I don’t need a float tube – quality (PERV) inventiveness saves the day!

So it turns out that due to having a baby my finances for fishing have been severely cut by the Supreme Commander.

I have been trying to come up with novel ways of getting the stuff that I need. Or rather alternative solutions to the problems that I may have on the water. One of the main pieces of fishing gear that I was obsessively coveting  needed was a float tube – it is by far the most expensive thing on my list. Now – what exactly does a float tube do ? Well, it gets you closer to the fish – it is like a disguise almost – you look like a giant duck to the fish so they do not get spooked. They are portable so you can carry them around and they are a cheap solution to buying an actual boat.

A Float Tube

A Float Tube

Anyway, it looks like there are no float tube manufacturers lining up to actually give me one so I have decided to look into alternatives that meet all the above criteria at a cheaper cost.

Ladies and Gents – I give you – the “Personal Environmental Reconoissance Vehicle”:

blow-up-thing

As you can see the PERV meets all my criteria:

  1. Blends in with natural wildlife (well it does in Scotland anyway) – it tries to emulate everything a fish might see in the water! (and then some)
  2. Air filled – so float-able!
  3. A handy retractable place to put my sandwiches!
  4. Somewhere to place my head in case of a snooze!

Fantastic – as you can see when you have a problem it is sometimes the simplest solution that is the one that will work.  Looking forward to catching a toothy critter whilst straddling this baby? Damn right I am!

See you (as Tom Chandler might say) in the Sex Shop

A Note on Gravatars

The pictures next to comments are called gravatars, at the moment they are just the default pictures that the software throws up (the little aliens) however you can have your own picture if you like. Not only does it make your comment stand out more than the ones who don’t it is also a good way of promoting your blog if you have one. Even if you don’t it is much nicer seeing something you yourself have chosen.

Have a look here at this pictureof my comments section, I have highlighted the people with gravatars with red dots:

gravatarexamples

You can use whatever picture you like, for example:

  • a photo as a Gravatar, which will show off your face.
  • a logo as a Gravatar, which will build brand recognition for your blog

You could also have a humorous Gravatar, or a serious one, or whatever you’d like to gain attention to. I just know some jolly jokers are going to have cannabis leafs however I think I will allow this due to the amount of cannabis plantations found on the banks of the Kelvin.

Having a good and thought-through Gravatar is a way to be seen, and to get a message across, in addition to your actual comment.

For myself, I’ve got a photo. This is suitable for several reasons, one being to show my face and therefore imply that I’ve got nothing to hide. Also because no other bugger ever takes my picture.

How to add a Gravatar?

Very simply visit Gravatar.com and sign up. It is very straight forward and within minutes by the power of the interweb your picture will appear in the comments – go and try it now. It works by linking the email address you give when you post a comment to the picture you upload at the Gravatar website.

Hey you guys – the ones that receive my posts by email !

Hey you guys – aye, you guys that receive my posts by email – I just thought I would thank you all for subscribing to my blog. When I installed that little script it was great fun watching the numbers increase – when I hit ten I thought I was doing well, within a few weeks it hit twenty, before I knew it I was up to 50 and then into the seventies – it still increases by a few every week.  I know that a lot of people loathe getting stuff in their inbox however I am glad that you like my posts enough to keep subscribed.

What I find interesting is that different people interact with the site in different ways – you guys that subscribe to the email function are more likely to send me a quick email when you have a question or comment and do not tend to post comments or use the forum. Not that I am complaining, just something I noticed – Variety is the spice of life :-) 

thanksguys

I think it is enough of a privilege that you let my wee world enter your inbox without hassling you to comment and post :-)

Sometimes I look up and down the list and wonder about where you fish and what stories you guys might have, your jobs look pretty interesting – someone from Microsoft, a banker and  chap with his own carpentry business amongst others – if you ever fancy giving me a computer, advising on some investments or building me a fly tying storage unit just drop me a line :-)

If anyone else fancies subscribing to the posts all you have to do is input your email address into the wee box on the left which says: “Subscribe to Urban Fly Fisher” – do not worry if you get sick of the sight of me (and people do) you can unsubscribe at any time – I promise I will not hold it against you (by that I mean my rifle with with the bullet locked and loaded with your name and address inscribed on the side)

Fishing Pals – Alex and Mike

tamandalaxLast season we hit the Kelvin early with little result – Still it was good to be out!

A Child is Born…

Born – 24th January 0555 – 7 pounds, 15 ounces

p1240025

As you can imagine – no posts for a while :-)

Talk amongst yourselves.

