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… 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 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.

Saturday Fun – on a tributary of a tributaries tributary

For those of you that do not know the rivers that I fish let me explain something to you – The Kelvin has three tributaries that make it the river it is – the Luggie, the Glazart and the Allander. The Kelvin itself is merely a tributary of the mighty River Clyde although where it enters the main river you would not catch any brown trout – it is trully massive! It must be said the Kelvin tributaries also have there own little tributaries, countless unnamed burns that make up the main river.

Just in the same way that the Kelvin is a tributary there are several other rivers that are tributaries of the Clyde – these tributaries also have tributaries, often these tributaries have tributaries – which like the Kelvin have many unamed burns –  I hope that makes sense. I like to think of it like a tree – with all the tiny twigs growing together to make branches and then them coming together to make the trunk.

So today Alberto (Casting Maestro Extraordinaire) took me to one of the other tributaries tributary (actually it was another tributary off it) however as it has been raining hard for a day we settled for very far upstream on the tributary. If this was a tree we would be off a branch, followed a  split and finally up to a twig.

We were trying to get far away from the water that was busy running down all the twigs and  branches too dump itself in the main trunk – when you are trying to get this far away, the river gets smaller – and so do the trout…a nice trout is maybe 8 inches – a monster is 10 inches.

The day was warm; there was fly life however nothing definite hatching on the water. The river to begin with was peaty however this did not put the trout off, instead it made them a whole lot bolder when it came to rising to dry flies.

If you think my pictures have been bad in the past check this out..

Alberto caught this monster…..for this size of water it is a mighty fish.. Just look at those huge spots..

Here he is playing another…

All in all, maybe a dozen trout caught and as many missed. For flies I used Comparaduns, CDC & Elk and a Baloon Caddis.

Tummel – Bank Holiday Monday

A couple of weeks ago I hit the River Tummel. It was a hot bright day which was good for the in laws as they dropped me off at the river however not so good for my arms which got burnt. An interesting day as I caught a few trout and a couple of grayling – no camera unfortunately as my wife took it to take family pictures – kindly she took this one.

Grumpy at the tummel
Grumpy at the tummel

Something I love about the Tummel is that when a trout takes your fly it is very visual – you watch your fly and then from the depths you can see the trout or grayling pounce as it floats by.

Tonight I need to replenish my ranks of troops – I am down to no nymphs – i am intending an onslought at the weekend after trout.

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