Pike on the bank..

We searched for Pike – jeepers we walked around a whole loch looking for them. The loch we found could not have been more Pikey – it was weedy, shallow in places and actually had trees growing in the middle of the loch. It looked like perfect Pike habitat. We attached it with plugs thinking that as soon as we located Pike we would start bombarding them with flies. Alas it was not to be – we fished around that whole loch and did not catch a think. It seems like either Pike are switched on and you get plenty of action or they are off and you would swear the things were not in the water.

We decided to head to the Forth n Clyde canal for a little more Pike action – within half an hour I had a Pike – not a big one but it certainly got the old adrenalin pumping. The pike took right under my nose and came at the plug like a green torpedo – fantastic fun. I am hoping once the weather gets a bit colder the weed in the canal with die back a bit as at the moment a good cast is damn near impossible.

We met a young lad who had never been fishing before so Alex and I gave him some advice on tactics and …er…casting.

Alex rather gallantly took my photo…

We met a chap called Vinnie who fishes the canal all year round for Pike – mostly dead baiting – he told us a few more spots to try.

Looking forward to it already!

A mixed bag…

Mixed results as the season draws to a close. I have had several sessions on my other favourite river, two at the local canal for Pike and one down the Kelvin.

I met Mike down at my other river for a few hours, the river was slightly high and the colour of tea but did not let that put me off. What put me off was a near dunking accident – on trying to cross the river I became wedged up against a ledge and could not get myself away from it because of the force of water. Got the old heart rate pounding, I could see my life flashing before my eyes (as well as my net and rod for that matter) – regretting some of the things I have done and some of the things I could have done a little more. As it was I managed to crawl to safety and within 10 mins all was forgotten. I managed to pick up several grayling – two on the dry and two on the nymph.

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I managed one trout. I think it is that time of year where the trout really do have other things on their mind. Sure, the hatches might not be as intense as the start of the year but the trout go absolutely bananas when hooked, usually jumping out of the water several times rather than boring deep. I have not seen a big fish for a while which I find odd as I know they are still there.

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A couple of trips down to the local canal, one by myself and one with Alex. I am waiting on a new reel for my 8/9 weight so was using my spinning rod and a rattling plug. Turns out we shouldn’t have bothered as the Pike were not playing the game and we nearly got blown back to the car by a roaring gale. The canal is still weedy as well which made getting a good retrieve happening nearly impossible.

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Tuesday night down to the Kelvin – I have heard rumours of large numbers of Sea Trout in the river so thought I would chance my arm – sods law meant the river was a little high with a dodgy color i.e. like mud. Plenty of fly life on the water – very small olives

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I thought Large Dark Olives would have made an appearance by now but I never seen any. I used a dry and dropper and proved there is always a couple of crazy trout in the river.

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Review:In the Company of Rivers: An Angler’s Stories & Recollections

I love getting sent books by authors; it gives me a warm fuzzy glow inside that someone actually might value what I say about their writings. Writers sending bloggers books to review is quite a new thing and I have got to admit it is a perk I quite like. However I have been dreading the day I am sent a book that is absolute mince and wonder about what I will say. On the other hand even when the book is good I am still stuck about what to write about – I would not want to give you a blow by blow account of what is in the book as it will spoil some of the surprises but then I have to give an indication of what the book is “about”

So, I was sent this book a fair while ago now by Ed Quigley and I must say it falls into the second category – it’s great. I suppose I could leave the review there but to give the author a bit of value for money I must write more I suppose. The title of the book is “In the Company of Rivers: An Angler’s Stories & Recollections” and it pretty much sums up what the book is about – Ed’s adventures fishing around the world. It is pretty entertaining stuff as he has met some interesting people on his travels. I smiled wryly about when came fishing to Scotland; I have fished the rivers he mentioned and he summed it up pretty well what kind of time can be had drinking whiskey with the locals. I see he has acquired a taste for 10 year old Macallan whiskey something I started enjoying on a recent trip up north.

I like the way Ed writes, short sharp paragraphs (a bit like a poem) – every one has something to say and there is no filler material.

My one regret with this book is that I did not get it to read during the close season – it is a perfect book for those winter nights when you feel a thousand miles away from fishing. I am one of these people who read fishing story books again and again. Saying that though, I am pretty sure it will be added to my reading list again for this coming winter as it is a book you can dip in and out of as the mood takes you.

It will have a permanent spot on my bedside table.

Available from Amazon US

Fly fishing and poems..

What is it about fly fishing that makes people want to write poetry?

Go check out friend Mikes site! 

Coming to an end..

So the end of the season is almost upon us, I fished the middle Clyde on Saturday for a few hours – there was plenty of flies on the water but the trout appeared to have other things on their minds.

I caught one trout on the nymph, a lovely trout that was very dark in color – did plenty of acrobatics before finally coming to the net.

I am now gearing up for the Pike – I was down at the forth and clyde for a few hours today with plugs – caught nowt but I hear the last month has been slow – I met a long time canal fisher (and blog reader) Vinny who has had some rather nice Pike this year. He also told me some disturbing information about Polish immigrants who are killing lots of Pike – one was even seen dropping a bag of cement off a bridge to take the oxygen out the water. Good grief !!

William Joseph in the dock

Ozarks Angler writes about a review he wrote for a William Joseph bag he bought a couple of years ago.

Very Interesting article - makes you wonder just how much testing the William Joseph company actually did?

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?

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