We threw stones…

We threw stones in a pool that I fish regularly, usually as I wade through here I try not to make even a wave on the surface. A slight stumble and waves will wash over the whole pool. It has got to be as still as possible to tempt the spooky trout.

Throwing stones, some of them were boulders!

Throwing stones, some of them were boulders!

Trying to make the biggest splash in the pool was probably the most satisfying thing I have done all year.

Life and Fishing!

It has been a busy week or so in this neck of the woods. I have managed a few last minute sessions on the Kelvin and they have all went well with a few trout caught. Nothing of the size of last week’s mighty brute but nice trout none the less. The Yellow Mays are now out and about in full force and the Kelvin trout love them. I read once that trout are not particularly fussed for them and I have witnessed trout on the Clyde ignoring them however I always make sure I have a few yellow comparaduns in my box just in case.

Usually what I end up doing is staking out one particular pool and then simply target rising trout however now that “summer” is upon us I think it may be time to start exploring a bit more.  Something I noticed about my usual haunt is that it has become infested by a plague of ducklings. The other day a Kelvinator posted a video of himself having a bit of a tussle with a full size duck (it was unharmed) and I can see how that happened. The last few times I have been out it seems like a fight between the trout and the ducklings to get the flies. The trout do not seem to be that bothered by the wee furry beasts bolting across the pool above them and they both chase for the same flies. Here is a wee video of the blighters…

My imitation fly seems to be too much for them and often I find myself whisking my fly away from their mouths just before they take it in their tiny beaks. Usually it is just as it is getting to the sweet spot where it will be about to be seen by the trout I have been casting at. The ducklings will often travel a couple of feet to get to the fly. I have also watched the ducklings scatter in alarm as a trout rises among them. I have yet to see a duckling getting taken from the surface like a dry fly but it is only a matter of time considering the huge capture of a huge trout (I think it was 8lb) taken from the Cart. After all our big trout have got be feeding on the Crayfish by now.

Anyway, I am not really complaining too much about the ducklings as apart from being incredibly cute they show a sign that the river is alive and healthy.

After a weekend up in Aviemore digging holes in the beach of a loch I needed a spot of trout fishing to sort me out.

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Digging a bloody big hole in the beach of the loch

Consequently I bolted to the Kelvin for a quick couple of hours and met a chap at my usual haunt, he was fishing a wet fly outfit. I advised him to switch to a lighter outfit and gave him a couple of dry flies. I wanted him to catch a trout however even when I had a go at the couple of risers the Kelvin trout were acting like their usual belligerent self and not playing ball. He has fished lochs in the past and I did my best to describe how the biggest enemy of a river angler is drag. Drag is essentially when your dry fly drifts at a different speed from the current due to different currents affecting your fly line and leader.

His name his Peter, I took a picture of his back like I was a stalker!

His name his Peter, I took a picture of his back like I was a stalker!

 There are a couple of ways of combating it and one of which is being sneaky and going at a trout from upstream and letting your fly drift down. Another way which I enjoy is when you have a riser that is not going to be easily spooked is to cast, cast and cast again and let your brain work out exactly the best way of letting your fly drift. What usually happens is your drift gets shorter and shorter meaning your fly will drift correctly for maybe a foot however sometimes that is all it takes for the trout to look at your fly and think that one looks alright and it takes it. This of course depends on you actually having the correct fly on. The other night I did not have the correct fly on (I had a small CDC n’ Elk) and it was only after changing to a comparadun that the trout eventually took. It was bloody satisfying as I had been trying to catch this trout for a couple of weeks. It was sitting at the other side of the current in some slack water behind some faster current. Working out the drag was a bitch!

Finally caught this trout....

Finally caught this trout….

Airflo came to my rescue after my last session out with Jim Burns. The sole of my Orvis boots which I have had for less than a season came away making wading tricky and I was not going to get a chance to get some evostick to fix it back in place. My last batch of Evostick was locked away in storage somewhere and I was unable to retrieve it.

The offending felt sole - it looks kinda like an unhappy face!

The offending felt sole – it looks kinda like an unhappy face!

