Sunday, 28 December 2014

Our readers & watchers 2014

 Photo 01- calm and very cold yesterday!
Our readers and watchers in 2014!

Every once in a while I have an in depth look at the stats for our news pages to see what is attracting the attention of our readers and to be honest the theme we are now seeing is the same as the trend years ago. You clearly like exposes on fish butchers, charlatans and fools evidenced by Dangerman, Mr Kens and Uranob being in the top ten read blog posts every year. These varlets however are less frequently encountered nowadays as we diligently clear them out!  You also like rundowns on the places to fish on the loch with the 5 articles written by Archangel under the title “The swims of St Mary’s Loch” all featuring in the top ten most read posts.

The series exposing the true picture of fishing guides in the area dominated our top ten lists; their unprofessional behaviour at that time left you all with jaws agape! In a long and ultimately fruitful campaign saw the conversion of unqualified types into more qualified and accountable people being less of an embarrassment to the angling fraternity!

Articles on the goings on around the loch also continue to prove popular with many expats homing in to see who is doing what. Our treatise on the Wild Fisheries Review also makes it into the top ten highlighting your interest in the wider field of angling. This article even pips some of the Scottish government’s official sites and is currently third in the Google ranks when searching the wild fisheries review which is truly astonishing and indicative of the huge readership!

Many of you are tuned into our events such as competitions and workdays with an almost predictable rise in visits when the reports appear, our reports on the annual Trout competition and Salmon day on Tweed being particularly well read! It’s a varied picture which is applauding of the wide net we cast to bring you the latest on and around the loch. We are always looking for contributors to come and pen a few lines, so if you have a burning desire to put together an article simply give me a shout and we will make it happen!

Looking at the sources sending visitors we also see some regular visitors such as Scottish Borders Council and Midlothian council, I wonder if these visits are from bored employees filling in their days! We are also being viewed approximately every two weeks by a bizarre cult going under the name of the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints or Mormons!

We have visits from various police and fire agencies, various private companies, universities and military establishments. About 10% of our readership is from the United States and Canada but the majority are from the UK with 70% coming from the area termed Edinburgh which takes in the Borders as well as the city and outlying districts! The rest comprise anglers and others from all over the country!

Our visitor numbers are dropping at this time of year as they have done every year as winter comes in, as the only fishing on offer is Pike and Perch fishing, many anglers also give up their rods for the colder months. Numbers then rapidly increase to a high in 2014 of 1,438/month at the height of our series on fishing guides. Our stand alone post on “choosing a fishing guide” stands atop the Google rankings and to date has had 3,073 visits making it our most popular post of all time!

The blog will continue to be a recollection of our social history as a club as we angle our way through the years. Fools, Muppets and charlatans will continue to be exposed where we find them and our goal of having a fishery free of the above types moves a step nearer, similarly when we find true brothers of the angle we will applaud them! Well that’s it for the year; I hope Santa was good to you and I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our readers a very happy new year and tight lines to all our anglers! See you all next year!


Sunday, 21 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

No prisoners taken!

We weren’t able to recover the boat making a bid for freedom last week because of high wind so we thought we would try today. It was quite windy but looked ok coming down the margins. However at some point the loch would have to be crossed and the middle did not look so inviting! White horses and at times a massive swell looked positively dangerous and at this point I recalled what Elliot Fraser once told me.

Photo 01-Escape attempt foiled, being led back to jail!
He said never ever get your boat broadside to the swell, always aim to be pointing into the oncoming wave and it was good advice indeed! Even nose into the wave the boat rocked and crashed through the waves making a huge amount of noise as the bottom crashed on to the water. On two occasions I veered slightly off course and the resultant swing quickly alerted me to correct the mistake.

Yes the loch is not to be toyed with, the slightest mistake could see you in some very cold water which is why we insist on all anglers wearing lifejackets, and in the event of a spill into the water they almost certainly will save your life. We are looking into the feasibility of employing flares for boat anglers to use in cases of life threatening situations. This would result in us making the local community aware that if a flare is seen someone is in critical danger on the loch and assistance is required urgently. Prior action is always better than that of post disaster!

However in poor conditions the best bet is to try and progress up the margins of the loch avoiding open water where the wind is likely to be strongest. This was our course today. If even this proves impossible it’s best to beach the boat tying it up securely and getting in touch with Keith our loch keeper. If like me you find yourself towing another boat always have a razor sharp knife to hand to allow you to cut the towing rope if the boat being towed becomes overwhelmed and starts to sink.

There wasn’t any great danger today, but there is always the chance of being faced with some extremely adverse conditions and you must be prepared, remember the loch takes no prisoners!
NB We gave Jenny a box of biscuits and her dog a bag of biscuits to thank her for her prompt action that prevented a smashed boat or worse a smashed boat entangled in the regulator!

Photo 02-Ploughed up parking area courtesy of a vehicle with tracks!
Spoiled parking area!
We arrived today to be confronted with a parking area that looked more like a construction site thanks to a heavy tracked vehicle I assume turning on the parking area adjacent to the boat house. This area was one of the possible projects for our work day it looks like it is the focus of our work day! If anyone knows who ploughed up our area please let me know we really would like to speak with them!

Most members by now will have had the clubs newsletter delivered to their home addresses. The newsletter was designed from start to finish by our loch keeper/membership secretary Keith Young and a damned fine job he has made of it! Along with the newsletter is the new membership application/renewal form which all members should fully complete and return between the 1st January and the 15th of February to avoid having to pay the £20.00 administration fee! All the important dates for the coming year are in the newsletter so you will all be aware of the events taking place during the year.

Keeping up the tradition!

