Sunday, 27 December 2015

Looking back!

Looking back!

As far as angling goes the year about to pass would I think in most people’s eyes pass as nothing special in fact many would see it as well below par! On the Pike front many good fish were caught but no record breakers were encountered. However any fish is better than no fish. Fraser Patterson again secured the heavy Pike competition cup open to club members with a 13lbs 8oz Pike which is a fine specimen. Many larger however were caught but the captors were ineligible for the competition.

Those in search of our Trout fared much worse, compared to earlier years it turned out to be a wretched season with no predictability whatsoever. Catches were few and far between with only the occasional hunter returning with the spoils! One such angler was our trolling ace Elliot Fraser who on such an occasion returned with four Trout amongst which was the winner of the cup for the heaviest Trout tipping the scales at 1lbs 4oz. Not a monster but perhaps indicative of the poor season we experienced!

Pushing the club forward is down as usual to a committed few members and the club would like to thank the following members – Elliot Fraser for his work as club treasurer and invaluable help with numerous projects we have and are undertaking. Stevie Nimmo for his technical and practical assistance, and unending efforts to help the club.  Les Henderson for his construction services and always being there to offer advice. Gordon McClurg and Mike Wood who always seem to be there when we need a hand, Keith our loch keeper and Aaron our bailiff for their tireless work often unrecognised in protecting our fish stocks.  AlasdairWhite for his invaluable help with practical projects and all the other members who have assisted us in any way! But for the help of these people the club would certainly perish!

On administrative issues the club has done well with our financial situation being very sound indeed under Elliot’s guidance. Our membership remains steady now with a settled group of anglers rather than those who club hop looking for that heavy fish. We here need to thank Keith Young our loch keeper and membership secretary for producing our extremely well done club newsletter and dealing promptly and efficiently with membership issues.

Unfortunately on the illegal fishing front we are still finding odd pieces of evidence indicating that the situation whilst not rife is (thanks to our enforcement team) still taking place! I doubt if we will ever be free of this curse mostly brought about by foreign “anglers” who seem to think if fish are present they have a right to catch them by whatever means irrespective of local practices! Similarly with Muppets masquerading as anglers they have stayed away this year and we hope that this trend continues!

Our long relationship with the Tweed Trout & Grayling Initiative came to an end this season mostly due to the very slow progress being made. We stuck it out to see if things would improve but they did not! We have a responsibility to ensure that the membership money was being well spent and we could not demonstrate this with attendance to this initiative! Other clubs came to the same decision and the Initiative now caters for only a few angling clubs.

So it has not been a remarkable year by any means yet progress on some fronts was possible. Really it’s just like the journey through life you win some and also lose some, but throughout it all your experience is enriched whatever happens! So for 2016 all I would wish for is some more of our Trout showing, good weather and embracing the challenges that 2016 brings for there will be many.

Too much cash?

If you are bathing in swathes of loose cash after Santa's visit why not visit our recommended dealer Fisher’s in Penicuik and take advantage of their massive discounts in their online sale. Up to 50% off selected lines so go and treat yourself!

We wish our entire readership a happy and peaceful New Year!

 Tight Lines!

Some music to get you fired up for the party-

Music to help you come back to earth—

Sunday, 20 December 2015

A time of good cheer or is it!

A time of good cheer or is it!

Christmas has now firmly settled into our society as a time of celebration, togetherness and giving. Now the Christian celebration has largely become dispensed with, it has become a time of extravagance and indulgence far removed from the origins of the original celebrations! For most it is a time of family reunion, banter and the exchanging of gifts mostly geared towards children.

For an ever increasing group of others it will be a bleak time of year when parents max out credit cards, visit the ever increasing numbers of payday lenders created by the Tories to try and ensure their kids receive gifts similar to that of their peers. If they fail in this respect their children will likely be subject to mockery over the low quality or number of gifts they received, children can be very cruel in this respect. Others like the elderly often living alone dread the event as they spend the day in solitude dining on everyday fare selected from the discount stores!

Yes Christmas has become a time of either huge celebration where money is splashed without a care or thrift and dark contemplation of the next month when the demands rattle through the letterbox! Not how it was intended to be in the beginning! The over commercialisation of Christmas is not new but it is a trend that increases year on year! Our society is hurtling on a downwards spiral becoming increasingly divided into those who have and those who do not! As a civilised society we have lost our way!

Whilst some will tuck into succulent goose or similar with all the trimmings others will heat up the pre pack dinner generously given by the food bank! Parents will hand out the best presents they can afford, for children have been conditioned to expect the very best. For some children what they get will fall far short of that their classmates receive! This division in our society has been hugely accelerated by the Con-Dems and now even more so by the Tories! The very fabric of our society is being torn down before our eyes and a wretched new one based on Butcher Thatcher's god, that of greed!

Of course every one of us has a choice to continue with the divisive Tories or seek something better. Anyone with an ounce of compassion must see that the poor bashing Tories with their mantra of "grab what you can irrespective of the human cost" must be left behind, we owe it to the weak and underprivileged in our society. Lord Snooty claims we are all in it together but anyone can see there are the rich and there are the rapidly increasing numbers of poor! It has been said that a society can be judged by how it treats the weakest in society, using that criteria we fail miserably!!

If you can give assistance to someone less fortunate than yourself then grasp the mettle and do so, believe me you will feel much enriched! 

Merry Christmas
to one and all.

To fire you up for the festivities a classic from N-Trance 

To bring you down gradually a lullaby from Albinoni 

Sunday, 13 December 2015

From little acorns......!

Photo 01 - Steven all the way from Hexham to nab this beauty!

From little acorns....!