Distant Meetings, Secret Streams

I have spent a lot of time looking at maps for new rivers to fish or even new spots on old rivers. I am ware that this season I will have a lot of added responsibilities which will drastically reduce my time on the water so waters reasonably close at hand have had to be sourced. I love looking at maps and tracing the blue lines to see if there are any that go reasonably close to anywhere that I may travel. For example, sometimes I travel a good hour and a half away from my home due to traffic to attend meetings at a rehabilitation unit (being careful not to give too much away here), if the meeting is at the end of the day then I can get caught in very heavy traffic coming back through the city centre. A better idea is to stop and have a fish for an hour or so meaning I will probably get back home at the same time however missing out all the traffic.

secretstream

Anyway, to cut a long story short I have found the above  likely looking wee spot, and in this day and age of satellite photography I can even see what it looks like – some nice wee pools, riffles, bends – probably stuffed full of fat untouched trout ripe for taking a dry fly in spring.

Looking forward to distant meetings already!

Milngavie Fly Dressers Spring 2009 Programme

The program for the 2009 Milngavie Fly Dressers is now out:

Novices and experts welcome – do not be shy if you have never tied before  as it is very informal – turn up with your vice and tie any fly you like or copy the demonstrator. There are also “presentation” evenings where someone gives a wee talk.

The Venue

Milngavie Library
Allander Road
G62 8DN
Thursday evenings
7pm – 10pm

Program

January 15th – Fly Tying evening

January 22nd – Demonstration and Fly tying evening – Bumbles & Dabblers

January 31st – Fly Tying evening

February 5th – Demonstration and Fly tying evening – Parachute Dry Flies

February 12th – Fly Tying evening

February 19th – Demonstration and Fly tying evening -Salmon Flies

February 26th – Paul Procter – River Flies some secret patterns

March 5th – Demonstration and Fly tying evening – Loch Lomond Flies

March 12th – Fly tying evening

March 19th – Demonstration and Fly tying evening – Clyde style Flies

March 26th – Knots and leader set ups for the new season- Alisdair Mair and Alberto Laidlaw

April 2nd – Demonstration and Fly tying evening – Uist Flies

April 16th – Magnus Angus – Fly Photography & FFFT Magazine Competition Flies

April 23rd – Fly tying evening

April 30th – Demonstration and Fly tying evening

Further Info

Scottish Game Angling

North Glasgow Fly Dressers

UK Magazine Websites

I am always amazed at the UK game angling paper magazines around the fact they have not embraced the internet.

There are only three main game angling magazines in the UK:

  1. Trout and Salmon
  2. Trout Fisherman
  3. Fly Fishing and Fly Tying

Who has a Site?

 “Trout & Salmon” pretty much concentrates on Salmon with a sprinkling of trout and its river system updates are now pretty pointless in this day and age of instant information via the net. Do you really want to know how your favourite river was fishing a month ago and what someones prediction will be for a month’s time (it is always great by the way- according to the magazine). They do not have a website!

“Trout Fisherman” deals mainly with rainbow trout in stocked ponds – I would be unkind to say the same old info is regurgitated year after year as they seem to spend some time on going after coarse fish now and again. Trout Fisherman magazine does not have a dedicated site however seem to be linked in some way to Go Fishing which states is powered by a few other magazines. A cop out – most of the info is geared towards coarse fishing!

Fly fishing &  Fly Tying” is pretty much the only mag I will pick up if needing something to flick through on a long journey or if sitting having a coffee waiting on my wife while at the shops. Of course it has been dealt a bit of a blow due to the leaving of Bob Wyatt  however it still gives you the goods regarding flies and nice stories. Sure it is littered with spelling mistakes (I am one to talk however I do not get paid) however it is the only magazine that seems to consistently come up with new material and every now and then there is always a fly that I quite fancy and want to tie. Unfortunately they make the biggest error when it comes to keeping and online presence – their website is bloody awful. I mean, it has everything a magazine website could want – a list of articles and a wee forum to get people to visit – however the articles have not changed in around a year and the forum is seldom visited – the whole site looks awful (it is set in frames) meaning that it is just not pleasing to the eye. The site is also littered with “page not found” error messages. I think the  magazine  could be onto a winner with a bit of effort – the site could even generate more ideas for articles for the magazine by directly asking people what they want, readers could submit articles, old articles from years gone by could be put on the site – yikes they could even ask you to take out a small subscription to access old articles.

Are USA Sites any Better?

Are you kidding? – just take a look at the Fly Fisherman magazine site – absolutely packed full of great info. They also have a vibrant community via their forums.

