Sunday, 24 March 2019

Be aware of your actions!

Photo 01 - The lure found by a dog!

Be aware of your actions!

It happens every now and then an angler loses a lure and it is found on the bank by another angler who gives it new hooks and redeploys it to his own benefit! Sometimes the lures are snagged and spend the rest of their days underwater! Very occasionally some washed up on the shore or lost on the trek back to the car are found by animals!

The photo above sent by Jenny shows a lure picked up by one of the dogs at Riskinhope. Now, there is no way of knowing with certainty who left this or if indeed it was lost in the water and washed onto the shore. This is just one of the unwanted side effects of angling and we must ensure that we all play our part in preventing such instances! Valuable animals can be seriously injured by the hooks on these lures so make it your priority to ensure your fishing practice is sound!

Photo 02 - Stevies plump Brownie!

First Brown Trout in season!

Well, I'm not sure but I can say that its the first to come to my attention and it is a fine wild Brown Trout! Stevie Nimmo who caught the fish in Megget bay on a bloody butcher and it was the only knock of the day!  It looks to be in very good condition and of course, Stevie ensured its safe return to the loch. So there you go Stevie opening his account with a 1lb plus Brownie, well-done mate!

Never again!

yes, it's the membership renewals again, I am sitting with £470 all of which has come in over the last 3 weeks! Memberships are meant to come in over the month of February. So that's it if you wanted to renew and haven't done so you are too late! Next year memberships will be renewable in February if you miss that your membership has terminated unless there is a very good reason! Please take heed of this and put February in your diary /phone!

The wider world in my view!

R.I.P Maybot!

What a week this has been the final humiliation of our country, yes, the Maybot outdid herself! After being shunned by the EU who are utterly exasperated by her repeated visits aiming to change her previous agreements she does a public broadcast saying parliament is wholly responsible for the complete mess that she has created!

The time is surely up for this disaster of a Prime minister absolutely everything she touches turns to disaster! A large number of her Tory MPs are calling for her to go but it won't be easy to push her out for if anything she is mulish! There is no doubt the crap deal she has negotiated will once again be dismissed in resounding fashion signalling the death at last of a wholly unsatisfactory fudge of a deal!

Following on and admittedly trying to clear up the mess left by Lord Snooty this wrecking ball of a woman has with every utterance plunged us further into the mire! She is, without doubt, the worst Prime Minister ever leading the worst government in living memory! She has now lost any claim to being a leader with cabinet members publicly campaigning against her stated policy making her a fool for the world to see!

At the most recent summit, French President Macron said her chances of getting her deal through parliament were around 10% and after her 90-minute appeal for an extension he said the chances were 5%! This woman has suffered more humiliation in a month than most Labour premiers have in their whole term of office! The country has never before been held in such low esteem! Its too late to try and save our reputation for it went as soon as the Maybot lost the 2017 election and had to bribe the offensive DUP to prop up her government.

Quite frankly the problem of Brexit has been too much for this government from start to now they have made a complete hash of it! There is no domestic agenda all efforts are directed to Brexit clearly to no avail! All the leading polls are showing clearly the tide has turned and many of those who voted to leave the EU have seen the light and reversed their decisions! The average of polls shows the remain side at 63% with the leavers trailing on 37%! A new peoples vote tomorrow would put this Brexit nonsense to bed good and proper!

The recent petition to revoke Article 50 has in three days amassed over 4.4 million signatures and the stop  Brexit march being held today (Saturday)  had well over a million participants completely engulfs the Farage march supporting Brexit which can only muster a couple of hundred participants! The facts are there in plain sight but still the Maybot blunders on oblivious to cries to change course from all around her!

Must at this point highlight the Tory party who obviously put party before country otherwise, why would they not have taken immediate action to remove the Maybot the architect of the continual bungling! The electorate are not stupid and can see that their future is of secondary interest to that of the Tory party! All of this Brexit nonsense was started by Lord Snooty and the bungling since then has been unceasing thanks to this Tory government!

