Turning Corners..

That’s it lads – we are almost there! The winter solstice is upon us and from now on the days will be fair old drawing in. I think this is a special time for the dedicated trout angler as it signifies a turning point in the long dreary winter – a faint glimmer of hope that the new season is just around the corner, warm summer days, olives on the water, trout splashing at your dry fly.

 I was looking through my photographs – pretty much the only thing that I saved after I formatted my computer and lost everything (this happened two days ago and I am still in shock) and found this photo. Now, I don’t have many regrets but I wish I had taken a better picture of it. It was a truly lovely trout and I reckon well up there as one of my biggest on the dry fly.

I suppose I need to get my ass in gear and tie up some flies…

Five things I can’t do without

None essential items used in the catching of fish that I do not actually need but still require:

  1. Lypsyl – ever since I was around 15 years old I used to get cracked chapped lips in the cold or heat. I then started to use lypsyl to keep them moist and…well….un cracked. This has helped me plenty of times when I have been fishing and realised I have no floatant – a little drop of the lypsyl and the fly floats all day.
  2. Camera – ok, some people are going to say this is not a necessity (and some people are going to say my photos are rubbish anyway) but I like taking my camera fishing and taking pictures of the fish I catch and the people I fish with. It gives me a record of the places I fish – on a winter’s night I can relive those hot summer days when I fished with friends.
  3. Sunglasses (Polaroid’s) – there are few things that would make me turn around and go home – I reckon sunglasses are up there with a rod and line when it comes to necessity. Other than for spotting fish they just make fishing more pleasurable, they keep the sun out of your eyes and can stop a nasty headache developing because of the glare off the water. I have fished without my hat – occasionally I forget to put it on – I never forget to put my sunglasses on. There is also the safety aspect – I had to go back to the house last week and pick them up – my wife asked why I needed sunglasses on a cloudy winter’s day – she understood after I had shown her the enormous pike hook that would be swinging past my eyes at speed.
  4. Water – I can honestly say I have never been truly thirsty in my life – I need to force myself to take water with me and to drink regularly. If I did not I would not fish on top form.
  5. My Buff – I have two buffs – a polar one and a plain material one. The polar one is great when it is cold as it can turn into a wee hat when it is not keeping my neck warm. The material one keeps the sun off my neck and covers as a midge stopper during the summer.

What can you not do without ?

An awesome post !

No, not from me – but Mike over at Tamanawis. Possible the most awesome post I have read in a long time.

 Fly Tying Materials Storage – the FARTS system.

Reality and a joke..

Full of enthusiasm I got to the canal at around 1000. It was freezing cold and within 20mins my hands were all blotchy and my fingers numb. The boats started to cruise up and down mixing up all the silt – “bugger this” – I thought, “I am away home”.

So I did!

Beer, Fishing, Sex and Golf

A man was walking down the street when he was accosted by a particularly dirty and shabby-looking homeless man who asked him for a couple of dollars for dinner.

The man took out his wallet, extracted ten dollars and asked, “If I give you this money, will you buy some beer with it instead of dinner?” “No, I had to stop drinking years ago,” the homeless man replied.

“Will you use it to go fishing instead of buying food?” the man asked. “No, I don’t waste time fishing,” the homeless man said. “I need to spend all my time trying to stay alive.”

“Will you spend the money on a woman in the red light district instead of food?” the man asked. “What disease would I get for ten lousy bucks?” exclaimed the homeless man.

“Will you spend this on greens fees at a golf course instead of food?”
the man asked. “Are you NUTS!” replied the homeless man. “I haven’t played golf in 20 years!”

“Well,” said the man, “I’m not going to give you the money. Instead, I’m going to take you home for a terrific dinner cooked by my wife.”

The homeless man was astounded. “Won’t your wife be furious with you for doing that? I know I’m dirty, and I probably smell pretty disgusting.”

The man replied, “That’s okay. It’s important for her to see what a man looks like after he has given up beer, fishing, sex and golf.”

I reckon a new 8 foot 4 weight is on the cards…

I have decided I need a new 8 foot 4 weight for next season – as much as I like my current Greys 4/5 weight, it being a two piece does my head in. Additionally it is always nice getting a new piece of kit. Seeing as how the old sponsorship deals are not exactly flooding in I reckon I might just have to buy this next piece of booty.

