Distant Meetings, Secret Streams

I have spent a lot of time looking at maps for new rivers to fish or even new spots on old rivers. I am ware that this season I will have a lot of added responsibilities which will drastically reduce my time on the water so waters reasonably close at hand have had to be sourced. I love looking at maps and tracing the blue lines to see if there are any that go reasonably close to anywhere that I may travel. For example, sometimes I travel a good hour and a half away from my home due to traffic to attend meetings at a rehabilitation unit (being careful not to give too much away here), if the meeting is at the end of the day then I can get caught in very heavy traffic coming back through the city centre. A better idea is to stop and have a fish for an hour or so meaning I will probably get back home at the same time however missing out all the traffic.


Anyway, to cut a long story short I have found the above  likely looking wee spot, and in this day and age of satellite photography I can even see what it looks like – some nice wee pools, riffles, bends – probably stuffed full of fat untouched trout ripe for taking a dry fly in spring.

Looking forward to distant meetings already!

Milngavie Fly Dressers Spring 2009 Programme

The program for the 2009 Milngavie Fly Dressers is now out:

Novices and experts welcome – do not be shy if you have never tied before  as it is very informal – turn up with your vice and tie any fly you like or copy the demonstrator. There are also “presentation” evenings where someone gives a wee talk.

The Venue

Milngavie Library
Allander Road
G62 8DN
Thursday evenings
7pm – 10pm


January 15th – Fly Tying evening

January 22nd – Demonstration and Fly tying evening – Bumbles & Dabblers

January 31st – Fly Tying evening

February 5th – Demonstration and Fly tying evening – Parachute Dry Flies

February 12th – Fly Tying evening

February 19th – Demonstration and Fly tying evening -Salmon Flies

February 26th – Paul Procter – River Flies some secret patterns

March 5th – Demonstration and Fly tying evening – Loch Lomond Flies

March 12th – Fly tying evening

March 19th – Demonstration and Fly tying evening – Clyde style Flies

March 26th – Knots and leader set ups for the new season- Alisdair Mair and Alberto Laidlaw

April 2nd – Demonstration and Fly tying evening – Uist Flies

April 16th – Magnus Angus – Fly Photography & FFFT Magazine Competition Flies

April 23rd – Fly tying evening

April 30th – Demonstration and Fly tying evening

Further Info

Scottish Game Angling

North Glasgow Fly Dressers

UK Magazine Websites

I am always amazed at the UK game angling paper magazines around the fact they have not embraced the internet.

There are only three main game angling magazines in the UK:

  1. Trout and Salmon
  2. Trout Fisherman
  3. Fly Fishing and Fly Tying

Who has a Site?

 “Trout & Salmon” pretty much concentrates on Salmon with a sprinkling of trout and its river system updates are now pretty pointless in this day and age of instant information via the net. Do you really want to know how your favourite river was fishing a month ago and what someones prediction will be for a month’s time (it is always great by the way- according to the magazine). They do not have a website!

“Trout Fisherman” deals mainly with rainbow trout in stocked ponds – I would be unkind to say the same old info is regurgitated year after year as they seem to spend some time on going after coarse fish now and again. Trout Fisherman magazine does not have a dedicated site however seem to be linked in some way to Go Fishing which states is powered by a few other magazines. A cop out – most of the info is geared towards coarse fishing!

Fly fishing &  Fly Tying” is pretty much the only mag I will pick up if needing something to flick through on a long journey or if sitting having a coffee waiting on my wife while at the shops. Of course it has been dealt a bit of a blow due to the leaving of Bob Wyatt  however it still gives you the goods regarding flies and nice stories. Sure it is littered with spelling mistakes (I am one to talk however I do not get paid) however it is the only magazine that seems to consistently come up with new material and every now and then there is always a fly that I quite fancy and want to tie. Unfortunately they make the biggest error when it comes to keeping and online presence – their website is bloody awful. I mean, it has everything a magazine website could want – a list of articles and a wee forum to get people to visit – however the articles have not changed in around a year and the forum is seldom visited – the whole site looks awful (it is set in frames) meaning that it is just not pleasing to the eye. The site is also littered with “page not found” error messages. I think the  magazine  could be onto a winner with a bit of effort – the site could even generate more ideas for articles for the magazine by directly asking people what they want, readers could submit articles, old articles from years gone by could be put on the site – yikes they could even ask you to take out a small subscription to access old articles.

