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!



  1. Jim Burns · February 24, 2007

    Hope you had a great time in New York,great place when its warm but can be oh so cold at other times. Even worse when it snows. As for the best places to fish Kelvin found this to be true aswell waders and the enthusiasm to find fish is the best choice. As for the train ride from New York to find rivers ,can always rely on my bother-in-law to take me up to their cabin in Vermont close to Orvis place in Manchester. Beautiful part of the country and great fishing.

  2. Tom Chandler · February 24, 2007

    Yes, I confront the “where do you fish” issue quite often.

    I receive a number of e-mails asking me where I fish on the Upper Sacramento, and I’ve ultimately decided I’m not telling.

    It’s certainly one thing to share amongst your friends (there’s a degree of trust and recriprocity) but absolute strangers haven’t any right to the knowledge I’ve developed by moving to an economically depressed area and fishing a lot.

    Our culture has certainly evolved to accept instant gratification as the norm – guides and fly shops are expected to give up whatever they know for the price of a trip or handful of flies – but I’m under no obligation to deliver any shortcuts simply because I write a blog.

    Good luck!

  3. Alistair · February 24, 2007

    Hey Jim, I had a great time in New York, it was very cold around -8 but we had plenty of hot chocolate to compensate. If I ever go during trout season I will be giving The Fly Fishing Rabbi (check the links) a call to take me I think 🙂

    Hey Tom,

    “…but I’m under no obligation to deliver any shortcuts simply because I write a blog”

    I love that statement, I dont mind sharing techniques and flies but when it comes down to actual leg work I think there should be something else involved. Esspecially on a river that has urban paths running most of its course. I have pretty much decided it is “ok” to name rivers but actuall sweet spots ……..I dont think so !

  4. Jim Burns · February 24, 2007

    Already checked it out ( Fly Fishing Rabbi) Alistair the story of the fly fishing bar mitzvah was interesting.

  5. Alex · February 24, 2007

    So where’s a good place to fish the Kelvin?

  6. Alistair · February 24, 2007

    Past the big tree on the other side of the river…..near a flock of birds !

  7. Rob Wilson · February 24, 2007

    good point well made! Last year was my first on the Kelvin, and the best thing about it was exploring and seeing what it had to offer. It’s all about the effort you put in.

  8. Alistair · February 24, 2007

    Exactly Rob, exactly !

  9. alan atkins · February 24, 2007

    I agree. Good old fashioned leg work and time spent on the river will stand any fisher in good stead. Remember, the river will change every year, old pools will disappear and new ones will be created as a result of winter floods, so last year’s hot spot might not be as hot this year. Also, the spots with easy access will get fished more and are unlikely to be very productive. The trout at the beginning of the season will be lethargic and unwilling to move for food, look for stretches that are out of the wind , tree lined pools or stretches with sheltered areas away from the elements. Its good to explore the river again after the winter and sometimes you have to get to know the river all over again

  10. Charlie dunn · February 24, 2007

    Absolutely correct Alan.My first forays onto the river will be to clean/check any damage that may have occurred close season,to one of my favorite pools-well mabey two!.

  11. The Fly Fishing Rabbi · February 24, 2007


    I’ll be happy to take you fishing in New York. There are good streams only 1 hour away by car.

    I am hopeful that I can take my first trip of the year in early april, but it has been know to snow here in that month…

    Rabbi Eric Eisenkramer

  12. Alistair · February 24, 2007

    I am looking forward to it Eric



  13. Alistair · February 24, 2007

    Hey Charlie,

    is still not working !


  14. si young · February 24, 2007

    yep , thats the epitome o fishing we all have our hotspots and if they werent s precious to us it would be no fun well said

  15. Alistair · February 24, 2007

Comments are closed.