Sunday, 30 March 2014

An eye opener and some Thank you's!

Photo 01 - Mr Xxxxx, Lisa & Aaron and our donation.
An eye opener and some thank you’s!

I mentioned last week about the gear lever on our Mariner engine being broken by some visitors fishing the loch.  On looking at the damage it became apparent that to effect a repair would be a difficult business due to the fact that some of the plastic handle was missing. The gear change shaft was intact and true so we decided to order a new plastic handle and be done with it!

I phoned up the agent with the engine number so the correct part could be sourced and was somewhat taken aback when he told me that the part I was after was unavailable! Rather he informed me that the plastic handle was not available as a separate part it comes only with the shaft attached. He said that the plastic handle was moulded on to the shaft and it was this part that would be required to restore the gear change facility.

Photo 02 - Our new engine in bits!

Further compounding my woe was the fact that we would also need 3 O rings and a power head gasket as unbelievably the complete engine would be required to be separated from the driveshaft! Now I am no engine designer but why did the manufacturers not put splines on the gear change shaft and marry this to a preferably metal shaft with a bolt to tighten the splines on the shaft as is seen on motorcycles and other vehicles. In such a case the worst case scenario is replacement of the broken arm.

Clearly there is an ulterior motive here, why else would such a simple task as replacing a handle turn into complete engine removal with all ancillaries associated with the process. I will tell you if you have not already worked it out. It is purely and simply a matter of income generation. Such a procedure carried out by an authorised service agent working on the basis of £60.00/hr would generate a bill in excess of £300.00 once parts & V.A.T. were applied.
Photo 02 - Believe me, you do not disturb Elliot when he is in thinking mode!

Yes over £300.00 for replacing a plastic handle! It is nothing short of scandalous, each O ring sourced from Mariner is £3.68 which if they were sized and bought generically would buy you over 300 rings! When you mention the word marine expect the normal price to be ratcheted up by anything from a factor of 3 to an unlimited figure! The agent from whom we sourced the parts is completely beyond reproach he has to buy from the manufacturers. So we are now facing the prospect of removing the engine from our barely two year old out board which will take a number of hours, endless photographs and illicit much cursing I have no doubt! An absolutely ridiculous situation that beggars belief!

Anyway yesterday when our club treasurer Elliot Fraser arrived he had a look at it and uttered some cautionary phrases, but at the same time in his own inimitable way immediately sized up the job in hand. After some prevarication he decided the job was a goer and I quickly sourced the tools required, the chap on the phone said “just remove the power head and the shaft is lying there just waiting to be replaced”!

A gross underestimation if ever I heard one. The job entailed removal of all fuel lines all control cables all electrics and removal of the fuel tank! A laborious procedure which took just short of four hours but on start up later in the day smiles were all around!

Here we have a club official who came to open his account for the 2014 season but on seeing our predicament chose instead to jump in and help us out! Yes laying his rods aside this lad who works extremely hard as a precision engineer all week effectively gave up his day off to pull us out of the mire, this is way beyond normal duty towards the club. We without a functioning engine in the morning by lunchtime we had one finely fettled Mariner engine that was capable of changing gear. Our Hidea is currently at a marine engineers in the Glasgow area being modified under warranty following a recall, and who arranged this? Yes Elliot Fraser yet again. Elliot we salute you the club simply would not function without members such as you!

Again on the maintenance front Mr Xxxxx and Aaron were busy repairing last season’s damage to our boats. They were diligent in this work sealing every screw hole and righting any wrong that they discovered. It took three Saturday sessions to complete this work and like Elliot above there was no compulsion to carry out this work, their time was freely and willingly given! Naturally we are indebted to these lads; their work has allowed the club to be ready for the coming season.

So once again the club extends grateful thanks for the work all of you have carried out for us, it is people like this that make us a club rather than just a bunch of anglers!

Aaron, Elliot and a big thank you from the club!

The Muppet season has started!

I was left somewhat dismayed yesterday as Aaron and Mr Xxxxx told me of the exploits of some visiting anglers. They left a mess with litter everywhere described as being like a bomb site! There were the usual Pike packs beer tins food waste and underwear and jogging bottoms in the water! It turns out they had bought their permits from the Glen Cafe (they are in no way to blame for this!) and our lads got their details from the counterfoil. The lads decided they had no alternative but to ban them from any further fishing on our lochs. Of course this was completely the correct decision and they will be added to our list of banned anglers. It looks as though the Muppet season has started!

St Mary’s Village Hall!

As you can see from the photo above Aaron and Mr Xxxxx went along to the cafe yesterday for breakfast and to present to Lisa of the village hall committee our annual donation of fifty pounds. It’s just a small gift to say thank you for putting up with us!


Over the years I’ve often been asked why we do not employ paid advertising on our websites given the relatively high traffic flows we attract. Well I can’t think of anything more infuriating for browsing anglers than flashing ads at the side of the page and videos playing when you simply want to read content! We shall leave the circus type advertising to others, you want to read of the club and the wider world, come visit us in an ad free zone! It’s a whole heap of aggravation for a few pence, not worth it in my book!

