All this talk of carrying minimal amount of gear has made me think of the things I carry regularly. One thing that I carry regularly is my monocular.A monocular is similar to a pair of binoculars except it is just like a mini telescope. I dont use it to see vast distances but for just a quick closer look at such things as birds (feathered), foxes, and rabbits. It is also useful if, like me, you are a nosey bastard.
The monocular is good as it means you can spot other anglers who you might not want to run into. It means you can miss out pools that they have fished or just simply due to etiquette you dont want to intrude on their personal space.
There have been times I have been looking up river and wondered to myself “is that another angler?“ One quick look through the old monocular and I find it is a black bin bag hanging on a tree. Curiosity solved!
There is also a safety aspect involved, on one of the rivers that I fish regularly the wading is very tricky. It is full of holes with boulders and rocks at knee level. I am naturally cautious but sometimes it is easy to get carried away. If I cannot see someone there is always the possibility that they have been swept away to their watery death. My trusty monocular can then be used to sweep the banks looking for their now ownerless rod which can be stashed safely in the back of the car. It may be a cheaper option than actually buying a Sage. Now that might be an idea actually- coupled with the walky talky a well timed â€œBOOâ€ may be all it takes to get my hands on a nice rod.
Anyone fancy a Grayling session anyone?
For those of us that are starting to think about a little entomology now is the time to start reading up. The most easilly digestible of all the books out there is this one…
For those that dont have it it is
A guide to help the angler choose the right artificial fly, including macro-photography of insect life combined with selections of the most lookalike lure. The book suggests that the angler observes the insect that seems to attract the most, and choose a fly from the photographs supplied
The photos really are very good, and it should sort out those “what fly to try today” situations !
[tags]entomology,hatch,flies,matching the hatch [/tags]
Other than the blogs that I visit regularly there are a few forums that I visit to glean new information and to generally have my questions answered. It is quite interesting really as they all have entirely different takes on fly fishing with their own particular attitudes and user base. I thought it might be nice to give a wee run down of them and share my thoughts on them.
Fly Fishing Forums
This is mostly a UK based board with lots of colourful characters. It is kind of affiliated with Fish & Fly although I think the owner likes to keep it at arms length due to some of the more colourful content. It is pretty “Wild West” in that there are no moderators other than someone who deletes the spam and stops libellous material from developing. Many arguments and flame wars start as lots of people profess to be experts of the angle and can really get quite heated, it often becomes so bad that people leave and delete all their posts (after announcing their intentions) and then come back a week later as they miss the banter. It is a great forum where you will have a question answered by 10 different people all with varying opinions â€“ one person will tell you your post should be in classifieds.
Even though the forum has a few characters that loathe each other and will deliberately put each other down at every available opportunity they all stand united against their arch enemy…..
The Complete Fisher Forum
Some people from the Fly Fishing Forums got together and branched off forming their own forum- one that was moderated by a few dedicated individuals. The main aim it seems is to talk about fishing in all its guises, not just with the fly and certainly not just trout. Its hidden agenda however is to continue the secret feud with the Fly Fishing Forums, on one memorable occasion an early version of The Complete Fisher Forum was shut down as the members were reported for passing around copies of fishing DVDs. The reporting culprit was suspected to be from The Fly Fishing Forums. The feud continued for a bit with members from each forum showing up on each other posting things to noise people up. Other than this the forum is full of interesting info on catching coarse fish on the fly. In fact I would would probably say the best place.
The feud is now all in good sport with individuals swinging their handbags left right and centre before getting told to wash their hands for dinner by their wives.
The Wild Fishing Forum
This mostly Scottish forum sits on the sidelines quietly giggling about the other two forums. It is part of the Wild Fishing in Scotland site with lots of in depth info regarding loch fishing. Its members don’t profess to be experts at catching trout but merely learners no matter whether they have been catching trout for 1 year or 50, in fact the smaller the trout the better and if you caught it on a fly that your grandfather gave you when you were a boy then all the better. Extra points will be added if you walked 20 miles to get to a remote loch and set up your £9.99 Argos Tent in a howling gale whilst making a brew in your Kelly Kettle.
A lovely forum where you will always get a cup of tea….you will have to wear midge repellent.
The Sexyloops Forum
If there is an opposite of the Wild Fishing Forum it is the Sexyloops forum. In fact a classic link on the Wild Fishing Site stated next to the link for Sexyloops if you ever think you might be taking yourself too seriously then head over to Sexyloops or words to that effect anyway. The Sexyloops site is stuffed with a mass of info about casting and general fishing and this is discussed at great length on the forum. When I say great length I mean essays on casting technique, there are many videos that people have posted for others to critique. There are debates raging for pages on the merits of various technical points of rods. As for rods the faster the better although the Sage XP is the one to go for and the one that you will buy if you hang around too long. If you don’t have a girlfriend or wife then after reading the Sexyloops site you will pack it all in and move to New Zealand to stalk massive brown trout. If you do have a girlfriend or a wife just don’t go it will only put you in a bad mood.
Posting there sometimes scares me, sometimes I expect a graph to illustrate a point in answering a question that I just dont understand. Be sure that a question will be answered fully though !
