Meetings!

I love surprises, I pass over this river on the way to a rehab centre – sometimes I have to go there for meetings when people are being discharged. Today I left my gear in the car so I could have a quick cast on my lunch break before the meeting. The water had a blue tinge to it, did not look healthy. I thought it was dead and then I saw a rise – a pod of rising trout with a few nice ones in their as well – fairly slurping at the surface – I got into position and cast – two trout must have been competing for flies as they both went for it – the trout was on and putting a fair old bend in my wee 4 weight Orvis – it was at this point me reel fell off.

I then spent the rest of the fight trying to manage with the line I had out – it turned out ok and then I secured the reel again.

Looking forward to my next meeting already.

Brown water…

Hit a Kelvin tributary after work – turned out I was way too early to be thinking about it. It was a nice height – possibly a few inches too high but a very muddy colour. A good temp with plenty of flies around – could not catch any to identify them – would be interesting to find out what they were.

I nymphed a few pools with no luck and then at a pool where I though I might get a trout on a dry caught a parr while the fly was being whisked underwater.

Maybe tomorrow, although the temps are set to dip.

Fly Tying When It Rains

Great – so we have all been wishing for some rain for the last couple of months and now it has arrived with a vengeance. I think it has been raining on and off for a good week now which has pretty much put a halt to any kind of fishing in the rivers – well, most of the rivers I fish are bank high and rushing towards the sea looking like a big brown muddy mess. However, I am not despondent (and neither should you be) as when it stops the rivers will have had a good clear out washing all the weed and excess silt that has built up away and the fishing will be mighty fine. The Kelvin is tricky as it can go from bank high and brown to very low pretty quickly. I never really understand why sometimes it can maintain a good height and still be clear sometimes and at others act a totally different way to rain. The saying that if a cow pisses in a field upstream causes a spate in the Kelvin can be pretty true. However no mater what happened the fishing will be good all over. If it lasts much long though I will be hitting some of the tributaries for some action – they generally start off high and dirty and with prolonged rain settle down to just high and clear and the fishing can be pretty good if you love catching small trout on the dry (with a possibility of some nice ones thrown in).

I just know all the Salmon fishers are sitting with a big smile on their faces at the prospect of more salmon being in the river.

 Gallows Tool

Still, I have not been bored as at the weekend I bought myself a gallows tool and have been tying up some alternative flies. A gallows tool is handy for klinks although you don’t really need one (I don’t anyway) however it is invaluable if you are going to tie up some paraloops. It acts like a third hand holding up the wing post for klinks and the post for paraloops – very handy!

I spent some time tying up a half a dozen olive paraloops which are kind of similar to my “no fail messy olive”. It uses fewer materials and looks just as messy – I will post a picture to show them both when I have a chance.

I then decided on tying up a paraloop using a klink hook making a rather nice looking emerger – I tied up two kinds – one with thread as the body and one with a stripped peacock herl body.

I am undecided whether the body will sink under the surface however I am pretty sure the paraloop will have enough body to float the fly – considering I used flaotant as a dubbing wax I am more than confident actually. I would be interested in knowing if other people tie paraloops or fish them?

Wader Repair Time Again….

I have a hole in my waders – not just one in fact but a few. The three main ones that are causing my gip are – both feet and a rather nasty one at my groin. The last one makes me look as if I have wet myself when I take them off – it doesn’t half chaff as well when walking any distances. And don’t even talk about when I was fishing in the salt the other day – Yowzers – my inner thighs were bright red when I got home!

I think I have located the leaks – I did not need to do anything fancy with alcohol or lights as I could pretty quickly see what the problem was – at the crotch (sorry to those not interested in my crotch) there appeared to be some thinning of the lining – possibly due to rubbing.

rubbing waders

If you look carefully you can see light bits – that is where it looks as if the inner lining has came away from the outer – when I put my hand inside and blow I can feel the air – there is breathable and then permeable – you decide!

Now this might be enough to send a lesser mortal away to the fishing shop with a bundle of grubby tenners in their hands but not this stingy frugal fish fighting machine. After last years disastrous contact with a barbed wire fence I had went around various friends for solutions – most of whom shook there heads relegating them to the bin – however with a tube of extremely sticky stuff and some patches there were good as new in no time at all – sure they looked like they had been in the wars but there is nothing finer in life than a patch you have applied yourself and it makes the damn thing work again – or in this case hopefully to stop leaking like I have peed myself.

So, another tube of sticky stuff later…

……and voila!

I do one patch at a time so concentrated on the groin area – if that works then I will move on to the legs and feet !

