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River Kelvin

My brother and I went on our first River outing of the year, hopefully the first of many. We were dropped of at the River Kelvin near the Balmore bridge, intending to fish all the way upstream to Torrance where we would get picked up. I had bought an inexpensive Shakespeare 8ft, #4 rod and a light reel just for fishing small rivers and was looking forward to trying it out. We walked down to the riverside and quickly tackled up. Derek had never fished rivers before and it showed, he had on neoprene chest waders, a heavy jacket and a large bag filled with numerous accessories. He did ask where my gear was as I had on light chest waders and a waistcoat, that was it. All I had and needed was in the pockets of the waistcoat. I left Derek to finish tackling up and walked about a half mile upstream and started fishing with a small bead head PTN on point and a black spider on the dropper. After several casts I had one take the point fly then after a few seconds, it was off. A few casts later I watched the end of the fly line veer rapidly right and lifted into another trout, after about thirty seconds, it was gone too, very frustrating but good fun as I was at least getting into the fish. After a stroll upstream I watched a fish feeding just under the surface on a bend in the river just next to a fallen tree. I quietly made my way to a spot I could get to it and cast upstream, letting the fly drift down and across just near the tree. Watching the end of my fly line, I noticed it give a little jerk and lifted into a lovely Brown Trout. After a really good fight on the light tackle I landed a really nice fish of just over a pound. I would have released it but had promised my brother that he could have the first fish caught as he has never caught nor tasted Brown Trout. I quickly despatched it and sat on a fallen tree for my brother to catch up and to take the trout off me, as I had no bag.

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River Kelvin

We continued to fish upstream and despite several takes, caught nothing else but I noticed that there seemed to be a good population of trout in the river. We eventually reached a point in the river where it was virtually impossible to fish with very high banking and overgrown shrubbery making casting perilous. I believe that the Angling Association are working on continually improving the Kelvin and a lot of there work is there to be seen.

We walked a mile or so upstream until the shrubbery thinned out and fishing was possible but by this time Derek was soaking in sweat under his neoprene waders and so wee decided to call it a day and walk the rest of the way to Torrance. The next time I go I will concentrate mainly on the either the Balmore Bridge end or the Torrance end as the bit in the middle is a bit overgrown.

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2014 in General

 

River Kelvin Trout Permit

I live only a few miles from the River Kelvin so I thought it was about time that I applied for a permit. River Kelvin AnglerAs I don’t fish for Salmon the £15 for an annual trout only permit was an excellent bargain. So a few weeks ago I downloaded the form, filled it out, included a £15 cheque and sent it off. I waited over a week, nothing. Meanwhile, my brother, who had sent off the same application a few days after me and despite not signing his cheque, had received his permit. So I wrote to the RKAA and received a reply stating that they had not received my application. The man who emailed me couldn’t be more helpful and gave me his home address to send another application to in order to speed the process up. I went through the the downloading and form filling and sent the form off on the 20th March………nothing. Beginning to wonder if the GPO are kidnapping my application, which is ironic as my brother, who got his permit is a postman. Will give it till Mondays delivery then I think I need to resort to hand delivering the application to the poor bloke who gave me his home address.

Oh! Joy. I had all but given up on the permit when the post arrived on the 2nd. of April and there it was. The secretary had been away on business for a week and had been late in processing it, at least it is here and I can enjoy some river fishing for wild brown trout. Now if only the weather would behave.

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2014 in General

 

First Trip of 2014

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Derek and Wellsfield Fishery

I have not written on the blog for a good while, due to ill health and the weather, namely that the weather has been too cold, wet and miserable for me to fish in. I have reached the conclusion that a cold, frosty day is preferable to a wet miserable one, and at least with a cold frosty day the sun is normally guaranteed to shine.

At Christmas, my son had gifted me a pile of vouchers for the Glasgow Angling Centre and a few for Wellsfield Fishery, which my brother and I fished last year in beautiful weather, just a pity it wasn’t fishing weather but more lying on a sun lounger weather, but we did enjoy the fishery.

I used the Angling Centre vouchers on some fly tying equipment and arranged a day at Wellsfield for myself and my brother.

