Vote for Piping Live 2008!

If you live in Glasgow you no doubt heard the bagpipes throughout the summer – this was organised by Piping Live and culminated (possibly the wrong word choice)  in their Piping festival which by all accounts was most excellent. 

The Scottish Trad Music Awards announced the list of final nominations yesterday and  Piping Live! 2008 has made the final shortlist for the ‘Event of the Year’ award.   Piping Live is in category 7 up against the Gordon Duncan Memorial Concert, the Jura Festival and Shetland Fiddle Fren.  To vote for Piping Live as your favourite event of the year please go tohttp://www.handsupfortrad.co.uk/tradmusicawards/index.htm and click through the categories. You will see a vote now online link at the top of the page. 

Other links of interest:

Tuning up for a week of Piping Live

Piping Live

Random Summer Memories..

We drove down a track we had never been before on the hunt for something completely different..

We found more than we thought!

Noone told me Charles Rangeley-Wilson had a site?

Looks like the bloody thing has been around for yonks as well. 

Go check it out

Grayling Fishing Course – December 12th and 13th 2008

Alberto Laidlaw (casting maestro extraordinaire) is holding a two day grayling course on the River Teviot. 

He says:

 

This year we have booked the Monteviot Beat on the River Teviot just outside Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders; this beat covers 2.5 miles of double bank fishing. This particular water is renowned for its large specimen Grayling, so if you have a desire to catch a specimen fish this is the trip for you. They inhabit the same water as trout, but grayling are very different in many respects to trout. They spawn in March-June, whereas trout spawn November-January. This is one of the many reasons that they feed and act quite differently to trout and you’ll need a new array of weapons in your fishing to successfully catch “The Lady of the Stream”.

Fly fishing will be the main consideration but trotting will be included if required.

The trip is strictly limited to 6 rods and includes the availability of limited accommodation on the nights of the 11th and 12th December if you wish to stay over. This course will be suitable for all abilities and provide actual casting tuition, if required, it will take place on the water, on a one to one basis.

Some of the topics that will be covered include:

  • Fly Tying on both evenings, Fly patterns for deep nymphing
  • Rods and Lines
  • Safety when wading
  • Setting up your tackle
  • Water craft
  • Effective use of Bugs
  • Judging speed and depth
  • Knowing when to strike
  • Playing a fish

This is a great opportunity to fish a great beat for specimen grayling under the guidance of an APGAI qualified instructor.

We plan to run days on the 12th and 13th December 2008.

A One Day Grayling Course is £45 for a day or £75 for 2 days

 

So there you go, for more info head over to his site at Game Angling In Scotland. 

 

Complete Rods

So someone sent me this link through the contact form. To be honest it looked pretty poor – a bright cheesy page for a CD some guys have made about fishing. I was about to click away ( people send me a lot of links that they want me to promote) however I was sitting there waiting on someone coming to pick me up and thought what the hell I will listen to some of it. 

I enjoyed it – the songs on the site are cheesy however very very funny – it would have been a different story if they were not – in that case it would just have been awful. 

Anyway, go and check it out – go to the “fun page” and check out the “Waders of Fire”  TV comercial – an absolute hoot.

You can listen to a sample of the songs and of course buy the CD from Amazon (click on picture below)

Complete Rods

Gear I want..

Being an avid gear addict – I admit it ok – I always have an eye open for my next purchase. When I say gear addict I mean I want to have all the gear necessary for the type of fishing that I do. I have pretty much reached that point. I have my Orvis Superfine 4 weight, my Sage SLT 5 weight, my bamboo 4 weight, my Loop 8/9 weight to name but a few. Essentially, rods wise I am now totally kitted out. I could always do with a new ultra lightweight reel however it is not really necessary.

That being said I do have a few items I would like to get.

A Float Tube

I am not a big fan of boats, sure I love it but I am just too much of a tight arse to pay £25 every time I want to go out on a boat on a loch. The simple answer is to buy myself a float tube – a good one at that which will last and I reckon will pay for itself within a couple of years. I want to try and get one for next season.


I quite fancy this one from Sportfish

 

A Barometer/Compass/Altimeter Watch

I like gadgets ok.

I have noticed with my Pike fishing that they tend to go off the feed because of approaching weather systems. Certainly I have noticed the same with my trout fishing. I would like to make a more detailed note of temp, wind direction and atmospheric pressure. Yes – I am a geek.

I have seen a few on Ebay. and for that matter on Amazon

Suunto Vector - Black

That is it really – I cannot think of anything really that I need or want….ohh…maybe a wee dinky bag to fish light actually…good grief will this madness never end? 

 

Backhand compliments..

I am laid up with a rather nasty throat bug. 

I was looking through some of the blogs I visit when I came across this post over at Taunted by Waters.

Essentially someone had linked to him and pointed out that he did not do much fishing however his writing was good for a read anyway. It reminded me of when someone linked to me and stated “this guy does not do much urban fishing for an Urban Fly Fisher”

Good point I thought – consequently, a year later I decided to add a wee amendments to my “About page” as to why this site is called Urban Fly Fisher.

 Explained?

Wild Weather..

Fishing was damn near impossible today – from the road the wind did not seem too bad however the closer I got to the spot it picked up in intensity. The whole area was flooded as well making wading tricky. It would have been no problem without the wind however casting those big horrors was difficult.