The wider world in my view!

Look before you leap!

Yes of course it’s those bumbling Con – Dems again. With their philosophy of punishing the poor and lining the pockets of their well off pals they have no affinity to working class Britain. They have seen their flagship policy of the “Bedroom tax” descend into chaos meeting none of the objectives that heralded its implementation. As revealed by a BBC investigation only 6% of people affected (poor people of course) have been able to downsize sinking the number one priority!

The policy that was to save the country hundreds of millions looks like costing the country millions instead once implementation and backup systems are taken into account. I remember well the smug faces when the policy was unveiled amidst a furore about benefit cheats who were costing “hardworking families” huge amounts of money!

In fact the only people who were tripped up by the invidious tax were the disabled, the poor and the unfortunates in life! This shameful policy which typifies the Con – Dems brought many to their knees and many more to food banks as they struggled to make ends meet, many being pushed into rent arrears. The austerity obsessed Con – Dems oblivious to the human element in the equation foresaw only rising party fortunes as they whipped the unworthy poor by supposedly standing up for hardworking families!

It would have been a great vote earner if they had first researched the situation and laid down the groundwork prior to jumping in feet first! Like most of the Con – Dem policies it has turned out to be a complete farce, another in a never ending series of blunders on the world stage raising mirth whenever the UK is mentioned! If we as a country ever had any standing in world affairs we now have none, the Con- Dems bungling on a scale that sees us being compared to countries of third world tin pot dictators who pioneered the “let’s see what happens” mode of politics! The solution for us Scots however is out there and gaining support by the day- vote for independence on September the eighteenth to purge ourselves of these court jesters!

The new royal photo!

I saw it on the news this morning and it’s an ok photo taken by a professional photographer of course! It shows the family and dog at their home of Kensington palace which we the public funded improvements to the tune of £2,000,000! Neither of them have proper jobs so in my mind that makes them nothing more than benefit scroungers!

A puppet show!

I tuned in midweek to the Farage/Clegg debate for some light entertainment. Puppet Clegg was the clear loser and strangely enough I support his stance. Europe is vital for jobs in this country with so many companies relying on the market for exporting goods. I know that many of you are fed up of the silly rulings that come from Brussels but there are many pieces of legislation that protect workers in this country and curb the inane policies of the Con – Dems!

 Clearly some sort of reprofiling is required Puppet Clegg however is not the person to spearhead such a campaign. His failure to answer directly questions from Farage was embarrassing and quoting incorrect facts crass in the extreme, surely he has access to researchers who can check information. He further banged on about honesty – a little rich from the archetypal lying politician!

He talked about some guarantees and made a few promises, but how can the British public trust anything the lying puppet says! This fool speaks only the words of one who kneels! The campaign to remain in Europe will fall with the Puppet at the helm; a more credible figure with a degree of integrity is needed. The public deserve better, our place in Europe is too important to be left in the hands of this shifty lying puppet!

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Trout aplenty!

Photo 01 - Stevie Nimmos First Trout a 10inch female Scales taken.

Trout aplenty!

After the disappointing opening day perhaps the real opening day was Friday or Saturday going by the numbers of Brown Trout caught. The photo above shows Alasdair Whites 1lb 2oz trout caught would you believe on the Loch o the Lowes! Very few Brown Trout are caught on the wee loch so this was a super achievement! Not content with that capture he further went on to catch a nice three quarter pounder on St Mary’s loch.

Yesterday we had two anglers fishing for Brown Trout lifetime member Les Robson and stalwart member Stevie Nimmo and at the end of the day both had caught Trout Stevie had three and Les two all the fish were of takeable size. It was particularly good to meet with Les as he has been laid flat by various medical conditions and has just returned to the fishing after taking ill in August 2013! Yes when the time and conditions are right the Trout will oblige and engulf your offering!

Maintenance work or a good moan!

As usual at this time of year the inspection of the boats take place and the remedial work planned. The last two weeks and next week will see the remedial work on our boats carried out and yesterday Aaron, Mr Xxxxx and me pushed on with the repairs. A significant amount of damage is caused by carelessness in allowing the boat whilst moored at a fishing swim to be repeatedly hammered against the rocks

Similarly on our Mariner engine already we have had to replace the propeller the original one being hammered into a shape that struggled to propel the boat after running on the rocks. The whistles attached to our lifejackets seem to disappear with depressing regularity. These devices are attached for safety to draw attention to one in difficulty and if it’s not there then the person in difficulty may then be in severe difficulty! Most years we encounter a broken oar where the oar has been used as a lever between the boat and a rocky outcrop to try and force the boat off the shore instead of getting out and pushing it off!

We have reinforcing metal panels on the transom of all our boats to prevent fibre glass damage caused by screwing the engine directly on to the fibre glass. How is it then we find circular markings and in one case a circular hole on the fibre glass when there is a central plate designed specifically to accommodate engine clamps! Some routine work is unavoidable but much of our work at this time of year is caused by fecklessness or sheer carelessness! So next time you hire a boat and engine please take care of it as if it were your own. Speaking on behalf of Mr Xxxxx and Aaron “we would much rather be fishing” a sentiment which I echo wholeheartedly! Thanks to Aaron & Mr Xxxxx for their invaluable help yesterday.