We arrived at around 8:30am and after a quick word at the lodge with the owner regarding flies, depths etc. we set off up the the top loch where we had all the pegs to ourselves.

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Two 3lb Wellsfield Rainbow Trout

I tied a Red Fritz Lure on point and a Black Spider on the dropper, despite being advised by the owner to use Orange Lures or an Ally McCoist. The weather was lovely for fishing, cloudy with a light breeze creating a lovely ripple and on my third cast had a fish on, but was left disappointed when it got off after a minute or so but it was looking good. Ten minutes later I had another on which gave an excellent fight until it was netted by my brother. It was a lovely conditioned Rainbow of 3lb, which was duly dispatched to the bag as Wellsfield have a no catch and release policy, which I find strange.

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5lb Rainbow

An hour later and the fishery was filling up with anglers on all three ponds, I had had a couple of takes and Derek had also missed a couple. I had been fishing fairly deep as the sun had been shining and had been getting some twitches. I then decided to try just a few feet below the surface, on my first cast I was into another Rainbow, which gave me a brilliant fight for about ten minutes, when I eventually netted it I found it was the same weight as my first, bag on 3lb but what a fight it gave me. I would have returned it but the no catch and release forbade it.

Derek had been getting a few takes but nothing concrete and asked me what I had been catching on. I told him the Red Fritz Lure had did the damage and gave him a couple and he quickly tied one on to replace the Orange Lure he had been using. Fifteen minutes later he had a fish on and after a good battle, landed it,  finding that it had taken his dropper and not the Red Fritz Lure. It was quickly dispatched and put in the bag, he too lamenting the lack of a C&R policy.

We continued fishing in the same spot as the only pegs available were all on the opposite bank and would mean us having to cast into a very stiff breeze, so we opted to stay where we were.

After we had been fishing for just over two hours I noticed a fish fairly close in to the bank about twenty yards to my left, which has been rolling about on the surface. I flicked the flies in his general direction and started a very slow retrieve, suddenly the line went tight and off he went for deeper water. Sadly, this initial run was the highlight of the fight as he quickly tired and came to the net like a wet towel. Again, quickly dispatched and weighed, I was surprised to find he was 5lb and well conditioned but compared to the other two 3lb fish was a sad excuse for a hard fighting fish.

That was the fishing over for the day for me, I had reached my limit of three fish on the ticket I had bought and had to walk back to the lodge to register my catch and put the gear away in the car. I then bought a couple of steak pies (excellent) and coffees’ for Derek and myself and sat around until he got fed up and we headed for home.

I enjoyed my couple of hours at Wellsfield and will return but I would enjoy it much more if they introduced a C&R policy as not every angler wants to keep their catch, they just want the sport.

If other fisheries can do it, why can’t Wellsfield?

The fishery has had a fair bit of work done over the winter with obvious signs of dredging work and weed removal. I would like to see the paths around the pools sorted as they are extremely muddy and slippery.

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2014 in General

 

Harvieston Fishery

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The little rowing boat that caught the only fish.

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  Derek sunbathing at Harvieston

My brother and I were looking forward to fishing Harvieston as the weather forecast was good (cloudy, light breeze and a chance of some drizzle). We set out in overcast conditions and arrived at the fishery in brilliant sunshine just as it was opening. After setting up and buying a four hour, three fish ticket for £18.00 we set out for the bottom corner, which was in shade. There were lots of fish rising and rolling and we thought we were in with a chance of catching our limit. I had a team of small nymphs on while Derek had his usual hot head damsel and a couple of nymphs on the droppers. After about twenty minutes I had a strong take and the rod bent for about ten seconds then it was off. That was all the action I or my brother had all morning and of the dozen or so anglers who were fishing, no one else got as much as a nibble. The only fish “caught” was by a young boy who noticed a Brown Trout, which must have leapt into the fishery’s rowing boat during the night and was swimming around in a large pool of water at the back of the boat, this was netted and safely returned to the loch. During our four hours we did a complete circuit of the loch and noticed that there is a massive amount of fry in the margins but nothing touched any lures used.

When we had finished my brother bought some duck and hen eggs from the bothy and I was given six hens eggs for free, at least we got something. We were just about to drive off when a young boy ran over with my brothers Orvis rod and reel, which he had left at the bothy. That alone made my day as it would have been so easy for him just to have taken it away with him.

