Sunday, 10 November 2013

Some really good blokes!

Photo 01 - Elliot, Frank & Stevie having a well deserved breather!
Some really good blokes!

Yes today was our designated tree planting day and as usual the turnout was limited to the usual suspects. It was however of no consequence as four people the ideal number for a production line planting session. It worked as follows one placing the stake, one making the opening to accommodate the tree, one planting and firming and one tubing and zip locking. Using this method we put in over two hundred trees in a day characterised by jovial banter and politicking that would shame Lord Snooty et al!

Unlike some who sneer and moan about difficult days these lads were up for the challenge. Optimisation of our fishery will take time; we cannot just order a bunch of fish and throw them in to produce immediate (although plastic) results! We have to create the conditions for optimisation of the lochs habitat to ensure maximum spawning and recruitment from the available fertilised eggs. It is unlikely that any of the four working today will themselves see any significant improvement in fishing fortunes but for those who come later improvement is much more likely!

Working hard for a benefit that will not benefit them! It’s a laudable position worthy of admiration, it says they are committed to the lochs as a wild fishery in the long term, it says that they do not mind carrying out work for the unknown members of the future, it says they are loyal club members cognisant of what it means to be a member of a club. Elliot Fraser, Frank Gillespie and Stevie Nimmo, all gave up their day off to assist the club and at significant personal cost!

Yes Elliot Fraser doing a 140 mile round trip with me having the shortest journey of 48 miles! It shows a terrific spirit when these lads give up their day off and then pay out significant money to do so and help the club out! It also turned out to be an education for in addition to trees and ecology all three of the lads are connoisseurs of whisky! Consensus however was but a distant concept as each fiercely defended their preferred brands, bandying words such as smoky flavours, peaty and rough as a badgers bum! Alas I ended up none the wiser as whisky is a far distant memory for me preferring dark rum or brandy!

Frank is actually a member of a whisky tasting group which meets regularly to savour and review the many brands on the market and they tend to be ruthless in their reviewing sessions! Frank went on to tell us of “the angels share” which is the evaporated spirit that is lost from the barrels during maturation up to 3% wt/vol! I could go on and on but suffice to say we all ended up a little wiser on the subject of whisky! I must ask Frank if he would write an article on whisky! As usual our friends at the Glen Cafe took care of our need for food at lunchtime supplying flat sausage rolls and cheeseburgers. Thanks Lisa et al!

There are no two ways about it, members like the lads above are what makes for a successful club, as Elliot said yesterday “I can’t understand why club members would not flock together to try and improve the fishery”! This was the opinion of all present. I keep an eye out on a few clubs and it is the same old story with each of them, some newly formed clubs initially attract good responses but then after a few years it descends into all too common apathy! Nevertheless this was a cracking day with much accomplished and it was a pleasure to be in the company of such real non “plastic” anglers, actually really good blokes, rather than some of the diddys and half wits we have and frequently  do encounter!  We covered subjects as diverse as whisky, politics, Neds, rural life, fishing (of course) and some other topics probably best not mentioned here! It was indeed a good day’s work! Elliot, Frank and Stevie many thanks for all you did today just three more lads we are proud to count among our number, I hope you would agree it was a most productive day in so many respects!

Photo 02 - St Mary's is down there somewhere!
Our AGM!

Taking place on Wednesday evening commencing at 7pm at the Tibbie Shiels on the banks of the loch we have some very serious matters to debate including the problem with foreign anglers and another similar event as yet undisclosed. There has also been received a motion that members season permits be increased by £5.00 and that boats could be given to members free of charge. The club will also again have to review our loch keeper mode of operation as changes have taken place. A system of ID card identification has also been proposed. New rules on night fishing and turning up unannounced and commencing to fish are proposed. There is a lot of meat on these subjects and we will need to progress quickly to give the items due consideration.

Our autumn day on Tweed!

It is approaching and Chris you need to get in touch to claim your prize! A few weeks back the beat experienced its best ever weekly catch with an astounding 112 fish caught. Numerous fish around the 20lbs mark have been landed and the back end compared to the early season has been very good indeed! So Chris give me a shout!

Twenty plus Pike!