It almost makes me feel guilty posting this little forum, it is not widely visited but it seems to be the same old faces popping up. Fishing tiny streams for micro trout with a bamboo rod is the way to go. Don’t go asking for advice on prime spots- noone gives away any secrets and it is strictly taboo to ask anyone where a picture was taken. It is a lovely personal forum and even though I have only made a few posts I read the threads with wonder at the size of trout they winkle out of small streams in the States.
So that is my wee round up of the forums that I visit regularly, there are hundreds of forums out there but I think these ones are if not the best then certainly the most interesting and entertaining. It is funny as I see the same old names cropping up which just goes to show you what a small angling internet world we live in.
So last weekend I went for a spot of Grayling fishing. I will call it fishing but what I should really call it was a nice drive and then an opportunity to get a freezing cold left leg. Yup, the old waders are playing up once more and a leak has developed which gave me a good reason to pack up early and bolt back up the road.
Still, it was a nice day out
I know go to patch my waders !
[tags]grayling,leaky waders [/tags]
Been reading a lot about poachers and poaching over the last few days, this looks like another good read!
So there is a bit of a scandal going down with Vosseler reels in the United Kingdom. It seems that Vosseler have decided to pull a fast one on the UK supplier –
In the mans own words
I was given absolutely no notice that we were being dropped as agents. Vosseler demoted us to “dealer status” but promised to supply us with our outstanding orders. Two days later we were advised that we were no longer allowed to use a copy of the Vosseler site due to Copyright infringement. (Deliberately inflammatory and designed to make us “Snap”. We didn’t.
And because we didn’t, the next day we received an Email saying all orders were cancelled and we were now out. (we weren’t surprised, Ralf Vosseler had lied to me many times in the past and we had two longstanding Sweepstakes in the office. The First was how late each order was going to be and the second was which machine he would blame for it “this” time). We knew he had no intetion of supplying our outstanding orders or selling to us as a “dealer”.
In all Honesty, I really don’t mind losing the account. It was NOTHING but trouble. His manufacturing processes and stocking policies are fundamentally flawed, he never held stock, and was always waiting for “something”. We were expected to hold stock so he didn’t have to. We had to pay for and hold his buffer. We were expected to pay in advance, before delivery (so he could screw us at any time) and yet expected to give our customers up to a a month to pay so we were effectively funding his growth. And virtually *every* order was late! Sometimes 7 months late!
It’s HOW we lost the account that is irritating. He still owes us Â£30,980 that we spent on his behalf on growing his business. I gave him the offer of paying us this and in return we’d sell the reels we have at full RRP. He not only ignored this offer but Emailed all of my customers stating I was trying to Blackmail him, which My customers kindly passed on to me. I even Emailed his other distributors to apologise for being forced into dumping our reels.
He no doubt has someone else in the wings. We’ve done the hard work and now they can “reap” the rewards. Unfortunately, they may well be on a road to nowhere due to us having Â£75K to dump. Would you take on an account?
We were also working with several well known companies in the UK supplying a range of reels in their name. In taking away our distribution he has also screwed those companies too.
I have documentary proof of all of the above which might yet end up on the web sites we have that are Vosseler based.
The agent has decided to place all his stock onto eBay to try and recoup some of his losses. I own a Vosseler reel and to be honest the only reason I bought it was because of the amount of publicity that the agent put out in the UK. If it had not been for his various postings on forums I doubt they would even be a name that you would have heard of in the UK. As it is they are lovely reels and I would recommend them to anyone â€“ they are well made and certainly a bargain when they do turn up on eBay.
The only problem beeing of course that people in the UK now no longer have a point of contact for after sales service – so there are pros and cons to weigh up!
Other places to check out
Fly Fishing Forum Thread – Where it all kicked off !!
edit:mind it will be around the 14th feb the reels will be on ebay !
[tags]Vosseler, fly reel [/tags]
So I really enjoyed Mikes post about his new â€œlanyard of powerâ€. I met Mike down at the Glasgow Angling Centre when he was trying to get the materials together to actually start his lanyard project and he was looking forward to it then. Now that he has completed it (or at least went into beta testing phase) I am sure he is pretty chuffed.
Lanyards I think have everything going for them and nothing going for them. Wear one without anything else and you will usually find yourself in a situation where you just donâ€™t have enough â€œstuffâ€ and when you wear a more conventional waistcoat or chest pack you constantly feel as if you are loaded to the brim with â€œstuffâ€ you donâ€™t need. When I say â€œstuffâ€ I am talking about the dozens of miscellaneous products that you seem to carry and only ever use now and again, for example – a priest, floating yarn, spare leaders, spare nylon, desiccant, another fly box, a small flash light, extra batteries for camera- you know just â€œstuffâ€ like that. It could all be so much simpler if you could just put it all on a lanyard. I always think I get too stressed out about all this other â€œstuffâ€ and have decided that I should only carry on the occasions I actually think I will need it. Ah- have a think about the logic of that for a moment. OK an explanation â€“ I know that most of the â€œstuffâ€ will only be needed now and again, so what I should do is wear my lanyard with minimal equipment when I am say â€“ fishing a tiny stream (which is Mikes idea as well)
â€¦and wear my waistcoat when fishing a river that I do not know or when conditions are variable. I suppose you only really need a fully quota of â€œstuffâ€ if you know for a fact that conditions might change or it is inconvenient to go back to the car and pick it up. Aha- I suppose this is getting to the heart of the matter. Is it because I am now a driver? Before when I walked to the river or got the bus it was never a simple matter of toddling back to the house to pick up something that I needed it was a case of be snookered or improvise. I suppose now it is a case of I can be as minimalist as I want as I know I can just walk to the car to pick up what I need.