I liked Harvieston Fishery, it’s small and a bit bowl like but the staff and fellow anglers were friendly and helpful. Casting can be difficult on the lower and far bank as it slopes steeply and there are a few bushes that can catch you out. Derek was caught out several times by the same bush, which can be seen behind him in the photo. It provided a bit of light relief to hear the flowery language he used when berating the plant.

A word of warning though, there are hens and ducks running around and one hen ran over my leader as I was setting up and got a bit tangled. Luckily it just stood and let me lift it until I got the nylon free.

If you google Alva and look about, there is an excellent image of the fishery before it was fully filled with water and you can easily see where the deep channels are.

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2013 in General

 

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Trout Line

I thought I would write a short review of this website that sells fly fishing tackle and fly tying materials and is based in Romania. I have placed several orders for fly tying materials and all have been delivered safely, usually taking about ten days, which isn’t too bad considering the postage charge is £5.00 per order, no matter the size.

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Demmon DSD 100 BL. Dry Fly Hook

I particularly like his selection of hooks and I think that the Demmon hooks that he sells are both cheap and excellent quality.

I have compared the pricing on the site, which is in Euros to other well known sellers and Trout Line compares very favourably, usually being a good bit cheaper than most.

The web site is easy to get around but it can be a bit slow at times but he sells a large selection of materials of good quality.

I like the fact that after you have received your goods you can leave a feedback on the website for others to read. The not so good comments are also printed as I left one for a pair of hackle pliers that were fused when I received them and was reimbursed with no problems.

I have no affiliation with the site, I just like a bargain.

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2013 in General

 

Carron Reservoir

Last week my brother and I had made arrangements to fish the Carron today in the hope that the brilliant weather we have been enjoying would cool down and turn a bit better fishing wise……..no chance. I awoke this morning at 7:00am with the Imagesun streaming into the bedroom thinking that the trip would be a waste of time (I was right) but decided to go anyway as it was a day out in beautiful surroundings and it would give me a chance to try the new waders and boots. We paid £20 for a days bank fishing (9:00am – 5:00pm) and the owner advised us to try buzzers as they were the most successful fly in the sunny conditions. We decided because of the heat to stay fairly close to the fishing hut where the car was parked. A short walk along the bank I found a small promontory and tackled up with a large elk hair caddis on the point, a black buzzer on the middle dropper and an olive buzzer on the top dropper. I cast them in and let the wind slowly drift the flies and after ten minutes had a really strong take on the black buzzer but after about a minute, it threw the hook and that was the only action I had. Several changes of fly and five hours later we decided to call it a day as it was getting too hot and the wind had got up and was making casting difficult. My brother managed to catch one two pound rainbow fishing near the boats but that was it for the day. On our way back we watched the reservoir being stocked and boy, there were a lot of double figure fish going in along with the usual two to three pounders.

When we arrived at the fishing hut the owner told us that we were the only people fishing that day and that he hadn’t expected anyone until early evening. He was hoping for a break in the weather as most anglers were only appearing for the evening rise. I reckon the fishery must be losing a fair amount of money because of the weather, as must most fisheries.

My new waders and boots were brilliant and I reckon are a good investment but wading in parts of the Carron can be really dangerous as the loch bed near the fishing hut is very uneven consisting mainly of large boulders while other parts along the road towards the top of the loch were mainly gravel, which was a lot easier on the feet. The loch itself has dropped several feet over the past few weeks and a lot of the shore is now exposed. As its Scotland I reckon it will be back to normal levels very soon.

I enjoyed Carron Reservoir the scenery is wonderful but I would like to see them opening at 7:00am instead of 9:00am and I would also love to see them putting in some styles along the fence at the roadside, which would give easier access to the fishery, especially if you are wearing expensive waders.