Photo 02 - Viper brought out by the sunshine!
Attention Trout anglers!

We need to remind Trout anglers here that we require scales to be taken from any trout caught over 8 inches in length irrespective of whether you keep or return the fish, there is really nothing to it. Scales on a fish are like our fingernails they grow back and the taking of them from a live fish will cause only momentary discomfort!

 Check out our main website for the procedure explained and I will post a link when the Tweed Foundation upload their video on how to take scales. Please parcel your scales half a dozen at least in absorbent paper and post in our tag return box or give to any club official. Please also write the length of the fish from which the scales were taken on the paper.

The wider world in my view!

A huge boost for the yes campaign!

Yes it came midweek when minister without a clue, posh boy Gideon Osborn gave his budget speech outlining how he plans to further aid the rich and in true Tory style take more away from the poor and disadvantaged in our society. There was nothing here that gave the poor anything to see their miserable standard of living raised. Instead he moved further to widen the inequality gap reinforcing the two tier society that he and Lord Snooty created. Not an ounce of shame did he display as he further pummelled the poor with plans to cap welfare spending even further! Now since the Con-Dems assumed power it has become clear that it usually takes less than a week for the whole lot to cave in and leave red faced Tories and Puppets everywhere! We shall see how this one unravels in the next few days!

Trying to claim credit for the “recovery” if it could be seen as such, it is not because of their policies but in spite of them! Yes the USA and Japan have shown more and demonstrably robust growth unlike the UKs not built on a housing bubble or consumer credit. These two countries very rarely mentioned by the Con – Dems show how recovery from a recession should be handled.

The Tories in Scotland have now proposed the reintroduction of prescription charges in a backwards step into Victorian times. Yes leader dizzy Ruth Davidson called for a return to the “sick tax” where the poor of the country are forced to choose between food or medicine. Of course there is no chance of this coming to pass as the Tories are to Scotland what Butcher Thatcher was to the miners!

Arrogant posh boy and vile mouthpiece Grant Shapps tweeted following the so called budget saying that the poor should revel in the fact that the Tories had given the poor “what they wanted” cheaper bingo and beer! What an out of touch ass! On Thursday the Tories tried to laugh it off as a big joke but it was anything but that, it was a condescending patronising swipe from a posh boy who has no idea of what it is to live on the breadline! it shows just what the posh boys think of us working classes, oh yes before we get pie eyed on beer and playing bingo we have a use in working relentlessly on a part time contract for the minimum wage to fill the wallets of our "betters"!

In Scotland the Tories are toxic seeking only to keep the two tier society they have created. I have no doubt whatsoever that thousands of Scots following the revelations of the week will have decided that independence is the only way forward. For a socially fairer Scotland and more importantly freedom from the blundering oppressive Tories and clueless lying puppets, a vote for independence is required!

Russia vs. the rest of the world!

Not a day goes by that we do not hear of more political grandstanding by Lord Snooty or Bungling Bill Hague on how they are going to punish Russia for acceding to the wishes of Crimea and taking them under the Russian umbrella! The sanctions implemented thus far have not even caused a raised eyebrow in the Kremlin and indeed why would they!

The sanctions are feeble and will achieve nothing; with every puny action the west is increasingly seen as a bunch of weak bureaucrats unable to form a common and effective response! The rhetoric of Bungling Bill and Lord Snooty is unhelpful to say the least both of whom are rank second division players not suited to dealing with a heavyweight like Russia!

Indeed the actions of Russia may be a cause for concern if their action does not stop with Crimea. If it does however then the matter should be laid to rest it is quite frankly none of our business! Bungling Bill and bombastic Lord Snooty in typically clueless mode nearly had us intervening directly in Syria but thankfully common sense of the people prevailed. Russia has the means to hit Europe hard by limiting gas and has economic links with many European countries to the tune of billions of pounds! Of course any type of military intervention would be catastrophic for the whole of mankind!

When I see these posh boys posturing and thumping their inflated chests it causes me huge concern they do not seem to realise that talk is cheap but actions have a price! To Bungling Bill and Lord Snooty I would say please keep out and try and put your own house in order, the very fabric of the UK is crumbling about our ears thanks to your policies!

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Choppy water on opening day!

Photo 01 - Choppy water on opening day.
Opening day 2014

The week leading up to the first day of the season for Brown Trout was exceptional with pleasantly warm temperatures and a lack of H2O which has been our ever present companion so far this year! So it was with increasing expectation that I ploughed on through the humdrum that is work to get to Saturday when the adventure begins as another season beckons anglers desperate to drown a fly.

If this season’s start was to turn like so many others then a significant deterioration in conditions could be expected. True to form on Friday the wind got up considerably gusting in form a south westerly direction. By the time Saturday arrived the wind had increased slightly but now becoming constant with less gusting. Nevertheless the wind was enough to stir the loch into an angry wave machine with white horses everywhere. Contentment was the order of the day as indeed opening day rather predictably fell into the category of poor fishing conditions! Opening day yet again, was well within its usual frame!

