Sunday, 31 August 2014

Rule changes regarding night fishing!

Photo 01 - yes its more rubbish from last week.
Rule changes regarding night fishing!

Today we had a meeting with the River Tweed Bailiffs to discuss the ongoing assault on our lochs. The first thing to note is that the meeting took place 8 weeks after our request was made via the police. Not the quickest response I have come across! Anyway the two bailiffs who attended were eager to assist us and made some positive sounds and after what was a lengthy discussion involving the bailiffs, Loch keeper Mr Xxxxx, club bailiff Aaron, member Les and I we came to some appropriate conclusions.

We hope that the measures we are implementing will not impinge on angler’s freedom to fish but be clear OUR NEW RULES MUST BE FOLLOWED PRECISELY OR YOU MAY BE SUBJECT TO HEAVY PENALTIES! We are very keen to proceed with a prosecution to send out a clear message that we will not tolerate illegal fishing on our lochs! Now that means that anyone fishing without a permit will be subject to prosecution under the River Tweed Protection Order! We will allow a variation in that if you contact Mr Xxxxx our loch keeper and inform him of where and when you intend to fish on the lochs he will at his discretion allow you to fish! This means you cannot just turn up at the lochs and commence fishing if you have not contacted Mr Xxxxx! This of course does not apply to members of the club,

With regards to night fishing which we will class as being between the hours of 20.00hrs and 06.00hrs all anglers including members must let Mr Xxxxx know that they will be on the banks between these hours. We have mentioned this before but have now formalised the arrangement with the authorities. The Tweed bailiffs will be patrolling the lochs at night and they will prior to descending on to the lochs enquire of Mr Xxxxx who has permission to be on the lochs at night. Please do not allow yourselves to fall foul of this arrangement as the consequences may be severe!  Please note that the Tweed Rivers Bailiffs have the power to seize all fishing equipment and any other items they deem to have been used in committing the offence which may include your car!

We regret having to implement these measures but recent events involving people from other countries carrying heavy and persistent poaching have left us with no alternative. If you are fishing on our lochs with the required permit you may take 4 Brown Trout or 4 Perch or a combination of both up to 4 fish. You may not harm or take any Eels or Pike! Normal right thinking anglers should not be inconvenienced by these measures just contact Mr Xxxxx and he will keep you right! Apologies for all the bold print but this message must be transmitted our all that fish or intend to fish on the lochs. The font size of the link to this site will be increased on our main site to catch people’s attention.

Photo 02 - yet more rubbish!

Unbelievably there was another dumping incident into the Megget burn on Sunday evening early Monday morning. You will see the volume of rubbish dumped was significant with the usual mix of general rubbish, chemical containers and gas cylinders. Again this rubbish was dumped unseen and it was down to Ian and Barbara to clean this rubbish up before it got dispersed all over the loch.

It’s bad enough to dump the stuff but to do so into a watercourse and give people extra work is unforgivable! Again the incident has been reported to the authorities and this is now the sixth incident in a short period of time. Short of having someone camping out under the bridge seven days a week there is no hope of catching these wretched people. We await feedback from the authorities although we are not hopeful of moving forward!

Outboard engines!

Yet again we have found ourselves in a pickle regarding these pieces of equipment. Our Hidea engine was found to be malfunctioning after a recent hire. It would run fine at low revs but on acceleration the drive seemed to let go and the engine revs hit the roof. We suspected a problem with the rubber clutch which is a mechanism that replaces the shear pin on modern engines.

On examination the propeller was found to be heavily dented indicating a good thrashing on the rocks and on one of the leaves a chunk had been knocked right out! Closer examination revealed that the “Shear pin” had been broken in effect the rubber clutch that envelopes the drive shaft and provides a coupling to the propeller body was at high torque conditions slipping the adhesive bond having been broken.

The good thing about this method of protecting the machined gears in the engine is that even if the bond is broken the system will allow you to limp home at low revs. We unfortunately cannot pin down those responsible and are now facing a good bill! I think it unlikely we can purchase a splined brass collar with the rubber clutch bonded on more likely we will have to purchase a complete propeller with the rubber clutch bonded in! My guess is £50 - £80 for the assembly and that does not take into account the repairing teams time, at a dealer the time would probably come to another £80.00 plus 20% VAT.

A ray of light however from our club precision engineer Elliot Fraser, he will make a couple of holes and insert pins to a pre determined depth into the rubber thereby allowing the pins to slice through the rubber if the propeller is bashed against the rocks. It’s a great solution no doubt one we will have to employ, yet again Luddites at work! Thanks to Elliot & Mr Xxxxx for their work on this task!

From our recommended dealers!

Received this week from Fisher direct some great offers for the fly tier, a great deal if you are in the market for a pair of waders, super deal on a midge tip fly line and a superb offer on a Scierra fishing bag! Click the link to see all these great offers –

The wider world in my view!

Double whammy for Lord Snooty!

It’s like watching a pumped up bully in the ring with Mohamed Ali! Yes Lord Snooty took another pounding firstly with the defection of Tory MP Douglas Carswell and then from the snap opinion polls that came out after his talk on the “Better together” campaign which turned out to be positive for the “Yes” campaign.

