I cannot believe it is that time of year again that I am looking at hats. For around 10 years I used the same baseball cap, my lucky hat, however finally it is looking too tatty for it to be wearable – the peak is slowly easing out the stitching. In the middle of last season I started wearing some of my spare baseball caps and have just not been happy with them. My Orvis hat was too bright and a cap I bought off eBay despite having wee patches for flies turned out to have too short a peak.
I was down in Luss and was browsing around a traditional Scottish shoppe when I came across a rather snazzy tweed cap – you know the old school kind. I tried it on and it felt great however all it took was one look from the wife to tell me that this look was never going to go down well.
So it was back to the drawing board.
I remembered trying on some Tilly Hats a few years ago and she thought they looked rather snazzy. Seeing as how the wife is the main person who gives me hat advice in life (you cannot trust yourself seemingly) I browsed around and found some of them on E – Outdoor
They have some nice wide peaks and keep the rain off your neck as they are so wide. Of course because of their style they also keep the sun off your neck as well. At around 50 bucks these hats are not cheap however they come with a lifetime warranty so if it gets too tatty then they will replace it. Of course I think that the tattier a hat is the luckier it is however I am pretty sure something can be worked out. Sure, some folk might give you the odd funny look as the standard hat for fishing in an urban environment however all you would have to say is that your hat is made out of “hemp” and then you are back in with the cool kids.
The boys are in bed and the wife is on the nightshift !
The rum is out and the pizza has been scoffed !
Enough said !
I have already decided that the 2014 season is going to be great!
It is also going to be a bit different as well in that I have bought myself a Snowbee Float Tube
Seriously it is pretty much all I think about on the travel in and home from work!
The plan is to hit some of the Pike spots that we usually attack from some totally different angles as well as go after trout on lochs that have no boats. Of course this also means I need to get myself a 9 foot 6 weight as that and a 10 foot 7 weight appear to be the only rods that are missing from my arsenal.
I love Grayling, I just hate people talking about them as if they were anything but a fish.
I had chat with my pal Campbell about this on the phone as I staggered up the road from the train station home after a hard days grafting.
Grayling fishing a few years ago used to be a bit of a niche pastime, a few die hard trout heads would venture out after the trout season was over to have a bash at the “ladies of the stream” and would pick them up on bugs fished deep instead of the standard match rod. It sure beats sitting with your feet up or doing DIY. Campbell likened it to BDSM however I reckoned it was on the light side of bondage, maybe a bit of role play or tying up – no safe words needed. Full on BDSM would be fishing for tench in the canal with a fly rod – proper freaky shit.
Standard Grayling Hunter attire – in my experience!
Anyway, as I gander around the various forums that I visit all I read is:
“A great day with the ladies”
“Caught 6 ladies down the ****”
“Tough day with the ladies”
Maybe it is because I am a grumpy bastard as I have not touched a fly rod in a while but I have decided I hate people that call Grayling ladies. Oh sure, I will allow the odd comment and slip however if someone says “Ladeeeezzzz” again I am gonna go some passive aggressive on their ass and say “you mean Grayling right?”
Or possibly bottom scum sucking silver leaches.
I often state that I have the oldest running fly fishing blog and that comes with a rather interesting issue. It means that over the years you guys come to know a little bit about my personal life not just about my fishing exploits. I mean, you guys were with me when a finished my professional training, when I got married, when I passed my driving test and when I had kids. You were with me when I drifted off from the Kelvin and fished the Clyde for a few years and were with me when my 1st and 2nd child came along which meant travelling further afield just did not seem worth it.
Now we are entering a new phase and things are about to get a whole lot more interesting. Some of you guys may have remembered that I have sold my house and am currently looking for a new one. Well, a house has finally been found and we should be moving in in the New Year. The biggest change for me is that it is outside Glasgow. We hummed and hawed about the change however we pretty much decided that the advantages outweigh the alternatives. I was initially sceptical as it means not having my local river 5mins from my front door however on further reflection it looks like a whole other world is opening up. I will still be fishing the Kelvin a few times a week however now will have other options as well as other rivers will be placed within striking distance which would have been impractical to get to in the past. The salt will be on my doorstep in a place that I have fished before for mackerel and Sea Trout and Lomond will be in easy striking distance for some Pike action – heck I could even get the big ticket if I fancied.
I may well have a few treats for myself as next year I shall be reaching a rather interesting age which people describe as being a big number and then an Oh at the end…
In other news I went and finally bought myself a float tube for next season so hope to be exploring some wee lochs for the toothy beasts as well as trout. My floating tube partner in crime Alex and I have been texting each other with possible scenarios of what being on a float tube will be like. I asked him what he would do if he was being towed around by a thirty pound pike and realised he had dropped his forceps in the water – chuck the rod in the water came the reply. I like that humor!
Any of you guys got float tubes or thinking of getting one?
We went for a walk along the banks of Loch Lomond today. I was struck at how beautiful it looked with the Autumn sunshine hitting off the still loch. I met some chaps fishing for Pike at a place I have never really thought of before (they must have had a half dozen rods out) and I considered it may be a good place for the tube.
I went for a wander along the Kelvin today and could not help but notice the striking colors of the Kelvin. This may actually may be my last Autumn for some time as a true city boy as I have finally secured a house some distance away along the Clyde.
I could not help but notice the temperature has really taken a dip over the last few weeks and as usual the media are stirring themselves up to a frenzy.
Where the hell am I?
I mean I am aware we had a couple of bad winters however last winter was actually ok apart from the length of it – it hung around like a bad smell for ages. If the is one thing I have learned over the last decade it is that folk that try and predict the weather get it wrong more often than not. I am not talking about predicting the weather for tomorrow as the chances are it will be pretty similar as today, I am talking about the “it will be a great/terrible summer/winter” brigade.
Saying that if we have a rubbish winter the chances are it will be yet another 1 bar on the heater situation with me currently still looking for a house. We have actually found a house however it is a fair bit outside the city – bit of a shocker that eh? It would mean a good 40min drive to the Kelvin however considering some folk have got to drive over an hour to get to their trout stream I guess I will be doing ok.
Any of you wanna predict the weather?