The week ahead is a crucial one for the country and three things must happen! The first is that power must be taken from this thoroughly incompetent government before they land us in the mother of all crises! The Maybot had her power removed some time ago and is Prime Minister in name only!

It is imperative that parliament takes control for the sake of the country! These clowns are effectively placing sanctions on this country, they are mobilising the army, opening control bunkers for emergency planning as medicines run out and food shortages occur. Can you believe our so-called government is making a choice to put the country into this wartime state? 

 Secondly, the Maybot must be removed immediately before she can do any more damage! Of course, this presents another huge problem as to who will replace her, there is a big selection of chumps but no obvious candidate remotely considered sensible! The orchestrators of the coup must be ruthless as the Maybot is desperate to leave a positive legacy. As things stand she will be remembered as an abject failure! The above of course depends on a Tory with a backbone  - a very rare beast indeed!

Finally the choices set out for parliament should be ranked in order of importance (1) Revoke Article 50 and forget the whole business! (2) Hold a second referendum and give the people a say! (3) adopt a Brexit that includes a customs union and a single market deal i.e stay in!.

Two years of absolute mayhem could end tomorrow we must hope it does! The Maybot is dead, R.I.P Maybot!


Sunday, 17 March 2019

Get to know us!

Photo 01 - From an earlier boat trip!
Get to know us!

We took the decision at our AGM to put into our calendar a fly fishing competition likely scheduled for the first week in May. Now one member suggested that we could include other non Trout fishing members in that if they desired they could take part and fly fish for Pike or Perch!

It's an interesting idea that would depend on anglers taking the total length of the fish they caught with photographic evidence. Most of the anglers I have spoken with do not want to kill fish and I think that's a good idea! Two anglers spoken to said we should simplify the competition going back to the bare bones in that anglers turn up fish then after a boathouse blether go home!

I am quite keen on dropping the entry fee making it a free to enter competition for all members and as we already have a “spare” cup we could use that and I am sure the club would be happy to donate a prize of modest value or cash equivalent! In terms of duration, a 10am start with the conclusion at 16.00 would seem the norm.

If you have any views on the above meanderings give us a shout. Although it is a competition we would rather class it as a friendly get together. Please come along and meet your fellow anglers it's always a worthwhile experience!

First-day impressions!

I was working but I spoke with Stevie Nimmo who had an unexpected day off on Friday and he ventured loch ward to see what the loch had to offer on opening day! As predicted the weather was coarse with heavy hail showers unrelenting wind and cool to boot! So time was spent trying to dodge the worst of the vile weather with getting a line into the water.

He tried two spots well known to Brown Trout hunters they being Megget bay and the Graveyard and it was here that a brief flurry of sport took place. Fishing a sinking line he was mending the line as it sank when he had a take which resulted in nothing but two more slashes at the fly returned nothing.  To get to the point that was it for the day. But as always Stevie always ready to see the glass half full said it was a challenging but good session! Now that’s what I see as being a real angler!

The wider world in my view!

Third time lucky?

The shambolic circus being directed by the Maybot and her gang of absolutely clueless MPs has seen this country made out to be a nation of fools! This week we saw the Maybot voting against her own motion and the arrogant Steven Barclay winding up a debate urging MPs to rule out “no deal “then goes and votes against the point he was making the case for!

It was the most entertaining week so far with the viewing figures for BBC Parliament going through the roof as viewers all over the world tuned in to see the circus live on TV. Of course true to form the Maybot took a helluva beating on a number of topics culminating in her “meaningful vote 2” suffering another record defeat!

So this is where we are with a “meaningful vote 3” coming back on Tuesday not a different deal but the same one that has gone down twice in the most spectacular fashion! This is a shit deal that will make us all worse off! Imagine the country is on the brink facing the Maybots crap deal or a disastrous no deal scenario! The Maybots solution waste time removing the space for alternative options trying to force MPs into backing her pathetic deal!

Already many Tory MPs have taken stage fright and say they will back her deal even though they find it highly unpalatable! Now, this is a government that is supposed to do the best for the country and here we are being presented with two utterly hopeless choices! This collection of feeble dullards have truly landed the country in it!