Carswell could take no more of the shambolic policies of the Tories especially on Europe. This millstone which hangs round Lord Snooty’s neck will be the one that forces his last political breath as the leader of a bunch of clueless poor punishing posh boys! To make matters worse Carswell has forced a by election one which most of the pundits think he will win under the UKIP banner!

Even worse is the fact that potential UKIP defectors are still hiding in the Tory ranks lining up to defect to effect the death blow to Lord Snooty! Weak Ed Milliband must be laughing up his sleeve as they take a six point lead over the Tories in the latest opinion polls giving only mild hope to working people in this country! Remember though that UKIP are extremists and as much use to the country as a parliament of posh boys and puppets!

In a similar vein Lord Snooty doing what he thought was his bit for the better together campaign actually did nothing at all for the cause but moved support to the Yes campaign. Yes visiting “safe” areas where it was unlikely he would be put on the spot when he did come across working people he was met with derision and contempt! You would have thought by now that in a country where there are more pandas than Tory MPs he would have realised Tory posh boys are not welcome here! Snooty also received a pasting from the CBI for their shambolic stance on Europe!

Yes campaigners all over the country are asking for another quick visit by our Prime Minister to boost the ratings yet again. Currently the Yes campaign has moved up to 47% which is just a smidgeon below what is needed for independence and a welcome Tory free zone! Lord Snooty’s premiership has been a catastrophic mixture of lies and unparalleled bungling the pattern has not changed – The slide continues!

Butcher Thatcher’s Army!

The people of Galashiels have been subjected to an onslaught of heavy tipper trucks working on the new borders rail link. Names such as Skene, City Haul, NWH and Malcolm thunder over our roads doing what needs to be done to meet the deadline of September next year. No doubt all this travelling will have a detrimental effect on the road surfaces something which we all dread! Some of our older readers may remember the pre closure Ravenscraig dispute well, it was the Malcolm group who acted as scabs and broke through the picket lines as the mechanised division of Butcher Thatcher’s Capitalist army! Disheartening to see a company with such a background still operating!

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Choosing a fishing guide 2!

Photo 01 - My membership of the cane club! see below.
A guide to choosing a fishing guide!

Following on from the success of our initial “choosing a fly fishing guide” site which brought about significant and welcome changes in the local scene we now offer our revised guide. For expediency fishing guides should be taken to include casting instructors also. Personally I think local clubs have slipped up badly in allowing these people to come in and make a living out of club or association water. In our club if there is any tuition or guiding required then we see to it ourselves rendering the services of these people redundant!  Informed choice is the only way to make a decision when hiring a fishing guide, here we give you the information to enable you to make that choice.

We currently have a submission to the Scottish Government asking for mandatory regulation of these people. We felt this necessary due to the shambolic situation we uncovered in the Scottish Borders with unqualified people everywhere calling themselves fishing guides or instructors demeaning the standing of those who did go the extra mile and gain suitable qualifications. These people are responsible for your safety and wellbeing when hired and we found have a go Harry’s with no first aid qualifications, no instructor’s certificates and no vetting by Disclosure Scotland! Quite frankly it was a joke and Marine Scotland should be thoroughly ashamed that they are allowing this to take place!

Unqualified, unaccountable and non regulated fishing guides may be operating in this area! It is imperative if you are seeking the most fulfilling experience with a fishing guide that you book one that is fully qualified and accountable!

With the well being of anglers coming to the Borders in mind we have constructed the following notes to help those anglers who may wish to use the services of a fishing guide. The fishing guide set up in this country is different to that for instance in the USA where mandatory registration, education and regulation is commonplace as indeed it should be! There is no government regulation in this country which has led to the embarrassing situation of unqualified “overnighters” pumped up with their own importance springing up and inflicting themselves on unsuspecting anglers!

These unqualified “overnighters” despised by the general angling population and alienated by their qualified counterparts are just that – waking up one morning magically transformed into a fishing guide and deciding to earn some easy money “guiding” anglers! With no thought towards personal development and acquiring advanced qualifications these people should be avoided like the plague! They are unqualified in fishing skills and life support techniques! They are unregulated! They invariably have not been vetted by Disclosure Scotland! They are unaccountable!  You need to ask yourself why they have not sought to attain readily available qualifications and develop skills to demonstrate commitment, professionalism and ultimately by use of measured advanced skills give to the angler the best experience possible! These people treat anglers with utter contempt by the very fact that they have taken no steps to professionalise themselves, content to invest in nothing and yet take from angler’s often exorbitant sums of money! 

Photo 02 - locking ferrules and clean cork!

A “fishing guide” who cannot demonstrate a degree of commitment by investing in his “profession” can only offer his client a second rate service! A qualified fishing guide has expended much time, money and considerable effort in order to give the angler the very best of service!

What is the difference between a qualified and unqualified fishing guide?

It is imperative that you check qualifications against the issuing body eg APGAI as it is possible some unqualified types may slip through the net. 

You will encounter guides that have spent some considerable time, money and effort to be at the very pinnacle of guiding! With unqualified “overnighters” you have no such facility, your moneys gone, end of story! 

 Professional development is of the utmost importance to ensure the anglers experience is the best it can be! Unqualified “overnighters” invariably offer a second rate service due to the low level of skill and knowledge!