What a Weekend – Sunday Sleep Debt

My head was pounding as I had only around a few hours sleep and was threatening to turn into a migraine – that happens when I go into sleep debt. However if I wanted the car I had to drop the wife off at her work. I wore my nightwear in the car for that extra 10mins zzzz

Sunday

Sunday was an altogether different kettle of fish. I decided on the trout again and mid morning drove to a spot on the Clyde. This was going to be a lazt sloooooow day.

Walking down the river to where I was going to start there is some deep slow water – this water hardly has a current and is very difficult to wade as you send ripples coursing across the whole area which spooks all the fish. You know there are fish there as you can see them – enormous ones. They have got that big from being spooky and being careful about what comes near them. So I stood watching them rise for a while and tried to work out the best way to tackle them – it was then that I noticed the otter playing around in the water. It was totally oblivious of me – or if it did see me was still quite safe enough to know that this big lumbering brute was in no way going to catch it – I watched it for several minutes heading and tailing and generally eating all my fish before it decided to disappear.

I walked further downstream. I started at a long slow run with several trout rising – again these fish are spooky. I think it may be a combination of the slow water with depth – this gives the trout plenty of time to inspect your fly – obviously mine was not up to the job. I noticed this fly on my rod…

Unknown Fly

I am not 100% sure what it is – you cannot really tell from my photo but it was very red in colour – maybe one of you guys will shed some light on it…

Later I came to the spot where I caught one of my big trout yesterday – it was at a crease at the top of the pool where the water runs in from the next pool up. Just to the right there is a little slack water where that trout sat yesterday – I decided to put on a dry and dropper again and had a few casts. Pretty quickly I was into a good trout – leaping and cart wheeling around the pool – although something was strange. The trout looked as if it had been foul hooked. I netted the trout and inspected it – the trout had taken my nymph as it was firmly in the scissors however the mono for the nymph had snapped – somehow the dry fly had stuck in the side of the fish -I think it was because the trout was doing so much rolling. I took a photo of the trout and measured it as I was pretty certain this was the same trout as yesterday – just a smidgen under 15inches. Later when I compared photos it is definitely the same trout – it has unusual markings towards the back of its body.

Have a look at the photo above and compare it to the one on Saturday….you can tell by the markings near the rear of the trout…

I cast again and once more I was into another good trout – I was enjoying this – I quickly netted this one without mishap…..slightly smaller than the first…

I fished up the river without getting another take or offer. My head was fairly pounding by this point so I reckoned a walk up to the slow water was on the cards. When I got there the trout were still rising and some were quite close in. I got through the bushes to find he water was not as deep as I had first thought. I got in the water; I could not see what the trout were taking although there were some olives generally flittering around. I decided (unwisely) on some shock tactics and floated a comparadun over them – total failure. I then decided on a tiny cdc – this time I had a refusal. At the end of a drift I was retrieving my line slowly under the surface to recast when I felt a tug…..and then another – yep, the trout had taken the fly – a brief tussle ensued and the trout was in my hands – it looked very silvery. No picture as I was waist deep in water. Decided after that it was time to head home as the whole pool was not pretty much spooked. Still I was pretty chuffed with myself – there is not much better in life than a flukey trout!

All in all a fine days fishing.

What a weekend!

It has been pretty much non stop fishing from early Saturday morning until now – Sunday late afternoon.

Saturday

We had a crazy plan to try and catch 4 species – Pike, Trout, Sea Trout and Mackerel. It turned out we enjoyed fishing for the trout just a little too much and so missed out the Pike totally and blanked on the Mackerel.

Trout were intermittently rising to flies so I stuck with using a nymph under an dry indicator – it proves most effective. I was using my Orvis “Trout Bum” 4 weight – with this little rod these trout went bannanas!

In fact I am actually starting to get the hang of it now – I can see why people use it so much..

Like I say – we enjoyed our trout fishing a little too much…

The Evening

Later, we left Glasgow behind to try and catch a Sea Trout in the salt. I used my 8/9 weight rod however I reckon I quite fancy getting myself a true 8 weight as it would have been ideal – possibly even a 7 weight. In fact I would have used my 7 weight if I could have found my reel which I think I have lost somewhere – this does not bode well…..It makes it all the harder when I browse aroundthe net and come across nice Orvis Outfits such as this which would do the job just nice…

We took the spinning gear as well however they were shunned by the fish as they were pretty keen on our flies. I thought back to when we were getting organised – I think we all secretly thought the action would be on the spinners..

- I got a Sea Trout and so did my fishing buddy. No pictures unfortunately as at the moment it is sizzling away on my BBQ.

