Sunday, 30 June 2013

The right size of flyline!

Photo 01 - the boathouse moose at lunch!
The right size!

Yes it’s the oft asked question what size of line should I use for my fly rod? Invariably most manufactures indicate on the rod the size of line they recommend for the rod in question. But is it the end of the story, most definitely not! The lighter your terminal tackle the easier it is not to spook the fish by a heavy main line lashing on to the surface. There is of course much more to it than the above taking in leader length, venue and individual technique.

In the past I have in cases opf heavy wind switched to a line size heavier in order to punch a line out further against the oncoming headwind. It was only after reading an article in the angling press that it became clear I was in fact doing the opposite of what I should have done – dropping a line size! How so I hear you say. Well in simplistic terms the lighter line has less surface area to be buffeted by the oncoming wind and less resistance equals more distance.

Just to complicate matters there are also instances where switching to a heavier line may produce better results. Take the Megget that runs into the loch, upstream the stream is narrow but as many of the elder statesmen of the club can confirm contains some very good trout indeed, numerous 3lbs plus fish having been caught over the years. Fly fishing on such small burns requires only a short length of fly line to be aerialised. It follows that the lighter the line the due to the small amount aerialised will not load the rod properly due to the low weight whereas a heavier line will allow the rod to be loaded with a much shorter length of line in the air making casting considerably easier.

The above of course is an oversimplification, the tightness of the loops/speed of the line delivery made by the outfit are contributing factors and there are many others. The problem came to my attention when I took my old 1955 Carter of London bamboo rod out and realised I had left my WF7 intermediate at home but thankfully was able to borrow a reel loaded with a WF6. I had a few misgivings but was surprised to note that my casts went further, landed lighter and in wind the distance seemed to be maintained! What I am saying is that the line sizes written on your rod are approximations and it is generally accepted that a drop or increase of up to two line sizes may in certain circumstances be to your considerable benefit!

So if you can borrow a different sized line from a mate and see how your rod performs you may find that a lighter or heavier line may suit you better. So the moral of the story is - only use the line recommendations as a guide, do a little experimentation and see what works best for you as with most things angling related a little thought can bring huge reward! There is a shed load of information on line sizes out on the net, do a Google search and see what you can find!

Ps the line that was damaged has now been replaced by an Airflo intermediate WF6, I dropped a line size and it’s a very nice performer casting much better than the old 7, no brand snobbery here! The right size of line for your rod is the one that works for you!

Very much alive!

Looking at the various catch reports and letters left it is clear to see that the lochs have finally come to life. Shoals of minnow and pinheads are now regularly seen and a small jack Pike caught regurgitated a few 3 spined Stickleback. The food for all the predators in the loch is in full bloom providing sustenance for those with a more voracious appetite. Fly life however remains disappointing with very little showing to date apart from the anglers curse, the dreaded caenis or Midge! Of course there is plenty time for rising but the last few years have not been witness to prolific hatches seen in past times. Nevertheless the loch is very much alive!


Photo 02 - She's back Arabella at the foot of St Mary's!
From our recommended dealers

Some top picks from one of our recommended dealers Fishers Direct in Penicuick. Firstly a nice entry level fly fishing starter kit also suitable for those who are on a budget priced to grab your attention this will get you started into our great sport at a great price!

Again for those with a slant towards coarse fishing this kit is ideal to get you started. Robust tackle that will handle sizeable fish with ease giving you the tackle to get among the big girls & boys!

These most useful waders sported by some of our members who have nothing but praise for them. Waterproof yet you can walk miles in them during a heat wave, try that with the old rubber ones!

Our recommended dealer’s offering quality, peace of mind and a wealth of knowledge!

Photo 03 - Devils paint brush, striking colour, but a bit of a thug!
The wider world in my view!

The spending review!

I’m sure if you heard the same old claptrap emanating from minister without a clue “pie tax” specialist Geoffrey Osborne on Wednesday you will still be grimacing imagining the hard times ahead. Families all over are currently working out what aspects of their lifestyle will have to be curtailed in order to avoid the shame of turning up at a food bank for alms! The status quo will be maintained at all costs! The working classes will be reoriented into the mindset that we should be grateful for a job irrespective of pay and conditions! The weak and disabled will be further trodden into the dirt reinforcing the fact that in the eyes of the Con-Dems they are a burden on a society that wants to (Gideon’s words) work hard and get on!