Last season Fishtec sent me a pair of Airflo boots to review and I had not got around to actually trying them out so a quick trip to the storage unit where all my family’s worldly belongings are kept until we buy a new house was made and I dug them out. They are simply great, they feel comfy, look good; there are no fancy features other than a good lacing system that makes them nice and tight around the ankles. I stuck my Orvis boots in the shed to dry out and I have been wearing the Airflo ones for a few sessions. Obviously a full review will follow shortly. It is something I have noticed about Orvis wading boots, the felt soles always fall off. If you remember last year I spent a couple of months fannying around trying to glue bits of carpet to my boots – sure it worked for a couple of outings but the water eventually got to them.

It is not something that I have heard my pals complain about with their boots however every season I appear to have a period of time that I am scrabbling around trying to find the correct evostick to get them back in place. I would be interested in hearing what you guys have to say?

Wading boots have it tough though, they spend probably around 6 months of the year wet and damp as they never get the opportunity to dry out properly and I am not even sure you want them to dry out properly unless you are moving between rivers and want to kill some beasties on them so that stuff does not spread between rivers.

Anyway, it looks like the mild weather is now here to stay and we should be enjoying both day time and evening action for another couple of weeks before the trout decide that evenings and dusk is best.  I read over at North Country Angler that he is looking forward to the evening sessions as well. I reckon that being working family men we both like the evenings because during the day we are unable to take advantage of the bounty. Once we get home from work, get the sprogs in bed and have a bit of lovin’ (I jest) it is then time to hit the river with time to spare for the evening rise.

A view from the top of a mountain simply because I took it over the weekend!

Summer is here, I think!

I was surveying the old fly box as I gave away a couple of flies to the chap I met at the river and realised I need to get my ass in gear and tie up a dozen as all it will take is a tree to snaffle a few and I will not have any of my favorites in my box. Tying flies during the season is much more enjoyable as you seem to have a purpose, during the winter there is a disconnection with fishing and the river and it all seems a bit pointless for me. Knowing that the fly I am tying will be used the next day is much more satisfying and even when I am tying it on and fishing with it I can still think back to the evening before and remember tying it. The rule of threes when tying is always a good guideline: one to fish, a backup and one to give away. I have no illusions that my flies are simply functional rather than the art that other guys take time over. A dozen messy comparaduns in different sizes and shades of olive (some yellow too) and it will be job done!

I had better get tying!

ps. Oh, and if any of you guys are on facebook I would appreciate a visit to the Urban Fly Fisher Facebook Page and a quick “like” (seemingly later I can swap them for drugs and sex) You will not only be notified of posts here but I will also be regurgitating old content selecting some fine shit articles that I have written for your amusement interest.

Caught one trout – presented without comment…

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Lets just say, I am glad I took my net!

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Yes, weird bee spray painter, thank you I am!

I need to take my net…

This season like last has left me wondering why the hell I do not carry a net when I fish the Kelvin. To be honest up until last year I have always been happy with brining my fish to hand to release them even if I have had to take a photo of them however now that the trout are getting bigger I just cannot get away with that any longer. Last spring I found myself cursing regularly as I tried to photo another fat trout and when I went out on Sunday evening I encountered the final straw when a lovely trout well over the pound felt my hand around its meaty girth and with a flex of its muscle was gone into the depths leaving me with a camera in one hand a fly stuck in my other.

Here is the story….

The day was overcast all day with good temps. I knew that if I had fished during the day it would have been good however I was still packing up my stuff. I managed to obtain a fishing pass and drove top speed to my local stretch only to find it totally dead. Things were not looking good. I walked down river and finally found a few rising trout. As the evening was warm there was a lot of folk walking around and people would stop and watch me cast. Some of the joys of urban fishing is the amount of folk you get chatting too it is also one of the curses – I just went with the flow and appreciated the applause when I caught an 8 incher. Some young guys who I think were Muslims due to their beards cheered when I caught a fish and asked if I only fished for pleasure as I returned it – I nodded and they thanked me for letting them watch.