Our blog continues to grow rapidly in terms of viewers, the summer months average of 2,240 visitors per month is up by 407 visitors per month compared to last year. The figure for the current month is 1,818 which is a significant drop but it is a drop that takes place every year as winter comes and come the spring the numbers shoot back up hopefully surpassing this year’s figures as they have done every year.

Eighty seven percent of our viewers are from the UK and second is the USA and Canada who bag 6% whilst the rest is split between Poland, Russia, South Africa and a few others. Clearly then our readership lies mainly in this country and the counter splits the figures further.

Of the UK viewers 61% are classed as coming from the Edinburgh area which takes in the Borders and 13% from the Glasgow area with the rest being split up all over the country with a hotspot around the Newcastle area. Six percent of viewers use mobiles to access our site with Android taking 76% and IOS 20%.  The average time spent browsing our content is 4 minutes and 26 seconds. Some sites provide annoying adverts for meagre return we however resolutely will not do so.

What I find interesting is the amount of back posts that are visited perhaps people just wonder from where we came. Some of our posts attract massive numbers with our “choosing a fishing guide” site the clear winner with 5483 visitors to date. This site will be updated in the next few weeks as e mails are still coming asking who we would recommend. The top five are

It’s clear the site is now very popular and the reason is clear. We will not shirk from exposing fools, fish killers; angling bullies and others who detract from and demean our sport! People want to read of the struggles of a small angling club as we swim against the current to keep our heads above the water. People want to see a club that does have some views on the future of our sport rather than just falling in line with the default (let’s do nothing) view that appears to be the norm round here!

Yes our readership is way beyond what it should be but we are comfortable with this situation and to Jimmy who wanted the comments section open again along with many others – sorry lads with this readership I would have no time at all to myself so it stays closed! A big thank you to all our readers who have nurtured our site from an acorn into a strapping young oak tree!

Photo 02 - just before dusk!

More great offers!

We are lucky, it’s not everyone that has a bona fide tackle dealer on their doorstep even less however have one that just keeps then offers coming! Yes unbelievably Mike has come up with another load of great offers just in time for Santa coming, click the link to see whats on offer - 

The wider world in my view!

The eagle has landed!

Now don’t get me wrong I have a lot of time for Jeremy Corbyn but he is at the moment not a mainstream politician. I have no doubt that in the future when the capitalist system comes crashing down due to incessant greed then the Corbyn manifesto will become the accepted norm!

This week in Prime Ministers Question Time Gideon Osborne who was standing in for Lord Snooty who was wasting taxpayers’ money jetting around the world was given a sound pasting by Angela Eagle who was standing in for Corbyn. Sharp as a knife, witty and speaking with the authority that can only come from living in the real world she snapped, devoured and spat out Gideon Osborne in what was the highlight of the year! She made the posh boy look like an uneducated woodentop!

Yes at last Labour have found a potential new leader and more importantly one who unlike Milliband and Balls has the versatility and guile to confront and importantly overcome any challenge. Lord Snooty who has had an easy time of it being confronted by buffoon after buffoon leaving him ahead of the pack every time could now face his nemesis!

Ms Eagle would decimate the hapless Lord Snooty as he bungles one policy after another. Now he could be held to account for the first time ever and be shown up for the fool he undoubtedly is! I have no doubt many in England will be cowering in shame as Snooty exposes himself to a new country every day and embarrasses us week after week. The current joke is his reorganisation of Europe apparently going very well according to his minions. He started with 13 robust demands and is currently pursuing 4 which are almost unrecognisable so watered down are they!

For people who care about the weak and needy rather than their own assets who want to see some fairness in society, then here is a potential leader who could once again reunite the party. With a background of trade union working she has experienced life at the bottom of the ladder but educated to degree level she is smart enough to tackle anyone! She is an outed lesbian and is a great role model for other such people! Just compare her to another Lesbian Borg Queen Ruth Davidson, she is the opposite pole! Eagle is visionary, thinking, empathising she has all the qualities where the Borg Queen has none!

The last few years have been rocky for labour if Eagle could be elected leader then for the people of England there is hope. Let’s hope the party also take this view and put Corbynite policies on the back burner simmering until the collapse of the capitalist system begins! The eagle has landed! For us in Scotland the path is clear we must quickly move to independence, for England Angela Eagle is your only hope!

Busy doing nothing!

Those who cannot read between the lines will no doubt be very impressed by the amount of work being put in by Lord Snooty doing his bit for hard working families who do the right thing. Well reality couldn’t be further from the truth, jetting around the EU he has achieved nothing, the Polish Prime Minister being the latest to send him packing. In spite of his demands being watered down to the point they ask for nothing he still cannot get support! His main point of restricting migrant benfits for 4 years is already dead in spite of manic protestations!

He is currently dithering over the Heathrow/Gatwick debacle now putting off any decision to the summer, maybe! He is fearful that a backlash will put paid to Zak Goldsmith’s bid to become London mayor! The recent climate change talks provide another source of embarrassment for Lord Snooty as he has just cut the grants for developing renewable energy sources. He is also currently swimming against the tide in defence policy now furtively reinstating some of the cancelled projects carried out at his behest. Yes he is very busy achieving nothing! He spends all his time running around secretly reversing all the decisions he made earlier!

The country can’t stand much more bungling the path for us in Scotland however is well signposted - we need to leave the UK rapidly!

Slow death of a lying puppet!

What a disappointment to see that Puppet Carmichael remains as an MP following a challenge by a group of his constituents. He may in parliamentary terms have done nothing wrong although how the judges arrived at this decision is beyond me! Yes the fool is as guilty as sin and he will be removed at the next election maybe by his party but without doubt by the electorate! Exposed as a charlatan, simply a cretin as far as men are concerned! Shame on the lying puppet!