The rich however will see the fruits of their exploitation of the poor grow without wavering; the five course dinners will be maintained at all costs. Conspiracy theorists say that the whole recession business was socially engineered to restore and reinforce the class divisions and return the working classes to the gutter where we apparently belong! A few years ago I would have dismissed such theories as paranoid nonsense, but in light of recent government revelations about spying etc I’m really not sure!


Looking for a place to park in Galashiels on Friday I noticed a few empty spaces in one of the pay and display car parks and ventured in to park. On heading towards the automatic ticket dispenser a woman accosted me and asked if I could direct her to another dispenser as she wanted to avoid a fine. I pointed her in the direction of one a couple of hundred yards away. Sure enough when I got to the machine it was not accepting money and I also headed off to the next nearest one and met the woman I had directed to the alternative machine heading back looking a deal irate as she spurted that the other machine also was not accepting money!

A few of us had gathered round the machine when a right thinking road sweeper fellow came along obviously sensing that all was not well and gleefully informed us that on Friday and Saturday all pay for parking places were free! What a shambles, people running around desperately trying to pay for parking to avoid being issued with a ticket and it’s free! It obviously never occurred to the bunglers that set up the scheme to inform people that free parking was available! Yes a notice on headed paper stuck on each machine was all that it would have taken to inform the bemused public but obviously this was beyond them. A supposed treat for shoppers to celebrate Hayward’s Circus turned into a fiasco delivering absolute chaos! An excess of alcohol in a beer making establishment springs to mind!

Huge pay rise!

The queen is apparently to get a 5% rise in the money we give to her! In these times of extreme repression of the working classes doing the right thing would have been to refuse it and take 1% as our hardworking public servants have to do! Yet another example of us all being in this together! NOT!!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

A new record fish for the loch!

 Photo01 - John's 17lbs 5oz post spawning Pike!

A new record fish for the loch!

I do enjoy a decent book now and then I often search Google for the freebies they publish online. Often I veer towards local history and when you couple that with fishing from a golden age where Muppetry was in its infancy and charging anglers for advice was not even thought of you end up with a cracker of a book! Well I found such a book last week and it was an absolutely enthralling read, some passages appear to be missing but the treatise covers fully our area, you can access it by following the link at the end of this article. The fish in question is referred to as a “Bull Trout” which I assume is an old term for any very large Trout/Ferox. Bull Trout exist in the USA and Canada and are in fact of the Salvelinus genus the same family as Arctic Charr.

Here is the passage I paid most attention to –

Anglers guide to the rivers and lochs of Scotland by Egbert Blakey 1854


This loch is about three miles in length, and, in

some places, nearly a mile in breadth. The upper

loch which joins it is called the Loch of the Lowes.

It is about a mile in length, and is joined to St.

Mary's by a narrow stream of a few feet in width.

Both waters are well stocked with good-sized trout.

Bull trout have occasionally been caught of great





weight. One in particular was killed by an English

gentleman, in 1846, which weighed nineteen pounds

six ounces. There are also pike, eels, and perch, in

considerable quantities.


The Ileggat, the main feeder of the loch, is a most

fruitful stream for trout. It was in this water that

Hogg, in some of his writings, tells us, that he once

took out of it nearly a cart load of fine trout. "When it

has been long dry weather, this stream becomes ex-

ceedingly small, and will scarcely bear fly fishing ;

but to take it after a few hours' rain, or when it has

subsided into what is called half floods then is the

time to fill a basket. The fish are generally of very

fair size for such a water. Some of two pounds

weight have occasionally been taken, even in the

higher sections of the stream.


The Chapelthorpe and Corse-cleugh streams, that

enter the Lowes Loch, are likewise full of trout.

To be successful in these small but prolific waters,

attention must be paid to their state as to fulness,

for, when very small in volume, it is of little use

the angler troubling himself with them, except it

be for the wildness and grandeur of the scenery in

their respective runs

I have seen almost all kinds of flies used in this

district, and with a fair share of success ; but I have

generally found that the Yarrow requires good-sized

winged flies, and a lightish colour is commonly pre-

ferred to any other. There is here, however, no

great nicety required ; such is my own impression,

at least, from what I have myself seen and heard.






The angler should not visit St. Mary's without

calling at the cottage of Mrs. Eichardson, known

under the cognomen of Tiby Shiels, situated at the

junction of the two lochs. Good accommodations

can be had ; and though the house is small, and its

embellishments of rather primitive cast, yet he must

not be peevish or fretful, seeing that she can furnish

him with a long list of Dukes, and Earls, and Lords,

and Earonets, and Savans, who, in their piscatory

excursions, have from time to time made themselves

happy and cozy under her humble roof.