Our post just prior to Christmas has always contained two pieces of music to calm or enliven you depending on how your day has went. Our two tracks are this year are

(1) For those seeking peace and calm 'Mein junges Leben hat ein End' or in English “my young life hath an end” by  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck It’s not about one who is facing death rather that of a seasoned adult leaving the impetuosity of youth behind and finding contentment, thought and reason. Click on

(2) For those who have sunk a few jars and eaten a whole turkey and need something to liven them up try Titanium by David Guetta a song about invincibility!

Still looking for pressies!

If at this late stage you are still looking for pressies the look no further than our recommended dealer in Penicuick. Mike is offering all customers 10% off anything in stock making for some great savings, and free postage to boot! Visit the store here - 

The wider world in my view!

Spare a thought or better still a pound!

It’s a time of good cheer where families come together possibly the only time this happens in a long year! It’s a time for charity, understanding and empathy for the plight of others less fortunate than us. There are unfortunately increasing numbers of poor in the community caused by this incompetent government who seem intent on creating a new mass class of poor in the country!

The majority of us will not be filthy rich in the manner of Lord Snooty et al but nevertheless reasonably comfortable in the case of earnings and ability to enjoy a good living. What of those who do not fit into this bracket and there are many even in the vicinity of Galashiels! Foodbanks exist in the area as do charitable branches of some of the local churches who make food parcels for the needy. What a shocking indictment on our society created by the Con-Dems!

Christmas dinner for these people will be meagre probably similar to what we might eat on a Wednesday evening after a hard day at work when you really cannot be bothered to cook a proper meal! There are many requests for money for good causes especially at this time of year and you might think of a good reason not to give to any of these causes. Many people think like this and the uncovering of major fraud in various charities over the years may give some good reason for this being the case.

However think of what good the two pounds you might donate to a struggling family might do. It might give them enough to stretch to a turkey crown after which they could say to friends that they really enjoyed the Christmas turkey as well as having dined well. It may allow for a small wide eyed kid wondering why Santa did not visit him some sweets or a small toy. To see the glee in a youngsters face opening wrapped presents is a memory you never forget!

You will also know that feeling is gained by the giver as well as when you think through your donation and what it could be used for. Forget the negatives such as “oh it will be used to buy drugs” have some faith in your fellow human being and give something to a charitable cause! These Con-Dems have reawakened Butcher Thatcher's mantra “greed is good whatever the cost” society and this is to the severe detriment of our society. We need to care for those less well off in our society for it is clear the buffoons that comprise our current government do not! So if you have some spare coins in your pocket tip them in to the next collection box you come across, I did and felt the better for it!
Wishing all our readers a Merry Christmas!

Sunday, 14 December 2014

The net tightens!

Photo 01 - illegal dumping from earlier in the year!
The net tightens!

We heard this week from the officer at SEPA who was looking into the illegal dumping of hazardous and general waste into the Megget water on a regular basis! We had earlier given him serial numbers from various containers to see if they could be tracked. Well he has traced a few containers back to a borders company who we cannot name at this time and is a significant step forward for us in our efforts to track these idiots down.

The company will be tightening up on its waste container storage and now we have given this information to the police we have an immediate lead should further incidents take place! I can’t envisage the type of twisted fool that would carry out such crimes but it looks as though we are a step nearer to finding out!

Photo 02 - High and dry the runaway boat secured!
Runaway boat!

I was taken aback to see one of our old “blue boats” tied up on the south bank of the loch next to Arrabella’s field. This was a boat that belonged to the club previously and now is in the hands of Mike Critchley one of our bailiffs who has been a great help to the club. Mike is currently working abroad so contact is not easy.

The shepherdess at Bowerhope had seen the boat floating in the big water on Wednesday and had managed to wade out and pull it in to the shore and getting some rope securely tying it up to prevent other water adventures. She must have broken free from her mounting at the village hall in Wednesday’s terrible weather and travelled down the loch. Just as well Jenny got to it lest it have been smashed to smithereens on the rocks. We will try and make some arrangements to recover it today weather permitting although it is quite safe on dry land in its present position. That's the good thing about the loch there's always someone willing to help out!


Photo 03 - Twas a wild day yesterday!
The wider world in my view!

It’s panto time!

Yes as we enter the festive season proper pantomines are popping up everywhere to entertain us with tales of woe, happy events and the occasional jaw dropping unexpected ending. One of these unusual pantomines which is scheduled to finish in May but may well finish early is the Con-Dem production “Perpetual bungling & punishing weak & vulnerable people”, which is the story as the title suggests of their uncanny ability to blunder and stumble through 5 years of government and still have time to bring the poor & infirm of the country to their knees! When they seized power 21,000 people had occasion to use the few food banks that existed that figure is now 480,000 and the number of food banks increase daily, no it’s not a misprint just a fact! Now that sure is one way of cutting back on spending!

Sarcasm aside it’s a damned poor example of an attempt at government with try it and see policies, outright bungling and the occasional thing that has come out half right but in spite of their efforts not because of them! They have successfully increased the national debt, increased the numbers of working and non working poor and massively increased the number of people living on charity handouts as the numbers of food banks continue to rocket skyward! They have decimated our public services with massive cuts still to come. You think we are short of council services, police public amenities & a struggling health service just now believe you me you aint seen nothing yet!

Of course we had to endure a coalition of clueless blue nosed posh boys and power at any cost yellow bellied puppets rather than a majority government! However looking at the policies they were Tory policy, the puppets were simply there to rubber stamp their partner’s policies. They made no difference, a group of weak individuals crazed with the hunger for power at any cost indeed selling out thousands of students at the outset who were relying on them to abolish tuition fees and they sold them out!

Puppet Clegg now realises that he has sold his soul to the Tories but it’s too late! The people of the country are rightly furious at the cowardly antics of the puppets as they prop up an administration bereft of thought out policy and compassion. The price they will pay for this indiscretion will be great. It means oblivion for a once proud party, one that could be trusted before the arrival of Puppet Clegg! Total wipe out is what awaits these yellow bellied traitors!

