What time is it ?


Fishing Time !

Happy Something or other!

No Comments.

No Comment

No Comment

Weirdly, the last trout I caught…

Weirdly, the last trout I caught was not caught in a river.

It was caught in the salt in Helensburgh…

Trout from the salt!

On the barbarian rod as well!


I froze myself to -273.1 degrees Celcius…..

My friends were worried, but I’ll be 0k.




Fly Fishing the River Irwell and other Streams

Found a fantastic blog – Fly Fishing the River Irwell and other Streams

Some of the pictures remind me a lot of the Kelvin.

With the fantastic line of “Three fish rising here caught none of them.”

That is the kind of report that I think we can all relate to!


Well, that was the season that was!

Where did it end eh?

I know for some of you guys it was awesome!

I know for some of you guys it was shite!

For me it must have been the most varied, shortest and most frantic in the history of this old creaky blog. Instead of being highs and lows it was almost as if my time was so precious that it had to be a season of highs no matter what!

The year started after I almost killed Paul Young on the banks of the Kelvin as my year usually does, not the killing part but the Kelvin part. I slipped down the stairs nearly taking him out and smashing a bottle of the good stuff. Here we all are thankfully safe..

Paul Young is between my youngest and I !

I had one brief stab at the Kelvin and then my third child arrived.

I had to make every trip count and I did – I had lots of wee trips to the Salt with the LRF and some trips for trout catch some lovely big ones..

Kinda wished I had brought my tape measure..

Kinda wished I had brought my tape measure..

I am hoping to squeeze a Pike trip in somehow between the madness of children’s parties and feeding!

How are you faring ?



Outraged in Kirkintilloch

Someone who I will call Mr. Outraged made a complaint on the official Kelvin Facebook page the other day and I thought I would share it with you as quite frankly it made me splutter over my coffee that someone had the audacity to not share my views on the internet roll my eyes that time is spent on stuff like this.

Mr. Outraged said:

I took a walk down to the river kelvin at the Kirkintilloch side of the kelvin. I was thinking of renewing my membership again.but Deside not to after I have seen the state of the river banks.which has no access to 97 percent of the river.what is the association doing about this. As for the rubbish in the river. I can only think that the persons responsible is not doing their job atoll. as the Kirkintilloch side of the river is very much a disgraced  to the members of this area [sic]

Paul always responds nicely to folk with his usual well-reasoned and thought out replies as he thinks everyone is like him ie. normal.  However as usual Outraged got my goat right up for a couple or four reasons:

  1. Someone is complaining about a wild river with bushes for goodness sake, access is pretty shit  but is perfectly doable with a bit of effort.
  2. The association does do stuff about this, however nobody ever turns up at work parties. I am guilty of this as well however I have three kids and a wife to contend with.
  3. Who is responsible for rubbish in the river? The person that put it there of course! The insinuation is that it is me or the other guys that freely give up their time.
  4. I know lots of people that fish that stretch and love it.

Paul was doing better...

Not that bad! You can fish it if you get in it!

Anyway, I replied like a smart arse:

Bushes ! That’s what you get in the country !

And then followed up with

If you live around Kirkintilloch maybe you can tell your neighbours not to dump rubbish in the river as I can only assume they are the ones responsible. It would take a few people a couple of weeks with a bush cutter to clear a lot of it! If you have a few mates get stuck in as that is what everyone else does ! If you don’t like proper wild fishing you could always try the vet school or even carbeth which even has a chap that makes you a cup of tea!

This did not go down well…

Hi Alastair.I would like to say that I am out raged with a response like that.and don’t no if you are a part of the committee or not.all I would say I hope you are not.because if you are I pity you’re members.all I was putting across is when I was inquiring about being a member to my local fishing club.but with your comment which I received from you I wouldn’t think of purchasing a season ticket from the river kelvin fishing association.but I can ashore you one thing I will be taking this mater further. and I hope you’re members will get involved to see what they say about this post . [sic]

He spelt my bloody name wrong, all he had to do was copy the damn thing down from my reply. This did not get on my goat but made me smile wryly for a few reasons

  1. He would rather be outraged by my reply than reply to Pauls well thought out and reasoned response.
  2. Is he a member or not? I have no idea!
  3. I do not think he ever intended to pay for a permit, just wanted a moan about some bushes.
  4. Taking it further? The internet police will be buzzing about any second……….now!

Anyway, I said..

Are you a member or not? You originally said that you were not going to renew your permit and now you are saying you would not purchase one in the first place? What else is on the agenda to complain about ? puddles when it rains perhaps ? I am just saying that rivers have a lot of foliage around them and their happens to be a few km’s worth up in Kirki! Last time I checked the river flows downstream to Glasgow so I reckon the rubbish is not from their. Please do take the matter further I am sure the river police will be beating a hasty track to my front door, that is if they can find it behind those pesky bushes….

If you are wondering how this was supposed to go Paul’s initial response was:

We organised volunteer session John. Very few people turned up. There is an ongoing issue with invasive species making access difficult in the upper regions. We are currently working on a strategy to tackle the problem. The next volunteer session will be advertised on this page very soon. Can I count on you to come along and help? Try to remember that the association is run by volunteers who have families and jobs. As much as I would love to work in the river full time, I cannot afford to give up my job.

