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!

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