Punching a line into this wind would be futile and this was confirmed as my first cast landed at my feet in an all too familiar tangle. Clearly then the wind would need to be behind me roughly and with this in mind I moved to the mouth of Kirkstead and decided to fish towards the regulator. Whilst fishing in this wind was a bit of a chore I was able to present some flies in an acceptable fashion which was the outcome I had hoped for!

Very little fly life was apparent on the water and any that were there were very soon consigned to the air as the velocity of the wind increased. I chose to fish mid water which I suppose is the default position for anglers on opening day. Having gotten no clue as to what was on the water I merely employed last season’s tactics which comprised combinations of Butcher, Zulu, March Brown, and Hare’s Lug and of course the now mandatory orange Goldhead!

As is the case on every opening day casts were made with much anticipation and strangely more often than not landing in the place I has earmarked for them! It was patently very heavy going as waves crashed into my legs and inched me forwards into deeper waters. Of course the inevitable happened as water topped my waders and run down the back of my legs. After the initial yell as cold water run down my leg there was a feeling of calm déjà vu as I had indeed been here many times before! Yes everything was as it should be!

Completing my stint with of course no bites whatsoever, I moved down to the graveyard and fished at right angles to the wind the casts were less accurate here but nevertheless landing in a presentable fashion, well presentable to me at least the Trout seemed less than impressed! I met a visiting angler at this point and as anglers do passed the time of day offering possible explanations for our respective empty bags!

A ten minute period well spent with an honest angler devoid of bragging skills rather endowed with modesty and displaying furrows on his brow that told of many angling adventures. A man at peace with his surroundings quietly following in the footsteps of old Izaak himself! The meeting of other anglers true to old Izaak is just one of the gifts given to real anglers! You will find no bragging, no asking for money, no photos of prize fish. There are indeed great rewards in meeting a genuine real angler!

By this time I had fished down to the second lay by again without a touch and the wind getting even stronger and mixed in with a modicum of rain which would ensure that at the end of the session I had that sandblasted look that is synonymous with anglers braving the elements on opening day. By three o clock the rod was back in its bag and it was off to the boathouse to assist Aaron and Mr Xxxxx who were carrying out maintenance on one of our boats, and so ended my opening day. no fish but a fine session angling is indeed the distillate of all that is good in humanity!

Brown Trout!

Kenny Galt the Tweed Foundations Trout biologist came along to a recent meeting to inform us of the progress with our population of Trout. It is clear Kenny has a huge amount of work in front of him as he strives to work out just what types of Trout and the sex of these Trout that make up our population in the loch. A new process developed means that Trout can be sexed merely by taking a few scales from them dead or alive.

With this in mind we are asking all anglers fishing for Brown Trout who manage to catch one to take some scales from them irrespective of whether you intend to keep them or not. We do not need a large number of scales but the quicker we get them off to Kenny the quicker we can get the results back. So if you catch a Trout above 8 inches in length take some scales place them in absorbent paper and mark the pack with the length of the trout and either give them to our loch keeper, committee member or place them in our tag return box on the wall of the boathouse. For information on how to take scales from Trout please visit our main site. Taking scales will not harm or disadvantage the Trout it is akin to us growing new fingernails

Club Competition

It was agreed that we should again run our annual Brown Trout competition with the first prize being an autumn days salmon fishing kindly donated by Major Sir Neil Westbrook on the Upper Pavilion beat on Tweed. The date is Saturday the 26th of April 2014. As usual the day will be open to all and will commence at 09.30 for registration with fishing from 10.00 until 16.00 the entry fee will be £16.00 which is the same price as the last four years, the weigh in at the Tibbie Shiels Inn at 16.30 followed by a tasty barbeque. Trout weighed in must be a minimum of 9 inches in length and any legal method may be used on the day with the exception of trolling from a boat.

For the first time boats will be made available in the first instance for anglers with limited mobility, these anglers must be accompanied by an angler with no such limitations. If you require the use of a boat you should let us know as soon as you can. Any remaining boats will be allocated on a first come first served basis. The prizes will be as follows

1st prize - the autumn days Salmon fishing plus the Westbrook cup to keep for one year.

2nd Prize - a bottle of your choice from the Tibbie Shiels Inn.

3rd Prize – A box of Flies selected for fishing on St Mary’s Loch.

Photo 02 - The new age sculpture in tatters again!

The wider world in my view!

Poorer for their passing!

I was greatly saddened this week to hear of the passing of Tony Benn the long time Left wing MP and more recently columnist and diarist. He was a man who was unshakable in his views and without exception could defend his stance against the buffoons in the Labour party who move ever rightwards! A man of the people he sought to get rid of the inequality gap and champion the cause of the underprivileged and poor people of the country. A man who by all accounts was kind, honourable and fastidiousness in his chosen quest.