So there we have it a possible Brown Trout of nineteen pounds six ounces and if it was a Brownie it is clearly the best Brown Trout ever caught on the lochs at least that we know of, a new record for the Trout in our lochs!! He mentions a good stock of Bull Trout which the loch still houses in earlier times probably feeding on the Arctic Charr in the lochs but by the 1850s the Charr had already been rendered extinct for over a hundred years! The fish may have been a Brown Trout we will never know with any certainty. It is however sufficient that this fish is recorded in the club annals for the perusal of those who come later!

The author talks of the Illegat as being the main spawning burn for the loch, I would assume that this is a typo error and he meant the Megget. Similarly he mentions the Corse Cleuch burn which may be a variant name of the time for what we now call Cross Cleuch. The Chapelhope is also referred to as Chapelthorpe and I will enquire of the local’s opinion to try and establish if these were variant names or as I suspect mistakes. There is a huge number of spelling/typo mistakes in the treatise that leads me to think it is probably taken from a draft, it is however relatively easy to decipher the mistakes.

 This is a book to which anglers can still relate to in the present day e.g. he refers to the Douglas burn at the top of Yarrow water as being a haven for poachers due to the prolific numbers of Salmon and Sea Trout entering it to spawn. The poacher’s part does not apply these days but it is indeed a heavily used spawning burn and some of the elder statesmen of the club swear that many of our Trout leave the loch and head up this burn for the spawning ritual.

Yes here we have a man who espouses the real values expected to be found in an angler, cognisant of all the wonders that surround him, self effacing, having respect for the wily Trout that he seeks and a flag carrier for the sport of angling and the character required to call onself a brother of the angle! Click the link to read about the rivers and lochs of Scotland it is a fascinating read! Enjoy!

Nb the author does not speak highly of the river Gala as in this area heavily populated by textile mills abstraction was rife and effluent from the various processes employed were dumped direct into the river. Nowadays however it is much improved and if one is selective numerous yellow bellied Trout may be caught if conditions are right.

Photo 02 - great tits have again occupied prize residence at the boathouse.
Twenty’s on the horizon

As reported last week the fish resident in the lochs have turned to all out feeding with very good numbers caught and a few cracking specimens among them. Well the story continues with further very good catches in numbers and individual weights. Five bags were reported in which the anglers captured up to eight fish for an overnight and day session with three anglers catching four in a day session. Treasurer John Wright bagged a super 17lbs 5oz specimen (photo 01) and a local angler from Kelso reported five Pike including a low twenty! To all those right thinking and respectful anglers who took the trouble to fill out a return we extend our thanks to you! This is where I miss the comments section as the Muppets are silenced yet again, but at least that time expended answering the many thoughtful and relevant comments coupled with a few half witted ones is now mine to enjoy as I see fit! As I said before any Muppet comments received will be published and the perpetrator exposed the following week!

Tight lines!

Casting Cloots!

The caption under the Hawthorn photo last week had a few of you puzzled as to what exactly was meant. Yes two readers have asked that we clarify the phrase. The original phrase goes as follows – “Neer cast a cloot till May is oot”.It comes from mediaeval times and means don’t get rid (cast) of you warm winter clothing (cloot) until the May (Hawthorn blossom) is out. I’ve known this phrase since I was a lad and it is generally a sound bit of advice as we have found out lately. So always keep your thermals and hats on until the hawthorn blossom appears!

Photo 03 - Tory puppet Nick Clegg with a promise!
The wider world in my view!

Whilst the light lasts....

I must admit to a wry smile when I listened to a political dissection of the traitorous puppets – the Lib-Dems. Indeed Puppet Clegg was heard rallying his troops impressing upon them that the party of puppets are now electable and a party of government! Did you ever hear of such nonsense! In Scotland  using figures from Lord Ashcroft --the puppets have lost 66% of voters who voted for them in the 2010 election with a further 18% being undecided as to whether they would support the puppets! In England the figure is less than Scotland at 52% which will see the prospects nof the puppets scattered to the four winds forever!

