Urban Fly Fisher – Banned from the River Clyde Forum!

As many of you know I visit a few forums on the net and occasionally make comment on interesting stuff that takes my fancy. One of the newest forums that I did not include in my list of UK based roundup was the River Clyde Forum as back then it did not exist.

River Clyde Forum - Urban Fly Fisher Free Area !!!

I was full of hope about the River Clyde Forum – it started with a bit of a fanfare and it seemed to be pretty slick – its aim it appeared was to draw all the Clyde and tributary fishers together to chat with a common purpose – everyone’s opinion counts n, all that – its tag line is “By the Angler…for the Angler”. Every angler except someone that believes trout should be caught soley with a fly it seems as I was banned for claiming just that. I should actually feel kinda honored that my humble opinion is so scary and offensive to some that I get banned from speaking and discussing fishing technique (this is totally different from the troll problem the Kelvin suffered a while ago by the way).

Let me explain…

I like Bob Wyatt – he is a good author and is extremely poetic in his writing – on fishing for stocked trout he writes:

 The difference in required skill between catching a big, farmed trout and a small one is completely artificial and meaningless. If you applied the put and take model to some other domestic animal the point becomes pretty clear. Its rather like the difference between going out for a romantic evening with a women whom you find interesting and attractive, and hiring a hooker.(page 22)

I like that analogy and I must confess I  kinda stole it – I noticed a thread on the River Clyde Forum which talked about the “art of spinning” and how it is a dying art. Now the main focus of the thread was about spinning for trout (not Salmon, Pike etc just the humble trout) – let me ask you this, have you ever read a magazine article or read a book that gave a detailed explanation of how to spin to trout – if not I can do it in one sentence:

 You cast the damn thing out and a trout will try and eat it – with a bit of luck the treble will not go through the trout’s brain.


 Anyway – being the ever blunt one I stated (on the forum thread)

 Any trout not caught on a fly is an abomination ..

 …or words to that effect. A couple of folk chimed in – one in particular (who happens to be a pal) stated that spinning is good for kids etc and then around this point the shit pretty much hit the fan. There was a real bit of an uproar so I decided to explain myself a bit more by paraphrasing Mr Wyatt…

 “Casting a fly to a trout is like seducing a beautiful women, casting a mepp is like throwing money at a hoor”

 The next time I tried to log in I found this:


I contacted them however they never got back to me…

So what does this tell me? – well what this tells me is that sometimes I can be a bit of a dick (smile) – it also tells me that folk who have absolutely no way of winning an argument (or are not eloquent enough) to argue a point will just shut you down with no explanation. It also tells me something about the River Clyde Forum that I find a bit distasteful – I am not going to bleat on about censorship or any of that pish as quite frankly moderators on forums can do what ever the heck they want as they pay the cash for their hosting and site – however  to effectively ban the dedicated fly fisher from their site for stating a personal opinion is kinda  weird for a place that is supposed to embrace all kinds of fishing.

I am pretty sure I am gonna be called a fly fishing snob – personally I like John Gierachs view on what the differences are between a purist and a snob fly fisher. He says a snob is a fly fisher who looks down upon all other forms of fishing – fishing with a spinning rod is totally out and in fact to a snob you would be the worst kind of angler. A purist is kinda the same as a snob however they do actually own a spinning rod and use it in certain conditions and for certain types of fishing however they are a bit embarrassed by it on the whole. I do happen to own some of “the spinning rods” – one is a “Shimano Vengeance” and the other is a generic no brand that has the words “Fandango” down the side – I keep it in the car for sheer comedy value.

River Clyde Forum - Fandangos!

Anyway, so that my friends is that!

Comments, observations?




  1. Butcher · August 31, 2011


    I would not be too hard on yourself. The guys that run that forum are a bunch of gossipy girls who are disliked by all the associations.

  2. Mike · August 31, 2011

    Well if it’s not too troll-like to say I thoroughly enjoyed that post, what a laugh. I’ve always thought your methods were a bit subversive Alistair, and I see it as fully justified that your dangerous opinions are kept out of the public eye lest they cause someone to try dry fly fishing (we all now where that road leads…)

  3. alan atkins · August 31, 2011

    Iam happy to own up to being your partner in crime on this one ! I’ve also been banned, but will stick to my guns regarding my thoughts on spinning for trout

  4. Stuart B · August 31, 2011

    Well put Alistair ..My other thoughts are best kept to myself ..:-)

  5. Matt Eastham · August 31, 2011


    I think the name of your Shimano rod says it all – in keeping with most coarse fishing marketing, the emphasis is on warfare and violence – “vengeance, wrath, fury, dominator” etc etc. It goes to prove one think – spinning is for chavs. And that’s not snobbery……it’s plain fact!