Often described as a conviction politician he makes Lord Snooty and his Eton educated posh boy followers look like a second rate circus act with more emphasis on comedy rather than policy. Some say he was divisive and indeed he was as would any other that is unmovable in his views. There were no great highs in his political career he always did a good job in whatever role he played. He did however inject vibrancy into politics he made the grey landscape typical of today’s politicians burst out with colour with his entertaining and well thought out speeches. Throughout it all he stood out like a beacon fighting the corner of the working classes something which he continued until his death. I doubt we shall see his like again which has been reinforced by the huge number of tributes that have been paid to him. I very much mourn his passing, a humble and learned man, tempered with compassion and equity; we are poorer for his passing!

Also this week saw the passing of Bob Crow the old school firebrand leader of the rail union the RMT. A no nonsense union leader who still lived in a council house until his death. He was fiercely defensive of his membership and always sought to improve the lives of his members by confronting anyone who stood in the way of achieving that goal. He was not everyone’s cup of tea but if you were a rail worker you knew that he would fight tooth and nail for you! When he spoke he spoke with authority and politicians took notice, an outspoken character of the type that is dying in the present day being replaced by bland Lord Snooty clones the very mention of their names brings on sleep so lacklustre are they! Another defender of the working classes has gone our future looks bleak indeed!

On the rugby....

Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did! Not content with humiliating the nation, they further embarrassed us with bumbling carthorse like play. Coach Johnstone said prior to the match that this was a much improved side; if that is the case please stop any further improvements! Perhaps expulsion from the six nation’s championship might not be such a bad thing!

Sunday, 9 March 2014

The Swims of St Mary’s Loch part 5

Photo 01 - Like us Pike come in all shapes & sizes!
Photo 02 - Showing the full extent of the deformity!
The Swims of St Mary’s Loch part 5

In the last of his series on the swims of St Mary’s Loch Archangel gives the lowdown on the remaining well known swims of the loch. Of course there are many perfectly good fishing spots which did not make it on to the list , as always after some rudimentary research to see if the area is private or 150ft deep go and have a go. Many thanks to Archangel for this most interesting treatise on the swims of the loch.

This weeks swims Brambles in purple & Kirkstead field in green.
Megget point

In theory this should be a very good spot ti intercept Pike on their travels and travel all over the loch they most certainly do as the clubs tagging study proved conclusively a few years ago. This is the narrowest part of the loch as the Megget relentlessly pushes vast amounts of silt and gravel into the loch one day separating the loch into two smaller ones in a few thousand years time.

I have never caught a Pike here although as far as my memory serves me I have only fished it on four occasions. This is one of the most exposed swims on the loch and when a decent wind gets up you say goodbye to your bivvy. Because of the deposition of gravel and silt the gently sloping bank is long gome there being a few yards of shingle then its a sharp drop into 60ft of water. I know of pike being caught here but it doesn’t appear to be a popular swim maybe for the reasons mentioned above.

Verdict – A swim for the occasional excursion.

The Brambles

A very rarely fished area just up from the Village Hall and as the name suggests well populated with Bramble bushes which in early winter will feed you well several times over if you forget your piece. Rosehips and spiny Hawthorn are also here in abundance. As to fish well I’ve had a few jacks here but this swim borders on the very deepest part of the loch and a depth gauge or ledger floay is advised just to check the depth of your intended swim. Plenty rocky outcrops here so losing tackle is always a possibility here.

Verdict – Its always somewhere else to try.

The Kirkstead Field

Next to the main road you will need to fish against the prevailing wind but don’t let that put you off. Fishing along the roadside can be a tricky business as drivers not familiar with the road occasionally enter yhe loch here so have your wits about you. Best fished from the field and in a wind a heavier test curve onyour rod will help 3-4lbs is best.

There is a big hole in this area which seems to attract perch and hence pike. I have had some nice fish here over the years and its always on my list. Some big boulders here and some sharp edges as it holds a lot of that slate like rock that splits easily leaving a razor sharp edge so be aware and keep your line clear of the bottom. Moving nearer to the mouth of the Kirkstead burn the bottom gradually slopes away and you can wade a good distance out in normal loch levels. Weed growth aplenty at this swim so the complete food chain is in operation here and all species can be caught here.

Note if you arrive here by boat and a wind gets up you need to move quick as the ever advancing waves will prevent you from launching you boat and you will be stuck.

Verdict – I like this swim very much, give it a go.

Rodono reed bed

The grassed area which is fenced off is private so do not fish there but just towards te top end you will see some reeds and a nice grassy area ideal for your bivvy. A shallow area that in normal loch levels you can wade out around a hundred yards. Populated by small boulders and straggly weed this is a nice spot in which to ponder the wonders that Mother Nature gives us and more importantly it is a good area to fish.

Casting to the drop off into deeper water can bring some good results assuming of course the pike want to play. Anglers using poppers have had some success here as have trolling anglers. Bank wise aim for a good spread of baits with at least one bordering on the deep water and your chances are maximised know not the reason why but I have never had much luck fishing towards the big lay by but maybe that’s just me.

Verdict – very nice swim productive on its day.

Boathouse wall end.

