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!
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
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!