Moves are afoot to remove the Maybot and this is vitally important for the good of the country! The ERG and the DUP need to somehow develop backbones to save this country from a fate from which it will never recover! The future of the country will be decided next week if it ends badly remember who put us into this mess and just in case you cant figure it out the answer is the Tories!

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Needs to be better!

Photo 01 - The good bit of Saturday!

Needs to be better!

With regard to our membership renewals things really do have to improve, the procedure this year was even worse then last year with renewals coming in over a six week period! The actual time allocated is four weeks for renewal with a 14 day period to allow for members in exceptional circumstances.

The idea of getting renewals in over a concise period means both Elliot Fraser and myself can deal with all the renewals in one fell swoop. Elliot has to travel into town to bank the cash cheques and postal orders and this year has already made two such trips and I still have nearly £300 pounds to pass to him.

Yes, this prolonged period weighs on myself and Elliot and it can not and will not continue! We both have enough work outside of the club and do not appreciate the extra work some members give us! Next year the four week period will be the time that all renewals must be in so to be clear you must renew in the month of February 2020 we will, of course, make exceptions for people in the hospital and such like.

This prolonged spell experienced this year shows a complete lack of respect for those who give of their own free time to keep the club running. So the situation for next year is that renewals will be accepted over the whole of February 2020. If you renew after this you will be given a place if one is available with the added £20.00 premium! So next year please renew on time!
Please note that membership renewals have now closed for the 2019/20 season!

That time again!

Of course, it’s the start of the Brown Trout season on the 15th of the month which means on Friday its game on! I know a couple of anglers are planning on dunking a few flies and the weather looks to be suitably rough! Yes, the elder statesmen in the club have always maintained the rougher the better!

Records show that early season as being the best time when fishing for our Brownies if you can put up with the sometimes horrific weather. A tried and tested method is a team of two or three flies with one being a brightly coloured gold head around size 14 and one or two traditional wets. No guarantees but hey that’s fishing! Give me a shout if you fished on opening day!

The wider world in my view!

No change here!

Well what a week it has been on the bungling front, put aside for a moment the Maybot and failing Grayling and welcome a few more journeyman bunglers! Of course, being Tories they all have previous form but were all floating just below the waterline!

Karen Bradley who persistently bungles under the banner of Northern Ireland secretary and it turns out she is suitably qualified for the role as she knows nothing whatsoever about the history of Northern Ireland! The latest and most impressive gaffe occurred just a couple of days ago when she suggested that deaths caused by soldiers during the troubles were not crimes!

On taking up the office of secretary she openly admitted that she did not know that nationalists did not vote for unionists and vice versa! Its hard to believe that such ignorance would allow one to be appointed to such an important position but that's the Tories for you

Next up is the now pensions secretary formerly home secretary Amber Rudd now more commonly known as Amber Dudd! She has already resigned as Home office minister after the Windrush scandal when it was found that she misled parliament over the affair! Her latest blunder was in calling Diane Abbot coloured. Now whist the use of this word may be acceptable in some circles for someone high up in government it is clearly not!

The gaffes above both resulted in immediate and profound apologies which is only right and proper. But in Bradley's case, she must now fall on her sword for such a serious blunder! Sajid Javid the Home Secretary also committed a massive blunder when he failed to take swift action to repatriate the child of the IS member who was a British citizen and has since died!

Of course, none of the above individuals can hold a candle to the Maybot’s blundering as she continues to make a complete hash of Brexit! However, this week could see parliament take control of the process and believe me, for the good of the country they must do so! The time for clowning around has gone adults must now take charge of the process! Lets hope they have the balls to do so!

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Last chance!

Photo 01 - Someone is still maiming trees!
Last chance!

The time allocated for membership renewals (February) has now passed and we are into the two week grace period for exceptional circumstances. I know that there are members who have not yet renewed and who do wish to continue their membership of the club.

To those members, I would say that you really need to make those renewals now! I would like to wrap up and pack away the renewals until next year but because some members have not yet renewed I cannot do this! Renewals will remain open until the 14th of March thereafter your places will be given to applicants still on the waiting list!