I obtained my lanyard last year- I would like to say that I was as dedicated as Mike and made it out of a couple of shoe laces and a bit of spare mono but I went the easy route and bought mine off of eBay. At least I did not buy one of the ones from C&F that cost around Â£25 â€“ instead I bought a hippy beady one for around a Â£10 that included postage from the US. I have had it for around a year and never used it- I think I am going to break it in on the first day of the season if the conditions are right. If it is a nice enough day I am going to hit one of the tributaries of the Kelvin â€“ a tiny stream where I just might pick up a tiny trout on a dry fly. I am looking forward to it !
Greetings from Urban Fly Fisher previously known as Urban Fly Fishing on the Kelvin
Pull up a chair, take your shoes off. Have a drink – I shall not be posting for a few days so why dont you have a flick through the archives. I am just waiting for everyone to catch up!
Maybe you would like to leave a comment regarding the new look – that would be nice. Perhaps you would like to complain as I have used your photo in my header without your permission- well that will teach you to go fishing without a camera
Yes, ladies and gentleman â€“ it is the event you have all been waiting for â€“ it is the annual funtastic, arguemastic AGM of the River Kelvin Angling Association. It shall be featuring the usual mix of loveable miscreants from Glasgowâ€™s underworld of fishing â€“ full of opinions and ideas for the coming year or then again maybe even an awkward silence will ensue as everyone is only there for the raffle.
#sigh# good times good times.
So I have a new pair of wading boots. I received them a few weeks ago (a late Christmas pressie) and I have been trying them on every now and then just to make sure that the fit is ok for the coming season. Ever since I bought breathable waders I have been on the lookout for a good pair of wading boots, mostly because my first three pairs decided to give up the ghost in annoying fashion. My first pair was Vision Extreme dual track boots whichgave up after two seasons- in fact just before giving up they decided to try and take the breathable waders with them. They managed to put a great big metal pointy rivet through the neoprene boots. My second pair was a pair of Snowbee boots which lasted a couple of months before the sole fell off. My third pair was a replacement pair of Snowbee identical to the first that disintegrated after a couple of sessions. Additionally as they were marketed as being good for hiking as well as non slip on rocks (they were funny rubber stuff not felt) I trusted them to look after me in a, well, we shall call it a non slip kind of way when up to your waist in water. Sadly this was not the case- while my fishing partners were striding on ahead with manly purposeful strides I was reduced to holding onto branches and rocks whilst trying to navigate what felt like a particularly jaggy ice rink.
So it is fair to say that I have either not been lucky with my boots or just another victim of the manufacturers wanting us to pay through the nose for equipment that we need for fishing. I suppose it is false economy for them to actually design something that will last for more than a couple of years. Maybe I am a pessimist- but I donâ€™t think so!
The one company that I keep hearing about is Orvis and their lifetime guarantee on wading products. I have already decided to purchase a pair of Orvis Breathables when my current ones (Vision Endurance) finally become just one big patch as the customer service is from word of mouth excellent. This is why I decided to buy the Henrys Fork II Premium Wading Boot. When I got them out the box I was impressed, they feel sturdy and the sole is sealed with rubber onto the boot so no stitching to come away.
I particularly liked the insole- it is nice and thick and made of what feels like plastic. I cannot see it rubbing around like the other boots I have had. They feel nice and roomy as well- I like to wiggle my toes as well as wear big socks.
THis is what Orvis have to say about these Trout attracting boots:
With new, unique features designed to excel in the water and the internal structure of the latest long-distance hiking boots, this is the most highly evolved wading shoe weve ever tested. Everything about this improved design makes your fishing more enjoyable, from flow-through tongue, foot bed, and arch constructions that keep debris out and drain incredibly fast, a speed-lacing system with one-pull lace locks, and the most rugged, non-shrink materials, this is the best wading shoe money can buy.
# provides superior support, protection, and durability
# non-shrink, quick-dry synthetic Nubuck and heavy nylon mesh uppers
# speed-lace system with one-pull lace lock on the top maintains fit tension even if the lace knot comes untied
# unique honeycomb removable insole lets fine sand pass through, protecting wader soles from abrasion.
So I will wear this boot for the coming season, I will give a more thorough review at the end of the season- with regular updates as the year goes on. I suppose there is still a possibility that they will explode or something on contact with water but I hope not.
I will be looking forward to excelling in the water – those tiny troot have no idea what is going to hit em this year !
[tags]orvis,wading boots,Henrys Fork,wading shoe [/tags]