As soon as I find my reel I will be going back to this place…..we got home at 0230 and I had to get up for 0600……After my Sunday chores I decided to hit the Clyde again for trout……well, I will tell you about that later.

Parr a Plenty and then BANG

The water is warmer than the air – I kept telling myself that as I was catching juvenile trout and parr aplenty on the Kelvin. I knew there was big trout here – I had seen them in the past and a recent conversation with someone had made me decide to try this spot for an evening session. There did not seem to be any flies on the surface. When I looked up into the air there was a variety of spinners – some Yellow Mays and some other olives I could not identify.

A nice Kelvin run..

Come dusk the small trout really started hammering flies and I started to target them for some fun – eventually it got boring. A proper evening rise was not going to materialise. I waded downstream slowly; the water was very slow and maybe 2 feet deep. It is that slow that the trout have far too long to inspect your fly however I thought the darkness (it was now around 11pm) might give that little extra cover. The water was around 2 feet deep and the occasional trout or parr was rising.

A parr “glooped” around a metre away from me, and slightly downstream – I decided to cover it. I drifted my fly (a Comparadun) and the parr slashed at it but missed, I drifted the fly again and the fish took – this was no parr. It was a trout, a big trout – it thrashed around shaking its head and then jumped clear out the water twice, when I finally got the trout to the net it must have measured around 17 inches, when it came to the net the third time (I was using my 4 weight Orvis Trout Bum rod) I quickly turned on my camera so that I was prepared. With the trout in the net I unhooked it; it was still pretty lively unhooking was problematic. Taking the camera out of my top left pocket with my right hand I lifted the trout out of the net with my left – it was so big my hand did not reach around the trout – and there lay the problem – as soon as it wiggled the trout was out my hands and in the water – it cruised slowly away. I smiled -  I always feel strange when I don’t get a photo of a big trout – no idea why. It is usually the bigger trout that I don’t get a photo of – usually I am a bit panicky and want to get them back in the water as quickly as possible or I do something dumb like I did with this fish. I got the measuring tape out while the trout was still fresh in my memory and guestimated its size – I then took a couple of inches off to account for fishermen’s memory.

The bats were on the water and it was pretty dark by this point – I relived the fight as I walked back to the car – I thought it wasn’t going to happen tonight but somehow I think it did.

Hit or Miss…..verdict = Miss

Not sure what happened today – fished the Clyde with little success. It was warm, overcast and little wind. There were several types of flies hatching, Yellow Mays, A large type olive and then this tiny little olive.

I still managed to winkle out a few trout – this one came to a dry…

And then I got another couple fishing with Clyde Style wets.

Muddy Water

I got to the Kelvin around 5pm. I thought the rain we had would have freshened the river up a bit. I had noticed on the SEPA site it had risen a few inches. It was the colour of mud…perfect I thought; I love it like this…

Wait, no – I hate it like this – it makes the trout dour and bloody impossible to catch – to prove my point I managed to spook the only rising trout in the vicinity by pricking him. After sadly taking my gear off I went for a wander along the river only to find another rising trout…I watched him for 20 mins taking something off the surface. It was enjoyable watching the trout and I wondered whether I should go back and get my waders on – it would mean wading upstream in water that I am not too familiar with. I decided against it.

I have had the nagging feeling I missed out on something though.

Fool’s Paradise Review – John Gierach

I don’t like reading reviews of books where people say someone is “back on form” or the writer is retuning to their “classic style”. It gives the impression that the author’s last couple of books have been pretty shit and they have finally pulled their socks up and decided to write something decent instead of milking the offline publishing cash cow.

So after saying all that, how do I then say that this book holds its own with his earlier works? I mean I am not saying John Gierach’s last couple of books have been bad it’s just that I just don’t return to them as much as his older works. I will probably return to this one though….lots of interesting info and stories..

So what did I like about it?

Well for a start it was about fishing and catching them – he gives an accurate description of going Pike fishing on the fly – a little bit scary and a little bit crazy. When I told one of my pals about the pike exploits he sniffed and said “he must be running out of material” as a justification as to why he was not writing about trout. Still this guy loves Gierach and catching trout on a dry fly however I don’t think it’s true the man has run out of material. Robert Traver managed to solely talk about brook trout for a couple of books and countless articles so I think Gierach is evolving with his readership – more people are keen to read about catching other species on the fly, so he is not afraid to write about it. I suppose it stems from his magazine writing background, a few years ago you would hardly see an article about Pike on the fly and now they are in every other issue (over here in the UK anyway).

You can buy it from Amazon UK

 

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