Moving the home base!

I often state that I have the oldest running fly fishing blog and that comes with a rather interesting issue. It means that over the years you guys come to know a little bit about my personal life not just about my fishing exploits. I mean, you guys were with me when a finished my professional training, when I got married, when I passed my driving test and when I had kids. You were with me when I drifted off from the Kelvin and fished the Clyde for a few years and were with me when my 1st and  2nd child came along which meant travelling further afield just did not seem worth it.

Now we are entering a new phase and things are about to get a whole lot more interesting. Some of you guys may have remembered that I have sold my house and am currently looking for a new one. Well, a house has finally been found and we should be moving in in the New Year. The biggest change for me is that it is outside Glasgow. We hummed and hawed about the change however we pretty much decided that the advantages outweigh the alternatives. I was initially sceptical as it means not having my local river 5mins from my front door however on further reflection it looks like a whole other world is opening up. I will still be fishing the Kelvin a few times a week however now will have other options as well as other rivers will be placed within striking distance which would have been impractical to get to  in the past. The salt will be on my doorstep in a place that I have fished before for mackerel and Sea Trout and Lomond will be in easy striking distance for some Pike action – heck I could even get the big ticket if I fancied.

2013-11-10 12.25.31

I may well have a few treats for myself as next year I shall be reaching a rather interesting age which people describe as being a big number and then an Oh at the end…

In other news I went and finally bought myself a float tube  for next season so hope to be exploring some wee lochs for the toothy beasts as well as trout. My floating tube partner in crime Alex and I have been texting each other with possible scenarios of what being on a float tube will be like. I asked him what he would do if he was being towed around by a thirty pound pike and realised he had dropped his forceps in the water – chuck the rod in the water came the reply. I like that humor!

Any of you guys got float tubes or thinking of getting one?

 

100 days until the trout season!

Just 100 days until this is a reality!

Just 100 days until this is a reality!

Balmaha

We went for a walk along the banks of Loch Lomond today. I was struck at how beautiful it looked with the Autumn sunshine hitting off the still loch. I met some chaps fishing for Pike at a place I have never really thought of before (they must have had a half dozen rods out) and I considered it may be a good place for the tube.

Sunset

 

Snowhills

 

Sunset 2

Autumnal Kelvin

I went for a wander along the Kelvin today and could not help but notice the striking colors of the Kelvin. This may actually may be my last Autumn for some time as a true city boy as I have finally secured a house some distance away along the Clyde.

Enjoy!

Colors

 

 

 

striking

Predicting the weather = Talking rubbish

I could not help but notice the temperature has really taken a dip over the last few weeks and as usual the media are stirring themselves up to a frenzy.

Scotland braced for worst winter in decades

Where the hell am I?

I mean I am aware we had a couple of bad winters however last winter was actually ok apart from the length of it – it hung around like a bad smell for ages. If the is one thing I have learned over the last decade it is that folk that try and predict the weather get it wrong more often than not. I am not talking about predicting the weather for tomorrow as the chances are it will be pretty similar as today, I am talking about the “it will be a great/terrible summer/winter” brigade.

Saying that if we have a rubbish winter the chances are it will be yet another 1 bar on the heater situation with me currently still looking for a house. We have actually found a house however it is a fair bit outside the city – bit of a shocker that eh? It would mean a good 40min drive to the Kelvin however considering some folk have got to drive over an hour to get to their trout stream I guess I will be doing ok.

Any of you wanna predict the weather?

The underside ….

image

Never…

Never Stop...

Something new…

I feel as if I have stomped all over the Central Belt of Scotland with just a hint of travelling far North. To my shame I have traveled more in England than I have in Scotland. Before the kids arrived I went camping up North for a couple of weeks with my wife however never made it up as far as John o Groats, well finally we did make it and have a picture to prove it.

We gave up a while ago trying to get folk to look at cameras!

We gave up a while ago trying to get folk to look at cameras!

We were up for a few days staying at Thurso which would have been great for the trout fishing if it had been a couple of months ago however now the season has ended and the Salmon season was way over my budget I was faced with the Sea. So I managed to affix my beachcaster and tripod to the roof bars and some advice sought on some forums and from pals I was off.

The Beast...

The Beast…

I have got to admit that I am a total rooky to Sea fishing however learning about a whole new branch of the sport has really got me interested. Up in Thurso it was fairly standard that I wanted to go fishing, I mean the fishing boats came in at Scrabster and I should maybe have fished their however I decided to fish along at Dunnet Bay purely as I had visited it during the day and it seemed nice. Seemingly Sea Bass are caught at this bay (which seems to be a bit of a sea fish holy grail) however I would be happy with a small flounder. I think it was while I was on the telephone to fishing buddy Alex that I realised my hooks were to big. Anyway, I had been fishing for a while with some mackeral strips that I had carved off a whole fish that I had bought from Tesco that morning when I realised that I did have some smaller hooks in a packet in my bag however by this point it was getting dark and I could not continue because I could see nothing and had forgotten a torch.

Dunnet Beach - Daytime!

Dunnet Beach – Daytime!

