as in Glasgow and Andorra, because there’s a lot more to fishing trips than just fishing.
“Scotland (Scottish Gaelic: Alba pronounced [ˈaɫ̪apə]) is a country that occupies the northern third of the island of Great Britain and forms part of the United Kingdom.
The name of Scotland is derived from the Greek Scotos, the term applied to Gaels. The word Scoti (or Scotti) means dark because of the mist.It is found in Latin texts from the fourth century describing a tribe which sailed from Ireland to raid Roman Britain. It came to be applied to all the Gaels. It is not believed that any Gaelic groups called themselves Scoti in ancient times, except when writing in Latin. Oman derives it from Scuit, proposing a meaning of ‘a man cut off’, suggesting that a Scuit was not a Gael as such but one of a renagade band settled in the part of Ulster which became the kingdom of Dál Riata but ‘Scuit’ only exists in Old Irish as ‘buffoon/laughing-stock’ The 19th century author Aonghas MacCoinnich of Glasgow proposed that Scoti was derived from a Gaelic ethnonym (proposed by MacCoinnich) Sgaothaich from sgaoth “swarm”, plus the derivational suffix -ach (plural -aich) However, this proposal to date has not appeared in mainstream place-name studies.”
whatever it is it’s beautiful; the sort of beauty that sticks to my guts.
here’s a few images from a few weeks ago of this magical land and its inhabitants of a fantastic day spent with Al Pyke, one of the nicest persons i’ve ever met.
quote source- Etymology of Scotland
long-time internet and recent for-real friend Paul Slaney invited me to come fish for sewin -the Welsh name for seatrout- on one of his favourite waters in Wales. as this species is very light-shy they basically only start to migrate upstream when its fully dark which means fishing for them with only a few timid far-away stars to guide us along the way.
its a very interesting form of fishing with both good and less good aspects. the lesser good ones are its dark, really dark. constantly casting into the trees and bushes across the stream because it seems like they only travel along the far bank… and stumbling through water and land, dark.
dark obviously means no light and no light means not being able to appreciate the lovely water and countryside but this dark also heightens all our other senses and that’s where the magic begins and that’s the cool part.
a temperature drop around midnight or one o’clock or, was it two ?.. really slowed down fish movement and i did manage to catch a what would normally have been considered as a really nice brown trout but given the heavier gear used and intended target, turned out to be, and very much still to my surprise, a deception. that’s one fish that has given me more food for thought than any i can remember.
as all good things shall pass, the night’s session ended at first light but that first light was exceptional.
skies don’t talk but it told me to come back…
thanks again Paul for a great experience i’ll not forget soon !
no, not the stinky stuff ! the lovely chalkstream that flows through southern England.
i’ve seen fish but not fished. part A of several chapters that are about to happen in the next two weeks starts tomorrow with good buddy Mark.
a big treat for me when i visit the UK is the ever-present abundance of swans that seem to live in every water i’ve fished. maybe the locals think of them as just another fat bird but i think they’re really special: big, fat, beautiful river keepers that know i love them so they’ve decided to make more. thanks !
they’re the opposite of short cuts.
i know that doesn’t make a lot of sense. going the longer way from point A to B isn’t cutting anything, this greatly increases travel expenses and the term doesn’t really exist anyhow but it somehow sounds appropriate.
i’ve always had this fantasy of pushing this long-cutting to the extreme by going all the way around the globe to reach point B.
i guess i’ll have to start saving up to get a decent camper vehicle and a lot of memory cards for the cameras. but then, if i do, i guess i won’t really be aiming to come back to point B…
i’d already been formally introduced to the Atlantic (European) sea bass’ close cousin, a 22 lb Rockfish, which is in turn a Chesapeake Bay variant of the Striped bass when i was about fourteen years old. that’s far from a record but that size fish, specially at that age i guess, always leaves a taste for more.
although nowhere near the size of their cousins on the North American side, in France we have two distinct sea bass varieties, one in the Atlantic ocean and another in the Mediterranean sea. this latter one goes by the name of ‘loup de mer’ or ‘sea wolf’, a name given by the Romans, maybe because they where too full of wine and bloated on their conquering mission and couldn’t tell the difference between a mammal and a fish or maybe because of the very agressive nature these fish take on when on a feeding frenzy. since its not too far from where i live i somewhat regularly go after the Mediterranean variety but this week i had to go do stuff on the Atlantic side and decided to leave the day before and see if i could get them to take interest in my flies.