The Scots have a proud tradition of not forgetting disservices in the past and Puppet Clegg I am afraid committed political hari-kari when just after the 2010 election he about turned on what was a key election promise on tuition fees. The Scottish public have not found it possible to forgive the Puppet for this transgression middle England will treat them less harshly! But if only it were so simple, the puppets have colluded, conspired and lied in order to seize their one and only chance of power! Showing their true colours to be nearer blue than red they betrayed the honest people who voted for them caring not for their views rather hatching conservative policy making them out to be the curtailers of far right Tory policy! It was a gamble but one which failed spectacularly. Puppet Clegg made the fatal mistake of ignoring the views of their grassroots and come election time will pay a very heavy price!

It is estimated that two thirds of the current puppet MPs will pay the ultimate price for Puppet Cleggs crazed attempt at wielding power. I have no sympathy for them whatsoever, now soon to be relegated to political oblivion where they belong the puppets betrayal of the electorate is the most serious offence in political domain. Puppet Clegg would do well to reflect on the following saying which typifies the stance of the electorate –“Whilst the light lasts we will remember and in the darkness we will not forget”! The puppets card has been indelibly marked!

Out of intensive care!

 Yes the words of minister without a clue Geoffrey Osborne (according to Obama) that our economy is out of intensive care yet ask any working class person and they will tell you the economy has been left in total neglect in a porters broom cupboard! These jokers take a bit of beating, the heartbeat of our economy grows fainter by the day after prediction after prediction falls flat and the goalposts are moved accordingly. There is much money circulating in the upper echelons of society but down here things are very tight indeed not that the posh boys would have any clue!

The national debt rises unabated in spite of Gideon’s best efforts but let’s not be too harsh he has only had 3 years to bring us to a point worse that which we experienced in 2010! I don’t know how much longer the country can withstand this level of bungling with the carnival of Europe beckoning the situation is certain to only get worse! Ruled by millionaire out of touch posh boys the Victorian values of maister and worker loom ever closer. I don’t know what kind of a society will ensue from this shambles but you can bet the words fairness and equity will be conspicuous by their absence!

The royal baby!

Universally everyone in the country is pleased when a child is born without complication and the royal baby will be no different! Shame then on the young aristocrats who have chosen to give birth to their child in a private establishment at a cost of £5,000/day the payment of such which will ultimately fall to us! Are the facilities in the NHS the establishment open to the working classes insufficient? Do these private clinics offer a better level of service? Is the level of health care dependent on your bank balance? The answer to all these questions is in the affirmative, the two tier health care system is still with us! The rich make their choices whilst we take what we can get! Yet another example demonstrative of the fact these is very little that money cannot buy! The people’s royals? Never in a hundred years!

 Shame on the pair of them!

Sunday, 16 June 2013

All comes to he who waits!

Photo 01 - Cast a cloot, cos the may is oot!
All comes to he who waits!

The last few years at the loch have been very unpredictable in that say with Pike you could not say with a degree of certainty that after spawning comes the ravenous feeding, and come September the Brown Trout will be packing in feed to optimise their condition for the spawning ritual. No due to circumstances beyond our control things have been very unpredictable! Of course we have had the usual Muppet brigade bemoaning the fact that things are not as they were in 2003. Well of course they are not, the whole population of fish has been replenished; the external conditions are different as they are every year! What the Muppets do not comprehend is that the lochs are a living environment nothing is ever the same, things are ever changing below the water line that we are not aware of!

Without doubt the atrocious weather has played a significant part in depressing our sport over the last few years, this year everything estimated as being 4 – 6 weeks behind what we would expect in a normal year. Yes with March Browns in June, the angling world is upside down. Creatures in the marine environment are as much subject to adverse conditions as they are in the terrestrial world and because of this behaviour is modified to suit. So it has been with our Pike spawning with we suspect the event only recently completed. All this of course has an effect on our sport as the status quo is no more  with fish not feeding when convention tells us they should and vice versa. Taking yesterday the 15th of June we had heavy winds, intermittent very heavy showers, hailstones and temperatures that could not climb into double figures resolutely sticking below 9 decrees Celsius.  Most definitely not what you would expect for the middle of June!

These continuing upsets in the environment mean that on days we feel we should catch we do not and the art of angling becomes dependant on a waiting game. Anglers must be unceasing in their efforts and try and try again and it looks like today marked the occasion of heavy catches. Yes it was game on today with the first good numbers of Trout and Pike being caught. Eleven Pike were reported from two boats with one larger specimen successful in her bid for freedom but she was a decent specimen. Les at the boathouse landed a fulsome 10.5lbs specimen and although somewhat rotund he suspected she had spawned and recovered well from the spawning event.