Got a phone call yesterday from Drew one of our members telling me of a chap who had visited the loch and bagged a twenty plus Pike. It has been reported complete with photo in Pike & Predators magazine and John Simmonds is the captor. I haven’t seen the article but I would say to John very well done mate! It says much about you to come to a wild fishery the size of St Mary’s and persevere rather than capitulating and sinking to the depths of an engineered “plastic” Pike fishery! Yet another real angler, well done mate!

The ultimate sacrifice!

Today will see many services in which those who gave their lives are honoured by two minutes of silence! Tomorrow will see the actual anniversary of the day when at eleven o clock on the eleventh day of November the two minute silence will be called. Many will attend public services taking comfort in the presence of others and many more will sit by the radio or TV with their own thoughts of the ending of a hellish conflict! It matters not the way chosen to mark this event, but that the event is respected. Even if you are vehemently anti war you must realise that you are where you are today by the sacrifice of the millions who lost their lives!

Many of the people involved in the conflict have now passed away and memories will fade. It is however of vital importance that we do not forget! The two world wars and the atrocities within them and since show clearly the depths to which humanity is capable of sinking. Remembering these people and those who endured life changing physical and mental suffering with great fortitude serves as a guiding line lest we descend into the horrific depths then endured! So don’t look on tomorrow as a gimmick or an irrelevance it does concern everyone, we are remarkable in the animal kingdom in that we have the will to cause death and destruction on a massive scale! Will we ever learn?

To those who went before! RIP.

Image 01 - Wear it with pride!
The wider world in my view!

Unbelievably, more blundering!

I was hoping the Con-Dems would have a break from the persistent blundering they are known for worldwide! The Commons Public Accounts committee which is a cross party body along with the National Audit Office have condemned the introduction of the universal credit system as a public rip off and a shambles! Chairman of the party committee and highly respected MP Margaret Hodge speaking on behalf of that committee branded the exercise an “unmitigated disaster”!

The policy has not yet even been implemented and has seen £425 million of public money squandered to no effect! The date for full implementation has been scrapped as there is no hope whatsoever the target will be met! Describing the reform as having been launched without a plan should surprise no one it has been the way with all Con-Dem policy! So we are now at a point in time where the plans for their implementation have been described as amateurish and we are nearly £500 million pounds worse off and that’s only one policy! I won’t mention the scrapping of the independent living allowance which was thrown out by the courts this week. I wonder if Lord Snooty would class this fiasco as being on behalf of “hardworking families” and a huge benefit to “our country”!

Misguided people!

I was disappointed to read this week that a group of Scottish tattooists are intent on bringing back the swastika sign as an emblem of peace! Yes it is apparently a sign of peace and its use stems back thousands of years. That however may be, but for at least two current generations the swastika is a sign of oppressive terror! The sign plundered by the Bosch is anathema to most right thinking people and it might be that younger members of society wear the emblem as a sign of peace, it will not be seen as such by the majority of sensible people!

The notion apparently started by a now deceased Canadian artist called “Manwoman” with no doubt laudable intentions; such a move at this time is highly insensitive to say the least! A Dundee tattooist says swastikas may subject the recipient to adverse comments. I would postulate that a good deal more than adverse comments may be directed to anyone wearing such a symbol! For the foreseeable future this symbol will rightly be seen as a sign of extreme fascism attempting to turn it round at this time to be seen as a peace symbol is pure folly and ultimately disrespectful to all touched by the horror of the brutal Bosch! Some proper education needed here methinks!


I had to laugh on reading BBC news anchor Jeremy Paxman’s comments on Lord Snooty and other political leaders this week. He said of Lord Snooty who spoke of the questionable (seems odd to commemorate the start of a war!) upcoming “celebrations “for a first world war centenary that he was a “complete idiot”! Paxman comes and fishes our salmon beat yearly and he is undoubtedly a shrewd judge of character. Snooty’s office is demanding an apology which will not be forthcoming. Paxman also slammed all the leaders of the political parties as green and inept (spot on mate!) subjecting the people to chuck it and see what happens type policies. Yes Mr Paxman can be abrasive and bullish but after interviewing countless bewildered Con-Dem politicians I can see where he is coming from, no apology required! More power to your elbow mate, free speech is a cornerstone of democracy!

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