After a while I decided enough was enough – I positioned myself in a few feet of water and cast towards the shore hoping that one crazy pike might be tempted to strike. After the fourth white horse nearly broke over my back I decided to head back to the car and then home. I then headed to another loch I know; I thought it might have been a little bit sheltered. Unfortunately not – the further I got outside Glasgow the windier it seemed to get.

At least for next week I will have my ten weight lines for the heavy artillery.

Loop Pike Booster Review

Ok, so it had to happen – I became all tackle tarty and just had to get my hands on a dedicated Pike fly rod – well I got two in fact however this review is dedicated to the fairly new on the market Loop Pike Booster.

Loop says:

If big toothy critters is the name of your game, the Pike Booster is the rod for you. With a deep progressive action the Pike Booster delivers big flies as easy as nothing. A handle in a cork/rubber mix gives you a steady grip and with a fighting handle in black foam we ensure that you’ll come out on top. Style and attitude included.

Oh yea baby – I could be doing with a bit of style when I am tossing these flies that look like budgies on to the water in the hope of potentially dragging a dinosaur from the depths. However is the rod up to the job? – and what exactly is this cork/rubber mix all about? a fighting handle – do you need one?

The Loop Pike Booster is a 9 foot 3 section 8/9 weight rod.

Does it look Sexy?

The rod has a nice slim matt black blank. This is useful as Pike tend to follow your fly quite close and what you don’t want is the beast being spooked at the last minute by flash from a shiny rod. More manufacturers are doing this and it is a welcome sign.

There is a fighting butt which I never really see the need for however I can imagine on a double figure fish would be useful.

An interesting thing about the handle on the Pike Booster is the material they have decided on using – they have decided to use a cork and rubber mix. I was a bit worried about this as I thought it might make the rod feel cheap however I was pleasantly surprised to find that I actually liked it. The handle feels warm in your hand on cold days and gives a nice sturdy feel.  I suspect that if real cork was used the price would be driven up.

The rod has a funny wee fore grip for tussling with those big leviathans which tire out your arm. It is easy to poo poo this idea however when I was watching my fishing buddy drag a particularly belligerent pike out of the weeds I noticed he was holing on to where the fore grip would have been on his rod.  Not strictly needed however it adds no weight to the rod and makes the rod feel a little special – and dare I say a little bit sexy.

 

When I first looked this rod up I noticed a couple of people complaining about the use of yellow Gothic Script above the reel seat and below the foregrip. I was expecting big garish letters that would/may get right up my nose after a while however I found them to be quite small and not really “in your face” 

 

Pike fly fishing is a funny fringe pursuit (although more people are taking to it every year) so I suppose they are pointing out the quirkiness of the sport. With pike flies subtlety is not needed :-)

The rod comes in a soft material bag and of course a rod case.

Castability – does the fancy stick feel good to cast?

I made that word up – I reckon I will use it in all my rod reviews.

Anyway, my last Pike rod was an 8/9 weight and was not dedicated to Pike – it was really intended as a Salmon rod. The difference between it and the Pike Booster was tremendous. The Pike Booster is a whole lot faster which means that casting big flies was pretty easy. I used this rod with a WF8 and WF9 – I liked them both however felt it handled the 8 weight better – keeping the nine in reserve for windy days or when I had to use a sink tip.

There are good over-sized guides on the rod – this assists with casting and shooting line. I did use this rod with a fast sinking poly leader which dragged the fly and fly line down effectively turning it into an intermediate – the rod coped well with dragging the whole lot back to the surface to recast.

I enjoy casting it and at close quarters fishing it is easy to manoeuvre – when you are fly fishing for pike on the canal, for example, and you want to cast to the opposite bank you must keep half the line you are casting in your hand and cast along the bank you are standing on so you do not catch the trees behind you – at the last moment you change direction and shoot the remaining line at the opposite bank – if you do it right it works perfectly – it takes some practice though – the Loop Pike Booster does that with ease.

I like the fact it is not uber fast which means it is forgiving to casting faults.

Does it handle the beasts?

Bottom Line

You need two rods (more if you go crazy) for going after Pike  –

  1. An 8/9 weight for small streamers & poppers that handles a  floating line – which hopefully can handle the odd time you need to use an intermediate.
  2. A strong 9/10 for hurling big streamers and divers at the beasts – this should also be able to handle using intermediates and full sinking lines with ease. 
Like I say – I suppose you can get away with using either one of these types of rod for Pike depending on your location – however you really need two to cover all eventualities.
The Loop Pike Booster satisfies the first rod choice without any problems at all – great for a bit of summer, river and canal or where you know you will not need to get down and dirty. 
A criticism might be the fact it is in 3 pieces – ideally with a rod like this you may well want to take it on holiday with you – maybe if you are going to the Caribbean and know you could fish for Bonefish – there is no way this baby will be fitting in your case so it will be an extra item of luggage to pay for.
I suppose the other point to remember is that you don’t actually have to buy a rod that says Pike on it – however what you do get with the Pike Booster is a little bit of quirkiness from guys that know their Pike!
You will probably have to do a search for places that stock them, last time I was in Glasgow Angling Centre they did not have them although they will probably be able to order it in for you. As ever I recommend you try before you buy, if you are a reader and live around Glasgow I do not mind meeting up for a cast.
Recommended!

Cheer Up Monday – Strictly 18+

The Pike are not eating, it is wet and windy – the trout are like a distant memory….I suppose we have some things to look forward to…. Continue reading Cheer Up Monday – Strictly 18+

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