Givin’ it a lick, ye see…

Someone asked me to elaborate on the conversation I had with the farmer regarding the cows drooling on my car.

I am not a big fan of cows; I don’t trust anything which looks as if it could trample you to death. Sure, I am told they are docile but I don’t want to be that statistic that gets squashed. I suppose fishing and cows go hand in hand, eventually you are going to have to walk through a field with lots of cows and in the last year I have began to have an uneasy truce with them. I still let other people go into fields first though.

Anyway, I was sitting in my car at around 4 pm and watched the farmer herd his cows across a field towards a gate – the cows then go through the gate, cross a road and down a narrow lane (where my car is parked) next to his house to get to the cow sheds for milking. I decided just to wait in my car as I did not want to rush getting my waders on – in fact I was absolutely shattered and I couldn’t be bothered.

I watched the cows crossing the road and they did come very close to my car (I drive an Audi A3) occasionally they would stop and peer in my window at me quizzically and I would notice one having an experimental lick of the bonnet – I was a bit panicky in case one of them knocked a wing mirror off but they managed to keep their distance. There was a good few dozen of them so it took several minutes for them all to be herded past. It was actually quite interesting being so close to their big bovine faces without them or me scarpering fast – they have nice big eyes I noticed for the first time.

The farmer stopped on his little quad bike and gave me a wink and looked at me expectantly – I could tell he wanted to talk. I wondered if he was getting annoyed at me parking my car in his driveway, I rolled down the window.

Hiya – I said

Aye Aye – he said with a deadpan straight face - was meaning tae talk to ye aboot the coos!

Oh, ah yes? – Not really understanding what he was going to say.

- Aye, their no going tae hurt yur car, although…- he paused for a moment obviously searching for the right words.

Oh, ah yes? I said helping him along

Sometimes they lick it! – he said looking into the distance (not really though as he appeared to be studying the hedge behind the car)

- It could do with a clean – I said with a smile, this did not go down well – he looked at me as if I did not grasp the seriousness of the situation.

- And sometimes they drool on it – he added to give me an overall picture of how the cows appreciated my nice black Audi.

- That’s all right – I said - no harm done, I just appreciate being able to park close to the river.

- I just didnae want ye tae think it was me and the wife……- he paused again – spitting on yer car!

- I er, um didn’t think it was you anyway…um – I was a bit confused at this.

- Aye, I’m glad we had this little chat – good luck with the fishing!

And that my friend’s is the story of my conversation with the farmer regarding cow drooling over my car.

cow drool

When Enough….Is Enough !

Arrived at the river around 0830, there was a nip in the air although an occasional blast of sunshine heated me up nicely as I walked along the river bank. I met another angler ambling along the bank towards me – we exchanged pleasantries – it turns out he was going to fish bait – we spoke about tactics and then I was off. It was hard going to say the least, once the sun came out proper any surface action was finished – I caught a couple of trout on nymphs and then decided to head to the Clyde and a section I had not fished before.

Around this point the felt sole of my season old Orvis boots fell off – amused I was not – this is going to be the subject of a dedicated post so watch this space.

Anyway, I headed off and fished the new stretch of river. This was well below the falls of Clyde and I must say the water quality was like the Kelvin in places – in fact the whole river was like a big version of the Kelvin – almost double the size.

There was an impressive amount of fly life on the water and I caught two trout straight off on dries – when I got to some open water I tried a dry and nymph and picked up another couple – very enjoyable.

I drove back to my other favourite stretch of river to meet Mike at around 5 pm. I sat in my car and had my lunch – the farmer (who owns the fishing rights) apologised for his cows dribbling over my car and wanted to assure me it was not him and his wife spitting on it – a very strange conversation indeed.

Suddenly it him me – I did not need to go fishing – I had had a very enjoyable day out – I was satisfied, I telephoned Mike for a bit of encouragement to give me motivation – he gave me the motivation to get my waders on and get to the river – enough already, I thought – time to go home, I have tomorrow !

31 days of the season left…

31 days left, without looking at my callander that must mean around 4 weekends – or 8 days possible if I don’t take any holidays. Considering I need to spend at least one day with my other half that leaves around 4 possible days left fishing for trout. Depressing isn’t it?

No way did I do the amount of fishing that I wanted to this year – I thought with a car everything would be a lot simpler, I underestimated a few things. Firstly the weather has been absolutely rubbish. If it had just been a touch warmer then I could have had evening sessions galore on the Kelvin – I am sure some people did manage to get out there and have some nice evening sessions however I have been stuck indoors writing essays pretty much any night the conditions seemed favourable.