Gaining advanced qualifications serves to demonstrate to clients that significant time, money and effort have been expended with the specific aim of optimising the client’s experience!

Photo 03 - nicely glossed mid section!

How to avoid booking an unqualified “overnighter”!

Simply put, do your homework and get in touch with local clubs who will be happy to advise you. If however you come upon a fishing guide website here are some easy ways to determine their status –

(1)  Try and check the site with locals in the area using agencies such as angling clubs!

(2)  If they advertise being APGAI trained go to the GAIC website and if they are not listed then they are not qualified with this body!

(3)  Ask to see evidence of their qualifications, and if they cannot do so dispense with them! Do also speak with a member of the local fishing club they will know the guides worth hiring!

(4)  If a guide is part time you need to ask why this is the case. The best guides seem to be mostly full time guides!

Be careful of booking a guide on the advice of a B&B or hotel as there are often financial links involved and your experience could be at risk!

Remember your guided day will cost a significant amount of money; we want to ensure it is spent wisely giving you the best possible experience! We only recommend one guiding business who has advanced qualifications in all the areas we call for and that is Damsel fly fishing - 

Our words were penned only after a thorough investigation lasting over six months and a modicum of common sense! Our aim in this exercise is simply to raise the standards expected of fishing guides and to expose those unqualified “overnighters” who treat anglers with derision and utter contempt by not being prepared to invest in education and training thereby denying the angler the best possible experience. These pseudo “fishing guides” also demean the standing of those guides who do put their clients first by investing heavily in advanced training!

 In order to obtain a first rate guaranteed fishing guide service you must book a guide who list qualifications that can be verified!

Photo 04 - Original Agate butt ring, tip ring is also Agate.
The bottom line!

There is a simple choice to be made between booking fully accountable, trained, educated, subject to regulation and experienced fishing guides and greenhorn unqualified “overnighters” whose credentials (if indeed they have any) are to say the least dubious!

If a fishing guide cannot demonstrate a commitment to anglers by investing in further education then he is a charlatan and unworthy of being hired as a guide! It is a continued source of embarrassment to right thinking anglers and I would imagine qualified fishing guides in the Scottish Borders that such unqualified “overnighters” exist in the area! There is an urgent need to increase standards and levels of regulation with regard to the operation of fishing guides, allowing unqualified guides to roam the area does not progress this aim! Dragging down the standing of angling in the Borders these overnighters will not voluntarily tell you that they are unqualified! However the fact remains that such unqualified people do exist, it is therefore only right and proper that you be made aware of this!

In everyday life for peace of mind we invariably lean towards those who can demonstrate education, integrity and professionalism for our well being. You would not hire an unqualified electrician to come and rewire your house, hiring a fishing guide is no different! Booking a fishing guide who operates out with these parameters will invariably lead to a second rate experience WITH NO OPPORTUNITY FOR RECOURSE!
For your own peace of mind please book a qualified, accountable and subject to regulation fishing guide with verifiable qualifications! Do not accept at face value what is written on websites, check advertised qualifications in the manner we have described above! You may find people listing terms such as being an associate member which invariably means they are apprentices who are seeking money before they have obtained the correct qualification!

Gala angling Association were recently pulled up by two of their riparian owners for "allowing "fishing guides to operate commercially on their waters. We warned this situation would arise and we can fully see why the owners took this position. You should check your guide has the required permissions before entering the water!

Please do not e mail us for a recommendation as to the choice of a fishing guide, we have stated clearly the company we recommend. All e mails in this respect will be unanswered!

The cane club!

I first had a split cane rod back in the late sixties learning my craft on the river Gala. Like every other youth I always wanted what I perceived to be better and had a brief excursion with fibreglass before moving on to the all singing and dancing carbon fibre. There was no denying that the new tool was lighter making an all day session that bit easier. What followed was all on the carbon theme with various mixes such as boron, lamiglass and others whose name eludes me.

I read an article on the Rawson & Perrin website about cane and immediately became enthused about the type of rod that I (shamefully) quickly ditched in favour of space age carbon. And so it was a couple of years back I bought my nine and a half foot 1955 Carter of London fly rod and was immediately captivated by the lazy full through action rod that was a delight to cast and even better when playing fish. Most fly rods today are tip action or middle to tip action. Oh you can’t put the pressure on a fish that you can with a carbon poker, gentleness and thought is called for!

There is a sense of total involvement as the rod responds to minute changes made by the played fish and the rod is actually much stronger than it feels but if a heavy fish is encountered then the fish would have the best of it! With this in mind I bought a 1948 10ft split cane fly rod originally owned by a Dr Tom Bliss a GP in Edinburgh a couple of months ago.

I found out from the vendor that Dr Bliss had bought the rod new just after the war to re engage with a pre war hobby. The rod was thought to be a Hardy but this is not verifiable as Dr Bliss had the rod restored later with brazed and cleaned rings and new whippings and cork handle thought to have taken place in the late fifties. The maker’s marks were lost at this time; apparently Dr Bliss was a modest unassuming man and would be quite happy with an anonymous rod unlike so many of the brags seen today! Dr Bliss apparently often loch fished around the Edinburgh area so it may be that the rod has previously fished St Mary’s loch!