It’s amusing then to see the desperate machinations of senior puppets as they try and distance themselves from their earlier policies like the universally hated and completely ill conceived “bed tax”. They must think us complete fools if we were to be taken in by these futile attempts at brainwashing. Puppet Clegg, Puppet Alexander and Puppet Cable and their minions stand accused of treachery against the people of this country. Guilty of hobbling the poor, guilty of giving away public assets and most importantly guilty of propping up an administration intent on destroying the very fabric of our society. I have no doubt the people will find them guilty as charged! Acting in the manner of Adolf Hitler’s henchmen their remaining time in government will be spent furtively trying to cover up people damaging policies and major gaffes whilst crying out “it wasnae me mate”!

Puppet Alexander stands out as a hate figure all over Scotland possibly with the exception of a few pockets of unthinking voters in the Inverness area. Yes Puppet Alexander was guilty of implementing countless policies which increased the numbers of poor in the country and there was no hesitation, no pause for thought no recriminations! Puppet Alexander is to Gideon Osborne what Goebbels was to Hitler! Like many of the Bosch war criminals he pleads much that what he did, he did for the good of the country!

It’s a farce of the highest order, all the senior puppets now trying to mitigate or completely deny the effects of their incompetent policies in collaboration with the hated Tories to try and stop the obliteration of their now irrelevant and spent party! It won’t wash however, people are not stupid they know and will remember the wrongdoings of the puppets and inflict upon them the heaviest price possible and quite frankly they deserve everything the public lay at their door! This coalition government has failed miserably, as Aristotle was quoted as saying “you can judge a nation by the way they treat their most vulnerable citizens”. Verdict - Con-Dem FAIL!


Farewell old friend!

Clause IV

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.

Labours mission statement, it’s what drew me in to the Labour party many years ago, a proud mantra that has been the driving force for generations of the working classes but is now consigned to history  courtesy of Mr Blair!

Ever since the reign of that industry wrecker Butcher Thatcher came to a welcome end, the Tories in Scotland have been viewed as little more than the occasional dirt on our feet! Yes Scotland has no love for poor punishing Tories, Labour has always been the dominant force in Scottish politics, but how things change! The Labour leader in Westminster has always relied on certain solid support from Scotland but no longer is this the case!

Labour in Scotland is finished in spite of two new leaders in Jim Murphy and Kezia Dugdale who are both decent people and competent politicians. Not even this pair can save the party from electoral humiliation which now beckons for collaborating with the hated Tories in the negative referendum campaign. Most polls now estimate Labour will be left with between 4 and seven seats a fraction of what they now hold! As a lifelong Labour voter I thought this would be a quandary for me but I was wrong. As if guided by divine inspiration I without hesitation moved over to the SNP. I have kidded myself on for years, the real Labour party is dead there is no longer a socialist party in the country and it was time to wake up!

Thousands have done as I did as it became clear a real socialist political party no longer exists, just a wishy washy Labour party with more in common with the Tories than any left leaning party! A political giant has been brought to its knees by failing to listen to the masses! Weak leadership and directionless policy demonstrated by Ian Gray, Johan Lamont and crucially Ed Milliband did for the party!

The problem now though is as Jim Murphy states, every Labour MP ousted makes it more likely Lord Snooty will remain in Downing Street and he is correct! However following on from the catastrophic mistake made by those who voted no in the referendum plunging us into the mess now apparent electing a good number of SNP MPs in Westminster will hasten the move towards independence and is the only way to rid ourselves of these toffee nosed Bullingdon boys.

If there are sufficient numbers to form a supporting party to prop up a minority Labour government then independence is but a whisker away! Independence would be the foundation stone on which any coalition strategy would be based. There would of course be no deal whatsoever with the Tories and this has got to be the basis on which Scotland moves forward! SNP membership is going through the roof as more and more people realise the horrifying consequences of voting no! I do feel some sadness for the fate of Labour but the Milliband/Balls set up leads only to one destination, that with the Lib-Dems in political oblivion!

The SNP will do to Labour as David did to Goliath!

R.I.P Labour, farewell old friend!


Just a punk!

I could not help but be amused by the carry on between Nigel Farage and would be politician Russell Brand on Question Time on Thursday night. Farage made Brand look like a fool which is obviously what he is! A man with a few headlines in him, a man of straw completely out of his depth with the big boys. A punk who took delight at the expense of Andrew Sachs along with another fool Jonathan Ross! Just another insignificant two bit punk seeking the limelight!

Sunday, 7 December 2014

More than an angling club!

Photo 01 - calm in the morning wild & wet later!
More than an angling club!

People come and go, most spend some time fishing on the lochs to test their skills on a most wily adversary! This indeed is our primary function in providing optimised fishing on two wild lochs, fishing which is not easy but extremely satisfying when success is obtained! The club boathouse is the centre of our operations and is where most anglers meet to hold a post mortem on the day and now where committee meetings are held.

There was a time when coming and hopefully catching fish was the only activity concerning members, no longer is that the case. We have to take an interest in the wider sphere of angling as was highlighted in our expose on the antics of fishing guides leading to a huge improvement in the standards expected of some of these people!

We have to involve ourselves in the political discussions of the day to achieve the best outcomes for our club and angling in general! We saw with our project which was guaranteed for the re introduction of Arctic Charr into St Mary’s loch that when the Con-Dems came into power our project was rubbed out completely damaging biodiversity, damaging our fishing opportunities and damaging the number of refuge populations of this highly endangered species!

