May Holiday Madness

So the seasons have decided to totally miss out spring and have just dived straight into summer instead. The day was roasting hot, into the twenties and the Clyde was the venue. I split up from Alex (who caught his obligatory 2lber on the nymph) while I targeted some rising trout on some flat water – this was at around 1000. I managed to spook all of them as they had far to long to study my fly so I decided to change to one of my no fail messy olives (I will post a picture later this week). This was during a hatch of what I think were Olive Uprights.
There was a trickle hatch pretty much all day of what what turned out to be Medium Olives (Baëtis vernus/Baëtis tenax)
You can tell it is not an Olive Upright as there is a lack of hindwings. Medium Olives emerge in steady trickles rather than in batches – that is certainly what we found, there was just not enough to get the trouts interest going.
Like I say, what did seem to get the trouts interest was a hatch of Olive Uprights in the morning. Large trout were slurping them down greedily in the deep water.

I managed to finally raise a couple of trout using a downstream cast (why does that seem to be working a lot more these days?) and promptly missed them both. That hatch then slowly died off. What I did notice was my fly got more interest towards the end of the hatch when the trout did not have a lot of choice. It reminded me that I have been in that situation before – with the trout only taking my fly when they have become more confident.

Later after walking upstream I managed to tempt a nice trout on a Deer Hair Emerger at around 1100- this I think was the second hatch of the day and also turned out to be the final one.

There were flies trickling off all day but not enough to get the trout’s interest going. I met Mike who I spent the afternoon with – he managed to lose several trout (videoed).

There was a few rises which I did not understand. I noticed a couple of trout rising two rod lengths from me – they appeared to be taking surface flies. On Mike’s suggestion I put on a bigger fly and the trout boiled under the surface of my fly- I could not figure out if this was a refusal, the trout taking a nymph under the surface or the trout possibly trying to drown whatever was on the surface. There were spinners and the odd olive on the surface. Whatever the case they did not like my offerings anyway.

A possible answer to another difficulty did flash into my head as I was trying to get to sleep. As Mike and I were mulling over how annoying the wonders of fly fishing and how belligerent selective the trout can be we watched trout very occasionally take “things” off the surface – there was no hatch going on however these trout would just occasionally “gloop” at the surface. I reckon they were taking some kind of terrestrial insect, maybe a daddy long legs (we saw some) or a beetle. I wondered how the trout would react to a nice juicy terrestrial going over its head instead of a suspiciously lonesome dry fly which was ignored.

Anyone have any easy terrestrial patterns? Are grasshoppers out yet in the UK, I never heard any?

Leaving Mike to his madness, my troop decided to stop off at a small burn – from a distance it looked lovely, a few small pools, and a nice run. It was shaded as well. Quickly assembled the rod – we were anticipating a few trout to the dry fly however were disappointed to find what seemed like a dead river. I would like to be proven otherwise however there was just something not quite right with the place – the water was a dirty brown colour, no insect life, the stones appeared bare and we caught no fish. Alex never caught a 2lber so there was something far wrong with the place..

Considering this is a feeder burn for the Clyde and whatever has damaged this river is getting washed into the main river we pretty much decided a call to Sepa may be worthwhile. It looks as if this wee river has been like this for a while so we decided to wait until next time we pass to make sure the river is guff and not just us jumping the gun. Someone who lives next to the river told our pal he has never seen any fish in it. I need to get a map out to find the name of it…

It is amazing the amount of these wee streams that criss cross the countryside – I think on another day like we had it would be better trying to seek out one of these wee burns instead of flogging a dead horse which is what we ended up doing on the Clyde – a nice wooded stream, plenty of shade, a bit like the Kelvin in parts really….

Tamanawis V Trout

River Kelvin Wish List

I know that my wish list may not be popular with all however please remember this is only my opinion. I would like to hear what others think.

Considering that over 1000 permits have been sold this year I think that the Kelvin as a vulnerable recovering river needs every bit of help to make sure that it continues to recover. Consequently some guidance on managing fish stocks is advisable – advice was given many years ago when a study was carried out on the trout and salmon population. One of the main outcomes was that the river would fail to thrive if the killing of fish went unregulated.