This to me is one of the most attractive sheltered swims on the loch but I have not enjoyed the rewards given to me by other swims. It is of a nice depth of 5 15ft has plenty of weed growth and not too many snags as you get further out. Plenty of areas on the bank to get snuggled in if the weather plays up. I’ve caught hundreds of fish 100yds further up but here I could count my catches on one hand. I really do like this spot but cannot offer any hard evidence for it being included in my favourite swims.

Verdict – potential lies here uncovering it however seems problematic.

Upper Bowerhope

Situated on the far side of the loch only really accessible by boat this is a quiet and pleasant swim where you could fish all day and not need to speak a word to anyone. To the right (bottom end) there lies a pebble base merging into a medium sized boulder bottom whereas on the left there are sandy patches and weed beds. Assuming fishing distance is around 20-40yds you will be fishing in 25-40ft of water which in my book is ideal.

I have not fished this area as much as I should have, like the wall end mentioned above it just cries out to be fished. In the summer on a calm day the  area can be very calm with the tips of weed growth showing and the gentle ripple as a trout breaks the surface for a meaty snack. I have managed some nice fish here but my tally should be much more. Choose a sunny day with enough bacon and bangers to nourish you and wash down with a couple of cool beers – paradise!

Verdict - put it on your list of swims to fish.

All shapes and sizes!

Referring to photos 01 & 02 caught by Stevie Nimmo yesterday this Pike has a scoliosis of the spine which in humans is a serious anomaly 85% of cases are of no known origin (idiopathic). I would have loved to see this Pike swim as all streamlining is lost which is vital in an ambush predator!

However the fact remains we have here a Pike who is probably over three years of age and by the look of it and Stevies catch report it is in good condition! This Pike must have adapted its strategy to balance out this abnormality since it obviously can still hunt, it is no longer of an aerodynamic shape so new mechanisms must have been developed to cope with this. Nature is indeed a most wonderful thing! If anyone catches this unmistakeable Pike please weight it and take a couple of scales from the area just below the dorsal fin so we can have her aged.

Six days to go!

Time really does fly, only six days to go until the 2014 season opens for Brown Trout, if your gear hasn’t had the mandatory examination then you had better get cracking! On our front is the good news that a 5lbs Brownie was caught last Sunday at the bottom of the Lowes and was reported to be in good condition. Spend the next week working out final tactics for the assault and see you on Saturday irrespective of weather!

Photo 03 - Huge swell again yesterday!
The wider world in my view!

Lord Snooty and his band of clowns & puppets!

I thought it might be an appropriate time to review the reign of Lord Snooty and his band of clowns and puppets thus far. I remember it well the promises of a better society how they would control borrowing, reduce immigration, slash unemployment, support business and end the culture of benefit cheats. The Lib – Dem puppets also stated that they would curb the right wing tendencies of the Tories and bring about a fairer society!

The ravages of time has as expected humbled the two sets of fools good and proper! They claim unemployment is down and indeed it is but it has replaced the number of workless poor by increased numbers of working poor. Yes these people on the minimum wage working less than 20hrs/week thanks to the pals of the posh boys splitting up low paid no hope jobs into the part time version of the above! People who cannot survive on the pittance paid forced to go cap in hand to ever increasing numbers of food banks invariably sponsored by churches to prevent malnutrition!

Indeed on the financial front the story is the same as conveniently the posh boys fail to mention borrowing is up this year by 49billion pounds! They harp on about cutting the defecit by 30% but never mention the borrowing figures! They see the poor of the country as an acceptable sacrifice to meet their aims with no protestation from the puppets! They cannot seem to grasp that whilst there are scroungers claiming benefits and indeed they should clamp down on these people multinational companies avoid paying tax by hiring dubious accounting firms to legally avoid this! Of course the money lost to creative accounting is phenomenal when compared to the working class scrounger!

And moving on to immigration the figures released a few weeks ago saw a rise of 38,000 for the last measured year. The whole thing has been a bad joke, a wasted four years that has achieved nothing in addressing inequality and decreasing the numbers in poverty our society has not moved forward one inch! Four years of lies and gross incompetence now sees the country classed as one of the top four in the world as far as inequality is concerned no movement forward its all reverse back into Victorian times!

Whatever overcame the voting public to elect an administration of fools actually they just assumed power, individuals who have never held down proper jobs and frankly would largely be unemployable in the market. The standing of the United Kingdom has been irretrievably plunged into the depths by these Dodoes’s! Apart from incompetence and ineptitude this administration will for the most part will be entirely forgettable probably with the exception of the “pie tax” which raised much mirth on the worlds stage!

The current situation we are now in is however very serious indeed! We have people earning tens to hundreds of millions even when they mess up when millions of under employed scratch around trying to eke out a miserable living! This cannot be a correct mode of living, where some have so much money they know not what to do with it and others the much larger part are on the brink!

The problem of course is an old one and it is simply greed! Ever since Butcher Thatcher let out the virus the inequality gap has drastically widened. A country where the words fairness and equity do not exist, a country where it is considered ok to tramp all over your neighbour to increase your personal wealth, a country where those who have entice more and those who do not have more taken away! It’s a pretty poor snapshot of current society and rather depressingly it will not change!

