Upcoming Reviews

Hum ho – just back from a cold day after Pike – more on that later.

Thought I would let you know about some up coming reviews regarding the rods and reel I use for fly fishing for pike. 

Vision Koma Reel

Loop Pike Booster Rod 9 foot for an 8/9

Esox Lucius Pike Fly Rod 9 foot for an 9/10

They will be up in that order over the next month.

I will also be reviewing the new DVD from Charles Rangeley-Wilson and learning whether the man can do no wrong !

RSS and a Thankyou

Visitors have jumped in the last month or so or so – due I reckon to the newly added forum, and also due to the fact I have been on a quest to catch some giant Pike on the fly. I never realised people were so interested in it – not that I have forgotten about my precious trout, no no – just put on hold until it is prime time again. 

I thought I would tell you the few ways you can actually get the content of this old blog:

  • You can come to this page.
  • On the left side bar you will see a wee box where you can add your email address and receive posts direct to your email – I will never pass your email into anyone else by the way – some of you might have got an email from me in the last month to sign up for the forum – thanks to all of you that did – I am impressed at the numbers already – looks like a nice wee crowd – why dont you head over there now and say what river you fish and why you love it so much :-)
  • You can subscribe to my RSS feed. In order to subscribe to an RSS feed or newsfeed you will need two things, an RSS reader (also known as a news aggregator) and url (web address) of the RSS feed that you wish to subscribe. For example probably the most common RSS reader around these days is Google Reader – go and check it out. My feed is located up at the top right of this page – it says RSS with a little symbol next to it – click it and then click “subscribe with Google”

Keep that symbol in mind and then head over to my links list on the right hand page and sign up to some more  excellent feeds  – most use them same symbol.

Here are a few to get you started:

Wayward Fly Fishing – Without question one of my favourites.

This is Fly – Slick blog to go with an even slicker magazine.

The Wandle Piscators – Shows you what can be done in an urban river with people that actually care.

The Suburban Bushwacker – A fantastic blog – a real mix of interesting patter!

French Flies – Stunning photography and interesting chat!

I got a bit carried away there as there are so many – RSS is a good way of keeping track of all your blogs !

Anyway, fly my pretties fly!

River Kelvin Wishlist – take two

Ok – so the last time I posted the wish list everyone went bonkers – I thought about what everyone said and so have now ammended my  list.

Now, maybe I am being mean posting about Salmon fishing on the Kelvin seeing as how I do not do it, however considering the increasing runs of Salmon and an influx of Salmon anglers I think it is relevant to this die hard trout angler that some form of action plan is put in place to protect this recovering resource. I would also like to think that if I do fancy trying to catch a Salmon at some point in the future there might actually be some left. Even our resident Salmon fisher (although we dont hold that against him much) Charlie Dunn is complaining about the increased numbers of anglers.

So without further ado these are the minimum actions I would like to see in place:

  1. Signs to be put up at strategic parts of the river stating a permit is required.
  2. The river to be patrolled by a qualified bailiff and a number of informal wardens to assist.
  3. The Vet School to be made fly only and catch and release – however this part of the river shall not be stocked. Other parts of the river should be stocked.
  4. Five Salmon to be kept in any one season -a tagging system to be in place.
  5. Catch and Release of trout to be encouraged – trout over 12 inches to be returned.
  6. A separate ticket for Salmon and Trout – Trout permit £15 and Salmon permit £30 (Some money to be spent on a hatchery)
  7. A protection order be sought as there is a need for conservation on the river (not sure how feasible this is) Have a look at the Don’s.

Protection Orders are granted in response to proposals from owners or occupiers of freshwater fishing rights. In return for statutory protection to their fisheries, fishery owners are required to demonstrate that a significant increase in the availability of fishing for freshwater fish within the area proposed will arise. 

Source Link

Reasons

Ok – so not much has changed – although I like to think that I am meeting a lot of folks half way.

There are still no signs at all along the whole course of the river – nothing to say a club is in existence which leads to widespread poaching of both salmon and trout. From what I gather you can fish the river for trout without a permit (at least that was what I was told by the old chairman) however it still makes sense to buy one.