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Club Membership 2016!

Photo 01 - Land rapidly disappearing at the dam wall!

Club Membership 2016!

As the year nears its end we must now look to the coming one and for those seeking to become members of the club or renew existing memberships it’s time to get ready to apply for your memberships. The good news is that there is no change in the fees the rates afe £55.00 for first time membership or members who apply out with the time frame and £35.00 for renewals which represents very good value indeed!

A change is being introduced this year to aid identity checks in that each member must supply a photograph which will be printed onto the card before it is laminated making tampering very difficult. Now Mr Xxxxx our membership secretary has advised that it would be much easier for him if photos in digital format were supplied as opposed to already printed passport type photos.

Now this is very easy to do all that it entails is to take a selfie and send it to Mr Xxxxx by e mail and he will resize as required. Now if you don’t own a phone with a camera you will likely know someone who does and ask them. Failing that come up to the loch and we will take one for you! It needs to be stressed here that it is of vital importance that the photos are tied to applications or at least a name so we can marry the two. The last thing we want is to have a heap of photos and a list of names so please make sure we can tag the photos to a name!

Remember that if paying by cheque make the cheques payable to St Mary's Angling Club and not to a club official! Please also make sure you apply within the time limits for issue which this year is between the 1st of January and the 14th February. All 2015 memberships will terminate on this date! Please allow time for the memberships to be processed and the trick here is to apply in good time! So start pulling things together and get the process rolling.

Photo 02 - the new gully at almost full capacity!


Photo 03 - No go area for fishing yesterday! 

Looks like rain!

It’s been a bit of a downpour for the last while and couple that with horrific winds and you have some thoroughly unpleasant days! Today was the first time this year we could not fish, the wind was hellish and pods were upturned as soon as they were placed!

We should have guessed when we found the road closed but pushed on up the Ettrick valley cutting over to the Yarrow valley and after ploughing through some very deep water we got there. Had a look at the flood protection works at the bottom of the loch and I think it has helped a bit but the water level was rising quickly so that may change. Think I will be tuning in to the Countryfile long range forecast tonight to see whats coming! 

End of the week looks dodgy!

Photo 04 - Raging torrent at the skinworks cauld Galashiels!

The Wild Fisheries Review!

Word has come out on this important process and the word seems to be that as far as the River Tweed Commission is concerned the status quo will be adopted. I will refrain from further comment until I have had a chance to review the input from bodies other than those with a Salmon interest. My initial thoughts are that if we are to have the same arrangements then the progress of research into species other than Salmon will be painfully slow!

The wider world in my view!

Colonel Snooty saves the day!

Of course these were the words uttered by Lord Snooty a man who thinks he is a statesman of some repute! Indeed to a certain extent he is correct but the repute is 100% negative for in reality he is but an arrogant posh boy! He was referring to all who were intent on voting against bombing in Syria and will come to regret his ill chosen outburst!.

He was asked in questions to the PM no less than 15 times if he would apologise for his massive gaffe, he however would not apologise! The nearest he came to apologising was to state that there was honour in voting for or against further rubble production for that is all that the bombing will accomplish along with random civilian casualties!
Jumped up overgrown schoolgirl Nicky Morgan (she is in charge of ruining education) dug herself into the mire on the BBCs question time when she asserted that Lord Snooty was right to label those against bombing as terrorist sympathisers! Two idiotic privately educated morons unable to string two words together resort to school playground tactics!

The worrying thing of course is that these fools are reputed to be running the country! Lord Snooty of course is now in his element pumped up with bravado with veteran Tornado jets dropping bombs into Syria. After two years plus of unrelenting bombing the five air strikes carried out by the RAF appear already to have turned things around. It's all beginning to look like a fantastic story in a Marvel comic featuring Colonel Snooty and his invulnerable air force! What none of the pro bombing lobby answered was who and where the 70,000 ground troops are, often referred to by Lord Snooty.

Of course Daesh must be wiped out, but as is usual instead of carefully considering the facts, Lord Snooty without question immediately falls into line with American thinking and joins in reducing Syria to rubble! There is no coherent plan, no end strategy. Do we just keep sending bombs in? The mythical 70,000 strong army of course could save the day but to know who they are would be a good start!

Once again we find ourselves embroiled in a conflict which will be extremely difficult to resolve if it ever can be! The country must be reaching for the sedative bottle as the Walter Mitty types that comprise our government blunder from one mess to another! The future looks desperately bleak on our shores and now overseas as well, time we were an independent nation methinks!

Duffer of the week!

Checking in to First Minister’s Questions this week I was astounded to hear Borg Queen Ruth Davidson from the Toxic Tories attack the Scottish Government over the drop in bursary support for Scottish students!  And the worst bit of it was that she was sincere! The sheer cheek of this woman is astounding or else she is completely deranged!
Gideon Osborne the Tory jester who plunges this country into one crisis after another has just announced that all bursary support will cease leaving students facing massive debts! Yes the Scottish government has decreased bursary support but only because Osborne has cut the grant to the Scottish government and resultantly some areas must be cut!

Ruth Davidson has appeared on several comedy TV programmes and by all accounts was an abject flop! Unfortunately for her as a politician she is a complete duffer!

Sunday, 29 November 2015

A near whiteout!

 Photo 01 - Looking down the Tweed towards Elwyn Foot!

A Near Whiteout!

It was a fine if atypical November morning with a mild breeze and very bearable temperatures when we headed down to the Upper Pavilion beat on the Tweed to have our autumn days Salmon fishing. Elliot, Stevie myself and Alasdair White our competition winner got tackled up and headed off to the respective swims we had chosen.

