentary. Dean is a painter and decorator by trade, but he dreams of being a wildlife cameraman. He’s spent the past few years filming in a freezing flooded quarry in Leicester. Although he’s an amateur, Dean’s footage of courting pike was so good it was used in The Nature of Britain. This film was made to share more of Dean’s fantastic footage. It also features Dean talking about his experiences

Great footage of Pike spawning and generally bullying each other.

Dean the Diving Decorator

Picky Pike!

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

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

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

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!

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.

Acrobatics

Acrobatics

The beasts fought hard even though they are summer fish – on returning to the water they shot off like angry tigers!

A Beast!

A Beast!

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!

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