Elliot Fraser trolling the loch landed numerous Pike and two cracking Trout of 1.0 and 1.5 lbs with numerous smaller ones which means that at the present time he is in the lead for our heavy Trout cup at the end of the season. I think Les could also be leading the pack for the Heavy Pike cup but will need to check to confirm this. Of course in years gone by the weights of these fish have been surpassed easily but as I said before there is no foolproof guide, each year is different! And so the rewards fell today to the lads who endured. Committed, thinking anglers, all does indeed come to those who wait!
Photo 02 - Colour coding, the finishing touches!

Inter club competition!

Stevie Nimmo and Pete Young fished at Lindean loch on Monday evening representing the club in round 2 of the competition. I predicted last week that the fishing would be dour and so it was! Ruffling through the whole fly box employing different depths and methods drew a blank. It was not for the want of trying these lads like those in the past representing the club gave of their all. Earlston managed to come up with two Trout which won the day for them so congratulations to them. On our lads – you did us proud as those who represented us in the past have done! Many thanks for your efforts Stevie & Pete, on the night it was just not to be and as seasoned anglers we all know that feeling!

Is expensive best?

I am very hard on my fishing tackle probably subjecting it to conditions many manufacturers would never envisage. When casting my intermediate fly line on Saturday I noticed it stopped short of where I expected my line to be, the cause, a severe nick on the line getting hanked on the rings of my bamboo rod! This was likely to have been caused by standing on the line clamping it between my boot and a sharp sliver of slate type stone which is seen in abundance in the area.

Now for me this is not a disaster, the line cost me £10.00 over three years ago and has quite frankly served me very well indeed! On looking for a replacement I briefly considered purchasing one of the so called “better quality” lines which range from £30.00 upwards to any figure you could imagine and your bank balance would tolerate!

I have in the past been seduced by high end sales pitch and parted with significant cash for products which in retrospect turned out to be quite ordinary and most certainly nothing special! To some people however badge displaying is everything! I got to thinking that low end to mid range products from established manufacturers are generally not rubbish and do adequately the job they are made to do, a kind of “it does exactly what it says on the tin “line of products! Yes the reputation of the manufacturer would soon suffer if they marketed sub standard products. So if you purchase a quick sinking line for a tenner you would rightly expect it to cast reasonably well and sink fairly quickly and have a reasonable degree of durability. I have found this to be the case, it is very easy to enter your tackle shop and be mesmerised by the range of products on offer all with claims that make each product slightly different and compared to others supposedly slightly better!

In this computer age it is relatively easy to do some quick research by looking at reviews on forums, buying sites and reviewing blogs. The work should be carried out before visiting the shop so you have in your mind exactly what it is that will serve your purpose! There are many tackle tarts out there who will swear that the top end price range tackle is best and in some cases it may be but in others it is not and in most cases the difference is so minimal that you end up paying a fortune for a difference you may not even notice!

 A friend of mine purchased a set of three high end Fox fixed spool reels paying over £160.00 for each one. Indeed they are good looking, will cast a line and are very smooth. However reels from the budget Shakespeare range also do all the above! There is such a thing as over engineering, a point is soon reached when adding extra ball races gives no discernible benefit but gives increased weight and the impression of quality engineering! Often high end tackle says more about the owner than it does about improved angling performance!

This of course is bordering on the ridiculous but many anglers are taken in by the sales blurb and shell out the readies! I will be honest it did not take me long to decide that the new line that I will purchase will be a £10 - £15.00 model which will do all I ask of it and if it gets trapped underfoot will not cause me to break down and cry! Let’s face it if you trap a line between a sharp rock and the base of your boot its goosed whether you paid a tenner or a ton! The choice is yours to be either a pragmatist or a tackle tart. Which one are you?

Photo 03 - Vigorous growth on our Holly trees!
Tree movement!

Due to our workday on the 8th being cancelled we have missed the window for planting our trees. They were resident in the boathouse but were deprived of natural sunlight. I don’t know much about trees but clearly this was not the best temporary home for our young trees. Consequently they have been transported to a place of safety where they will be subject to the environment and receive the additional water they require in order for them to flourish. They will be returned to the area for planting around October.

The wider world in my view!

What I believe!

Ever since I started work many years ago fairness and equity were always my guiding principles and at the time I was drawn to the mantra of the then Labour party which was as follows - To secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service.