Are USA Sites any Better?

Are you kidding? – just take a look at the Fly Fisherman magazine site – absolutely packed full of great info. They also have a vibrant community via their forums.

And of course the Fish and Fly site is as slick as you expect the magazine to be.

 End Result

I reckon the UK magazines need to up their game if they want to survive – how about a subscription service allowing the access to old articles. I don’t know why I give my idea away for free sometimes 😉

A New Sergeant Major…

The squadrons were depleted in last year’s campaign of trout hunting by various means. Lost in action they were – up trees, on boulders, very occasionally in fish, sometimes on shopping trolleys and on one memorable occasion on the back of my jacket. Brings a tear to a glass eye that would – those little lads flying through the air – their mission to sit proudly on the surface of the water in a perfect imitation of a spiky insect. Occasionally (of course) they must dive underwater and imitate some kind of nymph – the danger for the boys makes me shiver at night, the thought of them hooking a boulder or shopping trolley, however the joy they feel when their training and camouflage fool some wily trout is really something to behold.


However, a full year has almost past since the first initial training of the troops from the Academy of Vice – sure there has been reinforcements as the campaign has progressed however these have been in dribs and drabs as time allows. Sadly, now the troops are weary, there ranks depleted – they look at the gaps in their ranks where their fallen comrades once stood proudly with there wing posts ready to be ginked and are crestfallen…


Like I say, it was sad during the season seeing my boys coming out of combat. however they are brave lads…I can only imagine what they face in their watery combat with some hungry trout – those big lips full of sharp teeth ready to rip and tear..


I try not to think about the boys that tempt Pike – maybe one day I will feel strong enough to talk about em’

The Sergeant from the Academy of Vice  is battle weary and due to a rather rash buy unable to clamp properly on to a new  kitchen table to prepare and train more troops (thanks to  the Supreme Commander)

The Sergeant decided it was time to let a young one take over, one that was up to the task of rotary techniques  


Merely standing easy – ready to stand to attention at the first hint of trouble – he now has a companion to share the burden – a comrade in arms if you will. A new recruit from the United States has arrived – a place where they insist on calling the Academy of Vice the Academy of Vise – over here we understand the nature of fly tying – it is a vice – like an addiction!


Oh yes – the Nor Vise has arrived – the untrained troops are looking forward to these new fangled American ways with their spinning hooks and automatic bobbins . The Nor Vise attaches to iether your fly tying bench or a piece of wood you can move about from place to place – the Supreme Commander hinted at close to home fatalities if the Nor Vise was attached to new kitchen table so a piece of wood is currently being located – Being impressed by Tamanawis and his Stand of Majesty  he was duly dispatched to locate a suitable mount for the Academy.

End of Current Dispatch – More to Follow!

Deadly salmon infection detected

From BBC news

An infectious disease which can devastate farmed Atlantic salmon stocks has been detected on Shetland, the Scottish government has confirmed.

Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA) was discovered at one salmon farm site, which has been empty of fish since 21 December, in the Burra area.

The disease is also suspected at a further two sites in Burra, one of which was emptied six weeks ago.

ISA does not affect humans, but can seriously damage farmed salmon stocks.

The Scottish government said it had immediately set up a National Disease Control Centre and was taking action to control the spread of the disease.

As part of the measures, statutory movement restrictions have been placed on all sites in the control zone and wider surveillance zone.

The Fisheries Research Service is sending a team of fish health inspectors to Shetland to investigate the affected sites and to advise the industry.

Investigations into the potential source and spread of the disease will also be carried out.

Environment Minister Mike Russell said lessons had been learned from an outbreak of ISA on Shetland, the Western Isles and Orkney in 1998 and 1999 which was estimated to have cost the industry £100m and led to the loss of 200 jobs.

He added: “We will be applying those lessons vigorously with the clear aim of containing and then eradicating the disease from the current affected site, which in fact is now laying fallow.

“To prevent the spread of any disease present, the harvesting of fish from neighbouring sites will be conducted under biosecure conditions and supervised by the Fisheries Research Services.”

‘Decisive action’

Mr Russell said ministers were being kept fully briefed by those working to control the disease, and links with the local authority had already been established.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Tavish Scott, who is the local MSP, said he was “dismayed” by the outbreak.

Mr Scott added: “I vividly recall the difficulties for the Shetland salmon industry 10 years ago when ISA caused enormous financial problems for fish farmers.