here’s what Atlantic sea bass look like,
and here’s where they live.
rather a nice place and one i’d happily live if i was a fish. speaking of, be sure to keep the fish image up top in the back of your mind because you won’t see any more in this post.
after wading in gently close to the remains of a long-abandoned pier and about fifteen minutes, all of a sudden the water started boiling just twenty or so metres from where i stood in the direction of the sun here.
a hunt was on ! i quickly cast my baitfish imitation, started to do a two-handed rolley-pully retrieve and snagged a what i didn’t know at that time, baitfish. i had felt a little bump but no real pull so i decided at the time that it was a missed strike, albeit a strange one, and let the fly settle before starting the retrieve again. seconds after that came the real strike but it happened to my ‘bait’ and not my fly. “no biggie” me thinks, just pick up and cast back to the boil but that first back cast felt a little heavy because it had half a baitfish attached to the hook…
by the time i’d remove the poor beast and was ready to cast again the boil had disappeared. for good. for the rest of the evening. for ever or at least until the next time, and i most probably won’t be there.
i never saw one of these hunting fish but i like to believe they where sea bass.
on the way back to the car there where some nice drawings in the sand
and funny looking spermy things laying about on the beach.
when i got back there next morning some nitwit had pulled the plug to keep me from fishing,
but that’s ok, i got to fill my eyes with beauty.
hi folks ! the somewhat promise of semi-regular and live updates of my trip to Borneo written about on the previous post didn’t pan out so i’ll start here little by little.
its hard to decide what subject to choose when just about everything on the trip was new, exotic and equally superbe on all levels, so, on a whim here’s some really trippy-beautiful bugs that where all around us at the Mannis-Mannis ‘RoofTop of Borneo’ lodge in Crocker Range National Park on the island of Sabah. i always miss TLC when i can’t log on so, it’s good to be back. anyhow…
i hope you likem’ big !
this one had a thing for ‘Smooth‘ Naveen’s tats.
it’s like tripping 24/7 !
approximately 35cm span.fur detail: was as soft as it looks.
accessories for scale.
25 cm minimum span width.
this one likes creamer with its coffee.
interestingly enough, being in a jungle and all, with all its reputations of swarms of blood-sucking critters i didn’t get bit a single time by a mosquito. however, this lovely wasp decided to land on the back of my neck while i was peeing at the lodge.
not knowing what it was, i absentmindedly brushed off the ‘whatever‘ and as they always seem to do when panicked, left its long and pointy dard under my teeshirt collar. a little Neosporin took off the edge.
coming up next (as soon as jet-lagging completely wears off… ) are tons more photos of new friends, fly casting hot-shots, some first-time fish, several product reviews, the promised contest and who knows what else. in the meantime, enjoy !
hi folks ! I’m somewhere here on this map enjoying a spicy breakfast, listening to fancy birds and happy to have caught my first ever Pacu last night. otherwise known as the ‘ball eater’ fish, I fished from the bank!
i had planned to post a slew of things for you to read and even a new giveaway contest to keep you busy while I’m trying to not get get my balls eaten…. but, contrary to what the travel brochure said, I wasn’t able to connect once to wifi throughout the 25 hour trip. hopefully this won’t be the same on the way back. anyhow, hugs to all and see ya soon !
ahhhh, the things one finds when traveling. enjoy !
some great thoughts from Paul Harps.
“How much do you need to know before you go fishing somewhere? Knowing the regulations is an obvious need, but what else is required? It’s good to know a basic target species so that you can be prepared with the size of rod and fly. But assuming you are in an area with trout, do you research Google Earth ahead of time to find where the best looking pools are? Do you search the web for every fishing report? Do you go to some fly shops and ask subtle or not so subtle questions? There is something grand about exploration and discovery with your boots in the dirt, walking no known trails. But as I sit here behind a desk for too long, there is some else inspiring about looking at contour lines on a map, guessing if they direct a little stream down a hill. There is an excitement that comes with looking at a tree lined image on Google Earth, guessing the size of trout that might live in the shadowed waters. The idea of turning blindly down a road, only knowing that it goes downhill to some little creek is grand; no other preparations but an explorer’s mind, a rod in the truck, and the knowledge that eventually gravity and terrain will force the water into something that can hold fish. But also the idea of following those hastily jotted down notes or that printed map from Google Earth, down a road also never traveled, to a creek never seen. Either way, it’s a trail you’ve never explored, and when you reach the creek, you are never disappointed. Fish or no fish, you attained greatness, you became a dying breed; an Explorer.”
some might start debating whether it’s ethical or not to use satellite maps or whatever other gadget to plan a fishing trip and i’ll leave them to argue on their own as i have no problems with this as long as the locations don’t get shared in public.