Photo 02 - They arrived on Friday if you want one see Jenny!


Our new club patches have arrived and they do look good, five have already been snapped up on the day they arrived. If you would like one the best way is to see Jenny as she had the patches, the cost is £5.00 per patch which is basically the price we paid for them so they are as cheap as can be!

Keys for the club boathouse are now £5.00 and are available from Jenny. We change padlocks regularly but if you have a key you will be given a key for the new lock free of charge! In all the years we have operated an open boathouse policy we have only ever had one key returned Thank you, Alan Walker, in Hawick). It is because of these now non-members with keys that we have to change the lock!

With regard to our new “Flycatcher” boat, we have paid the initial deposit of £780.00 to allow for the work to commence. We have specified that the boat inside and out be dark green in colour and that thoule pins be fitted as opposed to rowlocks.. It will be a few months in construction but I suspect well worth waiting on!

The wider world in my view!

Beyond belief!

With the Maybot continuing her incessant bungling surely putting herself in pole position for the award of the worst Prime Minister ever! Her bungling however whilst spectacular camouflages the antics of one of her ministers who held a number of ministerial positions over the last few years and taking an overview he certainly deserves a mention here.

It is, of course, Chris Grayling who through his various governmental posts has cost the taxpayer £2.8 billion. Its an almost unimaginable figure but it is an undeniable marker of the incompetence of this fool. Emulating and even surpassing the bungling of the Maybot it has become clear to many people that this country can no longer afford such unceasing bungling!

His time as transport secretary has seen companies fail in their commitments leading to nationalisation of the East Coast line which now runs at a profit and saw thousands of services cancelled in the Cumbria region along with numerous strikes by rail workers on the grounds of safety and thousands of disgruntled passenger facing failing services and increasing prices!

Similarly whilst justice secretary he presided over the shambles of privatisation of the probation service which has turned out to be an abject failure! Yes, prisoner releases being unmonitored massive workloads being heaped upon individual probation officers have seen the service crumble to the point where it is unmanageable! 

His most recent blunder, however, says it all! Of course, its the unheard of strategy of offering a ferry contract to a company who had no experience in this field, and to cap it all not a single ship! Now it turns out the tendering process was done in a secretive way omitting large scale operators such as Eurotunnel who threatened to sue the government forcing them to settle out of court for £33million! Yes failing Grayling is one of the most accomplished bunglers in this government of fools and duds, but remember failing Grayling is only the tip of the iceberg there are 300 more Tories! The country cannot afford such a government!

She’s done it again!

Yes, local MSP Michelle Ballantyne has put her foot in it, again! This newbie MSP was ridiculed by all and sundry for saying there is no “bedroom tax”! of course everyone knew she was objecting to the terminology rather than the tax but in a parliament where the fate of poor people is uppermost in the minds of all MSPs (excluding the Tories)  it was a rather stupid thing to say! I could rattle on for quite some time but enough to say she is a Tory, no more needs said!

Sunday, 24 February 2019

A meeting of friends!

Heyland Flycatcher Lake Boat4

Photo 01 - The 15ft Flycatcher! Ours will be dark green!

A meeting of friends!
Of course, it's our annual get together where broad policy is set out for the year and what a treat it was! Good sound decisions interspersed with lively banter and we were nose to the grindstone in no time. We had three apologies for absence and the number attending was twelve which is a decent number.

The meeting decided that we should hold a fun day competition and to that end we will hold a Trout fly only competition in early May. Nothing has yet been written in tablets of stone but we thought it could be along the lines of our previous competition. We would re-dedicate our gold cup trophy for this event and we should try and come up with a name for the competition. 

Photo 02 - Sunrise on Saturday captured by Stuart Grieve!

We will firm up our ideas over the next few weeks.We reviewed our pricing structure as we do every year and since we are in a sound financial position and the upcoming Brexit disaster we have decided to keep all pricing the same. We have however placed a £5.00 charge for boathouse keys including replacement keys) with immediate effect.