    And ‘Fandango’; well that’s just made my day, that has. Cheers!


  6. Alistair · August 31, 2011

    Butcher – I had no idea 🙂

    Mike – Death or drea flae !

    Alan – I can see why you were banned – I mean to bring up kids in the conversation 🙂

    Stuart – 🙂

    Matt – “vengeance,wrath,fury,dominator” oh man we have got to invent a fly with those names – in true urban style I could bang a crisp packet on to a hook and call it the Dominator.

  7. alan atkins · August 31, 2011

    I must stress that I don’t agree that spinnning is for chavs ! I see nothing wrong with spinning for salmon. After all, salmon don’t eat in freshwater and the only way to catch them is by annoying them and provoking some form of reaction / agression to your chosen lure, be it a fly, a spinner or the worm. OUr approach to catching salmon is fundamentally different to how we go about catching trout. As trout fishers we should always try to closely replicate the fish’s food items, which, in the majority of cases, means some stage in the life cycle of one or other of the many freshwater invertebrates that inhabit our streams.

  8. Campbell S · August 31, 2011

    Interesting Alan. I disagree that as Trout fishermen we SHOULD always try to replicate the fish’s food items. Why Trout? What about Pike or Mackerel? SHOULD we always replicate their food items, or is it OK to spin for them?

    As you know, I am a fly only kinda dude, but I don’t think people should be chastised for wanting to spin for trout. I had great fun spinning for a them a child, but I have moved away from it as my preferences evolved. The same goes for Salmon, I have zero interest in catching them on a spinner, it just dosn’t float my boat, but I ain’t going to judge you for doing it. I am big advocate for fly only and catch and release, spinning doen’t really fit with my ethos.

    Just let people fish what they want within the law so that everyone is happy, that’s the point of fishing right? Being happy.


  9. alan atkins · August 31, 2011

    Fair enough Campbell, but if you read my original, offending post, you would have seen that I thought that spinning for trout was a great way for a beginner, child or older / infirm fisher to enjoy their fishing, but that I saw it unchallenging and unsporting. The reason I both spin and fly fish for salmon is that I really like to have a fish on the bank at the end of the day, and quite often the salmon will just not be interested in the flee. Furthermore, on rivers like the Kelvin there is limited scope to fish the fly. As for catch and release, don’t get me started ! Good for you Campbell if you’ve caught so many salmon in your time, that catching one on a spinner is against your “ethos” ! I like to be able to feed my family healthy, wild Scottish salmon as part of a good balanced diet, and I really believe that many beats just use catch and release to ” fudge” the catch returns and , ultimately, con the fishermen. I’m not for wholesale slaughter either, but will stronly defend my right to take a fish for the pot, wherever it is permitted. You see, I view myself as a hunter and enjoy living in a country whre it is still possible to live off the land and enjoy nature’s bounty. I’m sorry, but total catch and release is not the way ahead, and I would argue it really has very little to do with the REAL rpoblems that our fish face. Also, the whole debate started regarding fishing for trout with spinner or fly, and the merits of both. I see no merit in discussing other species, the ones you mentioned being always traditionally targetted using spinner and bait. I love a but of sea fishing, but if I thought that I would go sea fishing solely with a fly rod and catch fihs, then I’d be pretty disappointed every time I graced the rocks ! You’ve totally missed the point of the original arguement, but I respect your views as an experienced fisher. Pity you just don’t do much fishing these days, and we can’t all benefit from your great skill and wisdom!

  10. Campbell S · August 31, 2011


    Yes, I never saw your initial post, so did indeed miss those points. Again, I have nothing against spinning for any species, it is just that I am not into it. I have done it in the past, and to be fair, all the salmon I have ever caught have been either on the spinner or worm, between the age of 11 and 18. After that I lost interest in fishing, with a renewed interest in my mid 20’s. I would like to think that I have caught so many that is what changed my mind, indeed its not. I guess at some stage in my journey as a fly fissher I have decided that I am far happier throwing a fly around than a spinner. As far as salmon go, I don’t feel I want to catch one so badly that I want to spin for them. If it was purely a food thing I may have differnt opinion.

    I gues it just comes down to choices and personal preference.