Mystery River X is the was to go.
now Paul’s piece got me thinking in a traverse wave sort of fashion, and maybe because i can’t help but mix up my waves in one way or another but this exciting exploring stuff reminds me that this is precisely the subject of the book i’m currently reading and very much enjoying although there aren’t any electronic devises as it happens in the sixteenth century and they where far from being invented yet.
SOFT WHITE UNDERBELLY
“At an age when most young Scotsmen were lifting skirts, plowing furrows and spreading seed, Mungo Park was displaying his bare buttocks to al-haj’ Ali Ibn Fatoudi, Emir of Ludamar. The year was 1795. George III was dabbing the walls of Windsor Castle with his own spittle, the Notables were botchings things in France, Goya was deaf, DeQuincey a depraved pre-adolescent. George Bryan “Beau” Brummell was smoothing down his first starched collar, young Ludwig van Beethoven, beetle-browed and twenty-four, was wowing them in Vienna with his Piano Concerto no. 2, and Ned Rise was drinking Strip-Me-Naked with Nan Punt and Sally Sebum at the Pig & Pox Tavern in Maiden Lane.
Ali was a Moor. He sat cross-legged on a damask pillow and scrutinized the pale puckered nates with the air of an epicure examining a fly in his vichysoisse. His voice was like sand. “Turn over,” he said. Mungo was a Scotsman. He knelt on a reed mat, trousers around his knees, and glanced over his shoulder at Ali. He was looking for the Niger River. “Turn over,” Ali repeated.
While the explorer was congenial and quick-to-please, his Arabic was somewhat sketchy. When he failed to respond a second time, Dassoud–Ali’s henchman and human jackal–stepped forward with a lash composed of the caudal appendages of half a dozen wildebeests. The tufted tails cut the air, beating on high like the wings of angels. The temperature outside Ali’s tent was 127 degrees Fahrenheit. The tent was a warp-and-woof affair, constructed of thread spun from the hair of goats. Inside it was 112 degrees. The lash fell. Mungo turned over.
Here too he was white: white as sheets and blizzards. Ali and his circle were astonished all over again. “His mother dipped him in milk,” someone said. “Count his fingers and toes!” shouted another. Women and children crowded the tent’s entrance, goats bleated, camels coughed and coupled, someone was hawking figs. A hundred voices intertwined like a congeries of footpaths, walks, lowroads and highroads–which one to take?–and all in Arabic, mystifying, rapid, harsh, the language of the Prophet. “La-la-la-la-la!” a woman shrieked. The others took it up, an excoriating falsetto. “La-la-la-la-la!” Mungo’s penis, also white, shrank into his body.”
click the book for more on this well-knit, randomly wavy, highly recommended, entertaining book.
it involves planning, phone calls, selecting the right stuff for the day. packing, food, drink, etc, double-checking and maybe even tying some flies and usually a trillion things more.
although tedious at times, they all help to bring up the excitement levels but one of the aspects of our activity that appeals the most to me is getting there.
and then we need to get back.
sure, there’s the BrownLiners who revel in fishing sewer dumps but more often than not, the places we fish are beautiful ones and they’re set in beautiful surroundings.
lighting, scents, rhythms, color-schemes and scenery change along the way drawing us to where we belong.
much more than a simple travel film, Di Donato’s train ride will get us in the right frame of mind, the all-wonderful ‘In the Zone’ state where we know when to set the hook not because we saw the fish take the fly or we felt a tug or any other outside alert, but when something deep inside said ‘now‘…
hi friends !
just back from an almost three week, 5000 km tripping to the UK, trying to get things organized at home and as far as posting about the trippings here on the Cobra, i haven’t the slightest idea where to start so in the meantime, and since there weren’t a whole heck of a lot of fish involved… here are some very good friends.
thanks to a lot of dumb snow, ice, cold and whatever else that might mess up a long drive, my much awaited, anticipated (read needed) trip to England has just been cancelled but because there’s always a bright side, here’s a few random sillies.
what fish might look like if they had legs-
and a unique vintage Hackle Fountain-
images 2 & 3 courtesy of Google.