Elliot and Stevie headed for the North bank of Gala foot whilst I took Alasdair to the North bank of the Brig End fishing down to Ellwyn foot. The water was beery and about 2.5ft up from normal so wading was out!  Once they were all set up and fishing I headed off for a hospital appointment and blow me if I didn’t have to wait for 90 minutes (poor show BGH) staring at the ceiling and twiddling my thumbs!
When I got out and switched my phone on I had a message from Alasdair, he had a fish on and lost it! I needed a few heavy tube flies and found myself heading into Gala and then it struck me Turnbulls is no longer there the only option then was to head off to the Borders Gunroom and indeed when confronted by a massive selection I selected a few and set off like a cat with two tails!

On getting to the Brig end he said that he had had it on for around 30 seconds and then the line went limp and it was off! He said a few fish were showing but that they were every colour bar silver! Up at Gala Foot the situation was worse, in spite of fish showing all over the place neither of the lads had a pull! A couple of silver fish showed at the start but in spite of being specifically targeted ignored their offerings!

Time for lunch and some time to decide where next or stay put. We all decided to try the other side of the river and Alasdair headed for Purdies hole,  Stevie and Elliot went up to the railway viaduct and fished down. Very few fish were spotted in the afternoon and indeed no one had a touch.

Yes it ended up another blank day with Alasdair’s lost fish nearly taking the crown. All the lads had enjoyed their day out on a class beat on the Tweed but some questions need to be asked in view of the last two years appalling results! Did the run of fish end mid October? Are the numbers of fish severely depleted and if so why? Is it time to end November fishing for Salmon as 90% of fish seem to be heavily coloured? Where are the legendary Greybacks famed for travelling late November?

The Tweed for the first time I can recall had many fishing vacancies, when the default position was you got a day if someone died! There is much at stake here the reputation of the Tweed is dissolving, another couple of poor years could see it sunk being classed as just another river with a few Salmon running!

Our post mortem however put things into perspective! We had the run of a great Salmon beat, one that Sir Walter Scott fished often. We were a group of anglers in the footsteps of old Izaak. If Alasdair had landed his fish it would have been a whiteout but he didn’t and it wasn’t! The Neds that usually plague us were absent and we were in the bosom of Mother Nature! Yes it was a great day out but the question must be asked, where are all the fish?

As usual the lads asked me to pass on their thanks to the family for the gift of a day on their beat and I will most certainly pass this on to them. We will have a spring day to see if we can fare any better but there is no doubt change is afoot regarding Salmon numbers here’s hoping things improve quickly!

Photo 02 - An angry St Mary's Loch yesterday!

The wider world in my view!

More high buffoonery!

Last Wednesday will go down in history as the day prime minister designate Gideon Osborne was made to eat his words in front of the British public! No one was particularly surprised as the fool was due a fall after the unprecedented defeat by the House of Lords on the tax credits fiasco! Forced to eat humble pie the dimwit had to scrap his plans to further punish the poor for now at least and breach his own welfare cap limit! Similarly with the proposed police cuts he had to U turn!

It’s just another load of evidence of the Tories making up policy as they go along! No thought, no testing, no evaluation, just chuck it and see policies! The running of the country appears to follow the mantra outlined in the beginners guide to high buffoonery! Gideon Osborne is akin to a court jester, every single prediction he has made has not come to pass in fact he is so far out, we are in danger of being seen as a nation of fools being run by a group of complete idiots! Even Daily Mail readers are running out of patience with the bunglers extraordinaire!

France under a socialist government have not gone with the ruinous austerity  adopted by the Tories, yet they have better healthcare, better equipped police and armed forces, longer life expectancy and a higher GDP per capita and the list goes on! The incompetent Bullingdon boys have done for this country good and proper, let’s leave them to it and go our own way with independence!

Anyone for a war!

In the next couple of weeks the MP’s of the country will be asked to vote on whether or not to go to a state of war in Syria! There can be no doubt Daesh need to be neutralised and it may indeed be necessary to go to war with troops on the ground to eradicate these devilish murderers! Air strikes on their own will just dent them and kill thousands of innocent people! Much has been made of the British “Brimstone” missiles and their very accurate trajectory. However accurate they are they cannot distinguish between a civilian and a Daesh fighter!

It has been said the UK will provide 8 warplanes with a limited number of bombs so the ordinance will not make much difference (other than increasing the production of rubble) as the Russians, American’s and French have been bombing for a long time with it has to be said limited success! Joining in the bombing will simply be a way of expressing solidarity with the other countries nothing more! But we need to look at the past conflicts and see that blundering into foreign countries inevitably turns out to be a disaster for all involved!

What needs to be seen here is a plan where the objectives are stated and the outcomes expected are explained. Lord Snooty wanted to bomb Syrian president Assad, now he wants to leave Assad alone and bomb Daesh, this ambiguity won’t do!  Troops on the ground will be needed to finish the job, if indeed that is possible it has not been made clear who those troops would be! Getting involved here needs a deal of thought and it is now clear we cannot rely on Lord Snooty who only wants to please the Americans!

If a coherent plan can be formulated with the outcomes defined then military action should probably be taken, this plan has yet to materialise, On no account must we commit to go to war at the behest of Lord Snooty, his judgement is highly suspect and if we do take his word he will do for us all!

The age of bullying!

It seems to be ever present in our current society the act of bullying! You will remember we told of the angling bully some months ago and now the squeaky clean Tories have been exposed as a party where bullying is rife! Super arrogant ex Tory chairman Grant Shapps has resigned (thank god) after failing to act after bullying was reported to him and is likely to be the first casualty of many in what will unravel to be another serious blot on the Tories record! Bullying is a scourge on our society and when it permeates to angling and politics we all need to sit up and take notice. We must report, expose and decry these bullies wherever we find them!

