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.
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.
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.
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.
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
I loathe the saying “tight lines” – I can remember when people started using it (or possibly when I first noticed it) and I try and avoid it as much as possible. To me it just seems twee or maybe just a wee bit cheesy. Somehow it always makes me feel slightly uncomfortable – a bit like when you meet someone else fishing and you want to know how they are getting on – “Any Joy?” is the standard question, you are assuming that the person when catching a trout is so full of wonder that there heart is full of joy – probably after stalking and casting to a particularly belligerent 8 inch trout that eventually took the dry fly after scaling everything down to a spider web tippet and a microscopic fly – sure I get joyful but I also get a sense of deep satisfaction. However “Any satisfaction?” sounds like you have been trying to score rent boys at some of the more savoury parts of the River Kelvin.
However I digress, I was glad that Murdock decided to come up with some alternatives to the standard parting of “Tight Lines” and would like to add a few more.
Bag Up -oh yes the standard for the boys that fish the competitions on the reservoirs who catch so many trout they require a large bag (possibly a sack) to carry their trout home, once only an English saying it has now came into good old Scotland. You can also turn this into a question for the end of the day – Bag Up?
Kill em’ all – Could be used on the fishery scene where you are paying for the privilege of killing fish (is that not the best part of fishing?) – look pal I have paid for 5 fish and I expect to slaughter the lot and keep the buggers in the freezer. Oh I suppose this can be used as a question as well some people pay for extra killing tickets…..Kill em’ all?
Bent Rods – I suppose this could be taken the wrong way and I am assuming this is why Murdock never came up with it. Oh, to hear a pile of anglers leaving the loch side all shouting out “Bent Rods” – it would bring a tear to my eye that would.
Wet Indicators – This one goes out to one of my fishing buddies who constantly utilises an indicator – you are hoping his indicator is permanently under the water instead of floating along quite happily. Although to be honest I pretty much know his is wet as I can see him hauling them in like a commercial fisherman most of the time.
If you feel embarrassed about saying any standard angling greeting you can also add and extra “n’ all that” to show your slight embarrassment to your hope that the other person does well. Assuming you want the bugger to do well in the first place of course.
Mike writes a lovely post about our recent trip up North.
Lots of rising trout, steady hatches of olive uprights from the moment I got there until I left and crawling around on all fours for almost two hours was just the thing I was needing after a week of hellishly bad illness – blew the old cobwebs away. Left me absolutely shattered and home by 3pm.
I wanted something a little more slow paced today – Kelvin would be too busy and the Clyde too far and too big for my fragile body. What I wanted was a leafy little stream that I could lose myself in. Picking a blue line at random on the map (not really as someone gave me directions) I caught many trout on the dry fly after a rather annoying start.
Arriving at the first pool I hurriedly set up as there was around a half dozen trout rising greedily (you know the feeling) and within a couple of casts had my first trout from near the back of the pack as it were. Then after recasting the whole pool was spooked. I put it down to the first trout taking a jolly old romp across the pool – well you would wouldn’t you. Anyway, later I came back and all the trout were rising again, a couple of casts and they were spooked – this happened another couple of times. Eventually I worked out it was my new Roman Moser High and Dry Invisible leader I was using that managed to spook them – I reckon it was far too heavy and was causing a slap as it hit the surface – once I changed to a regular mono leader the takes came fast and furious as the trout did not B1 (Glasgow slang for running from anyone) under the nearest rock.
So with the Roman Moser’s leader binned (Invisible pah!) I had a great time working my way up this little stream for a couple of hours. Of course no river these days is without the obligatory burnt out car though…
Still, even this blot on the landscape made things feel rather homely …
I was using my new Orvis Troutbum 4 weight combined with a reel I had forgotten about which had half a 4 weight double taper still on it. I have been overlining my new rod by one when fishing my other rivers mostly because that is what I kept bringing to hand. With the four weight the rod was lovely and those fat trout put up a fair old scrap.
It started to rain on the way home and as I sit writing this now it is still drizzling – what we all need here is a good downpour to freshen everything up although as I doubt these light showers will do much.
Mucho work at the vice is needed – my box is full of enormous comparaduns – I need to tie up more tiny soldiers as there ranks are being depleted.
How did you guys get on?
One of the things I like about fishing urban rivers is all the wee nooks and crannies you get to see which are right underneath people’s noses.
Things that people don’t usually get to see just because they are walking along roads instead of underneath them.
This was on the lower Clyde on the very outskirts of the city and whilst not being truly urban you could still see the remnants of industry – a ruined mill causing the river to have an interesting flow. It was still very low and my fishing buddy and I could tell that with a bit of water it would be very interesting to fish however as it was there was only a few likely looking pools and runs.
I think the cold east wind cause the trout to decide to have a day in their beds as not much action was seen at all. Of course it could be the case the fishing in this section of the river is very poor anyway and it did not matter about conditions however I have not fished it enough to form an opinion.
On my way back from the gym today I had a wee look into the canal – it looked very clear and inviting – what I have found is that good visibility means a high probability of catching a pike on the fly. I had tried a section of canal outside the city the other day and it was the colour of mud. Of course the problem is the nearer the city you get the poorer the fishing gets. I wonder if that is the same for the Clyde? Of course the anomaly is that the Kelvin is fantastic right in the heart of the city – strange eh?
Or is it that some of the best spots on the Kelvin are hard to reach and are not that pleasant to stick around – I think we have all been there when a hatch of tampons has been on and those Sea Running Shopping Trolleys are just not playing by the rules.
It was raining during the night and when I left for the river it was still spitting slightly, it was also overcast and possibly a little muggy – I did not feel the east wind which has been plaguing us for a couple of weeks now.
I tried a new spot on the Clyde (on the outskirts of the city) – I thought things looked promising as when I arrived at a very large pool there was a number of trout slashing greedily at flies on the surface. I soon learned that these trout had obviously seen it all before and then some as my clumsy wading and enormous flies were ignored.
Well, to be fair they were taking something microscopic off the surface and the slightest leg movement sent waves spreading across the pool like a mini tsunami so I should not feel too disheartened.
I then moved upstream (after a rather cheeky chappy started fishing directly upstream of me in a sweet spot I was working towards – he caught a trout)
I caught this trout eventually on a nymph…
There was the occasional trout rising (or rather boiling) to what I think were nymphs just under the surface – I put on an un weighted nymph and let it drift just under the surface – the take was sudden and the trout went bananas. I think it looks like a stocked trout – it certainly does not look like the usual Clyde trout – it reminds me of some of the trout I have been catching on the Kelvin which are obviously stocked.
Later I smelt something pretty horrible – it turned out to be coming from this pipe – a while liquid being discharged into the river – I gave SEPA a telephone who said they would send someone out. It was a very easy process.
A migraine started to develop so headed home only to be caught in Bank Holiday traffic……how was yours?
There are two very real reasons why you do not see many pictures of me on my blog. Firstly not many of my pals carry cameras and the ones that do always forget to charge them and secondly I always end up looking like a gimp.
I rest my case.
Still, it is better than a dead fish I suppose.