There are no qualified bailiffs on the river, the people I speak to have never seen the volunteer ones either – that just isn’t right. Salmon were being caught and killed well into November last year – they were black fish too.

Am I being unreasnable?

(Help Needed) Do you want to know if Kelvin Trout are safe to eat?

I have recieved an email from Craig Robinson Environmental Impacts Group – Fisheries Research Services

I am writing having seen your River Kelvin website, and I have a request to make, but first I will give some background to it.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has a remit to ensure that food is not hazardous to consumers. That remit extends to levels of environmental contaminants (such as heavy metals, dioxins, etc) in “wild-caught” food items, such as marine and freshwater fish and shellfish. FSA therefore commission research to monitor such things, and I am currently working on a project to identify suitable sites and obtain samples of coarse fish and brown trout for chemical analysis. The rationale behind the work was that increasing numbers of Eastern Europeans living in Scotland are likely to result in increased consumption of coarse fish, and the FSA had little information on the concentrations of environmental contaminants in these (although they hold data from farmed salmon/trout). In addition, wild brown trout may be more widely consumed than coarse species, and also spend their full life-cycle in one river system. Fish caught for the project will be analysed for an extensive suite of environmental contaminants, including heavy metals, dioxins, PCBs, and pesticides, along with compounds of more recent environmental concern, including potential “gender-bending” compounds such as phthalates and brominated flame retardants. Data from the study will be made available to SEPA and may highlight areas that require further water quality improvements.

I have contacted Doug Brown and been given the go-ahead to take fish from the Kelvin AA’s waters on the Kelvin and the Clyde, but I am short of the means to do so, therefore I wondered whether you (and/or any pals) may like to assist the project by collecting fish for me? In order to provide sufficient material for chemical analysis, half-a-dozen fish of about half a pound each are required. I am not sure about your preferred quarry, but I suspect it is trout and I would be very happy to obtain trout alone and not worry about pike, perch, etc. If you would like to assist, or would like more information, please contact me by reply to this email or on the phone number below. The advantages to people who fish the Kelvin/Clyde would be knowledge about whether the fish are safe to eat (the Kelvin AA could put up notices if they were not and so probably reduce poaching), and the data generated may also highlight whether further water quality improvements are required (SEPA will be provided with a copy of the final project report and with access to the data arising from the study). Any assistance received would of course be acknowledged in the project report and a copy of it would be sent to yourself.

If you have got this far through the email, many thanks for considering my request and I look forward to your reply,

Craig

PS if you were to assist, it would just be a question of hanging on to any fish that you caught (frozen and wrapped in kitchen foil) until I am able to collect them on a convenient date in October. If fewer fish were caught than I suggested above, then the analysts would simply measure a smaller number of contaminants.

I think this is a great opportunity to find out exactly what condition our Kelvin trout are in!

So – who is up to helping Craig?

His email addy is c.robinson(nospam)marlab.ac.uk

(replace (nospam) with @

Orvis Superfine “Trout Bum” 804-4 Fly Rod Review

So I have now used my Orvis Troutbum 8 foot 4 weight for the best part of a season – I had been looking for a nice four weight for lazy days on the Kelvin as well as something for low water conditions on the Clyde. It must be said that I am no expert caster however I know what I like and definitely know what I don’t like. I like a rod that has feel and personality, a rod that is nice to cast and makes catching trout a pleasure rather than a chore.

First Impressions

I won’t lie to you, I like my bling (as if you did not know) – it’s a curse that I have to bare. I was not disappointed- getting this rod out of its bag and tube was great – it was a thing of beauty…

The rod bag is well made and there was a smell of new rod newness – I am sure that rod bag had just been made the previous week. The tube is sturdy however its bottom is arched so you cannot sit it up unsupported.

