“April is the cruellest month, breeding. Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing. Memory and desire, stirring”

Not in this fishers life at the moment – the cruelest month happens to be February as that is the one that happens to come before March. March of course signifying the start of the trout season on the 15th. At the moment it is around 12 degrees in Glasgow and somewhere in the UK it was 18 degrees. The news called 18 degrees spring weather however those are damn near summer temperatures. Of course if this keeps up then we will have a bumper spring with fit trout however never hope too much as we could be a foot deep in snow  on opening day.

Last year as most of you are aware was a washout for my fishing due to a fire in my house. I am hoping this year should be better and in preparation I opened my fishing cupboard door to survey my gear – I could not see it due to the amount of toys that had been thrown in on top of and around my gear. My fishing store was now being used as a general shite cupboard. I spent some time moving stuff around and found two of my fishing cameras. Some nice pictures on them too from a late trip last year.

last trout of 2016

And another of Alex..

This was before a most enjoyable night out in Aberfeldy where I ended up paying £18 for two double whiskies – I am sure I was ripped off. We then proceeded to have a few more drams before retiring to our tent at around 2am. We knew it was this time as someone shouted at us to shut up as we were talking too loud. I then proceeded to spend the next day drifting in and out of consciousness next to the River Tay after retching behind a tree a few times.

“Look Daddy, a dead man!” I heard as a dog licked my face. It was not my proudest moment.

I was glad I found the camera!



Not as far away as you think!

Good Times!

back of the car packed

back of the car packed

Cortland Desire 10 foot 7 weight Review

So I was offered the Cortland Desire 10 foot for a 7 weight rod for review by Keen’s Tackle and Guns and it came kind of a surprise as I did not even know that Cortland make rods. The rod was the princely sum of around £50 which places it just above the budget conscious buyers – you can buy cheap rods for around £20 – £30 these days some of which are very good and some not so. I had won a Leeda 9 foot for a 6 weight at the River Kelvin Angling Association AGM that I love which costs around the same as the Cortland so hoped that it would be the same calibre.

Cortland is well known for their fly lines or at least I think it is the same company. Certainly Cortland do not make a big show of producing rods and seem focussed on their fly lines, perhaps now many companies can have a sideline on fly rods as they can be so cheaply made in China and be under no illusion that this is where this rod came from like pretty much every other rod these days. I think Cortland rods are better known in the states as over here we have our own budget rods usually imported from Europe.

I knew it was made in China because it had a "Made in China" sticker on it!

I knew it was made in China because it had a “Made in China” sticker on it!

The rod was sent to me and I had to trundle my youngest in the pram down to the town center to puck it up from a shop. It was in a rectangular packing tube and I laid it across the pram where it was promptly blown on to the road in the high winds and nearly squashed by a delivery truck. I darted out on the road to retrieve it and it was blown further down the street heading straight towards the Clyde itself where in months to come some lucky individual would find it and would have a story to tell. Thankfully I managed to catch it allowing this review to actually continue. At least this proves it is nice and light.

The rod comes with a good quality tube and a cheap plastic feeling bag.

Obviously aesthetics mean nothing in terms of fly rods as it is more how it fishes however when I got it out of its tube I was impressed by how thin and light the blank is. My old 10 foot 7 weight is a bloody chore to use as it can put a lot of strain on your arm due to its weight but the Cortland’s blank was thinner than a very poor and shoddy Fulling Mill 5 weight I bought a few years ago. The quality of the cork handle is  fine, it was certainly comfy in the hand and I did not see any defects or lots of filler.

Cork Handle - not overdone on filler

Cork Handle – not overdone on filler

The reel seat was adequate and fit all my reels, it was maybe a bit thin but then I am being picky.The cork at the butt was poor and filler had not been applied – to be honest it does not matter!

Reel seat - aluminium ?

Reel seat – aluminium ?

The thread wraps looked tight and the coats of varnish looked good, there was even a wee change of colour down at the butt of the rod which was an aesthetic touch.

Change of zone!

Change of zone!

My next problem I discovered was the majority of my fly lines were destroyed in the fire (which is the reason for the lack of posts this season) so it was off to the depths of my fishing cupboard to find a selection of lines to try the rod out. The reason you try out a few weights of line is because sometimes a rod can fish better with a heavier or lighter line or maybe you can use it for something different than its intended purpose.

Nice wrapping and varnishing!

Nice wrapping and varnishing!

I am not exactly the world’s best caster however I tried it with a 6 and a 7 weight to see what would happen – I managed to get a good length out with lines and obviously the 7 was nice to use. I would like to say I got to test its fishy catching attributes however I will have to leave that for another day.

All in all if this rod had been released 10 years ago and the filler had been better you would have been paying over £100 for it and it would have been labeled by  a big make. There are other rods in this line and I recommend you consider them if you are on the lookout for a budget rod. The 7 weight comes in at £55 and I see they also have the hallowed 10 foot for a 4 weight that is becoming popular!

Probably the best fish all year…

It was a perch caught surrounded by kids at the Arctic Circle!

Caught in the light of the arctic circle - bitten to death by mozzies!

Caught in the light of the arctic circle – bitten to death by mozzies!

