Category Archives: Uncategorized

Light at the end of the tunnel

Another good few hours today sanding and more sanding  working down the grades of sandpaper but I can finally see the the finish line. Next step is to clean hull and gaps between planks with white spirit and then applying a coating of wood preservative.

Following some inspection from people more learned than I the plan then most likely involves completing some minor repairs and replacing flexible sealant in readiness for move to “finishing shed” for painting and varnishing. It’s been a slog but feels like I am at last approaching the home straight!

Bottom Scraping cont…

4th January 2019

A new year and still at it, although finished scraping and now started sanding down. I must admit it’s been a slog but starting to see the finish line although still a lot to do. Despite uncovering some concerning areas of “soft” wood which will require attention, the beautiful old mahogany is starting to emerge via gentle progressive sanding. Next steps are to complete sanding then onto remedial actions of applying wood preserver, filler etc.. Given the number of hours already spent I now really understand why there are more fibreglass boats than wooden boats!

Bottom Scraping – continued

Saturday December 29th

More “Bottom Scraping” today, another 6 hours or so in the workshop but despite the seemingly slow progress I feel that I’m on the home straight at least with regards to getting the hull scraped in preparation for next steps. In addition to the layers of anti-fouling red paint the tedious job of carefully removing all of the old (waterlogged) filler accounted for much of the time spent. Goal one of course is to strip everything back in order to assess condition of timber before deciding next steps. A bit concerned at condition of a few areas of both pairs of inner two planks (adjacent to the keel) where advice will be needed.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Onwards and upwards.

Another Game Fish – The Grayling

What to do in the close season has always been a source of frustration and boredom for me. So in my attempts to find a way to continue fly fishing when the Salmon and Trout seasons ends I have finally decided to “start” to get to grips with chasing a new prey  – ” Grayling” or “Thymallus thymallus” a fully fledged member of the salmon family “Salmonidae“.

First stop was to try to understand the “basics” in terms of equipment for nymph fly fishing for these beautiful looking Game fish. Having sought some advice and read many reviews I finally opted for a setup from Snowbee. Whilst not having tried it on the water yet my first impressions of  this beautiful little 10ft 3wt Fly rod from Snowbee (“new style handle”) are good. It looks well made and finished to a high standard and weighs in at practically nothing at an amazing 82g!! Speaking of weight I can’t wait to give it a swing. The reel – a Snowbee Spectre 2/3wt is also a tiny lightweight, especially when compared to my more familiar salmon fly reels.IMG_0198

I never fail to be amazed at the availability and quality of freely given generous help and advice by fellow anglers, many of whom I have never met in person and have only conversed via Facebook. Help offered even extended to an invite to join them on the water in the coming days chasing Grayling. Next step was to understand how to setup this rod in terms of line, leaders etc. My thanks to all who patiently explained the basics here, in particular thanks to Albert Davyboy Tatlock and John Bell (The Lomond Angler) for their patience in responding to my repeated and frequent naive questions.

From all of the valuable help and advice then my aim is to load the reel with backing then Ikon Tactical Nymph Line then 2x or 3x Dohiku Fly DK French Nymph Tapered Leaders – Dark Olive / 15m or 10m depending on conditions, to which I will attach 2x Stroft LS New Low Stretch Tippet – 0.12mm / 50m using 2x Stroft Rig Rings  – O.D. 2mm – yes 2mm rings !! These will be fun to deal with given my eyesight.

For choice of nymphs or bugs in terms of pattern, size and colours then this is still a complete black hole. As is understanding the required technique as to how to fish them. To assist I have gathered some books, some courtesy of Santa from which I will hopefully pick up some further information during the next few weeks. Of course no amount of reading or asking is a substitute for learning by doing or trying so the first chance I get I will be on the water to “learn by doing!” and also to “learn by failing too ” no doubt!

Watch this space!


Winter Maintenance – “Bottom Scraping”

23rd December 2018

What better ways to spend the weekend before Christmas than start to strip boat down in a freezing cold workshop! Having only purchased the boat last season I was keen to strip it right back to assess condition of timbers and refurbish (with appropriate guidance and advice). It is after all good, in my opinion, to know what’s keeping you afloat.

So armed with breathing mask, IR Paint Stripping Lamp, multitude of scraping tools and flask of coffee I got stuck in. Deciding to tackle the two coats of red anti-foul paint and undercoat I soon realised that this was going to be a long slow process! Breaking for a coffee and sandwich lunch I assessed my progress – roughly about a quarter of the hull stripped after three and half hours, slow but steady. Continuing after lunch for a few hours I managed a few more planks before calling it a day.

Whilst slow going it was somehow satisfying to start to discover “What lies beneath” all the many layers of paint. I will undoubtedly need to call upon some expert advice with regards to the condition of several timbers closest to the keel once entire hull has been stripped of paint, varnish and a great deal of sealant which was loose or waterlogged in many cases. Still lots to do but how else would you spend your Christmas holiday?