I put the rod joints together and was impressed by the quality of the handle – I could tell very good cork has been used to make it. I have heard of poor cork and now that I have felt good cork I know which I like – the handle was like holding silk. It also has a maple wood and cork inlay reel seat which reeks class. The blanks also have little dots to align the sections – I always thought this was a gimmick however I have found them great and now miss them on my other rods.

The rod has an olive finish with gold wraps. It also has Orvis Superfine written on the blank with another “Troutbum” stamp further up the blank which I did not like – the first stamp was enough.

Good quality wraps – they looked like speckled tinsel..

You can probably tell by this point I like how it looks – however the proof is in the fishing rather than how something looks, so read on my friends…

Casting & Action

Ironically when I received this rod I was under the impression it was a full flex rod. Orvis have gone all fancy and now rate rods full, mid or tip flex. Full flex is a slow action rod (that’s a bit whippy to the masses) and tip flex is a faster rod (a stiff rod).  Anyway, I thought this was going to be a full flex as that is what it said on the Orvis site – turned out the site was wrong and it is a mid flex. No matter as long it does not cast like a wooden stick. I like my rods slow. The error on the site is now fixed.

I don’t like all this nonsense about using the fastest rod possible – thankfully, Orvis still realise people want to fish and feel the whole act of casting rather than just thinking about power and distance. Not that this is not a powerful rod it is – just on a smaller scale.

This did not feel like a “light” rod – there is an element of old fashioned weight behind it – I don’t mean bad weight I mean solidness – it felt like holding a rod – you know what I mean?

Initially I used this rod with a five weight line even though it is rated for a four. I would like to go all fancy here and say I was just overlining the rod to fish close quarters (I was) however the truth is I only had a five weight line handy at the time. I also liked my Lamson on the rod. It was lovely to cast. I suppose here is where my ineptitude at writing rod reviews come in – I can’t talk about tight loops etc as I just cast and hope the fly gets to where I want it. I did and …well… it did. The rod is lovely to cast, with my five weight line I could feel when it was ready for the forward push and it put out a fair bit of line.

Maybe a month later I found a four weight line and tried that – it was like getting a new rod. The rod again was lovely to cast – sure I had to use a little more effort with timing as it is easier to cast with an overlined rod however that was not a problem.

This rod is lovely with dry flies which is what I prefer to fish – accuracy was high and I never felt under gunned. I used the rod on the Tummel

The Tumel is a place where I would usually use a true 5 weight and I managed to fish the rod all day with no problems.

It felt equally at home fishing this wee stream that I found..

Initially I loathed using a dry and dropper with it – just did not feel right however as I got more used to the rod and the extra weight of the nymph it proved less difficult – dare I say I started to enjoy using the dry and dropper due to the bonus fish…..possibly!

Playing Fish

This rod quickly became my main tool of the season for trout. Like I say, It was as happy fishing a tiny stream as it was something bigger like the Kelvin. I also used it on the Clyde and it handled all the trout with ease. Damn, the rod is just fun to fish with!

I finally settled on my old vossler reel to go with the rod – the whole outfit reeks class (unlike the photo above) – which is handy really as when I am staggering down the bank I usually need something that is going to drag up points for style. I was able to bully trout and get them to hand with the minimum of fuss – this rod bends with a fish which makes using light tippets very easy as it acts like a very good shock absorber.

As usual you get the high standard of Orvis customer service so you know that  if you ever stand on it you will be up and running again in no time at all.

You can buy the from Orvis and fromSportfish UK – probably your local store will order one in for you.

Second Rule – find feeding Pike…

I thought it was perfect conditions for Pike today – it was cloudy, warm and a slight breeze. Turns out the conditions don’t matter if the Pike are not in the mood – turns out you have got to go hunting and change all your tactics. If the first rule of pike fishing is “First, find your Pike”, then the second is “find a feeding Pike” – well I managed to comply with the first rule no problem – although they just kind of sat there – or did a quick bolt as soon as my fly hit the water. I managed to winkle a couple out after a couple of hours however things were definitely different.

I ended up heading for another spot which was not shielded from the wind like my first spot. At this place the waves were crashing into the weeds and there were a few scary moments when the waves came right up my back. I will just stay for ten mins I told myself and then I will head home….