Some LRF action at least!

I am getting sick of Facebook – every time I go on it all I read about is Kelvinators hauling in huge trout from the Kelvin on the River Kelvin Fishers page.

I am currently in a Holiday Cottage that is probably as far down the Clyde as on can possibly go without actually being outside the Clyde. Anyway, I had some respite this evening when I was dropping off some stuff at my house and headed down to my wee LRF spot.

First few casts I did not think I was going to connect to anything as it was a bit windy however then a wee pollock decided to nail my pink isome.



It fair took some line and was safely returned. I then took another which was slightly bigger and then lost what I think was a wrasse at my feet. Their was no distinctive wrasse tapping, just a slamming take and a dive for the depths.

At my feet

At my feet

I then cast far and felt what I thought was another pollock but tuned out to be a nice codling.



I decided after this it was time to head up the road as tomorrow I am heading back up the estuary to another holiday cottage – I believe the next one is near a Sea Trout mark.

Watch this space!


No fish all year!

Last night I realised that I had not actually caught a fish all year.

You read that correct = all f*cking year!

We are a day away from June and I was damn near on my longest blank of the last 25 years. This is  due to the fact that due to a rather nasty fire in my house in which part of it was totally torched I am currently moving between various holiday cottages in Argyl and Bute. Thankfully nobody was hurt and that is the main thing that counts.

So last night after some blazing sunshine I bolted to a Sea loch to try my luck and was greeted by this wee fella.


Obviously it is nothing compared to what is going on in the Kelvin just now – head over to the most excellent River Kelvin Fishers page to see some of that action by guys who are not living out of suitcases.

Still, it was nice seeing this view until the midgies tried to kill me!


Today I took some clients who are trying to form a fishing group down to the canal for some coarse action and caught some nice Perch – no pictures though!

I have big plans on a loch I have found – watch this space!

Highland Blanks

Headed past the fault line being chased by the weather. First option was washed out and in a field so continued on.

Finally settled with the beach casters – we tried to buy some extra bait in a supermarket but never found any!

Wind in the valley!

Wind in the valley!

We thought about tubing a loch on the way back however a black cloud was following us everywhere we went.

A Cold Day

A Cold Day

Still, the cobwebs were definitely blown and I was home in plenty of time to earn some points!

Kelvin account…

When I took some bags out to the wheelie bin this morning it was warm, at least the sun was shining and I did not skuttle back in to the house. Instead I stood and felt the sun on my face and wanted to catch a trout. It has been a long busy winter (hence the lack of posts) so I headed back into the house and got my shit out my fishing cupboard and stuck it into the car. The kids and wife piled into the car and we headed to Paisley where I sacrificed damn near £50 a month to the Gods of the “new sofas” at DFS. We then headed to Kelvingrove Art Gallery where the kids and wife were ejected and I donned my trout hunting gear.

I was keen to get stuck in as over at the River Kelvin Fishers facebook page a few guys have been posting their exploits so I knew some rising trout might show themselves.

Glasgow University

Looking downstream

As I strung up my rod and line I could swear that it was snowing and I wondered if some blossom or something was being blown on the water. It was when I looked up at the angry clouds I realised that it was hailstones that were drifting down, bag fat light ones though so no need to get under cover. I worked my way up the pool and spotted my first two risers of the year, their was a steady stream of Olives coming off the water however they were just out of reach. I got into the water and started to wade however it was not to be as I shat it when trying to get past some very slippy green tinged rocks. My fishing feet are definitely not with me yet!

The river was dirty enough that I could not see the bottom and up enough to make crossing at this particular spot difficult. I scrabbled across the wrong bank, the right one being the one I can cast from without there being any issues and the moved up disturbing some usually productive water. When I got to where the trout had been rising a few roll casts put the fly on the spot but the trout was spooked long ago by my wading.The positive was that thankfully it was too cold and not enough bushes for their to be anyone having a nature wank so I was safe.

I then came across some more rising trout – 6 to be exact.



I would love to say that I caught them but I spent a good hour covering them with little joy – there are three distinct currents and even when I managed to get a good drift at the last moment drag would take effect and the fly would move unnaturally. A couple of times there would be a boil under my fly which is a classic refusal at the last minute of a trout that realises something is just a bit off with the fly. This happened with all the trout bar one that moved a few inches from its station and let me hook it only for it to be gone after a few pulls. I looked up and their was around a dozen folk possibly tourists looking down at me from the bridge. I do not remember this many folk being interested and it put me off for a bit however I plugged on and then next time I glanced up they were gone. A couple of the better trout were supping flies from some dead water and they drove me nuts but it was all good action anyway.


My boys joined me and I showed them how to cast – I let them try a roll cast from a wee island.



I did not mind heading back to the car as all the trout had stopped rising by this point – the hatch of olives were long gone!

The temperature bumped 12 degrees a couple of times today however I reckon during the hatch it was 10 degrees with the wind chill slightly lower.

If you guys have not done so already please join us over at the River Kelvin Fishers page for a bit of banter.

So my Kelvin account is still pending however a week at this time of year can make a huge difference weather wise so lets see what happens next week!

What time is it ?


Fishing Time !