Clause 4 as it was called coupled with nationalisation of key industries. Here was a system that tried to rid the working classes of the yoke of unending poverty and redistribute the wealth of the privileged few. An ethos that promised fairness and equity the direct nemesis of the abhorrent brand of capitalism we now endure! Labour officially dropped clause 4 in 1994 although it was dead long before this! The reason for its demise was simply greed! Look at the wording of the clause; it is comprised of noble values and aspirations which every right thinking person would rubber stamp as being an equitable way of living, only those consumed by their own selfish greed would find fault in such a worthy statement!

Where it all went wrong was in the years of “butcher Thatcher” where we were told society did not exist and rampant greed was encouraged above all else. It rapidly became acceptable to instead of helping up one who had fallen to use the fallen one as a stepping stone to further your own selfish goals and with this came the fall of society! Our current values are nothing short of deplorable as we all seek to further our own aims! Children brought up with these values ensure the unfairness will continue unabated and I am as guilty as any other! The current mode of living however cannot continue with some receiving yearly bonuses amounting to much more than a working class man would earn in a lifetime, footballers being paid £300,000/week when if they were in the Labour market would likely be largely unemployable possibly managing to make it to Tesco as a flunky, invariably ending up being sacked for gross stupidity or ineptitude!

Do we care about those who have not, patently we do not! As a society we are encouraged to further our own aims to become free spirited capitalists and ignore the plight of those who have not! The Labour party will never revert to the old values as it became clear middle England found clause 4 to be distasteful mesmerised by “butcher Thatcher” and her fable of a land of milk and honey!  of these money grabbers Labour would never again be electable. Blair brought about re election with his modernisation programme but it was a radical move towards the right covered by the umbrella of modernisation! The real Labour party was no more!

I am not sure if we can ever again move towards a more equal society, it looks as though the old Victorian two tier system of the rich and the poor is here to stay. With the support the posh boys old school network if you went to Eton or suchlike you will be guaranteed a very good job indeed even if you did graduate as a “dunderheid”! Changing policy on paper is easy but in practice it is not and when you marry this to the idea of wealth at any cost our society is surely doomed! The world has enough for all our need but not our greed!

Do the Con – Dems affect anglers?

I pose the question as having a look at our visitor numbers it is quite clear the numbers of visiting anglers has dropped significantly in the last few years! On speaking with some of the visitors we do get, it is clear that the cost of travel has had a significant effect on their excursions. The price of fuel has rocketed affecting all those who drive but more, it affects us universally because when fuel prices rise almost everything else will rise to reflect the increased cost.

Our spending power has decreased steadily with the inept Con-Dems blundering their way through a parliamentary term. Many anglers economise on other things to try and allow more cash to be used on our great sport. There is however a limit to what can be saved by such measures. The bottom line is that we are being squeezed like never before by a group of out of touch posh boys and power hungry incompetents none of who wants to give up power as this is probably their only chance to savour that power. We suffer doubly as we are distant from any of the nearby towns meaning significant money must be spent on travel costs. This unfortunately also has a detrimental effect on businesses in the area.

We regularly play host to several disabled and disadvantaged anglers and although we do not expect to see these people due to the Con – Dem cuts and crushing benefit cuts, we would like very much if they would come, we will do our utmost to accommodate you! So if you are in one of these groups or leaders of such a group get in touch, you will be surprised at what we can do!

Have a look at our recommended tackle dealers, they have some enticing offers that make things a little easier. Lidl (fishing stuff tomorrow!) and Aldi offer fishing tackle a couple of times a year and their goods are well worth a look if you have a discerning eye, some of their products are very good indeed! Similarly mega stores such as Tesco, Argos and others offer selected tackle from major manufacturers online at unbeatable prices. We would always recommend you visit our recommended dealers as they survive only through our patronage. The dire economic situation that we currently endure means that for the present you have to think outside the box! Yes the Con - Dems have had a huge impact on our sport, unfortunately a hugely detrimental one!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

In old Izaaks footsteps!

Photo 01 - A still view!
In old Izaaks footsteps!

Yesterday Stevie Nimmo Pete Young and I met up for a day at the Trout. It was a very bright day with light winds probably not the ideal conditions for Trout fishing but nevertheless this was the day that was chosen and fish we would! Most certainly it was a most pleasant change from the cold dreich days we have endured for so long. I always look forward to fishing with these lads as they are down to earth no frills `old school anglers in the mould of old Izaak!