We have a duty to recommend to our members good service where we find it and that is the basis of our promoting our recommended dealers. We do not wish to see our members fleeced and guarantee the best deals from our recommended dealers. Nurturing these arrangements with bona fide tackle dealers allows us to be firm in our recommendations! Similarly with cafes, hotels and bed & breakfast outlets we seek to offer our members only the best. We need to take an interest in anything that may impinge on the correct operation of our club.

Documents are sent to us regularly asking for our view on for instance the Wild Fisheries Review. To allow this to pass without sending back comment would be a dereliction of duty on our part. We must be part of the movement that shapes angling and we will be! Perhaps one of the greatest mistakes in recent times was allowing commercially orientated fishing guides on to club/association water without paying a hefty fee! This however is now on the turn as clubs are waking up to this threat late as though it may be.

We are a resource site for the local community with the assorted skills in our membership we also hold equipment that may be of use to local residents such as in the recent power cut where we loaned out our two portable generators at no cost to allow them to keep the lights on. Through our membership we are an unparalleled resource site for information on angling on the lochs for all our anglers. We are also purveyors of general information to any who seek it through our internet sites and through word of mouth.

We are a hub for angling visitors to the area with spin off trade for local businesses. By our efforts in habitat restoration we are bring back new life into areas where there was little or none. By imposing rules on our anglers where before there were none we also help to keep the area clean and tidy maintaining the rugged beauty of the area. We are passing custodians of a most beautiful area with our aim of passing on to those who come later the best presentation possible so they may enjoy as we have done!

Oh make no mistake we are an angling club, but we are more than that, much more!

Photo 02 - A wasp bink still alive on Friday but dead 10 mins later!
Last weeks Pike!
The 14lbs 3oz Pike from last week has been aged at between 6 and 7 years old. This shows an impressive rate of growth leading us to believe there is an abundance of food present for our top predator!
Membership renewal/joining.
We have added a link to the application/renewal for joining the club in the member information box on the right hand side of this and every post. Members will shortly be receiving the clubs newsletter which will contain an application form.
From our recommended dealers!

This week from Fishers direct we have a great offer on a whole host of products of free postage on all orders until midnight tonight so you will need to be quick. Order on the net tonight and your item could be with you on Tuesday morning! Now that’s what I call service!


The wider world in my view!

Beware of false prophets!

I doubt very much if you did not catch something of the autumn statement issued by minister without a clue Gideon Osborn the so called chancellor! A series of re-announcements but did you really think about what he said? Of course this close to a general election there was the usual attempt to reward in a small way those hardworking families who try and do the right thing for their families and country! Basically a mask to try and disguise the horrors to come later!

This fool consumed by capitalist ideology wants to roll back the state to a similar level to that of the 1930s, it has been said that 60% of cuts are still to come which is absolutely staggering given the increasing numbers of poor in the country! Of course in doing this he will punish the people closest to the state – the poor of the country of which the numbers are increasing daily under Con-Dem policies! Already hard pushed regional councils are slashing services in order to try and save money, the police are cut to the bone with officers on the beat being lined up to have their numbers slashed! Fire and ambulance services, schools, colleges and amenities are in a similar boat!

This crazed automaton cannot see past austerity, getting the defecit down must be achieved at any cost in his eyes! He cares not the effect on the working classes of the proposed savage cuts. Cuts which will see our lives become poorer not only in financial terms but in every aspect of our lives! This clown is intent on destroying the very fabric that binds our society together. He wants to roll back the state getting rid of all the advances achieved over the last century to a point where it seems natural to start bringing back some of these services run by private companies which they will supply on a pay per use basis!

Of course when private companies are given free rein to accumulate profit the sky is the limit as far as setting prices are concerned! We would be able to access any service we want if we can afford to pay the price! Forget the political flannel the real aim of these measures to completely diminish the state which if he achieved it would seem him marked down in Tory party history equal to or above the ruinous machinations of Butcher Thatcher!

You only have to look at the pile of broken promises and failed policies of Lord Snooty and his band of bunglers to see that what they say is not what they do! They talk a good job but that’s where it ends! Their greatest “success” is trumpeted as the falling numbers of unemployed but when you look at the jobs created they are low paid, part time, self employed and zero hours contracts in other words they are jobs of the lowest quality! An interesting point is that when the Con-Dems assumed power the national debt was 0.62trillion pounds it is now 1.26 trillion pounds looks like the long term economic plan is working!! They are trying to con the public into believing that theirs is the honest and correct way to sort out the country’s ills but it’s not! Indeed some attention must be paid to the defecit which Osborn is currently increasing by employing massive borrowing although he tries to play this down in an effort to make himself look good! One of their greatest failures was the promise to reduce welfare payments and in spite of all their savage cuts welfare spending is up!

Taxes will have to rise there is no question of it and the tax on the upper tax bands must increase significantly! The rich/poor divide is now as large as it was 50 years ago! The state not only needs to be maintained it needs to be increased largely being paid for by those who have too much money of which there are many.

In a fair society people do not line up for food handouts because they have not the money to buy their own! Years of Butcher Thatcher’s ideology has created greed on a scale not seen before, money is god for these people, looking after the disadvantaged in society is nothing to them! The continuation of this direction will lead us back to Victorian times where all the working classes have to seek handouts whilst the rich live in sordid ill gotten opulence!

Weak Ed Milliband along with the Con-Dems has not the mettle to tackle problems such as these, it needs the tearing down of the current society and a new one rebuilt on the basis of fairness and equity! The Scottish people had an opportunity to break away from these Westminster fools and start a new society but chose not to take it and for this we will pay heavily! The result is the sorry mess we now face! Be under no illusion the Tory party will wreck our society making it much worse than that which we currently endure if that is possible.