Sadly Dr Bliss died soon after and his widow gave the rod to his long time angling friend the father of the vendor from whom I purchased the rod. The rod was hardly used from then on and lived in an attic in Kent until a few months ago when I purchased it. The Carter rod is good as a light Trout rod but this is on an entirely different level with regard to versatility. As happy playing 3-4lb fish as it is a 6oz tiddler from the Gala. I would be confident of landing a sizeable Salmon on this rod such is its capability. The rod has an all enveloping through action bending from the tip to the butt in a most pleasing curve

Who cares if it is a Hardy, it is a great rod crafted by people made with devotion and know how! All I have done to it is cleaning the handle and brass work and re varnishing the blanks. This of course joins my 15ft Alex Martin Salmon Greenheart rod which to my eternal shame has yet to be christened! Imagine my surprise when Les Henderson announced that he had purchased locally a mid sixties 9ft Forshaws of Liverpool fly rod the model being the “Palace 10”. I have seen it but it has not yet had an outing, watch this space for a review on what looks to be a very capable and satisfying fly rod.

Another angler re visiting the past, rediscovering the peerless pleasures of cane. I wonder who will next rediscover split cane rods, Stevie Nimmo Elliot Fraser or Pete Young! Check out e bay for a thriving market dealing in split cane, still masses of bargains to be had! Go buy one and join the cane club!
Once again we have to extend our thanks to bailiff Aaron for the important work carried out yesterday. We cannot reveal the nature of that work suffice to say the club benefitted from their endeavours!
Thanks lads!

Gala angling association article here

Sunday, 17 August 2014

A week of disappointing news!

Photo 01 - half of the big repair squad out yesterday dogs included.
Another week of disappointing news!

You will remember last week we told of the drunken behaviour of some “anglers” fishing at the top of St Mary’s. Well it got much worse! Yes in the Tibbie at night the heavy drinking continued unabated and eventually a point was reached when they were asked to leave. It also turns out the proprietors motorcycle had been hauled into the car park with intent to commit god knows what!

These people are an embarrassment to angling just like the angling bully mentioned some weeks ago and all the other fools and varlets who have embarrassed themselves on our banks, these people are the very bottom of the angling barrel! Angling needs keen enthusiastic and level thinking individuals to take forward the sport we enjoy so much. Muppets acting in the fashion above are ten a penny and serve no betterment for the sport, indeed only succeed in dragging the good name of angling through the mire.

If you want to get blind drunk then please do so, but do it in a place where you won’t be spoiling other peoples fun, in your own back yard Drinking is acceptable in the correct environment but there is no place for excessive alcohol consumption on the banks of the loch.

Our loch keeper asked us to implement a complete ban on alcohol at the lochs but we turned this down as a high percentage of our visitors do enjoy a drink in a responsible fashion and we do not want to impinge on their enjoyment! I am now half minded to ask for a reversal of this decision but it seems wrong to hurt the majority for the actions of the few, we will have to monitor this situation closely to see in which direction we must move.
our loch keeper has the details of these individuals they will not return to the lochs!Over the years I have noticed that whenever there is an incident at the lochs Buckfast is involved!

Photo 03 Wherever Buckfast is found there is trouble!
Disappearing rubbish!

Over the last couple of months we have collected a significant amount of rubbish from day to day activities of the club and illegal dumpings into the Megget Burn. Mr Xxxxx had made arrangements to have this lifted on Wednesday and I had plans to take numerous high resolution photos of serial numbers on the gas bottles to pass on to SEPA.

Well on arrival yesterday we were somewhat surprised to see all the rubbish gone. At first we suspected metal thieves but as all the other valueless rubbish had gone we discounted this. No one seems to have any idea as to who was responsible for the uplift to whoever disposed of this we say thank you but if you feel the need to do so again give us a shout first in case we need certain items.

The passing of a gentleman!

It is with great sadness that I have to report the death of our club sponsor Major Sir Neil Westbrook who died peacefully at his Isle of Man home on Wednesday evening. He was a hugely successful businessman and race horse breeder employing the services of the Easterby family running all his horses with the Bolin prefix after a stream that runs through his previous abode in Prestbury Cheshire.

A keen shooter in his day and ex mayor of Manchester he accomplished much in his 97 years! Angling however remained his passion and he visited his beat on the Tweed often and invariably left with numerous fish so great his prowess at the Brig end one of the pools on his beat.

Major Westbrook was extremely supportive of our club and kindly donated our competition first prize of autumn salmon fishing. There are many adjectives we could use to describe the man but perhaps the most telling would be “a true gentleman”! Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time. RIP I have sent an expression of sympathy on behalf of the club to his widow.

Another “angler” banned!

It has been with us for as long as we can remember those who phone to book a boat then fail to turn up wasting our time greatly. Our new system of booking boats through Mr Xxxxx our loch keeper with a £10.00 PayPal deposit was circumvented by phoning me. The “angler” said he had phoned twice to our loch keeper but could not get through and ended up phoning me.

I have no facility for taking deposits so took the booking with the view of phoning Mr Xxxxx or Mike or Ian and getting them to take care of the hire. Mike left his open day which was held to publicise his new B&B. By this time I had got hold of Mr Xxxxx and he said he would take care of this. Well he sat in the boat house for over an hour and no one appeared!