Of course what made me feel like an extra special amateur was when a couple of blokes walked down the beach looking like the characters from Tron, I mean they even had little neon things on their tripod and fishing rods. “These guys..” I mused..”know what the fuck they are doing” Of course, these guys had timed it right for proper dark and had all their stuff set up. You learn something new every time you go fishing and this time I learnt some serious lessons:

  • Take a torch
  • Take a proper knife
  • Take something to wipe your hands on as they will stink for at least a day if you do not.
  • Take smaller hooks

Still, I had a good time and even when a boy zipped up on his quad bike it was only to ask me if it was ok to zoom around behind me – he looked like he was having great fun speeding up and down the beach.

On the way back up the road I got a chance to see some of the scenery which I missed out on when I was driving up.

DSCF0939

 

 

Last trout….

I am more used to scrabbling through bushes and casting between trees rather than walking over marshy uneven ground to get to my fishing. It was strange then that my uneasiness about falling and twisting an ankle couple with my nimbleness improved after some whisky as a few pals and I toasted the end of the season before starting fishing.

You can see a lonesome Jim Burns...

You can see a lonesome Jim Burns…

We decided that the end of the trout season needed something a little bit different, as the Kelvin and most other rivers were out of action the sport was provided by a trip up to a loch. The whiskey was provided by Alex in little white plastic cups!

The forecast was to be breezy and warm for the day and this was kind of true apart from the fog that descended on us at one point reducing visibility to a hundred yards or so.

You could see a few rod lengths at one point....

You could see a few rod lengths at one point….

I am woefully equipped for loch fishing, my 7 weight is in storage and even then it is not an enjoyable rod to fish with especially now that I have borrowed Paul’s Hardy 7 weight which was great to fish with the whole day – it had one of those “Shark Skin” lines on the reel which gave a funny zinging sound every time I cast and retrieved which kind of cut through the stillness of the day.

It rained on and off, this made the ground slippy and brought out the shrooms..

We could have went down the magical route!

We could have went down the magical route!

I was using a two cast set up with a Kate McLaren on the bob fly and I am not sure what on the point. I walked up to the top of the loch where a burn flowed in and started to fish. Within a few casts I had a couple of takes and after the second I covered the same water and caught a lovely hard fighting almost black trout. I always find catching trout in lochs strange as I feel they have nowhere really to go unlike rivers where they usually head straight for a shopping trolley or other handy snag.

My first trout from the bank of a loch this season...

My first trout from the bank of a loch this season, unfortunately also my last…

Alex meanwhile had caught one on the other side of the loch which he said would have been nearer 2lb if it was not so thin. We took a bit of a gamble on this loch as one of us had heard it was full of Perch however there were no spiny beasts spotted at all.

Some Sedge made an appearance!

Some Sedge made an appearance!

Alex as usual was hauling in fat fish as he worked his way down the shore. I asked him his opinion of the loch and he was suitably impressed – from a guy that grew up stomping all over the hills of Northern Scotland that means something..

Into a trout....

Into a trout….

The trout liked a good splash…

Splish Splash!

Splish Splash!

Jim was catching trout on the dry while Paul was struggling with his 5 weight in the wind. He was very chivalrous in not asking for his damn rod back!

Meanwhile I caught another couple of trout within minutes of each other..

2nd trout...

2nd trout…

3rd Trout...

3rd Trout…

Of course after a bit the fog began to rise, Alex positioned me next to this cliff face and had me cast across it. It sure looked fishy however on this occasion nothing came from it.

Fog rising?

Maybe next time?

How annoying that on the day of the season I find a brand new appetite for fishing lochs from the shore. In terms of tackle I used Pauls Hardy which begrudgingly I admitted was nice however it made me realise I need a nice fast actioned 10 foot 7 weight for next season. If anyone has any recommendations for a rod well under a ton let me know.

I had a look on the Glasgow Angling Centers Preloved Tackle page on facebook  and was amazed at some of the bargains that have been their in the past, will let you know what I end up with!

So, I will give a good round up of the season later on in the month however when it comes to trout that is pretty much that!

You guys have a good season?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suunto Vector X

I notice that my Suunto Watch is now at the bargain price of £116 over at the Polimil Factory Shop

It is a sweet piece of kit which apart from being a watch also includes a compass, barometer, altimeter and increases your ultimate sexiness by a factor of ten. One of those was a half truth however I shall let you guess which one.

The altimeter has been good when I have been out hill walking as well as watching the numbers go up and down when zipping up and down in elevators in the high flats that I so often visit.

When fish are just nor responding we anglers like to come up with just about any old excuse and quite often we talk about the air pressure –  the theory proposes that a dropping air pressure brings on feeding activity, rising pressure turns the fish off feeding, high pressure results in the fish moving to shallower water, and low pressure results in fish moving to deeper water. That is the standard theory however I have often found the opposite to be true – for example just before all this rain we had a period of high pressure and then the next day the pressure dropped – on the last night I fished for trout it was pretty tricky however I suppose that could have been something to do with the lower temps as well. Sometimes I think that the theory holds more weight in deep water like lakes or ponds rather than rivers as it may affect the movements of trout more.

However, I reckon it may just all be connected with the wind and rain that is connected to the changing of air pressure rather than the pressure itself.

Grab yourself a bargain.

 

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