The alternatives are poor, excepting a large presence of SNP MPs at Westminster where independence may be sought by the back door! Failing that I suppose the only alternative is to vote Labour, not a thrilling prospect but must be a thousand times better than these wretched posh boys filling in their days using the working classes as expendable pawns! These Con-Dems are not politicians, hell they don’t even make it as human beings as evidenced by their poor bashing policies

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

A victorious puppet!

I was very disappointed to see the motion from local puppet Michael Moore calling for 0.7% of the country’s budget to be set aside for foreign aid move to the next stage, the house of lords for approval. Only a puppet could have come up with this! We are surrounded by food banks which are increasing in number daily and we are sending money overseas! It makes no sense at all! Interestingly in the local rag a commentator wrote warning Puppet Moore of the dangers of discounting the SNPs ability to depose him. As he went on to say it’s a two horse race but the runners are Labour and the SNP and the SNP are the bookies favourite, a vote in Scotland for a Tory or a Puppet is a wasted vote!

Farage exposed!

He had to let his guard down at some point and indeed the mask slipped when he said that women should be banished to the corner of a room when breastfeeding their babies and use a cloth to cover both mothers breast and baby. A Victorian fool unable to keep up with modern society wishing women to revert back to the second class citizens they were in days of old. There is nothing more natural than a mother feeding her baby and he should look on any mother feeding a baby with pride it is the reason after all that he is here on earth! Anyone who finds such a natural event distasteful should seek urgent help!

Sunday, 30 November 2014

An autumn days Salmon fishing 5!

Photo 01 - Elliot punches the line out!
An autumn day’s Salmon fishing 5!

At last the conditions looked good after the recent deluge of water the level was dropping back, and there was a touch of frost in the early morning and all looked good for our annual excursion to the Upper Pavilion on Tweed. Present were Elliot Fraser, Stevie Nimmo, Les Robson, Pete Young, Davy Mitchell and me!

Photo 02 - Stevie covering the north bank!
Stevie and Pete tried the Carry Weil the bard Sir Walter Scott’s favourite pool Whilst Davy and Les took the Brig End on the North bank whilst Elliot and I took Lowood as our starting point. The odd fish was showing they were mostly however of the tartan variety not the type that readily takes! There was much thrashing of the water as we all honed our casting techniques but as the first hour passed we were all attaining adequate standards ready for the pull of a eager fresh Salmon!

Before we knew it lunchtime came and all the anglers reported nothing doing! Much chattering and examination took place along with much ruffling around in fly boxes. Some changed tactics to cover different levels of the river and soon it was time to set off with renewed enthusiasm. Mother Nature however gave us a display including Herons, Goosander, Cormorant Deer, Rabbits and Squirrels, unfortunately of the grey variety.

Photo 03 - Davy and Les at the Brig End!
Back on the fishing front all were dutifully making froth around them trying to tempt the king of fish. Les and Davy moved down to Ellwyn foot and lo and behold Les got a brief pull but alas that is all that it was, rather depressingly no one else experienced any action other than the odd leaf! Yes at the end of the day our efforts yielded nothing which is in keeping with the way the Tweed has fished this season – very poorly! The intent of the party was unshakeable, persistent effort in the hope of reward Elliot even putting up with a soaking left foot due to leaking waders!

It was however a great day out with a bunch of real anglers who all enjoyed the opportunity to try and tempt a Salmon. Great comradeship much banter saw us through the day which weather wise was great! Yes no fish but a real angler’s day out an absolutely cracking day! All the anglers were quick to impress upon me the need to pass on their thanks to the family for the kind opportunity to fish a prime beat on the Tweed which of course I will do. Thanks for your company lads I hope you enjoyed the day as much as I did.

Photo 04 - Looking down my rod!
Oh and I nearly forgot Elliot who has never before fished for Salmon with the fly was given an impromptu casting lessons from our ghillie and boy did he pick up some great moves by the end of the session he was casting along with the best and not a penny changed hands, the way it should be! Thanks one and all!

A most excellent Pike!

It’s not the biggest I have caught but it’s one of the most satisfying! Tipping the scales at 14lbs 3oz her baseline weight would be around 11.75 - 12.00lbs but as you can see her abdomen is distended with eggs the next generation of our Pike. Like most of our Pike she is of the short stubby variety and her width is impressive! Unlike the soft engineered “plastic” variety she would have to work for her food employing guile stealth and raw power giving her the muscular lithe body that was immediately evident on capture. With fish like this in the lochs the future does indeed look bright! I have taken a couple of scales to get an idea of her age, will keep you posted.

Photo 05 - A real Pike in first class condition!
From our recommended dealers!

This week from our recommended dealer in Penicuick we have a massive 15% off all prices for this weekend! Game fishing and coarse fishing are included in the offer so click the link to visit the internet shop or pop round to revitalise your gear.

The wider world in my view!

 The anatomy of a fool!

I waited with baited breath for Lord Snooty’s announcement on clamping down on immigration and the usage of benefits by immigrants this week. Rather inconveniently coming after official figures showing that he failed miserably to cut immigration to less than 100,000 no ifs or buts! Yes tossed around like a sock puppet amidst the internecine struggles in what is loosely termed the Tory party. Another broken promise to add to the huge pile of failed policies all filed with the tag “more still needs to be done”!

Playing catch up with UKIP in an ever increasing frenzy, confusion is the only thing that comes to the fore! Our public services are crumbling all around us with frontline police due to be cut as are ambulance and fire personnel, councils are at bursting point trying to provide essential services as Snooty neglects to deal with what he took power to supposedly put right!

Lord Snooty will go down as the greatest political bungler in history a complete and utter buffoon, and his latest speech on immigration just adds another policy in the failed tray! A paper tiger who has managed to double the national debt and staggeringly the defecit is now increasing, increase welfare spending by 11billion pounds, pour billions into the NHS reforms to make it worse, massively increase numbers of working poor, put hundreds of millions into welfare reform and astoundingly increase spending and increase immigration, and the poor deluded fool thinks he is doing a good job!