Under the current system all that happens is a minor redistribution of wealth with piecemeal amounts given to the working classes and vast amounts given to the rich! Every government possibly with the exception of the last Labour government pay only lip service to issues of poverty and inequality invariably just maintaining the status quo. These Con – Dems are just a parliament of fools there are no better words to describe them!

The puppets announced today that they are giving the poor a further £500 in tax allowances after supporting measures pushing poor people into abject poverty. The public (I hope) are not that stupid to be taken in by this nonsensical election carrot. The millions of poor in this country could not suffer another dud administration! Puppet fortunes have fallen like lead balloons with lost deposits in five of the eight by elections recently held! The electorate do not forget liars and Puppet Clegg has had a taste of government and will now rightly face oblivion!

My solution to avoid another bampot administration is to vote for independence. I can see some benefits in being independent but the main reason for my intended vote is to move to a more socially fair government, a government whilst far from being perfect does have a social conscience and can see the need for shortening the inequality gap. Yes there is much to sort out, the yes campaign needs urgently to move up a gear in their publicity campaign to convince undecided voters that there is a fairer society to be grabbed, if they can do this then we will become independent!

Police corruption!

I wouldn’t think too many people would be surprised by the latest revelation with regard to the Steven Lawrence case. Whilst it is distasteful and extremely disappointing we all know it goes on and until human beings are replaced by programmable robots it will continue to do so not only in the police but in all walks of life! To err is human!

Sunday, 2 March 2014

The swims of St Mary’s Loch part 4

The swims of St Mary’s Loch part 4

Writing this at the side of the loch I can say without doubt I am completely satisfied and looking forward to the day which for the first time in a long time looks like being largely dry with the odd sunny spell. This would be a most welcome change as rain has been an ever present and unwelcome companion for most of the winter thus far. The rods are strategically placed and the spirit is high as it is on every visit to the loch, now we must wait patiently and see what fortune brings (see below). Now Archangel continues his series on the swims of St Mary’s Loch.

Summerhope (sheepdog alley).

Lucifer in his article on the ever changing face of St Mary’s loch mentioned that next to the entry of every burn into the loch there are changes to the landscape and this can clearly be seen next to the Summerhope burn.  Looking at a map of the loch there is a significant narrowing of the loch due to infill over thousands of years claiming territory back from the loch.

I must admit this is not one of my favourite spots as its quite open and more importantly it only returns eels in return for my efforts. I have had a couple of pike here but nothing big. At the entry point of the burn you can see the bank shelving away very quickly to around 70ft in depth which is far too deep for a residential pike area. Casting straight out from the Summerhope bank gives similar depths, which makes the area unsuitable for pike fishing. Towards the right towards the top of the loch the bottom is shallower and it is here that success may be encountered. Depths from 10 – 40ft make for a good environment and catch reports suggest a few decent pike to high doubles were recorded here.

Verdict – Not my cup of tea but on catch reports worth a go.

The Sculptures.

On the far side of the loch only practically accessible by boat lies this intriguing swim. Directly opposite the Megget mouth the sculpture is meant to indicate that in thousands of year’s time the loch will again be subdivided by detritus washed in by the Megget burn. The bottom here is gravelly with some sharp outcrops of rock the type of which can be seen bank side.  

The area is not heavily fished indeed the loch is not but anglers taking the trouble to row over invariably reap rewards. If you look at the bathymetrical map you will note water of a depth conducive to pike holding areas. Indeed water of 10 – 45ft makes for a good all round habitat. In the past many perch have been caught here and its not rocket science to figure out why this is the case. The depth of water is not too deep to restrict weed growth and many organisms thrive in such areas and perch are attracted to the abundant food and resultantly pike attracted to the perch.

An area that has a good food tree with pike at the top of the tree. Many good double figure pike are caugt in this area and moving to the left or right gives similar depths and therefore opportunities to catch. Casting out thirty yards is ample here the drop off being approximately in this area and with that patrolling pike. In addition to the fishing some very pleasant views can be had here and the area is a very good bivvying up spot with only the occasional walker or sheep interrupting the calm tranquillity.

Verdict – An area off the beaten track but well worth a shot.

The second lay by.

From the bottom of the loch as the name suggests this is the second lay by travelling up the loch it is a scenic spot giving panoramic views of the upper part of the loch. This is the loch moving into deeper contours with a thirty yard cast reaching water of 30 to 50 ft of water generally the further towards the top of the loch the deeper the water gets.

There are odd snags here where big boulders lie in wait for the unwary angler. I have always liked the look of this swim and must admit that I have not fished here as often as i should have. Of pike caught I think 9lbs is the largest I have caught with a good few in lower single figures. There is a well worn path over the roadside bank to the loch but in the most part due to sunbathers/picnickers. I think I have only heard of two pike caught from this area but I am sure it must yield more.

Verdict – overlooked area that surely has more to offer.