Invasive Species: these kind of hitchhikers suck.
without thinking about it, you pack up and go home after a good day or just to another fishing spot and you’ve brought evil-doers just ready to take over another waterway, spread their disgusting evil invasive speciness all over and who knows, maybe reproduce in the seams of your waders or who knows where.
don’t know about you but i don’t particularly like the idea of evil invasives reproducing in my anywheres, they should be doing this in their own homes, not mine or yours. from the Clean Angling Coalition here’s how to kill these nasty little fuckers…
Tips For Careful Cleaning
Everyone who fishes needs to be a Clean Angler, one who makes Inspect, Clean & Dry an automatic part of every trip. Many fishermen understand how important this is and are taking these simple actions. The three steps of Inspect, Clean & Dry are self-descriptive. Just from these three words, people understand what they are to do and the actions they produce are what we need. If you want more detailed information about how to clean, The Center for Aquatic Nuisance Species has these suggestions for cleaning fishing gear, boats and trailers.
Cleaning Fishing Gear
Waders must be cleaned very carefully!
– Separate all individual components such as insoles, socks, booties, ankle guards, and laces. Then wash everything – inside and out with water.
– Make sure you remove all dirt, plants and other visible substances. Be sure the treads, seams and any creases or crevasses are completely clean. Use a small brush if needed.
– If possible, thoroughly dry everything before you reassemble the waders.
– Other Equipment- Reels, nets, lines, gear bags etc. Thoroughly wash them to remove dirt, plants and other visible substances. Completely dry them, ideally in the sun on a hot day.
– Heat and cold can kill many invasives that might be hitchhiking on your equipment. These treatments can be used to supplement careful inspection and cleaning. However, these methods do not kill all invaders. So realize that they help but are not perfect.
– Heat – Soak in a bucket or tub of the hottest water available. Be aware that many hot water heaters to not produce water hot enough to kill AIS. Available research studies suggest minimum of 140° F is necessary. Remove and dry.
Cold – Store your gear in a freezer to kill many invasives. After overnight freezing remove, thaw and dry. Freezing might be the only good option if you are on a traveling fishing trip with no time to dry between waters. Some motels have freezer space if you ask nicely. Remember, freezing will kill many but not all of the aquatic invasive species (AIS) we are concerned about.
Drying kills most invasives. High temperatures and low humidity are deadly to most AIS. Do everything possible to expose your equipment to hot and dry conditions for as long as possible. It’s best to dry gear in the sun. If possible, after cleaning, allow the gear to air-dry for at least 7 days. Longer is better. Where to Clean is just as important as how you clean. It’s important to clean in the right location. If possible, clean your gear on-site at the end of your trip. If you wash off any invasives at the water you have been fishing on that day, you will just be leaving them where you got them. Don’t let them hitchhike away from the site. If you are not able to clean before you leave the site, make sure to clean in a place where there is no possibility of anything removed getting into another water source. Be aware that runoff from your driveway could lead to surface water and some species are tough enough to survive the journey from your driveway to a nearby water. So, if you are cleaning at home, do it on the lawn and make sure that the wash water is all absorbed into the ground.
Never clean at the launch point for a new trip. That would be like intentionally introducing a species. Always clean before you visit a river or lake. Most self-serve car washes are good places to clean but make sure that any water goes down the drain in the middle of the floor.
Chemicals are not recommended! AIS can be a variety of different types of living organisms; plant, animal or microbe and there is no known chemical treatment that is effective at killing all of the potential AIS without being harmful to the environment. There are specific chemicals that are effective for controlling single species but they fail to guard against other species. Therefore, we do not recommend the use of chemicals ever. There are a lot of different recommendations regarding the use of chemicals that have been, and are still being, provided by agencies and others It is common to hear these misinterpreted and passed on to others as advice that is just plain wrong. If you are advised to use chemicals make sure that you understand why and based on what. If the recommendation is from an agency ask what the specific species is that they are trying to fight. Never think that the use of any chemical takes care of your basic Clean Angling responsibilities of Inspect, Clean & Dry. If you’ve been told that bleach, Formula 409, salt, one of the many commercial products or any other chemical rids your gear of all AIS, it is not true.
Pets can spread invasives! If you take your dog fishing remember that it may have been exposed to invasive species. Inspect and clean its paws and carefully wash away any visible mud or foreign matter. At home, give your dog a good bath and combing it to remove any remaining invasives. Be sure to properly dispose of any weed seeds or other material.