Lord Snooty’s term of office has been a complete disaster with the only objectives being achieved are supreme bungling and crass incompetence! Oh and the latest claptrap on immigration – just watch as the EU unpick each point and leave Snooty trouserless, again!  Like no other before Lord Snooty has set new benchmarks for spineless incompetence and punishing the most vulnerable in our now corrupt country! We should all pay heed to this abysmal record come election time!

Cheated again!

The smith commission this week delivered their recommendations for devolving more power to the Scottish Government. There was as expected a mixed range of views with the unionists applauding the package and the nationalists decrying them with many in between. The problem of course was the non specific vow which did not detail any new powers it merely stated that significant powers would be handed over.

The varying interpretations of “significant” were always going to be the sticking point and perhaps the people of Scotland should have paid more attention to the wording foreseeing the current situation. However that aspect is done and dusted and the future of Scotland moves on. Looking at the devolved powers which of course are subject to Westminster approval the package whilst devolving some extra powers holds back from giving the Scottish government full financial control of its own affairs which is what is needed to gain autonomy.

The lack of full powers on welfare and tax blow an immediate hole in Scottish government’s aspirations. Reducing poverty and inequality was always top of the list for the SNP administration and this anomaly which leaves 70% of tax powers and 85% of welfare powers in the hands of Westminster ties the hands of the Scottish government! Not devolving full powers on these aspects of spending and income generation simply means that nothing can fully be achieved without ultimately consulting with Westminster!

The bottom line is that nothing much has changed, the Scottish government continue to be hobbled by Westminster! To make a difference, to mitigate the extreme poor bashing policies of the Con-Dems extensive powers were required, they have not been delivered! Here we have a piecemeal offering which falls well short of what was expected! The Scottish government will not be able to implement the policies it wants to relieve the suffering of the ever growing numbers of poor and needy under the Con-Dems! Only with full devolution of tax powers can the poor bashing policies of the Con - Dems be negated!

It will of course be possible to exact retribution on the Westminster crowd come the general election by voting for the SNP! Scotland is on the brink of breaking away from the UK, a large contingent of SNP MPs in Westminster will seal the deal!

Desperate Puppets!

The photo above is from local puppet Michael Moore’s newsletter desperate to convince voters he is the man to represent us following the general election. The main body of text is just rubbish but have a look at the photo above. He has classed the SNP and Labour as no hopers for the area! He is correct with the Labour part, but believe you me the SNP will do for this puppet once and for all! Roll on election time!

Incidentally Puppet Moore has a bill going to parliament on Friday calling for 0.7% of the country’s budget be given in overseas aid! You probably think this is a joke but no it’s for real! With the mess the puppets and the Tories have landed us in we need all the money we can get! 1st rule of good housekeeping – get your own house in order before spending it on others!

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Waiting for tomorrow or another real angler!

Photo 01-Rusty hook into flesh could mean amputation for a diabetic!
Waiting for tomorrow or another real angler!

Yes tomorrow our group of anglers and guests are heading off to the Upper Pavilion fishing beat on the Tweed for our annual Autumn Salmon day. Thanks to the kindness of the family of the late Major Sir Neil Westbrook we are to fish unencumbered (the Major’s words) for the whole day on any of the pools within the beat.

I received some bad news regarding Mike Christie the winner of our competition who was coming to fish with guest Les (six fish) Robson. Unfortunately Mike is currently bogged down with work and cannot make the day but asked if his friend Davy Mitchell could attend in his place. Of course anyone who knows Davy (a proper gent) knows that he is universally welcome anywhere, for many years he was Selkirk Angling Association! Another accolade to his name is that he has recently been awarded citizen of the year by the town’s merchant company and I cannot think of a more worthy recipient. We are absolutely delighted to welcome Davy as our guest for the day!

What really inspired me however was absolutely all of the above but the fact that Mike in a completely selfless fashion offered Davy the days fishing and in the manner of a real angler did not expect anything in return! An increasingly rare event in these sordid days in angling when advice is available to one and all but only if you cross a palm with silver! Yes the money seekers are everywhere seeking to fill their pockets in return for advice which makes Mike’s gesture even more notable!

It really is reassuring to see that a group of real anglers still populate the river banks without having to exchange money and the gentlemanly and correct traits of old still abound! Everyone going on Monday is of the old school where the aim is not to fleece your fellow angler but to assist him or her in any way you can without any payment! There is hope for the future of angling with anglers like these!

The phone calls and e mails have all been despatched everyone has an appropriate bundle of suitable tackle. The old angling books have been scoured for tips as to how to tempt the king of fish. Speaking to the participating anglers there will be a variety of tackle and methods employed from a 1922 Alex Martin greenheart 15ft rod to a Bruce & Walker Hexagraph 15ft Salmon rod and from intermediate line with fast sink tip through full HD sinking line to Hover line with sink tip. Looks like a good coverage maximising chances of a fish!

There’s still time for last minute checking, adjusting or even completely revamping of gear and tactics. We all wait in anticipation of Monday morning and what it will bring, there are plenty Salmon in the river it’s just a case of stimulating them into taking the fly! It’s been a dreadful season for Salmon angling according to the main commentators but what will endure on Monday is the never ending spirit of eager anticipation and determination that is inherent in every one of our real anglers! Old school anglers and the River Tweed, they really do go together hand in hand! The full report on our excursion revealed next week.

I will speak with the family and arrange a spring day to which hopefully Mike and guests can come along.

Photo 02- On duty tomorrow, my 1922 Alex Martin 15ft Greenheart Salmon rod.
From our recommended dealer!