The policeman’s bay

So called because of the proximity to what used to be the police cell in days gone by. A sandy bottom characterises the area and it is here that you must take great care when wading as there is a quicksand effect here sinking ever deeper the more one struggles to get out. From the bank however there is no problem and with no restriction behind mammoth casts are possible.

Casting towards the bottom of the loch the distance caster will encounter the drop off into deep water which rapidly deepens into the deepest part of the loch at 154ft in depth and you don’t want to be fishing this depth of water. This has always been seen as a good pike area and indeed it is backed up by good catches looking at catch returns. The swim is somewhat exposed and as such will be unfishable in some cases but in decent weather when all other factors come into positive play the sport can be very good. Over the years many twenty plus specimens have been caught here.

Verdict – Damned good spot should always be on your list of spots to fish. Once again thanks to archangel for this series which concludes next week!

Photo 01  - Heavy water Sun/Mon moved these timbers 500yds down the Yarrow.
Road closed!

On Wednesday evening I set off for the loch to attend a meeting of the flood protection group to be held in St Mary’s Hall in Cappercleuch. On arriving in Phillphaugh where the turn off for the loch is situated I encountered a sign saying “Road Closed” local access only and further there were directions for a detour to the A72 as an alternative route. I thought if the road to the loch was open then a sign would have been there to say so but there was not.

Looking at my time I realised that heading back and travelling via the A72 would have made me unfashionably late for the meeting so I just headed back to ponder the situation. I could only conclude that as the signage said the road was closed end of story!

On Saturday we encountered the same sign but decided to plough onwards and came upon another sign about 100yds further on that said businesses were open at St Mary’s Loch! Did you ever hear of such Muppetry! Why on earth this sign was not placed adjacent to the first and more prominent one saying that the road was closed! If this was the case then by some deductive reasoning travellers could work out that the road was open at least until the Glen Cafe!

Of course in a sane world the initial sign would have said road closed at wherever the location of the closure was situated, clearly stating to travellers how far they could travel this road! Quite frankly you could not make it up, the signage was about as clear as R Whytes cloudy lemonade! Nonstop bungling from the Con – Dems and from the council – abandon all hope ye who enter here!

Update - on the way home the sign relating to businesses at the loch had disappeared – Oh what a tangled web we weave.......

Oh and the chance of a fish mentioned above, well at 2.40pm there came a violent hailstorm and a few moments later the bobbin dropped, a fish had the bait. Whist being shot blasted by the hailstones I tussled with it and after a few minutes it was off. Disappointed? Not really, a brief encounter with a wild Pike and because it was not the sandbag plastic variety for the terminally challenged it really made my day! And I got a free facial debridement courtesy of Mother Nature without donating to L’Oreal, just because I’m worth it!

The wider world in my view!

Things looking up for the poor of the country!

Yes its good news at last or is it! Instead of tackling the problem at source minister without a clue Gideon Osborne and hapless diddy Iain Duncan Smith have decided to alter the criteria whereby poverty is defined. What a cracking idea, the figures could be halved at a stroke by redefining these markers. Only a Tory could come up with such a plan, quite frankly it’s outrageous!

More help for the poor!

I have no doubt the poor of the country were overwhelmed by the rise in the minimum wage from £6.38 to £6.50/hr will it allow the heating to be turned on? Will it allow caviar of the type Lord Snooty partakes of? Will it allow a working man to enjoy a pint after work? In all cases the answer is a resounding NO! The few pounds per week will be swallowed up by increases in food prices and that of other consumables! A downright insult to working class people everywhere! The country needs to ditch these Con – Dems now!

“Judge me by these figures”!

A while ago Lord Snooty made a bold statement in the light of the fact that UKIP were closing in on the gormless Tories. He stated that immigration figures would be down in 2013 in an effort to appease the right of the party and wavering Tory voters saying that UKIP looked the place for their vote! Figures released this week show that immigration was up by 58,000 a whopping 30% up on the previous year!

It’s not a great surprise, yet another failed policy in a long line of failed policies! Yes these jokers trying out yet another chuck it and see policy find yet again they have got their sums badly wrong! The bottom line here is that the governments policy on immigration is in keeping with all their other policies a complete and utter failure! It was bungling on day one, that bungling has continued unabated every day since then! Snooty should be judged on these figures, he has failed the country yet again! Roll on the 18th of September when Scotland will get an opportunity to ditch these fools forever!

The Ukrainian affair!

Listening to the news yesterday afternoon I came out in a cold sweat! The reason, Bungling Bill Hague was trying to meddle in this purely Eurasian business. The man that wanted us to obliterate thousands of innocent civilians in Syria, the man that landed armed masked troops in the middle of the night in friendly territory! Granted it is a very serious business but Bungling Bill’s intervention is at best irrelevant and at worst highly dangerous! After stirring up a hornets nest in the Ukraine he now seems surprised the great Russian bear fights back!
Vladimir Putin obviously has not forgotten the fact that western Ukrainians collaborated with the Bosch during the Second World War. Minor players like Lord Snooty and Bungling Bill Hague need to wind their necks in, they are ultra lightweights trying to enter a super heavyweight bout! To Lord Snooty and Bungling Bill, keep out for all our sakes!