Sunday, 29 March 2015

The wilder the better!

Photo 01 - Mike with his 1.5lbs trophy safely returned!
The wilder the better!
Mike Wood one of our valued members has been having a tough time of it recently with regard to medical matters. So when he sent a mail today I was delighted to note that the fighting spirit inherent in his like was still there! He had ventured out on a couple of afternoons in pursuit of our wily stock of Trout! Mike is a focussed and determined chap here is his report in his own words -
Tues 24 March 2015 @  1430 to 1830 Hail Storms and Squally turning to a lovely evening.
 Fished Bottom of Lowes first half (Wet flies intermediate line), no offers.
Then to spinning had a Pike attack the toby at the bank up from the café.
Second half of the day on St Mary's: Caught one Brownie 15.5 cm in Lovely condition (guestimate 1.5lbs) on a PTN/Washing line style/dry line at the Boathouse end of the bay (nearest roadside)
Fri 27 March @ 1200 to 1900 Overcast most of the day Gusts causing the occasional white caps.
Photo 02 - Very nice early season pounder!
Fished from the bay above Kirkstead down to half way to the regulator picking up a 13cm  Brownie est 1lb (although a little on the lean side in good fighting form) on a home-made lure pattern.
Then to the roadside of the Lowes down to the St Marys feeder burn mostly with spinner due to winds (a hatch of Small dark olives occurred briefly at the St Marys confluence but no fish seen)
Lastly fished the Megget with spiders down to the loch (noticed the river here has changed to be wider and more canal like down to the first bend by the tree, the last twice where I'd picked up a fish there, the water seems too flat to cover them now).  Into the loaming with the Spinner from Megget mouth down towards Cappercleuch without any offers.
 Photo 03 - After the storm by Mike!
Clearly then the weather was rough but persistence paid off with two nice Brownies which were safely returned. One thought to be on the lean side but the important thing was that it survived the trials of spawning. I believe these are the first Brown Trout of 2015 from the lochs so well done Mike! I will have to shorten his odds for the competition got to be up among the favourites now! As the veterans of St Mary's loch say "The wilder the better"!
Illegal activities!

I heard from one of the residents around the loch this week telling of a group of three individuals who has hiked up the hill to St Mary’s Churchyard where a number of graves are contained within the walled cemetery. On looking closely it became apparent they were treasure seekers and were metal detecting within the churchyard!

It is common knowledge that people using these devices are turning up everywhere chancing their luck and seeing what they can unearth! Given that they have permission from the landowner then this is acceptable as long as they carry out this activity in a responsible fashion in contacting the owner and the relevant authority if a significant find is made!

Many areas of archaeological importance have been pillaged by these people out for self gain and a brake needs to be put on these irresponsible types! Digging in the area of a graveyard however is completely unacceptable, this is sacred ground! What would have happened if they had detected something would they dig up the graves to satisfy their urge for treasure!

People like this give good metal detectorists a bad name and the majority of them fall into the good bracket I am sure! Anyway their visit was short for whatever reason and they soon moved on. The details of their vehicle will be passed on to the police and I will take a trek up next week to see if any damage has been done! Do these people not stop and think before desecrating the property of others and in this case hallowed ground?

Photo 04 - Metal detecting took place here!
New Recommended Dealer!

I knew this was coming but we could not put forward a new recommended dealer until we had three recommendations from our membership! Well the third recommendation came in on Friday and our new recommended dealer is The Borders Gunroom in St Boswells!

This well respected outlets for as the name suggests deal in guns firearms and air weapons as well as fishing tackle taking in all the major specialities in our sport. They hold a massive stock of all things fishing and what they don’t have they will get for you! Best of all however like the late Tom Hardy in Gala you will be speaking to anglers who have gained the respect of the angling community. Check out the link and have a good look around, the website is still under construction but there is still plenty to see.
Photo 05 - Going home!

Wild Trout Competition!

Remember our annual wild trout competition will be held on Saturday the 25th of April on St Mary’s Loch fishing to be between the hours of 10.00 and 16.00hrs. Competitors should meet up at the Glen Cafe from 09.15 hrs for bacon rolls and tea or coffee. As always entry is £16.00 as it has been since its inception and the post mortem and weigh in at the Tibbies includes a barbeque commencing 16.30hrs. The patter is always good so if you fancy a shot do come along you will be most welcome!