Sunday, 22 November 2015

River Tweed here we come!

Photo 01 - poor conditions yesterday!

River Tweed here we come!

It's our annual pilgrimage to visit the the Tweed to have a bash for the Atlantic Salmon. The winner of our Wild Trout Competition Alasdair White and guest will be fishing with those who have carried out work for the club as we spend a day in old Izaaks waders! the fishing this year has been very poor as it was last year but on Wednesday the slate will be wiped and the party will set out with unadulterated enthusiasm to see what we can do!

 The water has been virtually unfishable in the last week and it is still a very big water at 3ft above normal height just a light beery colour and as our old departed mentor Major Sir Neil Westbrook used to say "a little mud in their eyes will bode well for us anglers"! We were warned to be careful wading as the flow is very strong especially for us not used to heavy flows! Lifejackets are always a good idea

Recent catches and yes there have been some caught on Saturday are always an encouragement. By the time Wednesday comes the water should have dropped significantly allowing more water to be covered. Floating lines with sink tips and light single hook flies were the order of the day in the months leading up to our visit that now might have to defer to quick sink lines and heavy tubes but we shall wait and see.

I don't know what ails the Tweed Salmon fishing and speaking to others it appears no one does.I suppose poor fishing has happened many times before but this is two years in a row! Tales of woe aside we will be bright eyed and bushy tailed on Wednesday full of belief that we may catch something, Pleeese! We will let you know how we got on next week. Tight lines to all the squad!

Closing down!

The end of October in Cappercleuch signals the closing down of the tourist outlets leaving walkers, Pike anglers and bikers to their own devices. Yes the Tibbie Shiels Inn has now closed we hope just for the winter months but that remains to be seen. Similarly The Glen Cafe has now shut down for the winter rest period after a very busy time during the summer months.

Both of these outlets are valued permit sellers for the club so their closure cuts down the places where anglers may obtain a permit to fish. Of course our loch keeper Keith is the obvious choice for anglers arriving at the loch looking for a permit. It’s worth mentioning at this point that the mobile phone coverage in the area is abysmal with many finding that their calls are dropped.

The quandary is what to do! Well if you can get through on the mobile then there is no problem but if that fails, send a text message or send an e mail as these eventually push through. The mobile networks desperately need to improve coverage here and quickly but until they do so we are left with the above situation However if you follow the above guidelines you will make contact and set yourself up with the chance of catching a monster Pike!

Photo 02 - A wintry scene!

Can you believe it!

For most of us our tackle dealers are more than shopkeepers, they are facilitators of our sport. By providing tackle from trusted and innovative manufacturers when we enter the shop we have an array of quality goods to peruse! Well Mike at Fishers in Penicuick has really shoved the boat out with his latest deals, for a week they are offering a massive 20% off yes thats 20% off all products for the rest of the week until 28/11/2015! Click the link to see the great savings and a chance to bag the gift for your angling friends and family!

The wider world in my view!

Black Wednesday!

If you eat from bone china plates and use silver cutlery then Wednesday will just be another day where you review the performance of your shares and spend a good deal of time plotting how to reduce your expenditure by cutting the wages of your already very poorly paid staff. In between times you will probably gloss over the latest catalogue from Harrods and Fortnum & Mason and choose your aperitif and meat joint for the big day.

If on the other hand you are a working family on the minimum wage or a disabled person reliant on welfare benefits to survive then Wednesday will be a day you will remember for the rest of your lives! Yes Wednesday is the day when Omnishambles guru and prize bungler Gideon Osborne will unveil his doubtless ill thought out spending review!

The first priority for Gideon is of course how to protect those who have significant wealth from suffering any cuts and find a secretive way of actually increasing their assets! The next priority for Gideon Osborne and it is equal with the first, is how to further hobble the poor by pushing more poor people into part time low paying dead end jobs! For those who are dependent on welfare benefits the target is to significantly reduce these payments to a point that going to charitable food banks becomes the norm!

Wednesday will be a black day indeed, a day that will see countless thousands pushed into abject poverty! Any of the basic things you were thankful for will be snatched away leaving you with an everyday task of how to survive! You probably thought life couldn’t get much worse but an unpleasant surprise is coming your way, it can get worse and it will!

No longer will you have the choice of whether or not to buy that sweet dessert that the kids want! Your choice will be whether to buy a bag of potatoes or put a pound in the prepay gas meter for a few minutes of heat! You will have to downgrade your choice of gift from Santa going for a much cheaper option if indeed you can afford anything at all! You will swither on whether or not to approach a charity collecting and handing out donated gifts to the ever increasing amounts of poor people!

The festive season is a time for goodwill to all men but for you it will be a tense and unseasonal struggle as you dice with the choice of going or not to a payday lender with all the consequences that brings! For you it will be a tricky time as you try and negotiate down the wishes of your kids. The parity with their peers as they show off what Santa has brought will be an uncomfortable memory as they are subject to ridiculed by their “friends”!

It needn’t have been this way but Gideon Osborne has made it so! This ideologically driven fool is intent on paring the state down but worse, doing it on the backs of the poor! Middle England voted these ogres into office its only right that they bear the brunt of his cuts! 

For the sake of the many poor, weak and disabled in our society we must break away from Westminster and create our own new and fairer future

Unabated bungling!

You have got to hand it to these Tories when they say they want to do something they just plough on to that end! However as we all know to our cost nine times out of ten, they end up doing a complete U turn and in the process cost us a few hundred £millions! This is clearly illustrated by their ridiculous demands for more cuts to the police when recent events in Paris suggest that a massive increase in funding is called for! Since 2010 we have 40,000 less police officers in a time of heightened terror attacks!