I phoned the hirer of the boat but only got an answering machine. I did leave a message asking for an explanation, he did not reply! I have again phoned to again get the answering machine but left a message saying that his phone number is now blacklisted and he is no longer welcome here. We do not know his name only that he speaks with a familiar foreign accent! People acting in this fashion are just a waste of space please go elsewhere we do not want your kind here!

Remedial work!

Unfortunately yesterday was spent rectifying Muppet damage on our boats negating the possibility of fishing. The Salmo Trutta Arran now has a new reinforced bottom and a new one piece heavy duty runner and is completely watertight! The damage caused by the three vassals a few weeks ago has also been repaired awaiting a new one piece runner and the top work where someone smashed the ridge above the bumper is awaiting colour. Its work that shouldn’t be required! Thanks to Gordon & Mike, Aaron and Elliot for their input, it certainly made things much easier!

Photo 03 - Look what they've done to our boat.
A new lease of life!

Mentioned a few months ago we sold one of our “Blue boats” to good friend Mike Christie who had intentions to renovate it and build in some flotation tanks. Well he wrote today to say that she has been launched on Fruid after her makeover.

The seating renovated, flotation tanks built and strengthening work carried out and to finish her off 3 coats of a purpose marine grade one pack paint in a tasteful shade of green. Mike is the winner of this year’s wild Trout competition and will be coming Salmon fishing at the back end. See you then Mike, oh and great job on the boat she looks fantastic!

Photo 04 - Our old blue boat looking great now living on Fruid!
The wider world in my view!

One month to go!

The momentous date of September the 18th 2014 looms ever closer, the date when Scotland could take the biggest decision in its history, casting off the shackles of Westminster and embracing the world as an independent country! It is now universally agreed that Scotland would have no problem going it alone in spite of what the worry mongers say. It is possible and prudent to use the pound the agreement of the others in the UK is not required. Pensions and investments will be protected and those companies who are threatening to pull out of Scotland will not do so. The greed of capitalism will prevail!

Independence is the opportunity to start from scratch with an entirely new way of politics where the poor and underprivileged will not be pushed into the gutter but given a good and reasonable standard of living much better than what they currently endure. It is a golden opportunity sort out the banks and send packing the greed ridden charlatans who recklessly gamble with our future!

Public utilities could be taken back under government control and prices for the essentials we require could be set at a price we could afford! Of course the scoffers say this could not be afforded but of course it can. Its true North Sea oil will not last forever but it will furnish the transition from the yoke of Westminster to freedom! Removal of Trident will allow our ideology to change and the next generation of free Scots will have and see no need for nuclear weapons. We are a rich country relatively speaking its time that wealth was redistributed in an equitable fashion removing wealth from those who historically originally acquired that wealth by force or favour!

With only a month to go people should be making their minds up as to which way to vote. The most recent poll in the Scotsman states that around 16% are still undecided! I put this down to the politicians on both sides who lie, fabricate and deceive! Yes negativity has been the character of the debate and the time has now come for honesty. The Scotsman poll showed the yes vote has risen to 39% whilst the no campaign has fallen to 46%. It is all to fight for with the huge amount of undecided’s out there.

If you want to see an end to poor bashing, wholesale bungling, international clangers, outrageous bankers payments, out of touch posh boy rhetoric and warmongering then you really must vote for independence!
Note - there are reports of a significant new oil find on the west coast of Scotland if this is the case independence is a done deal!
Fig 1 Welfare spending.

What the posh boys have achieved!

There is much talk of how Lord Snooty and his band of bunglers have sorted out the country; well here are some facts about the economy you might not be aware of – Overall public spending is up around £25 billion from 2008! This in spite of their claims public spending is down see figure 1.

Fig 2 the country's defecit.
The National Debt is up from 0.53 Trillion pounds in 2008 to a staggering 1.26 Trillion pounds in 2014 I can’t see much that has been sorted here! The defecit which they keep harping on about has indeed been cut by 30% but it was under their reign that it ballooned effectively doubling from the figure they inherited from Labour. Oh yes and welfare spending the topic that Diddy Duncan Smith takes credit for is fractionally up from the figure they inherited from labour. The Con-Dems had a choice austerity or planned spending, for instance investment in green energy as usually they got it wrong and the working classes are on their knees and there is no investment spending.
Fig 3 Uks rising debt.

We are no better off as a country in fact we are significantly worse off with the increasing cost of living crisis! Just a reminder that you cannot believe a word these Tories say. How do you know if they are lying – if you see a Tory MPs lips move then he or she is lying! Let’s get rid of these bums!

All figures from uk public spending

Sunday, 10 August 2014

More of the same!

Photo 01 - The latest batch some containers missing.
More of the same!

Unbelievably, a couple of phone calls on Friday from Keith and Ian told of yet further dumping into the Megget burn! Undoubtedly from the same people who have deposited rubbish regularly in the past. The selection this week comprised of two beer kegs (empty), a spent fire extinguisher, a balloon gas cylinder, two Chinese cooking oil containers, two black bags full of juice bottles, soy sauce containers, curry powder and general rubbish which included at least 10 half bottles of Buckfast fortified wine universally known here as the mark of a Muppet!