Nature was all around us as queen Bumble Bees were frantically foraging seeking nectar to give them the energy to create the comb in which they would lay their eggs to bring on the next generation of Bumblers. Plovers were taking some of the varied fly life above the water surface as were swallows, swifts and ace fly catchers the highly entertaining Pied Wagtails. Wise old Ewes tending their errant ebullient offspring, sometimes in silence, in others not. Occasionally the pleasing birdsong would be interrupted by calling frogs and the ear splitting call of the ubiquitous Oystercatcher and gulls. Thus the scene was set for a day’s angling free of monetary influences instead concentrating on what it takes to be a real angler!

Between the three of us we would be covering surface, sub surface and deep areas of water in the spirit of the true old values of angling. There were no secrets here, openness was the order of the day as we each strived to aid each other with no thought to reward the goal being that another brother angler would benefit from the discourse. Salient points were passed on freely rising fish noted and any assistance possible to a fellow brother angler was freely given!

As it turned out we all took fish the numbers however were not important rather the satisfaction that on that occasion our guile proved to be more than a match for a most formidable adversary. Yes there was a degree of reverence and respect not afforded to “plastic” Trout that accompanied each catch as if to say thanks for being such a skilled opponent putting up such a hard fight! Some battles we win others they do it’s what the word angling is all about! Lunchtime as well as being for the replenishment of the body is for gentle congratulation to your fellow angler and encouragement for ones who have not done as well along with much pleasant banter a few jokes and the odd laddish comment!

This was a real days angling, three anglers joined in the spirit of old Izaak for the day, cognisant of all that surrounds us, in awe of the worthy opponents that confront us, grateful for the weather that envelopes us and giving thanks for the day we embarked on our careers as anglers! Indeed it is a hobby but it is also so very much more than that! To Stevie and Pete many thanks for your company in the brotherhood of angling it was like fishing with so many of our members, an absolute pleasure! A day in the footsteps of old Izaak!

NB Today’s session brought the number of Trout landed by my 1955 Carter of London rod up to 27 we will see how many the rest of the season brings!

Visitor ettiquette!

It looks as though the summer has finally arrived bringing with it increasing numbers of visitors and in view of this here are some guidelines for visiting anglers – We don’t mind if you have a few drinks but if you are completely inebriated you do not fish! If you have a fire make sure it is a small one using your own wood or fallen wood not fence posts or freshly cut down trees! You should also site your fire in an area where scorch marks will not be left and make sure it is fully extinguished before you leave! You must have appropriate tackle for the type of fishing you intend doing, our loch keeper will advise you as to the suitability of your tackle! Usage of drugs, guns and aggressive behaviour will be immediately referred to the police! You must remove all litter bagging it up and leaving it lying does not constitute removal!

When you come to our lochs you are our guests, accordingly you abide by our rules or you leave, please familiarise yourself with our rules pleading ignorance will not moderate any transgressions! In all cases the decision of our loch keeper is final! We welcome thinking respectful anglers who comprise the majority of our visiting anglers and you will find us most accommodating, if however you are intent on causing trouble please go elsewhere! The lochs and surrounding areas are places of peaceful and beautiful tranquillity we aim to keep it that way!

Photo 02 - Carter of London 27 and counting!
The deed is done!

A few weeks back we noted a male Pike when caught was dripping milt indicating his readiness to cover eggs deposited by the females. Well a couple of females caught this week were reported as having shed their eggs signified by flaccid abdomens. This of course is indicative only that these two Pike have spawned but we could probably assume that in the most part the Pike have spawned for the year and their thoughts turn yet again to all out feeding to produce the maximum amount of milt and eggs for the following year’s event. It’s very late and there will be an upset in the ecology of the loch but whether it is beneficial or otherwise we will just have to wait and see!

Inter club competition!

Stevie Nimmo and Pete Young will again be representing the club at Lindean on Monday evening this time fishing against Earlston AA in the second round of the competition. The result is secondary, of prime importance is the fellowship in angling and that all concerned enjoy the evenings fishing. Incidentally I fished there on Thursday and it was tough going, my mate Maurice had one on the dry fly and lost a further three whilst I had one on the dry fly and promptly lost it! For the majority of the day we fished in flat calm conditions with sinking, floating and intermediate lines and a vast array of flys were deployed to largely no effect! The very best of fortune on Monday lads, based on Thursdays outing you may well need it!

Work day!