On speaking to a police officer it became abundantly clear that the supposed innocuous cuts to back room staff have a profound effect on the effectiveness of the force. Did they think that these people just played Candy Crush Saga all day? Of course they did not, but they did carry out vital work collating intelligence to aid the frontline officers! The police service has steadily been built up to reach a level where most scenarios could be dealt with, now that ability has been lost! Senior police officers are drawing a parallel between troops in WW1 where they fought Bosch machine gunners with cumbersome single shot rifles! Our police officers must be equipped with the very latest in armaments to combat the threat facing us!

Politicians of all colours have called for increased funding to better combat the threat from Daesh and yes, they have once again capitulated and U turned again!  The ideologues that populate the Tory party do not follow the established road map of plan, implement and evaluate! No, the simply implement and after losing millions of pounds on this stage U turn back to square one!

It really is getting a tad tedious and middle England should be thoroughly ashamed at what they have done! Lord Snooty and his band of ace bunglers are systematically dismantling the state and whilst that does not really affect him and his well heeled chums, for us the working classes it destroys the very fabric of our society!
The posh boys live in a different world one where Victoriana is reincarnated with the ultra poor and the mega rich, is this really where we want to go? Lame duck Diddy Ian Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms are now being linked to a massive rise in suicides amongst claimants so humiliating and demeaning is the qualification process! The list is endless and expanding daily and society moves in the direction of Butcher Thatcher’s dogma of grab what you can by any means you can!

For me and the majority of Scots this won’t do! There will be no momentum towards a more equal society under these fools. The only way that people who care about poor people can move forward is to grab independence and leave the Westminster shambles behind! There is now no doubt this day is approaching quickly but for the sake of poor people it cannot come quickly enough!

Sunday, 15 November 2015

The poor relation!

Photo 01 - Just before the massive downpour yesterday!

The poor relation!

I received a few e mails last week following our piece on the Tweed Trout & Grayling Initiative, most were for the point of view that we adopted that progress was much too slow. As we stated last week the stumbling block is funding. One topic after another is carefully filed and gathers dust until funding is secured.

One e mail wondered why the group were formulated as the Tweed Trout & Grayling Initiative and not the Tweed Trout & Pike Initiative. Obviously the title was formulated a good while ago and in the past, both Grayling and Pike were and indeed in some corners still are considered vermin! The sender probably correctly asserts that more people fish for Pike than Grayling and that Pike have been established in the catchment for a much longer time! I can but agree with this and can offer no explanation as to why Grayling was considered for inclusion in this forum!

Another mailer wondered why Grayling are included at all! He went on to say that any Grayling he catches are removed from the water either for eating or simply thrown up the bank (not sure thats a good idea)!  The reason he gives is that the food consumed by these fish rightly belongs to Trout, Grayling being an introduced species and they can outcompete Trout for this food. Similarly he said any monies spent on research into Grayling should cease immediately and the money invested in Trout research.

My understanding on the last point is that the money and time spent on the Grayling side is negligible and shifting that money and time would make little difference! Another e mailer who specifically asked that we respect his anonymity said that the Tweed Commission was created for the advancement of Salmon fishing and nothing will sway them from attaining that goal. They have no interest whatsoever in Trout fishing but merely put up a front to appease the peasants who cannot afford a day Salmon fishing on the Tweed! Strong stuff but it's amazing how many anglers hold this view!

People in the Borders are not noted for their militancy so any change must come via other avenues! In our response to the Wild Fisheries Review (given the number 120 by the Scottish Government) we called for more funding to be given to other species of fish and it looks likely that we are among only a few responses calling for this! Once the whole results process is published we will look further into this as if correct it would not say very much for Trout clubs if indeed this is the case!
There seems to be a new breed of anglers populating clubs who are politically naive and unwilling to take part in the shaping of future angling which is not a good omen for future days!

So where does that leave Trout angling? For all that Trout angling has a large participation level albeit the river side is dwindling and the “plastic” side growing it means that the river fraction must rely on public bodies whereas the “plastic” side can raise the revenue and employ private companies. The two sections however are best considered apart as the research will mostly be non transferrable!

It is possible to blunder onwards in the fashion of old without research but this would not bode well for the future. We must have meaningful developments shaped by research, the problem is how we get this! The amount of research we are currently getting is much less than we need. It is unlikely anglers would get behind a pressure group pressing government for increased funding and there would be no fruit in trying to get the DSFBs (District Salmon Fishery Boards) to commit more money to Trout fishing!

Unless the Wild Fisheries Review comes forward with a change of emphasis forced on to DSFBs to devote more funding to other species we are sunk! All public bodies across the spectrum have been hobbled by the Tory government as they destroy everything that we hold dear, the coffers are bare! We are the poor relation of Salmon fishing and by whatever means this needs to change as a matter of urgency!

Massive sale!

We are rightly proud of our recommended dealers where every day you can pop in for a blether seeking advice or to buy that item that you hope will complete your armoury. Fishers in Penicuick is one of those dealers, a step up from a shopkeeper any angling queries you have will be answered here! Mike is now holding an end of season sale and there are some great bargains to be had covering end tackle, fly lines, reels and much much more so click the link and see what you can bag at a knockdown price -

Photo 02 - Vibrant autumn colour!

The wider world in my view!

 An act of war!

Sometimes it's hard to find appropriate words to describe a specific event and that applies here. Reminiscent of the very worst of the Bosch in WW2 here we saw the very worst of humanity absolutely mindless slaughter to no end! Yes the atrocities carried out in Paris on Friday night have been described by the French president as an act of war! The Islamic animals ISIS more properly known as Daesh (since this is a derogatory term and removes any hints of legitimacy) have claimed responsibility for the atrocities! It is clear Daesh are intensifying their campaign and the attacks on Friday showed just how easy it was to carry out their dastardly deeds! In anything other than a police state such actions are not easily detected!