I suppose what the lack of fishing time has made me do is examine other waters that I pass by when I am on my work routes.

I often stop at the River Leven that runs through Dumbarton – it is more a salmon river though and just a little pricey for my tastes.

leven

Another little stream I sometimes drive over when on my way to a rehabilitation unit a distance away is this little river. I got out the car and stood on the bridge – most anglers do if they see a river and have time to kill, i watched a trout supping down flies just at that little bend…

I have no idea of its name but I often think about keeping my stuff in the back of the car and having a cast after one of my many meetings.

Thankfully, I have two full days of fishing to do at the weekend. My beloved is on two long days which means I will be trying to cram as much fishing into the two days as possible. Saturday will see me fishing various stops on the Clyde and Sunday possibly somewhere up North I am not sure where yet.

Looking forward to it already, tomorrow evening after I pay the penance for my fly fishing addiction by going to see a rom com I shall tie some flies in preparation.

Well, if that was the Summer…

If that was the Summer I wonder what the Winter will bring – I am already starting to get geared up for Pike. But more of that laster in the Month.

It is a funny old world when you have high expectations about somewhere and they are dashed. Gareth travelled all the way from Wales to Scotland to fish some of our “famous” trout rivers only to be pretty much skunked due to the weather the whole time he was here.

Just like that situation myself and a couple of pals fished the Lamington stretch of the Clyde on Saturday – we have heard it is  a famous stretch with regular big trout being caught, when we arrived there was a half dozen cars at a good access point with lots of anglers prowling up and down the river.

lamington

Needless to say I blanked, so did my pal Alan – Alex the nymph machine caught some trout but certainly not a great day to write home blog about. I know there is someone reading this (possibly several) who are thinking to themselves that this is there favourite stretch with great fishing – however for us it just did not work out!

alan atkins
On the way back to Glasgow we decided to check out some other access points, considering how popular this blog is getting I have pretty much decided not to specify exactly where these are – if you fish the Clyde you may recognise them.

Our first stop was at the power station on the Clyde – this picture shows some rather intense rapids – I have got to admit they do not look as impressive as you cannot see the scale of them – but believe me they were pretty big.

power station

So we drove on stopping here and there and peering through the trees – on one stop we spotted an otter swimming around in the river, as we were hiding behind some trees it never noticed us – it was a good sign as it must mean there are plenty trout in the river to keep it well fed.

otter

We also found a spot that is like a larger version of the Kelvin – the water was very green looking and had that same…..well lets just call it an earthy smell shall we.

Annoyingly we only have one month of the season left – should be the best month as the trout should be more aggressive however who knows with this bizarre summer we have had – no evening sessions due to lack of sun, hardly any sedge hatches and I think I only seen one hatch of blue winged olives. What I did see was a hatch of yellow mays in August – rather topsy turvy don’t you think?

Bamboozled

I wish I was cool like Tom over at Trout Underground who seems to have just about everything made out of bamboo these days. He recently wrote about a bamboo helmet which is the perfect headgear for fly fishing’s legion of “Chuck & Duck Purists.”

I wish I had something else made out of bamboo to go with my four weight. Saying that though, the helmet would come in handy for my new bike….

See you on the road…..possibly!

Milngavie Fly Dressers – Thursdays – Be there or do something else !

You know the finale of the season is approaching when you look out the window and notice it is getting dark at half past eight at night. The other sign is that you start getting emails regarding fly tying evenings which will be starting up for the winter. Again I will be popping along to Milnagvie library for some feather and fur madness on Thursday evenings. Albert Laidlaw has sent me the itinerary:

04 October 2007 Demonstration and Fly tying evening -Bumbles

11 October 2007 Demonstration and Fly tying evening -Wet Flies Winged

18 October 2007 Flies for the Lake of Menteith – Kenny Sichi

25 October 2007 Demonstration and Fly tying evening -Muddler Minnows

01 November 2007 Demonstration and Fly tying evening -Klinkhamers

08 November 2007 Demonstration and Fly tying evening -Woven Nymphs

15 November 2007 Dry Flies for River and Lake – Alberto Laidlaw

22 November 2007 Demonstration and Fly tying evening -Married Wings

29 November 2007 A look into your fishing bags, a discussion on equipment and tactics

06 December 2007 Guest Tier – Paul Little

Hey, where are the Pike flies ?