Yes the usual time lapse of a couple of weeks between dumpings abandoned with Thursday nights offering. This makes things very difficult for us as the pattern has been broken and tipping becomes random!  Following on from last week my endeavours with the statutory agencies did not prove to be particularly fruitful! The police don’t want to know unless we can provide evidence of an offence with the culprits caught red handed! Of course given the location of the lochs this is never going to happen!

The council are happy to note the incident but end their involvement there; however they state that it is up to the landowner to remove this rubbish which on the face of it relieves us of the obligation of cleaning the mess up! However any angler worth his or her salt could not sit back and see containers of hazardous chemicals emptying into the Megget and ultimately into St Mary’s! It is for this reason that we have to act swiftly and remove the containers.

Photo 02 - The new signs in case you can't find one!
The response from SEPA was initially disappointing with the officer suggesting the waste could have come from wild campers. I wasn’t too impressed with this theory! They also suggested we could place a sign on the bridge saying “No Fly Tipping”! Of course this would doubtless lead us into conflict with the council and lead to the said sign being tipped into the Megget!

After some discussion the officer acceded to our request and agreed on receipt of high resolution photos of the serial numbers and manufacturers details to try and trace the path of these containers from source to the end point. Now this may give us some information and then it may not, it is however encouraging someone is doing something!

Of course what is taking place here is ultimately the fault of the Con-Dems as they roll back the state shackling the efforts of our public bodies. It is often used as an excuse for not carrying out what is after all important work, remember this when you next visit a polling booth! Once again we would ask anyone who spots a suspicious vehicle parked on Megget Bridge in the late evening or early morning to give us a call so we can progress the apprehension of these Muppets!  Once again the cleanup operation fell to us and we are extremely grateful for the assistance of Ian Fernyhough and our loch keeper Keith Young who gave up most of his Saturday cleaning up this outrageous and unnecessary mess!

 Thanks lads your efforts are very much appreciated!

Parking on grass verges and more!

Yesterday we encountered a most dangerous situation where 11 vehicles were parked on the verges in a line at the top of the loch just before the turn off for Tibbie Shiels. The problem here is that the road is narrow, it encompasses tight bends and has many heavy goods vehicles traversing it regularly. If one of these articulated vehicles moves over the white line there is nowhere for a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction to go, and at the very best a line of vehicles on the verges will end up seriously damaged. A worst case scenario is that people may lose their lives! Now it turns out that most of the vehicles belonged to wild campers who are out with our field of operation. However when we approached them and asked that these vehicles be moved to a safer parking area they were only too pleased to oblige.

However a couple of anglers in a group of four were unable to comply because they were too drunk to drive!  That vehicle had to remain on the verge. Now there are a number of points that we wish to make here and really it is the reiteration of club rules. If you are seriously under the influence of alcohol then we will deem you to be unfit to fish on our lochs and you will be asked to reel in and cease fishing! Failure to comply with this request will result in your permission to fish being rescinded!

Since you will then be fishing without the required permission we will call for the River Tweed bailiffs or the Police as we are expected to do under the terms of the River Tweed Protection Order. How they deal with this situation is up to them, but in serious cases we will ask for all fishing tackle to be confiscated and ask for charges of breach of the peace to be preferred! The foregoing will also be applied if you fail to carry out a reasonable request from our club officials or loch keeper!

Our club officials and in particular our loch keeper go the extra mile to ensure your session at the lochs is the best it can be. We will not allow our agents to be subject to verbal or physical abuse! The vast majority of our visitors have no need to fear as this only applies to the subversive element we occasionally come across! The majority of our visiting anglers enjoy a drink but they do responsibly and we have no problem whatsoever with this! We want everybody to come and enjoy their session at the loch however remember you are on the property of others and bound by the rules of the club.

In fairness to the people mentioned above they did wise up and behave in an acceptable fashion. If you enjoy a drink whilst fishing please do so responsibly! Tight Lines!

Photo 03 - you would need a Ghurkha knife to get near this one!
Missing bench!

Most of you will be familiar with the benches provided outside the Glen Cafe for the enjoyment of visitors. Well in keeping with all the other negative events that have been taking place one of them is missing probably stolen! Yes a new bench constructed for the cafe was stolen, probably loaded into the back of a large van maybe the one that regularly empties itself into the Megget burn! Just another depressing event which further impacts on those who live in the area.

New signage on the loch!

The erection of signs at strategic points around the loch is an event we have been calling for ever since the first Flood Protection Meeting as regards St Mary’s loch. The proposed drop in water level will at some points on the loch leave areas of very deep water close to the water’s edge. From a safety point of view these signs are essential serving to inform people of the dangers.

But how disappointing to see these signs sited in quite inappropriate areas where no one treads and in areas where the road is narrow and twisty meaning no one will be able to stop and read the information (see photo 3)! Areas where people congregate in lay bys have no signage nearby another fine example of bureaucracy gone mad! The points where the signs were erected no doubt carried out by an office bound planner sticking pins into a map. One wonders why they did not contact us or other local residents to get the best possible site for the signs. Just another example of unthinking bureaucracy that sees the country going to the dogs!

The wider world in my view!

Number 10 Clowning Street!