And of course the Fish and Fly site is as slick as you expect the magazine to be.

 End Result

I reckon the UK magazines need to up their game if they want to survive – how about a subscription service allowing the access to old articles. I don’t know why I give my idea away for free sometimes ;-)

A New Sergeant Major…

The squadrons were depleted in last year’s campaign of trout hunting by various means. Lost in action they were – up trees, on boulders, very occasionally in fish, sometimes on shopping trolleys and on one memorable occasion on the back of my jacket. Brings a tear to a glass eye that would – those little lads flying through the air – their mission to sit proudly on the surface of the water in a perfect imitation of a spiky insect. Occasionally (of course) they must dive underwater and imitate some kind of nymph – the danger for the boys makes me shiver at night, the thought of them hooking a boulder or shopping trolley, however the joy they feel when their training and camouflage fool some wily trout is really something to behold.

Ninjas

However, a full year has almost past since the first initial training of the troops from the Academy of Vice – sure there has been reinforcements as the campaign has progressed however these have been in dribs and drabs as time allows. Sadly, now the troops are weary, there ranks depleted – they look at the gaps in their ranks where their fallen comrades once stood proudly with there wing posts ready to be ginked and are crestfallen…

where-the-hell-is-freddy

Like I say, it was sad during the season seeing my boys coming out of combat. however they are brave lads…I can only imagine what they face in their watery combat with some hungry trout – those big lips full of sharp teeth ready to rip and tear..

nymph-in-terror

I try not to think about the boys that tempt Pike – maybe one day I will feel strong enough to talk about em’

The Sergeant from the Academy of Vice  is battle weary and due to a rather rash buy unable to clamp properly on to a new  kitchen table to prepare and train more troops (thanks to  the Supreme Commander)

The Sergeant decided it was time to let a young one take over, one that was up to the task of rotary techniques  

a-sad-sad-sad-day

Merely standing easy – ready to stand to attention at the first hint of trouble – he now has a companion to share the burden – a comrade in arms if you will. A new recruit from the United States has arrived – a place where they insist on calling the Academy of Vice the Academy of Vise – over here we understand the nature of fly tying – it is a vice – like an addiction!

norvisereadiness

Oh yes – the Nor Vise has arrived – the untrained troops are looking forward to these new fangled American ways with their spinning hooks and automatic bobbins . The Nor Vise attaches to iether your fly tying bench or a piece of wood you can move about from place to place – the Supreme Commander hinted at close to home fatalities if the Nor Vise was attached to new kitchen table so a piece of wood is currently being located – Being impressed by Tamanawis and his Stand of Majesty  he was duly dispatched to locate a suitable mount for the Academy.

End of Current Dispatch – More to Follow!

Deadly salmon infection detected

From BBC news

An infectious disease which can devastate farmed Atlantic salmon stocks has been detected on Shetland, the Scottish government has confirmed.

Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA) was discovered at one salmon farm site, which has been empty of fish since 21 December, in the Burra area.

The disease is also suspected at a further two sites in Burra, one of which was emptied six weeks ago.

ISA does not affect humans, but can seriously damage farmed salmon stocks.

The Scottish government said it had immediately set up a National Disease Control Centre and was taking action to control the spread of the disease.

As part of the measures, statutory movement restrictions have been placed on all sites in the control zone and wider surveillance zone.

The Fisheries Research Service is sending a team of fish health inspectors to Shetland to investigate the affected sites and to advise the industry.

Investigations into the potential source and spread of the disease will also be carried out.

Environment Minister Mike Russell said lessons had been learned from an outbreak of ISA on Shetland, the Western Isles and Orkney in 1998 and 1999 which was estimated to have cost the industry £100m and led to the loss of 200 jobs.

He added: “We will be applying those lessons vigorously with the clear aim of containing and then eradicating the disease from the current affected site, which in fact is now laying fallow.

“To prevent the spread of any disease present, the harvesting of fish from neighbouring sites will be conducted under biosecure conditions and supervised by the Fisheries Research Services.”

‘Decisive action’

Mr Russell said ministers were being kept fully briefed by those working to control the disease, and links with the local authority had already been established.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Tavish Scott, who is the local MSP, said he was “dismayed” by the outbreak.

Mr Scott added: “I vividly recall the difficulties for the Shetland salmon industry 10 years ago when ISA caused enormous financial problems for fish farmers.

“But the industry today in Shetland is very different. The lessons of the previous outbreak have been learnt and I hope that quick and decisive action by the farms concerned working with the regulatory authorities can deal with this incident effectively.”

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