The work day yesterday had to be cancelled due to one of our Arran boats reportedly taking in large amounts of water. Since both the big boats would be required there was no option but to cancel the day. When Stevie arrived we managed to tip her onto her side and it quickly became apparent what the problem was, the screw in bung in the drain orifice had been knocked out allowing large amounts of water to gush in uncontrolled!  A five minute operation had the problem sorted and she was ready for action. I had thought that the best part of a day would be required to fix the leak as that invariably had been the duration in the past so it was a pleasant surprise to have the problem resolved in such a short time! Fishing here I come!

Photo 03 - Esox lucius back in action!
Our restrictions on fishing guides!

This was the question posed by a visitor this week, why have we restricted the operation of these people on the lochs. Well in our view these people are an irrelevance, if anyone wants advice on fishing the lochs we will school them! Our mode of operation is that of the old school where advice on fishing will be given free of charge which is how an angler should react when asked for advice. We will not demean the standing of angling by asking for above that of the permit price. We put in a huge amount of work on the lochs to make things better and to have a fishing guide operating commercially come on to our waters and for the princely sum of eight pounds charge their “client” £150.00 or thereabouts is quite simply not on!

Fishing guides desirous of operating commercially on our lochs should apply in advance in order that we can assess the character and qualification status of all such guides who would come on to our water and if they are of good character we will allow them on to the loch for a suitable fee. In the case above we would expect that fee to be around £70 - £80/day. It would then be up to the fishing guide to decide whether or not they wished to fish! Our first priority is to make things the best they can be for our members, fishing guides are an unnecessary inconvenience and do not even make it on to the list of important items for our attention! I hope that answers your question.

The wider world in my view!

A chance to buy our own shares!

Yes minister without a clue posh boy Gideon Osborn is expected to announce soon that we will have the opportunity to buy shares in the bank we already own the Royal Bank of Scotland! This institution corrupted by bumptious posh boys completely out of control had to be rescued by us the taxpayers now this clown wants to sell it back to us! It’s bizarre but much of middle England will fall for it and seek to boost their reserves by buying into the hair brained scheme! It’s the oldest trick in the book from a one trick pony, the great giveaway prior to the 2015 general election but it’s simply paying twice for what we already own!

Behind the scenes the carve up begins with the profitable sectors of the bank being financially polished prior to privatisation whilst the unprofitable parts remain in public ownership! It’s low level politics from a government who are bungling specialists devoid of any innovative ideas desperate to try and hold on to power to continue their blundering at our expense. On a matter of principle I will not purchase shares in this pantomime like those squeezed by the bedroom tax, like those who are sick and disabled, like those who make only the minimum wage, like those who have lost good jobs only to be classed as employed doing 18 hours/week in Tesco. Yes the offer will be greedily snapped up by those who have, for those who do not there are always food banks and the like!

 Shame on these millionaire fools!

Friend or foe?

A very interesting snippet from that excellent BBC programme Landward. Ravens are apparently making a comeback after years of human persecution reducing their numbers to dangerously low levels! The RSPB are delighted as you would expect sheep farmers however are less so! The depiction of a ewe and lamb with eyes picked out by Ravens was distressing to see. There is a conflict of interest here and one it appears will not be resolved easily! The Raven does what it does to survive in itself not a problem, but when it impinges financially on those who farm sheep therein lies the problem!

Selective culling of the Ravens might help but undoubtedly licences would only be given for limited numbers to be shot thus not appeasing the stock farmer. Allowing too many to be shot will cause uproar in the bird world and meantime the Raven will do what it has done since their timeline began, survive! Just another of the problems encountered by our species as we take over all aspects of the world! There are many others such as Foxes and Pheasants, Otters and farmed fish Seals and Salmon to name but a few. Our journey on this earth is fraught with difficulty and what becomes clear is that it will continue to be so!

Murder in a mirror!

Stopping for lunch in a lay by midweek I tuned into Radio 4 to get the latest on the news front, they started to bang on about yet more blunders by the Con-Dems and my attention drifted. My eyes were drawn to the passenger side rear view mirror where a spider resides with my blessing making his web over the glass catching much prey. A sedge fly was caught in the sticky web and a large one at that, the vibrations immediately brought the spider out and he sized up the task in hand.

Rather than go straight for the kill the spider circled his prey binding each leg into the web rendering the sedge fly completely immobilised. Knowing that the risk of danger from the sedge fly had been neutralised he sank his jaw into the abdomen injecting the juices that would bring about the end the life of the fly. In about two minutes the fly was completely motionless and the spider neatly trussed up what I would imagine to be several hearty meals and dragged it behind the mirror glass into his larder! Yes murder on a mirror on a small scale, if spiders ever get to our size be very afraid!