  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.
  4. Only five Salmon to be kept in any one season.
  5. Catch and Release of trout to be encouraged – trout over 12 inches to be returned.


So far there are 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.

I have never seen a bailiff on the river, the people I speak to have never seen them either – that just isn’t right.

The Vet School is enclosed and has some excellent fly water. Lets as an experiment make it fly only for a few seasons and see what happens – I guarantee you the trout will become enormous.

From what I gather the Salmon chaps are having a bonanza – let’s limit those buggers fun. Only joking – what we have is an improving river if lots of salmon are killed then we are losing this years breeders and consequently the next few years run. Same goes with big trout – point to remember – if you kill a big trout you are killing the genes that got it big. I remember reading through the original report that examined the Kelvin around 15 years ago – it stated that undue angling pressure on the trout population would significantly affect future stocks.

Am I being unreasonable? I would particulary like to hear from people in the States and people in England – how are your rivers managed?

I Stand in Defiance of the East Wind Curse

Well that was a turn up for the books. I decided to spend a few hours down at the Kelvin before I jet off on my holidays tomorrow. I was expecting things to be hard going however the fishing was pretty good – even better than the last time I was down. It was busy again though – I counted at least a half dozen guys – only two were fishing bait and the rest were using the fly.

Nice Trout from Kelvin

I noted that the park rangers have been chopping down lost of trees making some more pools accessible. In one particular spot I spent around a half hour getting myself into position to cast my fly – on my second drift the trout took however I was looking away at the time – such is life.

Spot The Trout

I was really surprised at my last trout of the day – I was fishing a nice run at around 1630 thinking that all the action was finished for the day when I noticed a little gloop just a couple of yards in front of me. I cast, the trout took and I missed. I cast again, the trout took again and this time the trout was on and thoroughly pissed off, it went for a tour of the pool before finally coming to hand.

Nice Trout

All my trout came to Deer Hair Emergers – I tried the duo when I first arrived with no luck. After spotting rising trout I decided to target them and the nymph never went back on.

No fishing for a week and consequently no postings – well there will be one – next Monday – My River Kelvin wishlist.

See you guys when I get back.

Spawning Pike

So to try and combat the east wind curse instead of going after trout today I decided to go after Pike on Loch Lomond. To cut a long story short I caught nothing however did manage to watch several Pike spawning amongst the weeds.

Loch Lomond

This was after I had covered an enormous amount of water. The loch was a lot lower than several weeks ago when I caught my first pike from a loch. It meant I could wade very far out and cover lots of water.

From what I read Pike are not interested in feeding when they are spawning although the post spawn time can be a bonanza – this was the reason I headed down today.

Under Bridges with DHE

Arrived at the river around 1130 – the day is windy with a few clouds in the sky – when the wind dies down it is warm. The Kelvin has a nice green tinge and is low; there has been no rain for a few days. I wangled a trout using the duo, the trout took within a few feet of where I was standing – at this point I had not seen a rise or a fly. However I was buoyed with enthusiasm as I knew people had caught yesterday.

I walked up the river eventually ending up standing under a bridge listening to the people going by above me.

Ha Penny Bridge

The park is busy today, not just with the usual joggers, dog walkers, pleasure walkers and young lovers but with anglers as well. I must have seen at least a dozen – I met one chap who I knew through this site and from a forum – he was pulling two kids along with him – admirable I thought!

Seeing as how no trout were rising I played around with my recently tied deer hair emergers, in the past the ones I have tied have not floated properly however these ones float perfectly – in fact they look shit hot in the water.

Deer Hair Emerger

I mess about for a while and eventually notice a hatch at around 1330 – lots of large dark olives – the trout do not seem interested. There is the odd gloop and splosh but no consistent rising trout. I phone a friend who must have brought me luck as using a particularly tricky downstream cast I hook a nice trout – I feel the thump and the trout twists and turns and then is off.

I head home at around 1530 – only two trout caught however an enjoyable day to be casting a fly. I wonder how other people faired today?