“But the industry today in Shetland is very different. The lessons of the previous outbreak have been learnt and I hope that quick and decisive action by the farms concerned working with the regulatory authorities can deal with this incident effectively.”

Winterfest Pike Fishing

The North Glasgow Fly Dressers decided to have a winterfest day out fishing for Pike on a trout loch not far from Glasgow. “Stuffed full of em'” Alberto said – I thought it may be too cold – “it is not about the fishing” he said – “it is about the company and chat – about being sociable”.


Of course – he bolted after his bacon roll to leave all of us casting like maniacs in sub zero temperatures. To be fair good chat, hot soup and scotch pies n’ beans more than made up for the lack of fish.

I wore my polar buff like a balaclava, with my hat on – I also wore my new thermal long johns from Marks n’ Spencers.


I also learnt some interesting things about buying reservoirs from Scottish Water. Firstly you must obtain a structural survey every 5 years for any Dam you have, if it is in poor repair then the club is responsible for any repairs. Secondly you may well have a running battle with people trying to steal stuff from you; someone actually stole the walkway out to their pipe. Thirdly, it is a running battle with poachers – people just wanting to spin or bait fish for trout. Even when they are told it is a private loch they hang around waiting for the paying members to leave. 


After lunch the temperature plummeted – I reckon the cold snap would be causing the Pike to be sitting morosely in their beds not even thinking of fishing. This was when one of they guys got a split cane salmon rod out for a cast – the beast had not been cast in around 35 years – to be fair he did not have a fly on it however the irony of fishing for Pike in a trout loch with a double handed split cane salmon rod made me smile. 


All in all a good day – nice to be casting for the beasts again however I am looking forward to spring days with olives and trout.

Happy Christmas!


Hey – you guys in the states!!

Hey – you guys, aye – you and you, and quite possibly you – you guys had better keep an eye on your outgoing man at the top – seems he is bringing in a pile of new laws on the quiet. 

Some of them you are just not going to like:

After spending eight years at the helm of one of the most ideologically driven administrations in American history, George W. Bush is ending his presidency in characteristically aggressive fashion, with a swath of controversial measures designed to reward supporters and enrage opponents

…One rule will make it easier for coal companies to dump debris from strip mining into valleys and streams. The process is part of an environmentally damaging technique known as ‘mountain-top removal mining’. It involves literally removing the top of a mountain to excavate a coal seam and pouring the debris into a valley, which is then filled up with rock. The new rule will make that dumping easier.

That takes combining mountain climbing and fishing to all new levels.

The River Kelvin – Future Looking Poor?

Was reading a forum solely dedicated to salmon fishing and they were talking about the Kelvin. One chap mentioned that over the last few years he has witnessed the tributaries full of spawning fish in December – this year nothing! He does have a picture of a diseased hen fish  in one of the tributaries.


Check out the link

There is talk of employing bailiffs and the permit price being put up to £20.

It would be good to see some changes regarding the Salmon fishing – especially as how next season I intend to have a few casts with the Salmonator!

You guys all know my views – if not you can read them here and then after a little more thought here

I do not think I can face attending the AGM – the same old bullshit will be spoken about.  Before anyone votes for a rise in ticket price you should think about what exactly you are getting for your money – absolute sweet Fanny Adams springs to mind (I was well constrained there language wise). If I remember correctly the club rents the Salmon rights for only a few hundred pounds off the Crown – so what the heck are they doing with the rest of the money?

  • No Signs
  • No Bailiffs
  • No fish habitat improvement
  • A lot of other stuff which to be honest I cannae be bothered going into – maybe you can in the forum. 

I received an email from someone yesterday asking me for the website address for the “official” site of the River Kelvin Angling Association – don’t make me laugh I thought – these guys cannot even get around to painting some words on a bit of wood never mind getting together a website. Anyway, I had already told the club I was perfectly willing to put announcement’s for them on the Kelvin site as well as here however they never took me up on the offer.

Maybe someone could suggest contacting me at the AGM – seeing as how I am probably the most contactable angler in Scotland (my only claim as an angler unfortunately) it should not be that difficult.

Instead of putting the prices up to £20 I have a better idea – lets say the salmon rights cost £2000 and there are 1000 members – drop the permit price to £2 and ask that everyone join the Friends of the River Kelvin


A few hours on the Kelvin

I think last spring was one of my best on the Kelvin – I am looking forward to this spring already!

Continue reading A few hours on the Kelvin

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