Mike’s special offers from Fisher’s Direct this week will suit those who like the big brand names and offer some very competitive prices on what is a selection of some very good tackle. Click the links below to see all the products on offer –

A Galashiels angler I spoke with last week said that he wished he was nearer to snap up some of the bargains on offer at Fishers. Fishers Direct can supply all products mentioned mail order with rapid delivery. And remember if you are not sure what to get the angler in your life at Christmas Fishers do great gift vouchers!

The wider world in my view!

The true meaning of the Rochester result!

I doubt if many people were surprised by the emphatic win delivered by UKIP over the Tories. There is no question about the severity of the result for the Tories, a 10,000 Tory majority rubbed out and turned into a 3,000 majority for UKIP. What makes it even more embarrassing for the Tories was the fact that the Tory machine was at full throttle for the whole campaign to no effect! Worse still Lord Snooty made 5 separate visits to try and persuade the electorate that the posh boys were the way to go! Clearly he failed abysmally as he does in most aspects of his political meddling!

Ed Milliband thought all he had to do was swan in with a brush and sweep up the remnants of the broken Tories. Unfortunately for him there was trouble afoot in the form of Labour MP Emily Thornberry who tweeted a picture of white van man with some England flags hanging from the window interpreted as a sneer at the working classes. This was when Ed had to kiss goodbye to any prospect of a respectable result in the contest. The headlines yesterday were not of the great win by UKIP and not about the humiliation of the posh boys but of the many faces of Labour specifically the one that despises the working classes!

No one expected the Puppets to do well in fact most had their money on them losing their deposit as is now the norm! You would think their fortunes could not get much worse but they did, they set a new record and achieved a new low for the number of votes obtained 300 odd votes! Of course no one cares the Puppets sealed their fate of political oblivion when they jumped into bed with the posh boys! It’s nothing more than a first class mess and we voted for it!

The message from the electorate was unequivocally clear and it shouted the message that the political system in this country is corrupt and completely spent! The whole lot needs to be torn down and rebuilt from scratch. The people are fed up of the lying, swindling and deceitful manner in which the politicians conduct themselves! It’s looking like a total shambles with no one able to predict the outcome of the next election. The real meaning of the Rochester result is the start of political meltdown here’s hoping for more fuel to the fire!

The new First Minister and cabinet!

On Thursday Nicola Sturgeon took up the position of First Minister of Scotland and gave what was universally seen as a good solid inaugural speech. Poverty and inequality are at the top of her list and this is very encouraging as the numbers of working and workless poor continue to soar! A bigger role for women in government and society as a whole, a pledge to increase spending on the NHS and to keep private money out! This woman is ultra popular in Scotland as the SNP goes from strength to strength! She actually  filled the 12,000 seats of the Glasgow Hydro and the tickets sold faster than they did for a Kylie Minogue concert – Respect!

Her new cabinet is interesting, Kenny Mc Askill (justice) and Mike Russell (education) both booted out. I have no recrimination about these two they were pure and simple prize duds! Angela Constance in Education could be a good move as Ms Constance is a sharp operator with previous experience in employment! One point of concern for me however was the pledge to work in consensus with the Puppets and Posh boys! By all means listen to what they have to say but quickly consign their views to the trashcan then go and do what you originally wanted! The views of these fools are completely irrelevant and of no benefit to the people of Scotland that is why the people of Scotland despise them both!

Of course the functioning of the Scottish parliament is completely dependent on the powers that are handed over from Westminster and we should have the general flavour next week. Sturgeon and her cabinet need to move more quickly to the left giving attention to the underprivileged in the country and there are many created by the Con-Dems! But again the events of the last week look good for the people of Scotland in spite of the historic mistake on September 18th.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

River Tweed Fishing!

Photo 01 A swollen Tweed Colouring up on Friday.
River Tweed Fishing!

Our autumn day of Salmon fishing on the River Tweed will be taking place soon as there are only a couple of weeks left of this year’s season. It’s not been a good season for Salmon on the Tweed with big waters predominating and a lack of taking fish have left many a Salmon angler down in the dumps. There have been many days when even standing on the banks dipping a fly was a waste of time so high was the water level.

Often Salmon anglers can be seen forlornly fishing their flies close to the bank as the high water makes wading impossible unless you have a death wish. Of course many Salmon fall to this tactic as in big waters they tend to travel up the side of the river choosing the path of least resistance. But it is a tempered form of fishing a means of employing the tactics of last resort.

Many days this year ended up being written off completely with the anglers invariably kissing goodbye to the permit fees which in many cases is upwards of a couple of hundred pounds for the day! I have no great love of Salmon fishing in fact find it quite mind numbing for the most part. Of course if a fish is hooked then its game on and all thoughts of boredom are banished as a colossal battle ensues and when there's a crowd of you as is the case on our excursions, there is great camaraderie, loads of fishy tales and the odd disaster making for a great day out!

Yesterday on a trek down the Tweed I spoke to a number of anglers reluctantly giving up as the water turned yellow and rose several inches making fishing pointless! If a fish cannot see the fly then there is no hope as the earth fly is not allowed! One angler commented positively on the fact that the number of leaves hooked had declined (you get a really good pull from Sycamore). What was quickly apparent was the fact that all were visitors not a local did I encounter. Now it’s well known that Salmon fishing brings in significant revenue to the local economy and many businesses are grateful for the spin off trade and rightly so!

Now if you mention the lack of affordable Salmon fishing for locals to the powers that be they quickly point to affordable Salmon fishing well upstream. Now it’s true that the fishing there is much cheaper but it’s cheaper for a good reason and that reason is that the further up you go the lower the number of fish available to catch!