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2013 in General

 

New Waders and Boots

I went into the Glasgow Angling Centre with ImageAngela my partner and her mother to buy a pair of Hardware Pro Waist Waders for my trip to the Carron Reservoir tomorrow. I was a bit apprehensive having the two women with me as they tend to dissuade me from buying what I want for another, cheaper product. Anyway, I asked the assistant to look me out a pair of large waders to try on and while he was looking them out, my partner asked me why I wasn’t looking at these waders – pointing to a pair of Reddington Sonik Wader at £150. I thought, great, this is going to cost me. So I asked the assistant to put the Hardware Pro waders back and look out the Reddingtons but they didn’t have a large size. Angela then pointed at a pair of Simms Freestone Mineral Chest Waders at £299 to which I replied to her that you need a pair of wading boots to go with them and the assistant kindly informed me that the boots come free and for an extra £20 can upgrade to the Vibram soled boot. They didn’t have a large but the assistant advised me to try the extra large, which I did and boy were they a great fit.

Total to buy the lot was £319. I was about to look out the card when Angela and her mother told me not to bother, they would buy me them for my birthday. Considering my birthday isn’t till October then I have won a watch and knowing how kind Angela is, I will probably get something come October……….those Loop rods look ok.

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Posted by on July 18, 2013 in General

 

Carron Reservoir Fishery

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Carron Reservoir Boat Dock

I have not been fishing now for a couple of weeks due to back pain and also babysitting my grandson for a couple of days a week. So it was good news when Derek, my brother sent me a text inviting me to a days fishing at the Carron Reservoir on the 19th of July. We will be fishing from the bank as Derek ain’t  too keen on going out in the boat. With that in mind I realise that I will need to invest in a pair of lightweight waist waders as the pair I have are made of PVC and are heavy, stink to high heavens of rubber and in warm weather would make me sweat like a pig.  I don’t want to spend a fortune so I will be buying a pair of Hardware Pro Waist Waders for £39.99 from Glasgow Angling Centre and these will also be useful when fishing the River Kelvin later on in the season.

The Carron Reservoir is on the other side of the Campsie Fells from my house and is around about a 20 minute drive away. I haven’t fished the Carron for over 30 years and that was from a boat so I am feeling a bit daunted by the sheer size of the place. Bank fishing is from the north shore of the loch and that’s around 4 miles long. I think the best thing to do is to ask the fishery manager for some advice on where to fish and what to use. I just hope it is an overcast day with a cooling breeze but whatever the weather I will have a good day out as the scenery there is beautiful and just getting out of the house to relax for the day is a bonus, fish or no fish.

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2013 in General

 

Shakespeare Sigma Fly Rod

I ordered a 10ft #7 Sigma fly rod online from Ted Carter Fishing Tackle as they were the cheapest I could find at £29.99 plus 1p postage. Ordered on Tuesday evening and arrived Thursday morning, great service from this dealer. Image

I bought it as I have heard only good things about the rod, it is extremely cheap and I needed a rod to go with the cheap Chinese reel I bought last week.

The rod is well made, with a matt finish, has an aluminium reel seat and a cork handle that could be better but at £30 I can’t complain and it will hopefully be christened shortly with a trip to the Carron Reservoir in a couple of weeks.

To complete the outfit I ordered a Mullarkeys Mill End #7 floating line with backing and three  braided leader loops for £10.80 from ebay, including postage.

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2013 in General

 

Chinese Fly Reel

I was browsing some of the fly forums and was reading articles regarding fly reels, price and quality etc. and was wondering why people will pay hundreds of pounds for a fly reel when all it really does is hold line. Image

Some anglers on the forums were of the opinion that most were manufactured in the far east, mainly China and that some companies imported in bulk and put their own logo on them. Others claim that you only get what you pay for and that the expensive reels are more cost effective. 

I browsed the web and found two sites selling fishing equipment, one being aliexpress and the other is DHGate. Both these sites sell everything from garden equipment to sex toys, though I concentrated on the fly reels (honest). There is a massive amount of reels for sale on both sites and some of the reels were recognisably copies or were original reels with another brand name on them. 

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Having decided to splash out £30 on a 10 ft Shakespeare Sigma #7 fly rod I ordered a 7/8 fly reel from the DHGate site for $35, which converted, was just under £23. Postage was free so I placed the order which duly arrived in 10 days. It was well packaged and looked really nice, the only gripe I have is that it was set up for right hand wind while I wind with my left hand and there were no instructions. A quick search on You Tube sorted the problem and it was easily converted in about a minute. 