    I have seen what happens in an over pressured fishery on both sides of the coin where catch and kill is rife and also where catch and release is mandatory. When a system is so pressured neither are pretty. You end up with essentially a linear stocky pond with all the features of a beautiful mountain stream in one case, and a beautiful river with tame fish on the other, which are buggers to catch.

    I have no problem of anyone taking fish, and agree that wild salmon is a true treat. But, not one that everyone can indulge in. Imagine if wild scottish salmon was as readily available as its farmed counterpart (REAL PROBLEM!).

    I am still intrigued by your comment about fishing for trout using methods that resemble their natural food, I was interested why specifically trout and not other fish hence my comment.

    Yeah, i don’t get out as much as I did, and that’s cool, I have other priorities, and I beleive Alistair is also feeling this now. But, it makes me more grateful for the times I do get out and think that little bit harder about my options. I have had a great season this year, making contact with more big wild river trout than in past seasons, all which have been returned (c;. Maybe we will finally get a chance to fish the for teh grayling this season if we don’t get frozen off again.

  11. JimL · August 31, 2011

    I’d stopped contributing to the forum a while back but I did pop in every now and then for a read, I was always hoping it would improve as I do have a lot of time for a couple of the guys involved with running it. But… unfortunately… if anything IMHO it’s getting worse.
    I’ve no problem with others enjoying their fishing with different methods to the ones I prefer, as was said earlier it’s all about enjoying your time on the water, but some sort of concern for the mortality of the fish you intend to release should come naturally to you. You shouldn’t need others to try and shame you into it. Unfortunately for a few, and I stress only A FEW, it does seem to be required. One of the saddest aspects for me is that the forum not only tolerates those few but bans members for speaking out against them, it’s not like the same thing wasn’t said before in another thread.
    This all started after I’d already stopped contributing so really its none of my business but seeing what happened to you guys helped me finally make up my mind and I got my account deleted, I hope the guys there enjoy their forum but really it’s not the place for me and I dont think it was really the place for you guys either so at the end of the day I suppose everyone is happy.

    Except the small fish getting their faces ripped open by treble hooks.

  12. @thetroutfly · August 31, 2011

    I’ve been banned from forums for similarly outrageous points of view. I just figure that if these forums continue to ban discussion they don’t like they will all end up reading the same to new visitors with everyone agreeing all the time. A forum needs an argument to break out every now and then to keep it interesting. I say keep spinning if you can’t fly fish but ditch the trout killing treble hooks.

  13. Alistair · August 31, 2011

    Campbell – you ask why trout should be given this special treatment? Possibly it is to do with their numbers and easy accessibility to all that means they are kinda extra at danger of abuse. They are also damn easy to catch on a fly – anyone can swing a wet fly and spend a day catching a dozen wee trout.

    Jim – I hear you, I think what has annoyed me most is that the guys who were into spinning had just as strong opinions as my own however it was my opinion I was banned for as opposed to actually attacking someone verbally – does that make sense? In the meantime if you are looking for somewhere to rest your hat to have a gander can I suggest the always entertaining Wild Fisher Forum where heidbangers are simple not allowed in.

    thetroutfly – It was not even an argument it was simply a couple of statements, you pretty much just blew my argument out the water by saying stick a single hook on instead of a treble – they did not have enough sense to come up with that 🙂

  14. @thetroutfly · August 31, 2011

    I’ve been banned from the Wild Fishing Forum ages ago for expressing my crazy views. I guess it’s just a consequence of going against the grain of the admins.

    On my own websites there’s only one rule, no personal attacks and it seems to work well, I’ve only ever banned one person.

    I decided to start this argument on one of my sites today, just for laughs, ha ha.

  15. alan atkins · August 31, 2011

    Campbell – fair enough, we’re all entitled to our own views and who aam I to dictate how anyone should enjoy their sport. I hope we can get out after the grayling this year, without totally freezing our baws aff !
    Jiml – good comments, I’m glad I’m not the only one to experience the worst elelments of the forum

  16. suburban bushwacker · August 31, 2011

    I suck at all types of fishing so the distinction between the fly and spinning rigs is largely academic for me. In terms of your being banned; for my money the forum has now totally discredited both its members and moderation policy. A ‘forum’ is place for debate, surely that’s the point?

  17. Alistair · August 31, 2011

    SBW – aye, exactly! 🙂

  18. ANDY C · August 31, 2011

    LOl allys a mad troll

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