It started to get a bit darker and the park started to clear of fish. It was around this time that I started to notice a trout that had been rising in some slack water below some trees. I had cast to it a couple of times and the fly drifted without being taken due to drag however I felt it was time to really concentrate on it. The tricky thing about casting to a trout in this kind of position is that your fly must drift naturally long enough for the trout to take however for a short enough time that the drag from the faster current is not going to affect it. I usually get by this by constantly recasting until either the trout is spooked or stops rising or my brain finally works out how to cast and position the fly so that the trout takes.

Look, this is a random photo from around 2 years ago. I am not giving coordinates to the beast!

Look, this is a random photo from around 2 years ago. I am not giving coordinates to the beast!

The trout was not spooked and it took my fly. It went bananas, tearing across the pool and jumped out the water. It was totally pissed off. It tore back to its spot and then took a tour around the pool taking line and almost wrenching my rod out my hands. I took a quick look behind me and was glad to see nobody watching, when you catch a trout this fine you want no bugger to actually know where it is. I did not campaign for catch and release for years for some idiot to chap the nice fish now that we have them. After a minute or so the trout was settled and I brought it towards me, the trout’s head was out the water and it was then I realised just how big it actually was, its mouth yawned open and I could see down its throat past its gills, my tiny fly was stuck in its lip. At this point I should have netted it, got my camera out and took its photo before slipping it back in the water. However what actually happened was I reached into my pocket and turned my camera on and then with my other hand reached out and gripped the trout round its middle, as I lifted the trout it flexed its body and as I did not want to squeeze the beast it fell out my hands and then sat in the water looking at me for a second with a look on its face that said “Fucking Mug” and then bolted off.

It was round about that point I decided that this was the last time I would not carry my net. There is no reason to be disappointed, I had fooled the trout, played the trout and landed the trout and it was released without harm apart from to its dignity.

I am still going to take a net next time.

 

It appears I am a cheeky bastard!

Fishing opportunities have been curtailed due to the fact I am packing up my house and move in with the in-laws for a bit. The house market took us by surprise and our house was sold within a week. I think that is a positive. Still, I have managed to wet a line a couple of times.

Last night I headed out with the mighty Jim Burns (he had been helping me along with some other fishing buddies to move my families belongings  into storage) for a late evening session down the Kelvin. He had spent the day down the Clyde with the other guys that helped me out and within a few minutes spotted more trout rising on the Kelvin than he did all day on the Clyde.

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More trout rising than the clyde

We had a go at some incredibly tricky trout, the tricky part was the trees and bushes behind us which meant that to get a fly to the confident risers tantalizing us a few rod lengths away I had to roll cast. I cannot roll cast that far, especially with an 8 foot rod. OK to be honest I can barely roll cast a couple of rod lengths. Needless to say they stopped rising as I spooked them.

Next stop was to have a gander at a blackbirds nest, Jim had almost put his hand in it the other night. What it shows is that we must be extra careful to watch out for birds nests at this time of year.

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The babes were sleeping

It was Jim’s turn next to have a go at some risers and he scrambled down the bank…

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get down there Jim

He did about as well as me…

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In other words better…

We met a young guy fly fishing on the other side, we asked him for his permit and he did not have one. We told him he would have to go buy one. We both felt pretty shite about it as the guy was polite and was obviously a beginner. I was half inclined to just let him fish however Jim reminded me that we could turn the corner and meet someone without a permit. I told him the story of last week when I had met a guy down at the Botanics, I asked him for his permit……

Me: I am Alistair, Vice Chair and all round good guy, you got your permit handy?

Young Chap: Aye

Me: Can I see it?

Young Chap: Aye (shows me it) I ave already been asked fur it the night, two guys doon the water.

Me: Yes, that will be the other bailiffs

Young Chap: Well lets see it then?

Me: ?

Young Chap: Your permit?

Me: (I pat my pockets, I appear to have left it in my running shorts) I, um, er, appear to have left it in my running shorts

Young Chap: You cheeky bastard, I bet you don’t even fucking have one. You were just gonna ask me to make yourself look good in case I asked you.

And after a bit of banter he insisted that he take my photo to show some pals to make sure I was legit.

Anyway, back to the session. After a bit we came across some lovely debris from some folk that had obviously just made a visit to the Glasgow Angling Centre

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For fecks sake!