Orvis Podcast

So I am going away for a beach holiday next week. I have been strictly informed that the rods will not be accompanying me. However with rather nice timing Orvis are now producing podcasts – a podcast is spoken word info that can either be downloaded or streamed directly from their website. It is then a simple matter of transferring to my mp3 player so that I can lie on the beach and listen to fishiness talk. Possibly I can also doze and have the much needed info subliminaly inserted into my brain.

The first episode is on reading the water which is something that is essential when fishing a river like the Clyde or the Kelvin.

Click the picture below to go get it…


Not to sure where it all went wrong today – good temps (above 10), the water at a nice height and some olives floating around. Mike, Alex and I fished a city stretch and Mike was the only one who contacted a fish.

Gladiator Mike

The water was looking brown rather than the classic green Kelvin tinge and once more I wondered at how lovely the Kelvin is when it runs through Glasgows Parks.

In the City

It was nice to be out, the parks were full of people and at times we had an audience of several people watching us fish with the usual “any fish in there pal?” comments. I must admit I was beginning to ask that myself before we left. Still it was nice to see people out and about again after the miserable winter, there was even people out painting on the wall at the underground station – I think it is some kind of legal community wall for people to show off their art rather than on the side of trains etc.

Community Wall

Anyway, I ended up very far upstream on one of the Kelvin tributaries – caught two parr on a Comparadun. I would not call it a disappointing day – we went out, had a bit of banter, fresh air, cast some dry flies and got skunked honestly and fairly.

I have also been browsing one of my, well the only book about the Kelvin – it gives a fascinating history of the river from its source to the Clyde.

Glasgow's Other River: Exploring the Kelvin

Looking forward to next week already.

Attack Delta Force – ATTACK!

So the first wave was sent forth – first was a tributory of the Kelvin – which proved to be fruitless after a few casts. The company of soldiers was then transported to the Kelvin – first a dry and dropper combination which yielded nothing – and then I seen that which only the riff raff have seen over the last week – rising trout – to large dark olives. I retired the nymph and left on a comparadun – it was ignored by the trout – sneakily I tied on a scruffy olive dry of my own creation, gave it a stern pep talk “on your way my laddie”

Scruffy Olive

I had tied these up last night after using them pretty much all last season on spooky trout. My heart beat fast at the campaign I was sending my olive commando into – still no joy – the trout were ignoring my fly. There was trout rising below me, I attempted a tricky downstream drift,

Downstream Drift

…first pass and the trout was on. “Ya Beauty” I murmured, not shouting as that would have put the fish down. Another frantic 45 mins followed catching several more and losing just as many. There is something special about your first trout to the dry of the season.

Trout To the Dry 2008

I wont lie – I am glad it was from the Kelvin – I feel I have been neglecting it of late.

Attack Force “Delta Flies”

Look at em’, all standing to attention like soldiers, like a trained fighting force – the elite! Like the SAS – all ready to attack the rivers full force. Just waiting for their orders although in this case it will be an order to land gently possibly several feet away from a rising trout – yes that’s it, very stealthy.
Like Ninjas actually, highly trained Ninjas – that can creep up on a happily feeding trout and then WHAMO a quick photograph and then back in the water. Oh yes, I love my little squadron of fur and feathers. Sometimes I talk to them you know – give the boys a little pep talk before sending them forth into action.

Just Like Soldiers

“Now boys” I will say “I have a task of the utmost importance, a possible suicide mission if you will, there’s a trout rising in front of that rock, I reckon the rod will manage to get you there however there is this damned great big bush behind me which might just cause you to be lost in action”
I try not to leave any of my soldiers behind however when they get stuck in a jaggy bush or on the top of a tree sometimes the old cap must be taken off and a farewell salute made.

However, the young bucks always volunteer..

Almost brings a tear to my eye to leave the blighters in a tree, especially if it the last one of an especially good batch that left the Academy of Vice just recently. Yes, you read that correctly – the Academy of Vice is where all the camouflage is applied to make them the cutting edge fish fighting machines they are.

However, my boys know the score, they are willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good, and they do it willingly and unselfishly. Launching themselves forth, into the unknown, possibly into the jaws of some mighty leviathan.

Makes me all proud that does – give em’ hell boys, give em’ bloody hell !

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