After a quick sweep up it was out into the fog and home, via the clubhouse bar of course.


Another good day on “The Big Loch”

Saturday 25th August 2018

Despite previous failures to hook and land my first Lomond salmon I was eager to get on onto the water. You can’t beat a tryer after all as they say. Having checked the weather forecast about a dozen times during the past two days the boat was prepped and loaded. After only a few clumsy collisions as I reveresed out of my new mooring onto the river I was off slowly making my way upriver behind another angling boat, very slow.

As I left the river and entered the loch I noticed the flotilla of Ranger and support boats and suddenly remembered it was the date for “The Great Scottish Swim” event with contestants already ploughing across Drumkinnon Bay. I headed east past Balloch Park thinking that the loch would most likely be busy today with this being a bank holiday weekend. I continue to be surprised how shallow the section off Balloch Park is even well offshore. My planned route was to troll along the east bank past Boturich before heading across to Inchmurrin and along the south shores of Inchmurriin, Creinch, Torrinch and Inchcailloch. From there I would take a familiar route from Blamaha north to The Ross Isles up to Rowardennan and then across the loch and fish homewards down the west shore.

Being a fly fisher and new to this trolling business then amongst a multitidue of other subjects that I have been trying to understand is “trolling speed”. As always other anglers have been more than helpfuil with suggestions. Dependent upon lure type then most seem to agree that a brisk walking or jogging speed is best. Having no idea as to what speed I am actually trolling at I decided to measure my trolling speed on this trip. I used an App for this on my Iphone called”Speed Box” and after several readings then it appeared that my idea of a fast walking speed was 3-4 knots. For me to troll faster I think will need more familiarity of the various shoreline and underwater features (hazards!).

Fished up and along the east shoreline having covered the north shores of Inchmurriin, Creinch, Torrinch and Inchcailloch without any offers, not even a pike! I was captivated by a pair of magnificent Ospreys perched above me on the shoreline, beautiful.

Passing Cashel campsite I slowed to allow a windsurfer to come out from the shore only to almost colide with him five minutes later as he decided to return to shore! Despite my shouts and curses he was blind as he was behind the sail on his board and could not see me (again). Reminder that I must fit that horn lying at home to the boat. Sailing up to The Ross Isles I pulled in at my favourite wee bay for lunch and stretch of the legs.

Heading out after lunch I decided to give “The Ross Isles” a quick figure of eight before I headed north towards Rowerdennan. The wind was now starting to blow fairly briskly (for me) from the north and just below Rowerdennan I decided to cross the loch in hope that west shore would offer some shelter for the run home. A bit of a swell as I made my way across the loch trying to keep bow into the wind before reaching quieter water on the west bank.

Fishing as close to shore as possible and exploring as many of the bays and marks as possible I made my way down toards Luss. No action or interest stopping several times to clear weed or try a change of lure. Continuing down I was reflecting on the days events, or lack of them when some of our fellow wet bike loch users screamed across my bow at Duck Bay Marina clearly in some hurry to get somewhere! As I approached the river mouth I was surprised to see that “The Great Scottish Swim” was still underway as I was directed clear of Drumkinnon Bay area by the Rangers.

Another good day on the Loch despite seeing or hooking any silver, chatting with some returning fellow anglers at the club then there were no reports of anything landed from the loch that day. Whilst not good news in itself I admit I was heartened at this information which made me think at least it’s not just me then.



What we need is “some of this, and more of that, plenty more of this……and we need it NOW!”

As we all know our waters are suffering from very low levels of rainfall and whilst the country basks in the heat and sunshine. Anglers almost everywhere are constantly checking the forecast and muttering about the extreme conditions and how their waters need a substantial amount of prolonged rain to flush out the stale water and bring the long awaited runs of silver bullets. The River Kelvin is no different where it currently is languishing well below anything like normal levels. What we need is something like the levels of the Kelvin back in March this year! Perhaps a few hours after this when water begins to fall and clear a little.  BRING ON THE RAIN!!!

A very Hot July Day on Loch Lomond

A few scenes from a “Hot” day on Loch Lomond on Monday 9th July….scenery to die for… nowhere to be seen! A good day nevertheless. Still trying to familiarise myself with the Loch from a trolling viewpoint. Some very shallow areas where least expected partly due to low rainfall conditions and partly due to learning process on my own part. Also slowly getting up to speed in using new GoPro Hero 6 Black camera so your patience is appreciated.

Loch Lomond July 7th 2018jLoch Lomond July 7th 2018i

The Journey Never Ends

Thanks for joining me on this a light hearted reflection of my angling exploits, learnings, failures and successes. Every day on the water is a good day where thankfully it’s not always about the fishing.

Fishing : To him, all good things – trout as well as eternal salvation- come by grace and grace comes by art and art does not come easy.
~ Norman Maclean from the book A River Runs Through It