Bang, bang, bang – five pike one after the other – all on my white EP fibre streamer – they must have been sitting right next to the weeds hiding in the waves.

I walked along the shore and located another similar spot – another two although they were a lot smaller than the others – still it shows to go you that if Pike are not in the mood in one place then they might be in the mood at another.

Jurassic Lake – Fishbum Style

Check out the Jurassic Lake short film on the Loop site – 

Check it out

Loop are running guided trips to this place – I love their blurb:

This is the only place we have heard of where guests have fainted due to catching too many fish! Some visits to the gym before getting here is recommended.

Fridays..

That Friday feeling is great – you wake up in the morning and you just know you only have a few hours to go before you are the longest time period away from being back at work on the Monday – between those two points you must fill in as much time as possible fishing while still trying to maintain an ordinary life. You probably don’t have enough time to fit it all in. I certainly don’t.

I have been enjoying reading the posts in your new little bulletin board – I am very impressed that there are almost 60 members in just a few weeks. Members have helped me out with getting the formatting just right so things just look slightly dodgy as opposed to utterly terrible.

Every time I have a look in I have noticed a couple of members or a few guests having a nosey around. If you are a guest please join up and say hello and if a member please leave a message – would be great to hear where you guys have been fishing or what you learned from your last trip. I decided on adding the forum as I am not so egocentric to think you guys want to hear what I have got to natter about all the time.

I have noticed a big influx of visitors the last few weeks due to my adventures with fly fishing for Pike (that’s Northern Pike to my friends over the pond) and reader Scott has been regaling us all in the forum with his adventures at his local pond (no place names in the forum allowed, the last thing I want to do is be responsible for a particular spot becoming hard fished). Also on the Pike front is interesting discussions around wire traces and what material to use.

There have been a few posts in the Kelvin section and I see some old faces and some new ones are cropping up as the weeks go by – looking forward to some intense debate over the coming close season about what people think the best way forward for the Kelvin should be. I also loved hearing about an incident involving the local police and fire service and a well known Kelvinator – I will let you go and read it yourself. 

If you have not joined as a member please head over now and say hello – a bit like an addiction meeting where you are allowed to fully embrace and talk about your problem without feeling ashamed.

Some you lose…

Dropped my wife off at the hospital and then drove straight for the spot. A much better day all round – sun on the water and baitfish moving in the margins.

Before you pass by that picture above can I just point out how difficult it is to hold your rod in one hand while fighting a toothy beast – and taking a photo with the other!

Three distinct feeding times – one when I arrived (I caught three straight away), another around an hour later and then one when I left mid afternoon. Two guys dead baiting overnight made me a roll n’ sausage which was nice. I passed on the buckfast – it is the sabbath after all…

By far the best pattern was my white EP fibre roachy thing. I decided to keep it on even when it was chewed to bits – after this picture it caught another one.

Scott mentioned in the comments that his finger was burned because of all the stripping – I had to change position of my line finger  three times – only changing when they started to weep blood.

Campbell said I should get one of those kinky Michael Jackson gloves – I think that would make me look far too sexy for passing women.

Caught another fish that may have reached the double figure point – maybe just under – I cast towards some scattering baitfish and then there was an almighty WhhhhHHHHOOOOOOOOOSHHHH – at my fly – it was then engulfed and then I let the Pike know who was boss – he was,  however it kindly let me land him for a quick photo opportunity…

I think I might be getting a bit blase about catching these big Pike now – only kidding…. How can you get blase about creatures with a set of gnashers like these:

Still no PIke for me on the poppers – Next week I am toying with the idea of taking a boat out on one of the famous lochs for Pike – I have a free day to take up on a secret loch in the hills – however I may just head to the trossachs

Damn right, some you win!!

Some you win…

Fished for Pike all day, cast maybe a thousand times, caught nothing. It rained on and off and was cold and windy.

At the end of the day the felt sole was sucked off my orvis boots by a bog.

 

 

…and some you lose!

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