Happy (belated) 5th Birthday to Me…

I was looking over at Tamanawis and noticed he was having a wee birthday. I then decided to have a look at my own stats and noticed that I have just past my own 5th birthday of blogging about fishing.

Way back in the beginning I remember emailing Marshall Cutchin at Midcurrent who was one of the major players in news sites about fishing (it still is) and Marshall asked how many visitors I recieved – around 10 a day I enthused – he never emailed me back – I just imagine him giving a wry smile at my enthusiasm.

So I suppose this is where all the other bloggers to do with fishing cock an ear as secretly we all love knowing how many visitors we all get – well I am not going to make it easy for you.  From the beginning of “Urban Fly Fishing on the Kelvin” to now – “The Urban Fly Fisher” has received around 800000 unique visitors – to be fair around 500000 is probably me !

I have met some great people in those 5 years and made some firm friends – I have been on the telly and been in newspaper articles which has really been a lot of fun! I have also been threatened with physical violence which has not been as nice……but that’s fishing for you ….hey no wait a mo….

So I suppose to everyone I have got to say thanks very much for reading and please do stick around – I intend to be going for at least another 5 years all going well – although something tells me that my fishing exploits may be curtailed come January due to an imminent new arrival….

Alistair 0 Pike 7

Well, if I had to look at success with my pike fishing today by the number of fish hooked – I would say it was an excellent day with around a half dozen caught. However if success was how many I actually landed then I would have to say – none. The Pike were in a playful mood playing with my fly and with very gentle takes – for some reason they just did not stay on.

One memorable moment came when I lost my biggest ever Pike on the fly – well when I say lost I mean it was on and off again in the space of around 10 seconds, I was casting towards some weeds and suddenly the dinosaur shot out and ambushed the fly – if I was to estimate its size I would say in the high teens. My rod was bent double – it ripped out line and then was gone.

I doubt anyone will be fishing the rivers today what with all the rain – all the streams I passed had burst their banks.

Dealing with Dodgy Cows

Ok – Let’s do it – let’s talk about cows!

Quite simply I don’t trust the buggers, they stand about chewing their cud occasionally giving you the evil eye as you walk past – they look at you as if they own the damn place and occasionally they all moo at one another as if they are “talking” or even quite possibly (and a lot more scary to think about) coordinating.

One of the things I enjoyed about fishing in an urban environment was the lack of livestock – oh yea sure, you get the odd glimpse of a deer bolting down the Kelvin corridor and dogs which are usually accompanied by talkative walkers but cattle was never something I had to worry about.

These days when I fish the Kelvin I get a reprieve as most of the other places which are just outside the city limits have some form of cattle that you must contend with (and for the love of God don’t get me started on horses).

The last few times I have been out fishing I have noticed the cows have got calf’s with them which make them especially jumpy and brave – often staring you out and then giving a few kicks as they walk away.

So, what I want to know is what are your tactics for dealing with cows (or other livestock) – I mean would you go in a field with a bull? Do you just walk slowly past? If you are by yourself do you avoid the situation all together?

Beautiful Views

You know, I don’t go North often enough – most of my fishing is South. North is beautiful…

Pike on the Sabbath

I am sitting here writing this between coats of paint. You see, I had scheduled in to do some painting and decorating over the weekend and this meant definitely no fishing. However, there had to be somewhere in the schedule that I could squeeze in a few hours – it turned out that if I drastically cut back on my sleep I could get up at 0500 and be fishing for Pike at dawn. It worked – I was fishing for just past 0600 and within a few casts had a rather nice Pike – unfortunately the bank was a bog so apologies for rather shady picture which does not do the beast any favours.

I got a few more follows and sharp pulls and rather impressive swirls however they did not come to anything other than getting my heart pounding…

I ended up catching several tiny jacks – they were being rather hopeful I thought as my fly was about half the size of the pike.

It was not just the Pike that got my heart racing – the spot on Loch Lomond I fish is guarded by a couple of dozen ninja cows – they are braver than your average cows and stand their ground just that little bit too long when you are walking by them.

Scratching a Pike itch!

Just to prove that the last pike I caught on Loch Lomond was not a fluke I just went and caught another one – well in fact two however the first one did not really count.

The evening was warm and rather pleasant – or at least it seemed that way after a tramp over a field filled with jumpy cows with their calfs – by the end of it I was sweating like a bull among them…

..it soon started to pee down with rain (to be fair we do live in Scotland)- miserable springs to mind – the rain was beating off the water and every passing moment it just seemed to be getting heavier and heavier.

Before long however it had passed and it was time to get back to trying for Pike.

The first Pike I caught was strange, the conversation was thus:

AS –  ” That’s a Pike – ya beauty”

Fishing Buddy –  ” Nice one – well done”

AS –  “Oh no, wait a mo – is it weed?”

AS –  “Yes, it’s a Pike – no wait I think it s a stick”

AS – ” No it is a Pike however I have foul hooked it”

Fishing Buddy –  ” is that a duck in its mouth?”

AS – “Hang on is that a Salmon I have caught” (totally random comment – I thought it was a diseased salmon)

Fishing buddy then muttered something about how well pike fight after I compared it to a bit of weed – good point I thought.