This is like the only one with me in it! plus it was taken up at Kirki

Mr Outraged could have replied:

Oh, that is good you have a plan in place and good work on the work parties. I have looked back through facebook and found lots of pictures of the good work that you have done, well done you chaps. At the next work party I shall come along and offer my services as I so do care about the state of the river. Even though I am getting on a bit I can still pick up some litter etc or hold the sandwiches. Money well spent that is, incidentally Alistair looks pretty sexy in waders and a baseball cap. Good job there are no ladies at the AGM.

It could have gone something like that anyway.

But it didn’t did it!

Quick Visits…

A quick visit between the time I leave work and the time I am supposed to get home from work and take the first born to Taekwondo. The tide was wrong and I forgot to take anything stronger than light fluorocarbon so I used some mono I scavenged from  the shore. I was glad I did…



I then hooked and lost a couple of huge wrasse which essentially tapped my isome a couple of times and then plunged into snags. I finally hooked into a fish which I thought was a wrasse as it fought like crazy, it turned out it was a nice sized Codling.



I still wanted to catch a wrasse so I persevered even though the time was ticking, I watched a shoal of mackerel going wild on the surface and they worked their way along the breakwater towards me at 50 yard intervals. I then caught my wee wrasse..



It was then a quick dash home with nobody any the wiser, well done!

Tap tap tap…

Up and out early doors to meet Alex and drive to a Sea Loch for mostly two objectives – I wanted to catch a Wrasse and Alex wanted to catch a Thorn Back Ray. I also wanted to catch a thorn back and Alex also wanted to catch a wrasse but you get the idea.  I got the beach caster out (which has now been named “Big Stubby”) as well as my LRF gear and we headed off.

The first mark was quite simply awesome, it was past high tide and instead of gearing up with my spinning rod I used my LRF rod coupled with a 3g Jig head with a rag worm. As I was using bait this was not strictly LRF as you are supposed to use wee plastic baits however as this blog I is called Urbanflyfisher and I have done bugger all of that in the last few months I think we can safely throw the rule book out the window.

First cast and Alex says I bet you catch one…tap tap tap

Pulling away!

Pulling away!

..and immediately into a Pollack, 2nd cast another, 3rd cast another and so on.

Lost count

Lost count

We lost count of the amount of Pollack we caught ranging from wee ones up to three pounds.  The Pollack would tap, tap, tap away at the lure until you felt a solid tug and it would dive for the deep. On my wee LRF rod this meant reel screeching and rod bending fun as it was hauled back to the surface.




We moved to our next mark seeking out some Rays, we got the beach casters set up and hurled out our mackerel baits. Casting these bad boys out into the abyss is probably the best bit we mused as the huge leads almost cause a tsunami as they land.  This allowed us time to settle down for a rest and prepare some monster doublers combining sausage, black pudding, haggis etc.

Frying Up

Frying Up

Meanwhile we noticed a distinct tapping of our rod tips. What we imagined hypothesised was that a shoal of Thornies had moved over our baits and were happily chomping down on them. When the shoal moved off it would be time to strike into the beasts causing double hook up fun. The only problem would be taking pictures of each other playing our monsters we mused. The excitement built as the rods nodded, I caught a wee Pollack on the LRF to calm the nerves and we waited some more. I imagined a tail whipping about like a scorpion with us defending Steve Irwin however Alex told me that I was talking total shit.



We waited some more.

More Waiting

More Waiting

Eventually, we struck into our fish!

It turned out Alex had caught a dog fish and I had caught a Coalie.

Dog Fish

Dog Fish

We decided it may be worth staying a little longer so cast out again. This time no rod nods however on striking anyway I had caught a crab and Alex finally had his Thornback resulting in much rejoicing and then a retreat for some more Pollack.

I caught a crab!

I caught a crab!

We decided to keep the spot as marked and come back over the winter to try and catch some more.



Back to our rock mark and this time we travelled further along a bit on a treacherous path which only a mountain goat should be able to do. I was glad I had not brought the big rods with us. Again it was non-stop Pollack action.  Going against conventional wisdom I started striking into my Pollack. You are supposed to let them tap away until they snatch it and dive however when their taps became insistent I would strike and this meant bigger Pollack.



We noticed that when there was a good current we were catching the most fish; the wee LRF rod was great at hauling them up from the depths, the wee reel giving line when needed. Finally however a fish took my worm and tore line off to the deep and would not be subdued as quick. It was a more dogged fight and finally revealed itself to be a wrasse.



Alex then proceeded to catch an even bigger one and that it was for the wrasse for the day.

More Wrasse

More Wrasse

Oh yes and the midges, they were particularly vicious when the wind died down and even then sometimes not. Usually it only takes a breath of wind to ensure they stay away however not these ones as they were made of much sterner stuff sticking around just when you thought you were safe to look at the world with your real eyes.  They were so bad that when we were packing up I left my LRF rod on top of the car.

We had to drive back and found it on the road, lucky it was not nicked or had another car drive over it.

Incidentally I then managed to catch a wee wrasse at my local mark on the LRF when I got home a day or so later – no pictures but hey, their is always next time!