Cleaning Boats and Trailers
These recommendations were developed for powerboats and associated recreation. The principles can be adapted to any type of watercraft, including drift boats, rafts and personal watercraft. • Dispose of unused bait into a dumpster. Do not take bait home or dispose of it by dumping it on the ground. NEVER release unwanted bait into any water body. • Drain ALL water from the boat, especially the live well. Drain all water from the bilge, motor well and any water-holding compartments. Do this before you leave the water. If you wait until you get home to empty water it could spread invasives. • Completely drain all water from the motor cooling system. Failure to do this can result in invasives growing inside the engine block and in the lines carrying cooling water to and from the motor. Thoroughly inspect the boat, trailer and all equipment for mud and plants. Completely remove anything you find. Specifically, check the following areas. • Trailer -trailer frame, rollers & bunks, license plate, lights, wiring, axles, springs, fenders, hangers, pockets & hollow spaces, trailer tires & wheels • Water Craft Exterior – entire hull, trim tabs – including hinges, thru-hull fittings, cavitation plates, anchors, anchor rope, depth sounders, water intakes & outlets, lights, bumpers etc. • Motors – entire exterior housing, propeller and all related parts. • Propulsion systems – lower unit, gimbal area, water intakes & outlets, • Boat Contents – nets, personal flotation devices, rope & equipment lockers, recreational equipment, down riggers & other fishing equipment, etc. • Oars – examine the condition of your oars for any splits or crevasses that may hold invasive species and rinse completely. Maintain the condition of your oars to minimize any splits in the structure. Wash with a pressurized power sprayer using the hottest water possible whenever necessary. • Completely spray the entire exterior of the craft and the trailer. Perform the wash slowly and carefully. Since the water at commercial car washes is not hot enough to kill the organisms it is important to thoroughly spray the entire boat with pressurized water to remove any AIS. Be sure to spray all small nooks and crannies. • No soap, detergent or chemicals are necessary.
Drying Kills Most Invasives High temperatures and low humidity are deadly to most aquatic invaders. Do everything possible to expose your equipment to hot and dry conditions for as long as possible. It’s best to leave your boat outside in the sun, after opening and exposing all compartments and wet locations. If possible, after inspection and cleaning according to these procedures, allow the boat and trailer to air dry for at least 7 days. Longer is better.
Weeds are Invaders Too
When you are out fishing, boating or enjoying the outdoors make sure to do what you can to avoid spreading noxious weeds through your activities. These invaders have significant ecological and economic impacts. They can harm our waters in many ways and every angler needs to act to prevent their spread.
Here’s what you can do: • Learn to identify the problem weeds you might encounter. It’s easy to learn to identify the problem weeds in most areas and you can find a host of free ID guides wherever you are or are going. • Avoid parking in weed patches. Most weeds spread along roadways, as vehicles can easily transport many types of weeds and seeds. Avoid parking in weedy spots. If you are driving off the pavement, try to identify a course that will avoid any weeds. Avoid walking through weed patches. Many weed seeds will cling to waders, vests or clothing. If you avoid walking through weeds you will reduce the amount of seed that you might be transporting. • Carefully inspect yourself and your equipment at the end of your trip. Weed seeds will cling to most materials so be sure to carefully check everything for weed seeds. Do this before you leave a site and throw the seeds in the trash. • Wash your vehicle undercarriage as soon as possible after leaving a weedy area. If you know you have been in weeds go straight to the car wash without any delay. As soon as you drive out of the weeds you will begin spreading seeds so the sooner you can get to a car wash the better. Make sure to spray the undercarriage of your vehicle with high pressure water to wash off any seeds. Only wash inside the car wash bay and never spray weed seeds outside the car wash bay. • Report any new weed discoveries. The key to stopping the spread of weeds is to quickly respond when they first become established. Learn to look for plants that don’t belong and report any suspicious plants to authorities. When weeds are caught early they can almost always be eradicated. All of these suggestions are intended to help you do a better job of reducing the chances that you are spreading AIS. Everything that the Center for Aquatic Nuisance Species wants people to do is aimed at reducing the risk to our waters. Inspect, Clean & Dry cannot provide complete protection of our rivers and lakes. However, without doubt, following these steps will reduce the risk to our resources. Be a Clean Angler and teach others to be the same.
please pass this article on to your friends, it’s really-really IMPORTANT !
for more info click the logo to reach the Clean Angling Coalition site, thanks.