Tackle found in Partick

Hello chaps,

Recieved a contact from a Kelvinator who states he has found some tackle in the Partick area next to the river – if anyone knows who it belongs to then please get in touch – I am assuming of course anyone who has lost the item will know what it is and will be able to identify it so no random emails asking for rods :-)

Mayfly Hatch Video

Now, this has got to be one of the best educational videos I have seen yet – two guys pulled along on their boogey boards by a speed boat – as they stop – “Check it out —–MAYFLY”

The Angling Exploration Group could learn a thing or two from these guys.

Check it out

In The Beginning…

I first saw the Kelvin through a gap in some trees. I was 16 at the time and it was a Saturday night. I know it was Saturday as on a Friday I went to the Boys Brigade (Now you understand how I know the words when I sing hymns to induce takes) so Saturday was always my night for some recreation. Not that I was absolutely mad keen on fishing at that time, well I was keen on fishing, I just did not do it all the time. I had just been through a rather messy couple of seasons fishing the River Leven with some pals who caught massive amounts of Salmon – I unfortunately had blanked spectacularly. I had therefore decided a summer of chasing girls, smoking cannabis and drinking cider (unfortunetly not in that order) was on the cards and all I did with gusto – considering how unlucky I was with girls I turned into a mean joint roller.

Anyway, this Saturday night I and a group of friends were roaming the streets and eventually went through some woods some distance away from where I lived. It was all very scary and new – I was a bit shy and awkard at that age.

We were looking for an outdoor party that was rumoured to be happening – we were sure there would be girls there we could impress with our amazing patter and joint rolling techniques. I did not know the area well and was intrigued to spot a flash of water through some trees.

It was slow moving and deep – it was also very brown. “What rivers that?” I asked a pal who lived close by “The Kelvin – it’s a shitehole” was the reply.

I looked at the river – it was dark but something about it made me wonder – I could see an opportunity beckoning but so was a party pushed on by peer group pressure.

The Kelvin was filed away for a later time.

A Right Bugger

It rained all day on Saturday – call this August – feels more like March as the temperature is low as well. Feels like the start of the season when you go fishing just because you can, a bit of respite after a long cold winter – you know there will be no action or possibly a quick ten mins of action but at least you expect it to be like that after winter, not late summer.

Emmanuel and I cancelled our Saturday trip, instead going into the Glasgow Angling centre to wave around fly rods and pick up some tying materials. We looked at the rain knowing that Sunday was going to be bad- we still wanted to go fishing – so we did.

It was cold, biter cold – think it was a north wind. We fished the very upper reaches of the Clyde, thinking that by this point some of the rain water would have washed off. We were incorrect, it was still high – where in the past where there was a gentle shallow glide there was now fast flowing deep water. “I want to catch a trout on the dry fly” said my Italian friend – I decided to put on an olive sparkly woolly bugger – the first time I have ever fished with such a fly – from what I know about fishing with streamers the conditions seemed right.

Within the first few casts I felt a violent tug and then nothing – interesting I thought. Basically I was heaving the thing into the middle of the river giving a big upstream mend and then letting it dead drift until it came into the shallows when I would twitch it back rather enticingly – it was around this point I would get some thumps towards it. Nothing stayed on however – this happened around eight times. It is not uncommon to get pulls on the dangle and for trout not to connect – I think that is what the “traditional” across and down wet fly approach is a poor hooker of trout. There is too much resistance or something to allow the trout to turn with the fly in its mouth.

Walking back up the river we met Mike from Tamanawis - he had telephoned me to say he had caught his first trout using a streamer – I thought it was a budgie he was casting when I got up close but it turned out to be a yellow monstrosity that the trout were really going wild for – obviously trying to match the hatch I tied on an orange crystal woolly bugger with new enthusiasm – if the trout were going to take a yellow freaky parrot then I was in with a chance with a hot orange fry imitation – sometimes I think we give trout a lot more credit than they deserve.

After catching three trout on almost consecutive casts I decided more of these flies were going in my box for occasions of high water – I suppose it means I can fish in times I would ordinarily not go – It was enjoyable in the way I find loch fishing enjoyable – not needing to think too much about drag or finding out what insects are hatching.

Emmanuel tied one on to give it a bash and his hands almost burned with the shame, still he had already caught a trout on the dry fly – in those conditions it was pretty impressive – if someone could catch a trout on the dry fly though in a raging torrent it is him.

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