The wider world in my view!

According to plan!

Utter panic is obvious all throughout Westminster as scare stories permeate those who govern us about the potential arrival of Alex Salmond and a group of up to 50 MPs to cause havoc! Have a look at this video made by the Tories which is an absolute cracker The interesting thing about this video is that it is true! I would fully expect the SNP to lay out the conditions to be given in return for support to a minority Labour administration!

This situation should have arisen with the Puppets and the Tories but as expected the Puppets were way too weak to hold the Tories to account! Grant Schapps the two job Tory mouthpiece predicts disaster and states the intervention of Salmond in threatening to vote down a Tory queens speech is an outrage!

Of course this is music to the ears of the people of Scotland who are intent on preventing a Tory government at any cost. Nicola Sturgeon gave the strategy the official stamp yesterday which was an absolute boon to Scottish voters! She also reaffirmed an earlier pledge that a strong SNP presence would stop a Tory government from getting off the ground! So far it’s all going according to plan!

A load of tosh!

Many of you will have watched the substitute for the electoral debate on Thursday night and I am sure many of you would have felt like me that this format was a load of tosh compared to the direct debates held prior to the last election. Jeremy Paxman is a ruthless interrogator but even he was stifled by the short time allocated for questions and answers!

Where they got the studio audience baffles me, if it was a radio programme I would have guessed that the audience were selected in terms of advanced bewilderment from an old folk’s home! I mean what is the point of asking Ed Milliband how he is getting on with his brother. Similarly asking Lord Snooty what he considers to be Milliband’s best traits! This was meant to be purely and simply a political grilling!

As political debates go this was a complete and utter flop, a massive let down and it was all brought about by Lord Snooty’s insistence that he would not take part in a one to one debate with Milliband. The average voter would have gleaned nothing from this! In fact this will probably lead to decreased viewing figures for the remaining ones to come! Lord Snooty has never been famed for displaying courage; his intransigence in not agreeing to the one to one debate just further enhances this! The electorate will judge Lord Snooty for his actions on May the seventh!

A bungler to the very end!

Many Tories do not care much for the speaker of the house John Bercow simply because he lambasts everyone who steps out of line. Prominent among this group are Lord Snooty and Bungling Bill Hague! Yes this pair of incompetents left until the last minute their wish to have Bercow removed by seeking to pass a law making the speaker gain election to the post by secret ballot!

That in itself is not an adverse wish but the way it was handled by Bungling Bill rushing it through at the last minute as parliament closes with no consultation whatsoever was described as despicable by many MPs. As it turned out to his eternal shame Bungling Bill lost the debate by twenty six votes and Bercows position was saved! Yet more underhand and ill judged moves by a man who through his many years in parliament excelled only in top flight bungling! He started off as a wealthy bungler and he has ended up as an even bigger and wealthier bungler! Bungling Bill good riddance!

On Clarkson!

I was very pleased to hear of the BBC’s decision to sack the bully that is Jeremy Clarkson! I enjoyed Top Gear like many others but a basic act of gross misconduct was proven to have been committed! The rules of employment apply from the tea boy to the CEO. Those who were responsible for issuing death threats need to be dragged before the courts and given the heaviest of punishments. Justice has been done!

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Not enough hours!

Photo 01 - Mr Xxxxx presents Lisa of the Village Hall Committee our donation of £50.00!
Not enough hours!

I’m afraid I have reached a point after 8 years where what has gone before can no longer be sustained, preparing our blog each week takes time that this year is in short supply. For the last two years it has been my intention to restore to a like new condition three of my old motorcycles.

Progress has been slow due to the fact that absolutely everything needs some degree of attention from sourcing obsolete parts from distant areas on the globe to a full re chrome of a badly rusted exhaust system as Mother Nature attempts to return steel to Iron Oxide! I am surrounded by nuts, bolts plain and spring washers that need de rusting, buffing, copper plating, buffing, nickel plating, buffing and chrome plating and yet again buffing! According to the bible we are allocated three score and ten years, but we cannot be sure of our actual allocation so I feel sooner rather than later is the best way to progress.

There are a few options in that

(a) We could have a new blog with a new author giving a different perspective on the goings on around the loch.

(b) We could continue as we are with others writing articles.

