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!

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