The contenders so far are:

 Sage Fli

I have heard good things about this rod and they say you cannot go wrong with a Sage – somehow it all went wrong when I did though. My pal Alex has the Sage launch and rates it very highly. I reckon it might be a little fast for me. For my 4 weight I want something nice and forgiving. I can test cast this rod at the Glasgow Angling Centre

Loop Optistream

This is actually a 9 foot rod however if it seems right in the hand it would fit the old budger rather nicely. I doubt I would be able to test cast this rod though so I should just forget all about it.

Orvis Trout Bum

Like Sage you cannot go wrong with an Orvis – in fact Orvis and its amazing customer service might just swing it for me. The only problem is the fact that the Glasgow Angling Centre does not have many Orvis rods to test cast – what I would probably have to do is travel through to Edinburgh to try out the rod there – a hassle yes – however I would do this for the right rod!

Hmmmmmm – pondering – anyone else have a nice slow action rod they want to comment on ?

Good Vibrations

Vibrations – that what I need in coloured water to attract those Pike. You see, they have a long lateral line to detect the slightest vibration and once located the prey doesn’t stand a chance. The dorsal fin works in conjunction with the ventral and tail fins to provide the incredible acceleration we love to see behind our pike flies.

Anyway, after a conversation with Mike I decided to tie some up using deer hair as a body material – this should make them a lot more noisy in the water. The problem with deer hair is that the stuff floats incredibly well so I have added a few turns of lead to help them to sink.


Once I have got over this bug I have at the moment I will hit the local canal !


Live around Glasgow – Demo in Milngavie

If you have never been to a demo let me tell you a little story – my first tying demo was a few years ago now and was Charles Jardine – I can honestly say my fly fishing knowledge not only increased because of the talk but also because of the people I met that night. Being shy by nature I forced myself to go along to somewhere I knew nobody however it all worked out and I had a great night.

So, if you are not going to go simply because you have no one to go with do not let that be an excuse – just pluck up the courage and go – you can sit next to me. Heck, if you are on my route I may even pick you up.

Ok, so this Thursday will be a treat. Paul Little is doing a demo at Milngavie Library, Glasgow, G62 8DN. Time to start is 7.15 pm and all are welcome, there is a charge of £3 per person. Paul is probably one of the finest dressers in the UK today so get yourselves along.

It is not just about fly tying however – you also get the chance to fire questions at someone who is very knowledgeable about all kinds of fishing.

Mail me if you want picked up – I live in Anniesland !

Urban Flyfisher in the blogosphere…

On one hand I break things and in the other I get praised.

At least I am consistant……no wait that’s not correct…

Productive few hours..

So I spent ages last night making a fly – it was made entirely out of calf tail and looked great. I used some lead to help it to sink – I was looking forward to giving it a bash today – as it was the damn thing floated rendering it useless – you live and learn I suppose.

Yet again as soon as I left the house I nearly turned back – it was miserable – I left in rush hour as well (I have a day off work) and my bed was calling me back. Dark and bleak and pissing with rain. I thought the rain would be against me…

However I got to the canal at around 0830, strung up my rod and after changing my fly was almost immediately into a Pike – a nice one as well (I am getting a bit blasé about them now). I had taken the advice of some of my blog readers and was using a fly with a zonker strip as a tail, a black body with just a little bit of flash – oh and some white calf tail along the top wing style – it gave the fly a rather nice action as it kicked back in the water.

Number two Pike came a half hour later – within a few yards of the first – this was a bigger one and put up a fair scrap on the 9 weight. I could see the wire trace it had somehow managed to get it trapped around its gill – I had a choice – I have read how to chin pike out the water and I could have tried it with the Pike last week however as there was people watching me  I decided not to in case I fluffed it. This time however I took a bit of time, unwrapped the trace from around its gill and found the spot where I was suppose to lift it – easy peasy.. a piece of cake – a quick photo

And then back in the water.

The rain came on pretty heavy however I played cat and mouse with another reasonably sized pike for a few minutes. It attacked the fly maybe 3 or 4 times, every time it missed I immediately put the fly back in the water and it attacked again. Eventually I think it spooked and went off to sulk. I fished on at the same spot for around another 10mins getting wet and then headed off home at around 11am.

Glasgow Angling Centre boss reveals expansion plan

Glasgow Herald – interview with Paul Devlin, the owner of the Glasgow Angling Centre talks about his expansion plans – buys flies for 5p and sells them for 60p – now that is what I call a profit!

Read the full article here!

EDIT: Oh – here is the Fly Fishing Forums take on the article