If it was a war in the traditional manner with the enemy easily identified then revenge can be properly directed but with these suicide bombers there is no easy way to detect them short of repatriating all people from suspect countries! Of course this would not go down well with the PC crusaders but it may well come down to this or similar actions!

Things will change because of the events of the last two weeks Russia will exact a very heavy toll on who they perceive to be the perpetrators in Syria for the bombing of the Russian jet, Russia always meets violence with crushing violence! France also will seek revenge for the bloodbath and undoubtedly increase their strikes on Syria. The downside of course and it is a serious one is that thousands of civilians will become casualties of what is essentially a stab in the dark!

Air strikes will not wipe out Daesh that has already been proven, Daesh are so diffuse with cells scattered all over the globe that it is near impossible to single them out for destruction! The choices then are move to all out war with the obliteration of Iraq, Libya, Syria and Afghanistan with possibly a few other countries. Of course such a scenario is highly unpalatable to the majority of people as it would be all out murder along the lines created by the Bosch! The only other alternative is to pull out of these countries and let them run their own lives!

The western world cannot escape the fact that much of the trouble emanating from these countries was in part precipitated by the western world poking their noses in where it was not welcome! Daesh are a group of fanatics who will strike time and time again in a place of their choosing with little chance of detection. There will be further atrocities in this country there is no doubt and the western world must stand up and take stock and decide what must be done.

The choice is unending terrorist attacks and countless £billions lost in futile bombing campaigns or we can admit defeat as others such as the Soviet Union had to do in Afghanistan or America in Vietnam and pull out! It’s not an easy decision but I would pull out for to stay in will only lead to increasing tensions between ethnic groups here in the UK leading to a breakdown in our society and a massive expenditure in armaments, it’s just a pity we have a group of war mongering buffoons governing who are completely out of their depth!


The last few weeks have been a real eye opener with regard to the rabble that call themselves our government! Did you ever see such a bunch of chancers fools and outright diddys! The reforms planned by Lord Snooty to increase Sunday trading were quickly withdrawn after it became clear they were going to be defeated thanks to the SNP! These Tories would have the working classes working 7 days/week with no premium for unsocial hours or any thought to the quality of life or lack of experienced by those working fragmented shifts!

Police forces everywhere were left completely bemused when after unprecedented cuts to their budgets they were again told to secure further savings of up to 40%! Of course there were swift representations from chief constables and even blue nosed Tory MPs that this target was completely unrealistic and unachievable! So the bunglers went back to re-examine their books and it turns out the massive cuts demand was a mistake!
Lord Snooty pompously parading around Europe banging the drum for England has finally sent his letter to the EU outlining the demands he wants to seek for England! You honestly could not make this up but the pre letter rhetoric smacked of hefty demands with regard to sovereignty and withholding benefits to EU migrants for a period up to 4 years!

Of course as is always the way with Lord Snooty the actual demands amount to absolutely nothing, in fact the majority of them are already met. He incurred the wrath of the other EU leaders and later was positively roasted by his own party! Yes it’s a common Tory ploy to magnify the hurdles to be overcome then greatly lessen the demands and hey presto it’s another huge achievement won by Lord Snooty!  The star prize however goes to Lord Snooty for a letter sent by him to the leader of the council in his area asking why the council have not cut backroom staff instead of cutting frontline services! The council are poised to cut libraries, elderly day centres museums and a host of other things that have become a part of our society. The council leader wrote back to inform the dizzy Lord Snooty that cutting backroom staff took place years ago and the above was all that remained to be cut!

The letter just goes to show how out of touch Lord Snooty is, the man who who is a rank lightweight and does not know the price of a pint of milk has no idea whatsoever the extent and damage his ill thought out cuts are causing! Pure unadulterated incompetence!

Sunday, 8 November 2015

In dire straits!

In dire straits!

Photo 01 - The best of what was an inhospitable day!

We have now been attending the meetings of the Tweed Trout and Grayling Initiative for a few years now and the meetings were until recently good fun with a small amount of relevant research thrown in. On speaking to another delegate we agreed that progress was very slow. Cognisant of the fact that some research does indeed take an inordinate amount of time, but that inadequate funding made it even more so!
Yes much of the TTGI meetings are concerning irrelevancies, packing so to speak, the actual meat concerning anglers ignored until funding can be secured and this is the crunch. This is the theme of the meetings is that initiatives are repeatedly being put on the back burner and on every occasion Trout fishing interests being subservient to those of Salmon. We have stuck it out in an effort to see things improve but this has not occurred.

We resigned our membership at the end of the meeting on Tuesday as did Hawick Angling Club one of the largest in the area and with Jedburgh already out this leaves the meeting with only scant representation of Trout angling clubs as some did not even bother to attend in the first instance. To continue membership would have given credibility to the current arrangements and quite frankly if anyone from an angling club is happy with these then they need a rapid and hefty reality check! We have been told often that we in the Tweed catchment are the lucky ones as many areas do not have any separate Trout research wing.

Trout anglers do need a research arm there can be no doubt about it, but it needs to be one that is fully funded with scope for timely progress. Since the abolition of stocking Trout, fishing on the rivers has been in steady decline and there are no signs that this will improve. I am constantly asked how things are improving and I do not know what to say! Certainly any lack of progress is not down to the TTGI biologist Kenny Galt. Let’s be clear about this for he is a most diligent and obliging fellow and I feel sorry for him, for he also must at times feel impotent as we did! The problem lies in the organisational level and with the last two Salmon seasons being desperately poor you can be sure any additional resources will be heading in that direction!