(c) I will continue to write as and when I can though almost certainly this would not be weekly and the articles few with less in depth coverage.

The first option would be my first choice with someone taking the blog in their own direction but as always it depends on the willingness of others to take on a new venture!

Irrespective of what decision is reached I will continue weekly blogs until the general election the outcome of which could have a great bearing on the future wellbeing of angling clubs! The Tories with their ill thought out austerity cuts will see angling and the wider field of angling stifled and strangled with massive cutbacks to body’s such as SNH, The wildlife trust etc.

The best option of course will be a solid Scottish Government which is an administration that is aware of the need to invest in such areas. Membership of the SNP now tops 100,000 and they are on course to wipe out all the Westminster hangers on! Politics and angling are inextricably linked whether you like it or not, and we must take this into our account when compiling our musings!

It would be a shame for the social history of the club to be consigned to a few scraps of paper lodged in a book somewhere rather than being available to a worldwide audience. For we do reach some very distant parts of the world such as (in order of audience figures) the USA, Canada, Poland, Italy and Russia! The life and times of a small angling club in the Borders is of interest to others on distant shores as well as people in the Borders, Lothian’s and the UK as a whole!

Our moral values have been praised often as have the occasions when we have had to challenge the status quo and expose charlatans! When others turn away we embrace the challenge and expose the murkier underbelly of angling! That of course is not to say that we ignore those who portray the correct face of angling for we have done so often!

It’s been a bumpy journey at times akin to being on a rollercoaster and like such a ride thrilling and thoroughly enjoyable! If time allowed I would carry on happily but projects such as above and others draw heavily on my time. Monday to Friday this week on coming home from work I resumed other work from around six to nine thirty and most Sundays are so taken up!

Restoring the bikes has always been my aim and the last two years have made clear to me the time I am giving to this project falls far short of what is required! Oh indeed I could farm the parts out to others and then pay the hefty bill. That however is not my way where would be the joy in so doing? All the welding, buffing, chroming, fettling and testing will be by my own hand only then can I step back and hopefully look on the finished articles with a degree of pride! Along with a few others I have carried out my fair share of work for the club and will continue to do so. We have a core group of committed members, are in a sound financial position and have good relations with those around us; we are where we need to be!

So if you fancy a spell as a blog author drop me a line, the only qualifications are being a member of the club and fishing on a regular basis. Overtly or covertly we will continue to expose fools and root out those who make a mockery of our great sport; hopefully someone will step forward before the election. If no one is willing then we will see what can be done!
Photo 02 - Work aplenty in the stable!

Open Club Competition!

Our wild Trout competition will be held on the 25th of April with competitors meeting at the Glen Cafe from 09.15 onwards. Fishing will be from 10.00 – 16.00 with the weigh in immediately after at the Tibbie Shiels Inn. As has been the case since its inception the cost will be £16.00 per angler. As usual the prizes are

!st Prize An autumn day Salmon fishing on the Upper Pavillion on the river Tweed plus the Major Sir Neil Westbrook cup to be kept for one year.

2nd Prize will be a bottle of spirits of the anglers choice.

3rd Prize will be a selection of flies in a box suitable for fishing on the loch as compiled by our experienced fishers.

The day will begin with registration tea or coffee and a bacon roll and will finish with a post mortem barbeque at the Tibbie Shiels.

If you would like to enter just let me know and turn up on the day at the Glen Cafe 09.15 on the 25th of April. Some hints and tips will be published in the next few weeks.

The wider world in my view!
Good Wishes!
Club treasure Elliot Fraser was up on Saturday and he has some promising news. He has attended an interview with a precision engineering company and the signs are good! Help from the jobcentre - not a bit of it these fools serve only to push people into dead end jobs on a part time basis, a usefulness score of zero! they said to him that if required he should expect to travel up to 90 minutes to get to work! No wonder there are more working poor than ever!
From all at the club Good Luck mate!

A joke!

Yes the budget targeted at older people trying to bribe them in return for a vote! It of course was expected but the blatancy of Minister without a clue Gideon Osborne was breathtaking! The only positive thing for the less well off was the raising of the personal allowance to £11,000 in 2016! The main theme was more of the same!

More cuts to public services, more savage cuts to welfare benefits and all efforts to cutting the defecit! Yes I know it was meant to be wiped out at the end of this parliament but give the man some time! So he failed there and now he asks for a second chance. Believe you me that if this idiot gets his hands on the purse he will cut the defecit at ANY cost lest his reputation is left in tatters!