However, the reason we were so confused is because there was something hanging out its mouth – I have no photo and let the Pike go pretty quickly (it flopped out my hands) however half its jaw had been ripped off and part of its gill was hanging out its mouth.  I think someone had tried to remove the hooks by pulling on the wire trace, thus pulling its guts out – lovely.

The first pike was not going to survive long – especially not after I seen a Pike of around 20lb roll under my line around 10 mins later. This happened several times – I think what was happening was that the Pike were lying stationary in the shallow water (it is only around 2 foot) and when my line passed over there backs it gave them a scare – certainly I would always recast where I last seen the Pike however the big girls were not for playing – the same must have happened to the first pike however as it was injured it could not get out the way in time.

I then heard a big splash behind me next to the shore – that has got to be a feeding Pike – I cast towards it – I then had the most exciting 10 mins of the season – every couple of casts the Pike would follow the fly – a big wake swirling behind my fly – I varied my retrieves – slow, stop, slow, fast , fast – BANG — the Pike tore across the pool. Now, I have heard it said that Pike don’t fight – they just put up a couple of runs and then give up – not this wee boy – he ripped out line and put a major bend in my nine weight. He ran maybe a half dozen times and doggedly did not want to be landed.

However , the toothy beast eventually relented (and this was after trying to play him hard) – landing it was a simple matter of chinning the pike (getting good at this now) and using the forceps to get the fly out its mouth.

I would like to say my Pike itch has been scratched however after seeing some of those big doubles I reckon I may develop a skin infection.

Ok – We have a Forum

Ok – we now have a small forum to play about in – I decided that there was enough people who asked random questions on old threads to warrant somewhere for miscellaneous questions.

If it does not get used much then I may well delete it – lets say we will give it a trial for a couple of months.

When you register it means that your comments will not be held in moderation (something which some people ask me about) so enjoy. I will be messing around with it over the next week or so and if there are any problems let me know.

The direct URL is http://urbanflyfisher.com/forum/ or you can access it using the navigation at the top of the page.

Dont let this stop you pointing out where I go wrong on my posts.

Anyway, go and post something to test it.

Testing a new layout…

I know this is a little boring, especially if you guys are reading this via email however I am testing out my new theme – I would like some comments.

I have also been thinking about adding a very simple forum. I was actually loathe to do this as I dont think it will get used much however I am not egocentric enough to realise that some people might want to chat about other things than stuff I write about. I also dont want you guys to bugger off to a forum and not comment anymore :-)

Let me know what you think and I will activate it if you like in a few days.

Thinking of Summer Pike…

Tell you what I have been thinking about the last week or so……….”Pike” that’s what !

Usually it is only at the end of the trout season I turn to the toothy beasts however this year the urge has got me early.

Oh yea baby, and with Pike size does in fact matter – I always wonder about why I am happy catching tiny trout all day on a dry fly however with Pike it has to be bigger bigger bigger…

I think a wee after work trip down to my local canal is called for within the next week or so. I have even talked a fishing buddy into taking a boat out on a loch – it should be a whole lot of fun.

Enough for any man, women, boy or girl.

I thought I had hit the river at the right time, I gazed rather pessimistically (it must be said) at the river – it was the colour of strong tea and up around a good foot and half – that is a lot of water coming down. The venue was the Clyde however I was starting to think that maybe I was a day too early. I walked around a half kilometre downstream – crossing a little footbridge that now looked almost submerged. I did not see anything down there either.

I tramped my way back up and sat down. I have not been down this way for an evening session in a while – most of my evening sessions have been on the Kelvin (which just goes to show you how many I have actually had this year) – so I was wanting this to be right so very much. Did I mention the cows were being especially restless – “Scuse me pretty Ladeez” I sleazed as they kicked up there heals when I got too close. Around this time of year the bulls are in the fields? I looked around for a possible suitor for the cows – there was none – it was only the ladeez I had to keep an eye on then…..I thought about cutting my losses and heading upstream, hell I thought about cutting my losses and heading home for some brownie points.

I sat and watched the water, glad I had bought a bottle of water at the service station – was that a rise? In some slack water – usually this part of the river is just a big stagnant pool however now it had a good flow going through it – it sure was a rise – and another.

It was tricky wading however I managed to cover the trout….thud thud thud and then off. Well, at least I rose it. What then followed was a series of hatches – I did not see any flies close to me to identify them, I only knew flies were around as the birds would go crazy for 10 mins. I caught lots of trout – nothing massive – the biggest maybe shy of three quarters of a pound.

I walked further up the river and covered some more rising trout – the drag was too bad or my fly was just not right as I received a couple or refusals – I walked back to my starting point – more rising trout but less water due to the Swan family.

Did I mention the smell? Oh yea, this is where all the cows come to drink, shit and piss. The river bed was made up of mud which in turn was made up of weeks of shit and piss – it fairly honked when I waded.

Still, I managed to winke another one out…

By this time my comparadun was soaked through and was refusing to float – I decided instead of tying on a new fly it was time to head home. Sure, it was only eight thirty and there was still a chance (a good chance, hell a certainty) that I was going to catch more fish however I decided a dozen nice trout is enough to satisfy any man, women, boy or girl.

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