A Fly Fishers Ten Commandments

  1. ” Thou shalt not share sweet spots disclosed by friends
  2. ” Thou shalt defecate in that service station before going near water
  3. ” Thou shalt impart one nugget of wisdom to every brother of the angle that you meet.
  4. ” Thou shalt only kill when needed
  5. ” Thou shall not cover another mans spot nor try to crowd him out
  6. “Thou must be prepared to blank and not be bitter”
  7. Thou must not be convinced whiskey is a good idea while fishing (unless it is just the one) nor smoking anything funny (unless it is a nice day and no trout are rising)
  8. “Thou must congratulate a friends trout”
  9. “Thou must drink water”
  10. “Thou must pay attention to ones wife/girlfriend”

Choose a River, any River !

Had a very good session at our little fly tying night last night. It was a presentation by David Downie (Dangerous Dave if you are a Rainbow at the Lake of Monteith). He tied up his “bread & butter” flies for catching record breaking fish as well as showing us how to tie up some plastic things for bass. To be sure it has made me think about other possible angling exploits….

Choose a River, any River !

Alberto, the organiser of the class and sometimes fishing buddy asked me to organise a trip to a river for the class. I knew the minute I was asked that no matter where I chose as a venue it would be changed. You see Alberto -fly fisher extraordinaire -is a fly fisher of great experience; he is a casting instructor and fly tying instructor as well as being well known in the UK competition scene. Additionally, he has this ability to engage with just about anyone when it comes to fishing. He told me of the time he gave casting lessons to a couple of local Kelvinators who were flailing about with fly rods after a booze session beginners whilst out for a walk “Cheers pal” they shouted as he walked away (no doubt they are now casting like pros) “are ye wantin’ a can o’ lager fur yer trouble” (Tom that is how people from Glasgow speak)

eman casting

Anyway, after talking to a few people eventually I came up with The Tummel. Inevitably the venue was changed to the Upper Clyde by Alberto. I say inevitably as Alberto has this uncanny ability to change any set in stone plans that you may have(After inviting himself along). This makes it all the more amusing when we ask him to impart some of his great wisdom to us in the ways of catching trout. “I cant be bothered going trout fishing, I only go after Salmon these days” he will say “I am playing tennis instead” or “I am teaching a group to Spey cast that day” or even “Oh yes, I have been invited to fish The Lake in a competition” I take great delight in teasing him relentlessly about competition fishing “Bag up did you?” I will ask.


This has all backfired however when Alex let slip we are both fishing in a competition sometime in the summer – It is a The Highland Wild Trout Challenge so I don’t think it counts, at least i dont “think” that is my soul tarnished…..is this the way it starts?- just a wee fun competition – by next year will I be using a slime line with a string of booby nymphs bagging up big time with slabs of lard ? Alberto however now takes great delight in pointing out every fly he shows me how to tie as “Going to be good for your competition”

When he does go fishing, he inevitably takes his time and catches lots more fish than we do – on one memorable occasion to The Tummel he actually accused us of scaring all the fish away.

being stealthy

Looks Like Spring at Last

Dare I say that it feels like spring today? This morning we had a light frost and by the afternoon the sun was good enough to actually start warming this cold miserable land.

My pal Alex last night asked if I fancied a spot of Pike fishing at the weekend. Part of me wanted to say yes and part of me wanted to say no as my thoughts are being concentrated towards the delights of trout. My thoughts were turned again when I was checking through the blogs that I visit and read about Chris McCully’s recent exploits. The pictures of Pike eyeing Chris as he takes its photo is lovely to look at.

Oh to be fishing on warm summer days…

[tags]Dave Downie, Alberto Laidlaw,Milngavie Fly Tying,River Tummel [/tags]

Dakota Angler II Watch Review

I have written a review of the Dakota Angler II Watch

Dakota Angler II Watch Review

Asian Carp Invasion

Eak, at first I thought this was a spoof……it is very scary though

[tags]flying fish,asian carp [/tags]

16 days

16 Days to go and the broonie season will be upon us.

I mind it was like this last year …..and then suddenly we get snow.


I hope its not the same this year !

[tags]snow,spring,glasgow [/tags]

The Dreaded Question

 I was at my fly tying class last week and I was asked the question that I just hate trying to answer. Before I tell you the question maybe I should say that I am being slightly hypocritical as I asked this question at the start of my forays on the river bank. To be fair I only asked it a few times before I realised the answer was staring me in the face.

