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