He has finally come clean, yes arch clown Boris Johnston is to stand as an MP in an as yet unnamed constituency. Already the rumours are circulating of a challenge to Lord Snooty’s premiership! Clearly the writing is on the wall for Lord Snooty as he presides over an administration specialising only in spectacular money wasting bungling! Minister without a clue Gideon Osborne is reported to be fuming as he also has lined himself up to challenge Lord Snooty, god help us that we should have to put up with this inept fool!

The poor punishing Tories are in disarray with the upcoming leadership challenges, the threat from UKIP and the perpetual in fighting in the Tory ranks. Boris Johnston is a very well educated posh boy (Eton of course) but of course this is lessened by the fact he is clearly a buffoon! The question for the country is can we stand another 5 years of bungling and clearly the answer is resoundingly no!

Clown Johnston would probably be more entertaining than Lord Snooty but underneath he is still a poor punishing zealot! Changing the name of Downing Street to Clowning Street would achieve nothing, it would still be the same mundane rhetoric coupled with the now legendary bungling! The outcome of the UK general election is far from being a given. It is entirely possible that a Tory government in coalition or otherwise could be elected! Could you really endure another term of this failed model of politics with a clown at the helm?

Of great insignificance!

From the mouth of Puppet Clegg, that he wants to stop sending those found to be in possession of illegal drugs to prison. Seriously misguided thinking from a puppet about to become obsolete! It is already the case that those found to be in possession of drugs are rarely sent to prison only those carrying large amounts with intent to supply or persistent offenders where all other options have been exhausted!

Yes a great and lengthy speech from the Puppet about nothing! There is so much around drug misuse that does need airing and debated and the puppet spouts forth a load of codswallop! The invisible man of politics yet again utters words of great insignificance, nobody is listening! What a benefit it would be to British politics if he were to disappear, roll on election time!

The Lady is correct!

I don’t have a lot of time for Baroness Warsi failed chairman of the Tory party she is after all from the mould of Snooty et al! However I did find myself agreeing with her on the stance she took on the pounding Israel is handing out to the Palestinians. No one is saying Israel has not the right to defend itself but what is taking place here is the extermination of a race of people. American and British interests are at stake here with huge exporting of armaments. Lord Snooty needs to man up and condemn the Israeli’s for their wrong actions. Lord Snooty, we are waiting!

Sunday, 3 August 2014

A place of beauty or a rubbish dump?

Photo 01 - The scene as we found it on Saturday!
A place of beauty or a rubbish dump?

It seems like a strange question as there is no doubt whatsoever that the area surrounding the lochs is a place of great natural beauty. However a find on Saturday have us wondering if indeed it is a local dump for all manner of rubbish. Photo 01 & 02 above shows the latest batch thrown off Megget Bridge sometime between Friday evening and Saturday morning!

Of great concern to us was that 3 of the containers contained hazardous chemicals marked as dangerous to the environment and aquatic life! Yes Sodium Hypochlorite, a serious bleach used in the textile industry and white diesel along with containers containing unmarked liquids one with fat globules in suspension. There was no lid on one of the Hypochlorite containers so leakage into the Megget may have taken place!

Photo 02 - Missing are 2 gas bottles and a bag full of assorted plastic!
Removed from Megget were 3 calor gas bottles, one balloon gas bottle, two x 25 litre hypochlorite containers one 25 litre diesel container, 4 x 20 litre fat? containers. 12 assorted flavour two litre juice bottles 2 x two litre milk containers some polystyrene packaging material and some confectionary wrappers.

This is the third such incident where all manner of rubbish is thrown off Megget Bridge usually at the weekend. Clearly we are dealing with some seriously maladjusted people here who care nothing for the property of others or the damage they do to the environment! Obviously these people have no moral compass, no understanding of right and wrong, basically the type of person that is of no benefit to civilised society! This is the third such incident involving the tipping of hazardous containers in around five months and the common theme is gas canisters and cooking fat containers suggesting a mobile burger van type establishment.

Photo 03 - The warning labels on the hypochlorite containers!
We will not dispose of the rubbish at this time as to have the incident recorded on an official level we have to go through the procedure of notifying SEPA only for nothing to be done, and contact the police where hopefully at least the incident will be recorded. There are batch numbers on the hypochlorite containers and gas bottles which should allow authorities to trace at least the point of sale! I would stake money on the return of these fools to dump yet another load and again we will have to clean up after them! We can only hope no hazardous chemicals are involved, yesterdays find was a bit of a shock!

It is a desperate situation where the potential for possible damage is great and unless the culprits are caught in the act very little can be done. From a fishery point of view we are under a huge amount of pressure due to the poaching incidents and a pollution incident would be the last straw. If you were in the area on Friday evening between the hours of 10.30pm and 07.00am Saturday morning and saw a vehicle (probably a van) parked on Megget Bridge please get in touch. Thanks to Ian Fernyhough for helping us get rid of the rubbish your help was much appreciated!

The chemicals dumped were indeed hazardous to our aquatic environment and may have caused serious adverse effects if a spillage took place. One of the hypochlorite drums was without a cap so leakage could have taken place. Most of us will have sodium hypochlorite in our homes at a strength of around 2-5% household bleach. We used to use it at 15% strength to impart a non shrink finish to wool and believe me it is very corrosive and a strong oxidiser!