We have for a while now been considering reconfiguring our boat fleet and yesterday we cemented that move in stone. We ruled out buying a used boat to avoid the pitfalls of hidden damage. Whittled down to two new boats both based on our current Lomond’s the choice was between a Highlander Club 15ft fishing boat or a Heyland marine “Flycatcher” 15ft boat.

There was much discussion around the choice but we eventually settled on the 15ft “Flycatcher” it is a virtual replica of our trusty Lomond’s. Having spoken to Heyland Marine we agreed on a mid-season supply in our chosen colour of dark green with pin oarlocks being moulded in. This transaction will involve a considerable amount of money and we are grateful to Elliot Fraser for his competent management of finances that has allowed us to make this purchase!

Photo 03 - New runner on our white Lomond, thanks lads!

The final item was the election of the club committee and office bearers and it was felt the current members should continue. It is worth pointing out however that the time will soon come when other members will need to step up to the plate and assume the responsibilities! We are grateful to Alastair and Eleanor for the hospitality provided yesterday – lovely!

Yes, a meeting of anglers where club policy was thrashed out with no bickering just sound debate!


I must mention the good work of three of our members Mike Christie, Les Robson and Davy Mitchell. Yes, they gave of their own free time and kitted out our white Lomond with the hard polypropylene runners that make handling the boats a whole lot easier. They also fitted protection under the oars to save the shell! From the club a big thanks lads!


Renewals are still coming in but a few arrived with no stamped addressed envelopes and three arrived with cheques and postal orders made out to me! This causes severe inconvenience in that I have to go into town to cash these and then pay that cash back into the club! I have quite enough on my plate to keep me busy so please make all payments payable to St Mary’s Angling Club and not me!

Free to a good home!

Speaking to Alastair and Eleanor yesterday they made us aware that they have a number of fridge freezers/chest freezers which they no longer require. I think there were six in all and five of them are working units. So if you need one for your bait or the home nip up and see them or get in touch with us.

The wider world in my view!

Maybot malfunction!

Of course, she is called the Maybot for two reasons the first is her inability to consider anything outside of her original programming! The second is her jerky inelegant, wooden moves that make her look like a sixty dollar version of the six million dollar man but that whilst highly entertaining does not concern us here!

The party of business as they like to be called has already cost all manner of industry millions with a promise of much more to come before this debacle ends! Imagine we are more than two years down the line and we like the Maybot and her gang of fools have not a clue what lies in wait! Some have said its a clever strategy but they are mistaken it is sheer unadulterated incompetence!

Juncker said this week he has Brexit fatigue, is it any wonder! She negotiates a shit deal agrees to it with the EU and is now going back to the EU the individual EU leaders and asks the same questions repeatedly! The sad part, however, is that the answers are always the same NO in any language you like!

Her latest but highly predictable move is to delay the meaningful vote until the 12th of March essentially pushing parliament into a take it or leave it situation regarding her crap deal! She has been faffing around like a headless chicken achieving nothing other than racking up air miles the cost of which falls to the taxpayer!

There is a means to end this charade but it relies on Tory MPs. There has been much shouting and protestation by them but when it comes down to it they revert to the archetypal spineless Tory and go along with her! The Cooper amendment could save the country by delaying Brexit but it relies on Tory MPs the majority of whom as well as being spineless are certifiable!

The Maybot is intent on pushing this country into an uncertain future where our living standards will plummet! We shall have to wait until Wednesday  to see if the lily livered Tories have what it takes to out the countries interest above that of the Tory party! If they do not then its control alt and delete!

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Agenda items 2019!

Agenda items 2019!

The undernoted are the public items for discussion at our AGM next week. The meeting is scheduled for Saturday 23rd February 10.30 am at the Tibbie Shiels Inn. All members are welcome to attend.

(1) Preliminaries and Finance – where we stand financially which will guide our future actions.

(2) (Boathouse keys – We spend significant monies having keys cut for members to utilise the club boathouse. We can when buying a new lock order an excess of spare keys to future proof key issue. It would seem sensible to charge a nominal fee of around £5.00 for keys in future.