The Question

Where is a good place to fish on the River Kelvin?

I mumbled something about the Vet School being good only to be told that the person had read my blog and the Kelvin website and knew that I thought it was pretty poor. Well, I said, it is good at the start of the season (the truth)- the person did not seem to believe me and I gave some vague directions to other parts of the river. What this person probably went away thinking was: this guy knows absolutely nowt about the river My problem was in fact that I know so many good spots on the Kelvin how can I possibly say them all in a quick conversation before a fly tying demonstration. A lot of the nice spots I have found have been found through hard work involving trial and error, sweat, blood and torn waders and generally getting scratched by jaggy bushes. Should I give these spots up easily to someone I hardly know?

Kiss n Tell


There is also an element of ethics involved here as well, I often go fishing with other people who show me there little sweet spots on the river and I dont think its right that I give them away so easily. If I were to post specific places on the river that I have been taken to then I would surely find that the next time I go for a nice fish there could be a dozen guys all fishing my pool. The same goes for other rivers I fish. I am sure my friend Alberto is still cursing the day he introduced us to his little sweet spot on another river.  I have been sworn to secrecy and will never reveal its name or location on pain of- well whatever the hell Alberto does with people that turn up with a bus load of people to his spot. Where is a good place to fish on the River Kelvin? It is also the top question that I am asked via email as well my reply is always get your waders on, get a bottle of water and climb over a fence, mucho effort is involved but it is worth it!


Start of Season Plans

I was thinking about last spring and how this year is shaping up to be the same. Last year Spring did not really happen, we had a winter until around the end of April and then we had a long hot summer. The true classic spring just did not happen. Last year it was April the 9th before I got out on the Kelvin and had my first proper session – and caught my first trout of the season on the dry fly. This year we are aiming for 15th March – opening day – to try and catch a trout on the dry. We have two options. Mike, Alex and I have all arranged days off work. The Kelvin will not be an option as the chances are it will not have recovered sufficiently for the trout to be looking up (it is still an option 3 though)

Option 1

The day is cold, it has been raining and it looks like things will not go well. In this case we will head up to one of the Kelvin tributaries where the trout should be suicidal enough to take something off the surface.

small stream

At the end of last year we had seen good hatches of Large Dark Olives so we should expect to see some kind of hatch around . The tributory is small so we will be using tiny river tactics which will be fun.

Option 2

We have a spring day with no rain for a couple of days. In this case we will head to our other river where we should expect to see large hatches of Large Dark Olives – with a bit of luck it should be like last year where we had a bit of a bonanza at the start of the season. Mike did well with a nymph as well.

If all goes according to plan we should freeze our rocks off, catch no fish and make Tea in Mikes Kelly Kettle.

Aim low –  anything else is a bonus.

The World of Fly Fishing

Been flicking through this lovely book over the winter, full of lovely photos and interesting articles.

The World of Fly-fishing sweeps us along on a worldwide journey to experience the beauty and thrill of fishing for trout, salmon, tarpon, permit and bonefish. The fly-fishing destinations have been chosen for the interest and variety of their fishing and for the impact and beauty of their landscapes. Revered figures from fly-fishing’s literary hall of fame, such as Zane Grey and Roderick Haig-Brown, keep company with some of the best-known contemporary writers, including Tom McGuane, David Profumo and John Gierach. With more than 300 stunning photographs from the highly respected lens of renowned photographer R. Valentine Atkinson, The World of Fly-fishing is an irresistible visual and literary feast.

Neeeeaaaaaaaaa (that was my plane leaving New York)

Well, I am back from my trip to New York and most enjoyable it was too if absolutely freezing. It was so cold I think I might have got frost bite on my legs (Claire says this is impossible but I am convinced I am damaged in some way)I picked up a new rod and reel (more on that when the season starts) and gained around a stone in weight.

I think I will point you towards a little site I stumbled across in my travels through the forums. It is a post by a chap who is webmaster of www.palewatery.com. He detailed the fly hatches of the area in which I live and I think is a lovely guide for those people just starting out or for those brushing up (or people who just call em bugs )

Read his post over at Smallstreams.com

Edit: The link will not work as that part of the forum is invite only. You will have to wait until I convince pale watery to put th econtent on his site. 


It is 22 days to the opening of the trout season.

More Friends and Fish

Warming up at the pub In a boat with a MAD MAN Mike Playing Fish Grayling crabbit italian The Don ali_fish2 ali_fish3

I am in New York enjoying myself 🙂