“Winds died down a tad” – BAM – Face first right in the nettles!!

Anyway – on the day of the royal wedding we ended up heading to the Clyde to get away from the madness. The forecast looked positive and we were full of hope on the journey down – it was overcast and it looked like it was going to heat up gradually. Even when we parked and were tackling up I was in two minds whether to wear my woolly jumper in case I was too hot – thank goodness I chose wisely. When we got to the river a few hundred yards away we were met with a vicious downstream cold wind that not only blew the shivers right through you it also made casting a bloody nightmare. I immediately took off my dry fly and stuck on a dry and dropper.


Freezing cold wind - downstream

I dived in first and it was hard going from the start – I was using my four weight and within a few minutes knew that I was in 5 weight territory due to the wind. Still, I stuck at it and managed to catch hee haw with the nymph. There was a huge hatch of grannom which the trout totally ignored – when I say huge I mean truly biblical – on a square metre of water there was simply thousands of them, when I looked down at my body I was covered in them, they were crawling over my face, in my ears and stamping all over my polaroids. This made casting a bit more difficult due to their tickly wee feet going down my neck. No trout responded.

Eventually I walked up the river and found one single confident rising trout – what made this trout rise and what to I still have no idea – it was a tricky cast however somehow I managed after several attempts to get a half decent drift over the fish and he took my CDC n’ Elk very well and the game was on – a good trout by all accounts.


Trout in the net - on the dry!

Fished further up the river without seeing another fish.

Oh, I nearly killed my self as well – a pure comedy moment. I was walking down a hill and somehow by pure chance managed to put my right foot on top of a broken branch that was facing up hill, the momentum kept me moving forward raising me a foot into the air (a bit like a levitating Jesus) and then catapulting me down the hill face first. Atkins was walking with me and said time actually appeared to slow down as the crash occurred. Obviously this was too allow my face to stay in direct contact with a bunch of jaggy nettles for as long as possible. As I lay there wiggling my toes and feet and considering that I had not been impaled by anything or hit my head against a boulder I thought I was pretty lucky – due to the time dilation I also had time to hold my rod up and forward so it had not suffered any damage.

I got up and dusted myself down – my pride not hurt in the slightest, rather just happy to have minimal damage. The other positive thing was that I was full of pain relieving drugs due to being at the tail end of a three day migraine – this of course did not stop the excruciating pain on the right side of my face where I had been stung by nettles. Later in the day the pain changed to a feeling that a million insects were burrowing through the flesh of my face which was… interesting to say the least.


In this picture are a Billion insects - you just cant see them.

And then I caught another trout on the dry out of a wee seam that I just knew would hold a trout – essentially I had went down it a few times with a dry and dropper and could have swore in the swirling water I spotted a rise. I changed to the dry fly and within a few casts I watched it come up from the depths (I love that) and engulf the dry. After a brief tussle the trout was released.


Trout Returned - as usual!

Met another angler who turned out was the step dad of a pal – he had lost his fly box however Atkins had found it floating past him so that was pretty neat.

All in all it was a good if eventful day, did not blank and my survival rate was in the positive. I am kicking myself that I did not get a photo of my indentation left in the grass as it was like a meteor crater – you could actually see my where my torso and limbs were in the grass complete with jaggy nettles at my head.

I blame the drugs.


  1. graham b · May 6, 2011

    Nice trout. Did you not use Doc leaves to treat the jaggy nettles?

  2. Alistair · May 6, 2011

    After seeing my pal wince in pain as he rubbed dock leaves on his badly stung arm I reckoned this was a bit of a myth – so maybe rubbing my face and exclaiming “ooh, ahh, ow this really really hurts” works just as well!

    I found this:

    “he explanation that I’ve heard (that says it’s false) relies upon the fact that when you rub the place where you’ve been stung, you’re increasing the local temperature and blood flow, both of which contribute to the lessening of the itching.

    Contrast this with the ‘gate theory’ of pain control, which relies on the idea that for any part of the body, the amount of pain that can be signalled to the brain is limited to the number of nerves that lead to the spine. If, therefore, you rub the pained area a lot, the sensory impulses from the rubbing ‘replace’ some of the pain impulses from the injury itself, making it seem less painful.

  3. Campbell S · May 6, 2011

    If you look at the first pic, the rock the fish is on is covered in grannom. Nice first trout of the season BTW.

  4. alan atkins · May 6, 2011

    If you remember Alistair, we decided that the flees were, in faCT,not grannom ( due to the abscence of a green abdomin, but were soem other sedge. My guess was silverhorn

  5. Campbell S · May 6, 2011

    Interesting, considering the numbers and colour I would still put my money on Grannom.

  6. Alistair · May 6, 2011
  7. Emanuele · May 6, 2011

    mr….you are going all technical…I like it
    and yes..trout do speak latin 🙂

  8. Alistair · May 6, 2011

    Hey Emanuele – do you remember your arm being badly stung by the nettles ? I think Alex and Mike were out that evening as well?

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