(3) Club fees and day permit prices – as we do every year we need to review whether our prices are too low (or high) or as many think just right. This discussion will be better informed when we know the financial state of the club after item 1 is discussed.

(4) Our boat fleet – a few years back when we hired out engines our Arran boats went out twice as many times as our Lomond’s! Now however as we no longer hire out engines our Lomond outings by far exceed that of our Arran’s! Therefore we would propose that we sell one of our Arran boats and replace it with a new or second-hand Lomond in good condition. We need to be aware however in the used boat sector of buying a lemon cleverly botched to deceive buyers.

(5)  Election of club committee.


The club patches have been ordered and paid for and it should just be a few days before they are delivered. We will give Jenny a set number and any member wishing to purchase one should see Jenny. The price will be £5.00 per patch and this is just a few pence over the price we paid.

Our colleague Les remains in hospital, unfortunately late on Sunday night he suffered another stroke leaving no movement at all on his left side. His speech has worsened and his swallowing reflex is largely absent. He was comforted to hear of all the members asking after him and his resolve to get as full a recovery as possible is resolute. We are all behind him!

Membership renewals continue to come in and are mostly being processed on a return of post basis. You can also renew by giving the money to Jenny. First-time joiners should hang fire as places will become available and will be allocated soon.

New members!

If you are a new member of the club and you want to make use of the club boathouse, boats or engines please follow the undernoted guidelines, Ask our loch keeper Jenny for a boathouse key. Jenny will then show you how to unlock the boats get a lifejacket oars and anchor if needed. Boats must be booked by phone text or email 07980350031 or  you cannot just turn up and take a boat! 

If you would like to take out our petrol engine you need to contact me on 07980350031 a few days in advance of when you require it and the engine will be ready for the time you booked it.  The same procedure applies to hire (at no cost) our electric engines you should also note we do not stock petrol or keep batteries you need to bring your own!  Following these procedures ensures that no double booking takes place.

Sunday, 10 February 2019

AGM 2019!

Photo 01 - crap day yesterday blowing a gale!
AGM 2019!

We now have a date for our annual AGM for 2019. The annual meeting will be held on Saturday the 23d of February commencing 10.30am at the Tibbie Shiels Inn (to be confirmed). All members are welcome and it's a chance for you to have your say and if you wish to get involved in the running of the club. The club committee takes care of business throughout the year but is guided by decisions taken at the AGM. A public agenda will be published next week.

Photo 02 - Bullfinches on my cherry tree today aye it needs pruning!
Good wishes!

One of our longstanding members and dutiful servant of the club Les Henderson suffered a stroke this week. As far as strokes go it was a mild one and already he has regained some movement on his left side. He is unable to swallow so until this is rectified he will remain an inpatient. This is a very serious condition and we are hoping for a full recovery. I visited midweek and passed on the good wishes of club members for a full and speedy recovery.

There is no doubt we will miss Les for the duration of his recovery for he is an all-rounder able to turn his hand to most things. Just looking around the boathouse there is evidence of his good work on every plane. What was most heartening today was the 3 phone calls received from members pledging to take him out on the boat to enjoy a cast and Elliot offered an automatic fly reel to allow one-handed fishing! This is exactly what being in a club means fellowship to your brother or sister angler. I don't know what the future holds but I do know Les will appreciate the kindness shown!  From all of us at the club – get well soon mate!

No charge!

There seems to have been some confusion amongst newer members regarding the hiring or our boats, petrol engine or electric engines. You cannot just arrive and take these items you must pre-book at all times. Ideally, we would like a few days notice. The procedures in all cases is that you must phone or text 07980350031 and state your intentions.

If you are booking a boat you simply enter the boathouse and take your oars, life jackets (if needed) and anchor (if needed) and the key to unlock your boat. For an engine, Jenny will have to take your engine out of the safe so it is important you arrive at the time you have given. Please note you will have to bring your own petrol (not 2 stroke mix) and batteries for the electric engines. Best of all however there is no charge!