I am deeply torn regarding our decision but as an old stager at the meeting said to me, progress is glacial! Thankfully the meeting has not descended to the depths of the Border Federation of Fishing Guides where nonsense is the order of the day! We cannot continue to attend the meetings whilst they are held under the title of the Tweed Trout and Grayling Initiative!  If the meeting was formulated in a fashion more akin to a speakeasy with slots for the odd piece of relevant research thrown in then this would be more honest. One further resignation from the committee is on the cards and we will just have to wait and see if the Scottish Government will facilitate a much greater investment in Trout fishing! If it does not then Trout fishing will indeed be in dire straits!
Photo 02 - Is it really the end for the Tibbie?

History disappearing!

Many of the locals will have seen the media reports regarding the closure of the Tibbie Shiels Inn a hostelry that has stood at the top of St Mary’s Loch for over 300 years. We have known about this since our AGM when Alastair told us of his intentions! The reason is simple and it is one that has plagued us over the years the wandering Neds who ply their trade at every beauty spot in the country!

The Cafe Green has always been a point of contention for the local community and yet if it was properly managed it would be a huge asset! When trouble does arise it takes the police forever to respond! Yet we cannot simply place the blame at the door of the police! This Tory government has cut and wants to cut yet more from the policing budget, we should then expect the level of service to drop like a ton weight and that is exactly what has happened!

There can be no doubting there are problems, but surely these can be surmounted if heads are put together! The Tibbie Shiels Inn is too important to be brought to its knees by a few Neds, and a police force crippled by Lord Snooty! St Mary’s Loch and the Tibbie Shiels Inn go hand in hand with each other it cannot be any other way! The Tibbie, council, police, the estate who own the land, the local community and any other interested group need to sit down and stop this move or St Mary'r Loch will never again be the same!

The wider world in my view!

Lest we forget.

Those who went before!

Today is remembrance Sunday when ceremonies take place all over the country and if you are like me then you will be awash with differing emotions! Anger for the aggressor, sorrow for those who paid the ultimate price and anguish for those who survived but only did so carrying the weight of mental torture and physical disability! The two minutes silence this morning was so important to allow all of us to remember with pride and grateful thanks the sacrifices made on our behalf! We owe them much! At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them!

Nothing has changed!

Yes the Tories now emerge from the cloud of dust created by their unexpected and frankly unwelcome victory in the recent general election. Of course the usual bungling is there in fact it is all consuming but there are some slight hints of policy albeit inappropriate appearing here and there. The first thing to note is that just months into government there are already two votes of no confidence on the cards.
Since 2004 government rules state that if more than 100,000 names are appended to a petition then the subject of that petition must be debated by parliament! The first debate was a vote of no confidence in master bungler super rich Jeremy Hunt for his maladministration of the NHS in England. This fellow who masquerades as health secretary had to suffer the indignity of having a vote of no confidence in his ability as the said government minister. Of course Lord Snooty had whipped his minions to be present to defeat the motion and that is how it ended up!

The second petition which has not yet been debated is one of no confidence in Lord Snooty! The motion was initiated over Lord Snooty’s massive bungle on the issue of cutting tax credits. The debate will unfortunately not result in the dethroning of Lord Snooty the numbers will see to that! It is however quite revealing that only months into their term of office and already we have two calls from the public calling for heads!
On terrorism Lord Snooty remains committed to hurling us into war with Syria! Now Lord Snooty was in his younger days an air cadet but this is hardly the level of competence we would expect from someone who has the authority to plunge us into all out war! Syria is now a stage for the serious players with the USA and Russia eclipsing all others there is no room for minnows such as the UK!

The farce that was their flagship policy of getting rid of tax credits to save 4 billion pounds rebounded into their faces. Yes the public voiced their discontent which resulted in the exalted House of Lords throwing out the policy!  Of interest here is that the public accounts committee revealed that Diddy Duncan-Smiths department lost £3 billion in wrongly paid benefits and other bungling. There is such a thing as good housekeeping that seems to have eluded Duncan-Smith!

Minister without a clue Gideon Osborne architect of the Omnishambles budget is excelling himself losing us £ billions over the giveaway of RBS shares at a rock bottom price. Couple that with his shambles of a policy on tax credits it is clear that he is now out of the running to take over Lord Snooty’s position at the end of the term thanks to eye watering incompetence!

Lord Snooty remains upbeat over the renegotiation of the terms of our EU membership yet strangely no other delegate can concur with this outlook! Yes the other EU delegates do not have a clue as to what Lord Snooty actually wants. does he know himself what he wants as he is pulled from pillar to post by his own minions! So the talks are going well then albeit in a Walter Mitty type fashion!

And the story could go on and on its one farce after another! What is clear is that these goons have about as much idea as a single cell organism as to how to run the country! People (admittedly misguided) criticise the Scottish Government and indeed they are nowhere near to being perfect. Compared to the jokers above however they are heavenly guided bodies! We had hoped that when the dust settles there would be some coherence, thought and strategic policy, the reality however is just the same old nonsense! The Tory party, a one trick pony whose only policy is to impoverish working people and give the proceeds to their well heeled pals! Nothing has changed!

Butcher Thatcher’s Clothes!

I read this week with some incredulity that the V&A museum had passed up accepting many of the clothes worn by the industry wrecker Butcher Thatcher! Granted acquiring these would not be on everyone’s list but surely they could have opened an exhibition in a dark area of the museum with other macabre figures! Surely this would have been a huge crowd puller! I know of many miners who would have given large amounts of money to purchase these clothes, dress up an effigy and gleefully burn it at the stake!