In short hypochlorite will wipe out all aquatic life until the amount of organic matter degrades the chemical until only salt is left which is why it is used as a household bleach. By the time the hypochlorite gets to the treatment plant it has all been converted to ordinary harmless table salt! It does however wipe out all living organisms whilst active.

Photo 04 - the now usual selection of gas bottles that end up in Megget!
Diesel effects on watercourses are well known and the effects of a spill allow a film of the oil to cover the water preventing the normal exchange of gasses particularly oxygen from taking place. If this is prolonged then organisms begin to die and then fish. It does not look like a large spill has taken place but this persistent dumping of harmful chemicals must stop!

Fly fishing for Pike!

What has become apparent over the last few months is the large increase in anglers trying out this method of Pike fishing. Club members Fraser Patterson and Steven Hodge leading the way. Yes yesterday they managed 4 pike with the best at 7lbs using purpose tied Pike flies luring the Pike out of the reeds with spectacular takes on the top of the water. There is some good and prolonged sport available using this method so why not give it a go! To find out more about this exciting branch of the sport click the link below to the Pike Fly fishing Association.

Fishing week at ALDI

Needing fishing clothing, footwear, rods, reels, boilies and rigs check out the ALDI site, my personal favourite, polarised glasses at £3.99 now hows that for a price, I bought these last time round and they are ace! The gear is on sale now so you need to be quick!  Gone are the days when ALDI sold tat, now the sixth largest supermarket in the UK displacing Waitrose, they are growing at a phenomenal rate!

Photo 05 - Rain, what rain, it was empty yesterday!
The wider world in my view!

The Commonwealth Games.

The closing ceremony takes place tonight and early indications are that it will be a musical cracker! We have been treated to three weeks of unparalleled sport leading to the discovery of some great talent and a record medal haul for Scotland. Thirteen year old Erraid Davies the youngest medal winner ever must surely have gladdened hearts with her performance in the 100m breaststroke. A reluctant celebrity with modesty her byword will remain a Scottish hero for the rest of her life and rightly so!

Athletic’s contender Scot Lynsey Sharp’s silver medal in the 800m was absolutely fantastic given she was on a drip just hours before the race for dehydration caused by nausea and vomiting! A year of operations and twenty courses of antibiotics would surely see most athletes throw in the towel but not Ms Sharp. Grit and determination saw her claim the prize she had long sought. And blind athlete and local girl Libby Clegg who hails from Newcastleton thrilled the crowd with a faultless run with her seeing guide, each and everyone of them a star for Scotland! Respect due!

Yes the games have welcomed hundreds of thousands of overseas visitors to experience Glasgow and its people. Praise was universal for the warm welcome extended by the people of Glasgow probably the UKs friendliest city! Trade opportunities were aplenty as visiting spectators wined, dined and sought out souvenirs of a memorable games well named the friendly games.

Club treasurer Elliot Fraser took his family along to the weightlifting and his opinion was absolutely fantastic! The atmosphere was electric with every competitor being warmly welcomed and heartily applauded for their efforts! He did comment however the food prices were a tad rich with a venison burger coming in at £7.00! Overall however the games have been an unmitigated success irrespective of the alleged comment made by Usain Bolt!

After 4 years of Con – Dem punishment particularly for disabled people as they were crippled by bungling, clobbered by the Bed tax and hit again with benefit cuts. To see them on a par with able bodied athletes, a master stroke by organising officials showing Scotland on a different level altogether with fairness and equity their guiding principle! This was an opportunity to showcase Glasgow and Scotland and both have emerged with a high shine. Doesn’t get much better tune in to see the finale tonight! To the city of Glasgow and its people - Respect!

Will we never learn?

As the death toll of innocent civilians tops 1,700 in the Palestinian Israeli conflict there is still no realistic possibility of a lasting ceasefire! It seems this conflict is intractable with both sides have legitimate claims to back their actions. In an all out war Israel would level Gaza in less than 24hrs such is their US supplied firepower,we have to hope this is not the end scenario.

Most commentators now agree that Israel has ventured beyond what would be termed as an appropriate response. Israeli casualties are as low as thirty whilst the Palestinians edge ever closer to annihilation. The United Nations must step in and put in place a peace keeping force and the resumption of peace making talks. Even then it will not be easy but it must be done. How can anyone stand by and see the senseless loss of life climb ever higher. Most agree war is not the answer to problems rather it creates even more. It’s high time both these countries got round the table and started talking with open arms and minds lest we never learn!  

Salmond vs. Darling!

Not the debate which should have taken place, that was Lord Snooty vs. Eck Salmond but a poor second choice! Yes Tuesday evening on the STV we will hear the views of the Yes Scotland and Better Together campaigns from the horses mouths. Salmond of course is odds on favourite to win the debate but Alastair Darling is no fool and a much tougher proposition than Lord Snooty would prove to be!

For those who are undecided this will give some meat to chew on as hopefully flaws in the Better Together campaign are exposed. It should be a spectacle of cut and thrust debate suitable for all people as points are won and lost. There is a huge number of people undecided and whilst ideally decisions should be made on independent reading this will suffice as a quick view decision maker! Scotland is facing the biggest decision in its history, I dearly hope the country has the courage to grasp the opportunity to start afresh and embrace independence! Let’s get rid of the Westminster bunglers and vote for independence!