It’s cool, we crunched down all the stuff they left and put it into the plastic bag they had also left next to the river. The fire they set on the bank had not burned too much grass either. Jim stuck it into his backpack to take to a bin.

We both caught nice trout on the walk back up, Jim’s was bigger though!

Moving house, packing up my shit.

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Presented without comment !

Urban Fly Fisher gets all over Facebook like some bad street art.

Now that Urbanflyfisher has turned the grand old age of a decade I decided that instead of being a grumpy old sod that complains about all the “new” media I should actually embrace some of that shit and created a Facebook Page.

Check that out!

Check that out!

The mighty Jim Burns is on the cover photo seeing as how he is the legend of the Kelvin and I stuck the old trusty shopping trolley as the main pic. The Glasgow Angling Centre gave a big push through their facebook page (thanks Gary) and it has all kicked off.

I am not entirely sure what will happen over there however it should add to the fun this year. If you have not done so already it would be great if you could head over there and “like” the page as I can swap them for sex and money possibly.

I am busy packing up my worldly belongings at the moment and am moving house next week into some temp accommodation supplied by the in laws. Turns out the housing market is not all that bad when your house is sold in a week.

Still, I should get a spot of fishing in.

Enjoy!

Gear Top Tip

I am always amazed at the cost of actual branded fishing jackets. I was recently looking for a new packable jacket and thought that my fishing fund balance was going to suffer – there was a distinct possibility it was going to slip into negative if I bought one of the brand names. As I was scouting around as usual I realised that the best bargains for fishing clothing are usually found outside fishing shops. An example of this might be that you can pick up a lot of fly tying gear in craft shops. I bought huge sheets of foam which usually cost a few pounds online for a tenth of the amount as well as eyes for pike flies for a pittance. Christmas decorations are not safe either when the winter fly tying season is underway.

So eventually in my hunt for an easy packable rain jacket I came to the tried and tested outdoor gear brand of Regatta.

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They have the above great super lightweight, breathable and packable rain jacket for under 30 bucks. This can fit under your breathable waders a treat or can be shoved into your waistcoat just in case it rains as let’s face facts it rains a lot.

Click Here for Outdoor Clothing at Regatta

Woodpecker!

After work I managed an hour on the Kelvin.

Lets get the facts out the way – I caught two trout, both of which came to dries and one of the was an absolute stonker. The river had lost some of its height and color however is now covered in wee leaves or something and you can hardly see your fly on the surface because of them.

Looking downstream....

Looking downstream….

As I walked down the river I ran into a very pleasant old gent in his 80s. He was dressed immaculately and was sitting on a wee chair gazing at the water. As I got closer I realized he had the  biggest camera I have ever seen. It turns out he was trying to take pictures of the Kingfishers. He told me that he has been visiting this spot for several years and regularly photographs Kingfishers and the mink that roam around. He was passing the time taking pictures of the ducks. He told me that every now and then he makes DVD’s of his videos and pictures so that sometimes he can sit and look back on them. His latest was “Sights of the River”  I asked him if he ever thought about showing them to anyone, for example, on the internet, he smiled and said he did not think anyone would be interested. Even though he is in his 80s he had the technical know how as he explained about editing all the footage together on his laptop.

He had been in hospital for the last few weeks and was on new drugs for his heart, he said, however they did not need to see him for another three weeks – he took that as a good sign.

As we chatted I found myself looking up for a  change as he pointed out the various perches he had seen the Kingfisher. I spotted a lovely looking bird I had never seen before. We both thought it might be a woodpecker and on further reading it turns out it was a Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Greater Spotted Woodpecker

Being this urban lad who does not get much of a chance to get out into the country air seeing this so near the city was a treat and a half. It made up for the lack of trout rising and the wind.

Maybe next time I will see it again, I will be keeping my eyes open!

 

An alternative to longjohns?

You guys know that I wear thermal longjohns under my waders right? Well, a few of you got in contact to say that maybe I would get sweaty in the summer heat and provided a possible solution.

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Outdoor Look Base Layers

These bad boys are skin tight so no chaffing, quick drying and may cause no questions as you saunter down the road to your car. I will admit I get some funny looks in my long johns. They even have a security pocket for hiding away your car key in case you fall in.

You can thanks me later.

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