There is no egalitarianism in Salmon fishing, no route whereby a Kelso local may fish the Junction pool at a reasonable cost. Many working class people in this area would be classed as “working poor” and the high prices asked for fishing the better beats is well out with their available budgets! It’s a two tier system where those who have the capital can pick and choose and those who do not are left with the crumbs on the table which the toffs have no interest in! It’s sad when money overcomes all and the poor as in everyday life get nothing but scraps! If there is a change in this ethos and I very much doubt this will happen in the near future it will come about by direction from central government and not by action from the riparian owners with some notable exceptions.

That is why our club is so grateful to the late Major Sir Neil Westbrook and his family who allow our competition winners and those who have helped the club the most to fish a prime beat on the Tweed at no cost to ourselves and if the day turns out to be unfishable give us another day. Yes we have much to be grateful for but the way of administering Salmon fisheries needs to change to allow at least a token number of locals to have some fishing on the better bits of the Tweed at minimal cost! As is the way in every facet of life “to those who have, more shall be given!”

The disappearing Red Squirrel.

Club secretary Alasdair White and Loch keeper Mr Xxxxx have both reported seeing a Red Squirrel foraging around the area of the club boathouse. This of course is great news and we will now look into ways of providing a superior habitat for the fellow to keep him or her around. Any views gratefully received!
Our new membership secretary and Loch keeper Mr Xxxxx will be issuing a newsletter to all members in mid December in which all the important dates for club members will be highlighted Mr Xxxxx’s contact details and other important contact points will be appended. We are still experiencing people who phone to say they are coming to fish and then do not turn up. If you change your mind about coming please do us the courtesy of informing us!
Our habitat work on the Kirkstead burn featured recently in the Tweed Forums press release on habitat work and controlling invasive species. More on this in the next few weeks.

Our advisory site choosing a fishing guide has now reached 1852 visitors reinforcing the fact that it is the bible when seeking information on these people. it establishes in tablets of stone our ranking of No 1 in the Google rankings. Still on the subject of fishing guides, one fishing guide site has been noted to be using keywords implying allegiance to a local angling club in an attempt to increase visitors to his site. The violation will be brought to the attention of a local firm of solicitors who are acting as the secretary of the club.

From our recommended dealers!

This week from Fishers we have a first rate rod pod from Leeda complete with carry case for only £39.99. I have seen these in use at the loch and they are of a sturdy construction and well worth the money! Also for those looking to switch from mono to braided line Power Pro braided line is on offer and a bait flavouring kit to enhance the attractiveness of your bait. Well worth a visit to snap up these bargains!

The wider world in my view!

A significant day for Scotland!

This week saw some important changes in the Scottish political scene with the resignation of SNP leader Alex Salmond and the adoption of Nicola Sturgeon as the new leader of the SNP and Scotland's new First Minister on Thursday. We have not seen the end of oor Eck, oh no he is to stand for a Westminster seat in the general election and will doubtless get elected and be a voice of reason in the mire that is Westminster!

Nicola Sturgeon has outlined how she intends to operate as First Minister and it’s the best I have heard. The referendum is not dead it was merely the starting point. If the vow proves to be less than what is expected then this will trigger another referendum as will the SNP wiping out Labour as is predicted to be the case. Never has a political party enjoyed the support the SNP currently have, per capita the SNP has more support than any party in the country! 100,000 is the target for membership by the general election only a fool would bet against it!

She made it very clear that under no circumstances will the SNP prop up the posh boys as the Puppets have done and to Scots this is music to our ears! She also stated that they may go into government with a minority Labour government although this is not seen as being ideal and this would only occur if Trident was scrapped! She also stated that the independence issue is firmly at the top of the agenda. The people of Scotland made a serious mistake on the 18th of September they will not do so again!

 With the current mood amongst the Scottish people a landslide victory would be the outcome! Talk is one thing action quite another, so it was gratifying to hear that she has met with the private contractor who carry out the cleaning duties at Holyrood and has clinched a deal where all the 117 staff will now earn the “Living wage” as opposed to the minimum wage!

Imagine a future free of these posh boy idiots and their incessant bungling who cost us billions where there is an opportunity to build a fairer Scotland, one where profit at any cost is not the driving force but fairness, equity and compassion is the driving force for those who are less fortunate! This is on the horizon and its looming ever closer. We just need the required trigger to start the acceleration of the process. Yes her speech was a good one, rendered granted without the wit of Oor Eck but nevertheless a bold radical speech where social justice is firmly at the heart! Absolutely first rate!

The posh boys courtesy Nicky Gavron.
The bungling continues!

No great surprise here, yes the Posh boys have landed the country in another fine mess! Head of the army General Sir Nick Carter said the use of reservists was a flawed policy leading to a hugely reduced operational capacity! Reported in the blue nosed Daily Telegraph the Con-Dems recruitment of reservists has failed abysmally as the level of troops drops to a level last seen in the Napoleonic wars!

The level of recruitment is so low it is six years behind schedule according to the National Audit Office! In true Con-Dem style without any heed to the consequences they continue to slash the regular forces leaving the country unable to meet current commitments! Like most Con-Dem policy this one is a litany of errors with again typically no backup plan in case of failure which seems the only thing to be guaranteed! Millionaire posh boy Philip Hammond’s reputation is now on the line as frantic cover up activity is rushed in to muddy the waters and calm the storm. Just another example of the breathtaking incompetence that is so typical of the posh boys and puppets!
My sympathies!
My sympathy card this week goes to Lord Snooty who will be waking on Friday morning with a colossal hangover! Clueless Ed Milliband has just been through the mill and unbelievably has emerged with a four point lead over the Tories. Alas for hapless Lord Snooty there will be no fairy tale ending! After losing Rochester to UKIP there will be a civil war among the Tories of apocalyptic proportions which hopefully will see them damaged fatally. So if you are looking for a point to direct sympathy think of Lord Snooty for he will certainly need it!