Overall I am impressed with the reel, it looks fine, has a decent drag system and it is easily converted to right or left hand wind. For the money I think I would be hard pressed to find something similar for the price in my local angling shops. 

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2013 in General

 

Wellsfield Fishery

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                              Wellsfield Fishery

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                  Derek catching the sun

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          A sunny and very warm Wellsfield.

My brother Derek and I arrived at Wellsfield around 9:00am, paid our £18 for four hours/three fish plus £1.00 for the tagged fish.  We set off to the top water where I started with an Olive and Black lure on point, a PTN on the middle dropper and a Wingless Wickham on the top dropper, fished on an intermediate line. Conditions to begin with were fine, cloudy but no wind and the water resembled a skating rink and the odd fish was seen rolling on the surface. I eventually hooked one on the lure but after a short struggle it managed to free itself. That was all the action I got on the top pond but my brother hooked and landed a lovely hard fighting Rainbow of just over the two and a half pound mark. We then walked down to the other fly only pond where I changed to a floating line as it looked fairly shallow with patchy weed. I changed flies to all nymphs and lost two fish in a row then a few casts later I covered a large fish, and the flies had just landed when the rod was almost ripped from my hand but sadly the eight pound line I was using snapped just below the top dropper and the fish took off leaping from the water a few times before disappearing along with my other two flies. An older man fishing next to me said that it was a big double figure fish. By this time the clouds had burned off and the sun was scorching with little to no breeze and it was time to pack up.

Even though I blanked, I did enjoy Wellsfield, the two fly only waters are nice and the pegs are not too close together and there were a fair number of fish rising. Not too sure about the lack of a catch and release ticket though. I was talking to the older gent who was fishing alongside me and he informed me that a few anglers have taken their limit in under an hour and had to leave or pay for another ticket. The owner said that he didn’t like catch and release as too many fish die as a result. Other fisheries have catch and release and if the mortality rate was hight then it I doubt they would continue with it.

There is a small bait pond below the fishing lodge that was being fished mainly by young boys. My brother tells me that it has had a lot of work done to it since he was last there, with tree removal and a general tidy up.

The lodge is clean and sells the usual hot pies, bridies etc. along with a small selection of flies and bait. Access to the fishery is fine, along a farm track, which is not too bad…….in Summer, I imagine it would be different on an icy Winter’s day. 

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2013 in General

 

Woodburn Fishery, first impressions

I travelled the 10 minute car journey along to Woodburn Fishery, which opened a few weeks ago. I paid £17 for a four hour, three fish ticket, which is in line with most fisheries I have visited and better than some.

Reaching the fishery involves driving up a fairly good conditioned and well sign posted farm track that is just off the A891 Antermony Road. At the top of the track there is a building where you can get your permit, flies and something to eat but don’t make the mistake my brother and I made. We set up the rods etc. bought the permit then were told we could drive further up the road to a small car park located just below the actual fishery.  

The uphill track leading to the fishery from the car park forks left for the west side and right for the east. When we arrived it was wet and windy with only another four anglers braving the elements and nothing being caught. 

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   Wet and Wild Woodburn Fishery looking west.

I started with a Yellow Dancer on the point and a Bibio on the dropper and fished with this combination for about an hour with only a half-hearted tug on the line for my efforts. I then changed to a Cats Whisker and PTN, again just the one tug on the line for my efforts. By this time my hands were numb from the cold wind but I persevered, despite being wet and feeling fairly miserable, especially as I had forgotten to pack my waterproof trouser and the backs of my jeans were sodden to such an extent that the weight of the water was pulling my denim’s off and I had to stop every couple of minutes to pull them up. 

In the three hours we were there we only saw four other anglers and one fish caught but the weather was really bad with a strong westerly wind driving the rain into our backs. 

The fishery has only just opened but I hope it will be successful as it is in a great location with wonderful views but I imagine that there will nearly always be a breeze or a strong wind due to altitude of the loch.

I will definitely be back here but will pick a nicer day. I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone coming by public transport as it is a fair walk from the nearest bus stop with most of it uphill.  

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2013 in General