Gideon won’t disclose where the cuts will take place but unless you are a diddy then you will realise what has gone before is not a patch on what will come if they are re elected. Our now accepted way of life will be decimated with cuts to police, local authority budgets, health, welfare, defence and many others leaving a skeleton of public services!

There was nothing of substance in Osborne’s budget. Nothing that  gives hope to the poorer classes! Lord snooty has presided over the longest recovery following the anking crash since the great depression! Its not a lot to crow about! They have demonstrated incompetence in the extreme hell pension reforms recently announced are it tatters after thousands of pensioners have been unable to access the government help lines!

Anyone looking for a boost following the budget will be sorely disappointed; there were a few titbits for businesses but for those who really do need help there was nothing! In other words just a normal poor punishing Tory budget!

A farce!

I honestly thought I had seen it all but when Puppet Alexander emerged from Downing Street holding aloft a bright yellow budget briefcase my breath was taken away! Proceeding to an empty House of Commons he attempted to deliver an alternative Puppet budget speech highlighting what the Puppets would have done differently! Six Puppets were present along with a handful of curious Labour MPs! This turned out to be a serious error of judgement by a puppet who knows his days are numbered!

Before beginning the farce Puppet Alexander was warned by the speaker that no politicking should take place. What followed was a melee as the Labour members barracked the bewildered fool and not a bit of his speech was audible; he was in effect speaking to himself! Perhaps most telling was the fact that Puppet Clegg left after 10 minutes doubtless bored to tears by the droning voice of Puppet Alexander! The transcript shows that it was a party political broadcast in House of Commons time!

The Puppet was warned on several occasions and became quite irate as the Labour lads pushed the official budget statement towards the Puppet! Of course the official budget document was down in part to Puppet Alexander as he and his fellow Puppets had signed up to the statement!

A desperate man, and a savage puppet now realising that his past has come back to haunt him and his days as a Puppet dictator are numbered! His joke budget speech was in fact his valedictory speech and the good bit, no one heard it! Yes his just rewards are coming, the betrayal of the electorate has done for him and he is insignificant political history! Let’s raise a glass to that!

Maggie McVile!

It’s her aspirational name,  her wish, to be the next Butcher Thatcher! She is of course Esther McVey failed TV presenter and soon to be ex failed politician! Yes Ashcroft’s poll reported on by the Daily Record has shown she is trailing the Labour candidate by four points! Named McVile because of the glee expressed when implementing the Bed Tax (now obsolete in Scotland) punishing poor people all over the country! Not a great loss to the country and poor people all over the country will be cheering when she is dumped as they did on the death of Butcher Thatcher! No tears will be shed on the sacking of an arrogant and insensitive witch! It’s nice to get rid of rubbish and very few can match this dictator when talking of trash! TV presenter – FAIL, Politician – FAIL, third time lucky? I doubt it!

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Opening day!

Photo 01 - Bypass road in preparation for raising the height of road bottom of the loch!
Opening day!

The long days of waiting ended today as the Brown Trout season on the loch opened. Unfortunately I was unable to have a go as I am furtively restoring my three motorcycles to original condition and this is taking up a huge amount of my time! There was a noticeable drop in temperature yesterday which I am sure will keep hatches to a minimum. On a walk yesterday looking in some sheltered bays I saw no fly hatches whatsoever.

However history dictates that submerged flies are the order of the day in the early part of the season. If no rising fish are seen and all depths should be checked out until (hopefully) contact is made. Attractor flies are mandatory as the population attack any likely looking food item. Flies such as Butcher, Zulu and of course the now ubiquitous fly on the loch, the orange gold head!

I will no doubt hear from some of the early season anglers regarding their fortunes today as they try and tempt our very astute population of wild Brownies. To all who have ventured out Tight lines!


Most popular item ever!

Our “Choosing a fishing guide 2” article has surpassed all our top stories with a total of over 4,100 visits since it was published a few months back in September. Overtaking the now infamous Mr Kens, Dangerman and Uranob the article is still drawing in between 30 – 85 visits/week. And the reason, well it’s quite simple. We discovered a shocking situation, a complete embarrassment to all decent anglers where anyone could overnight invent themselves as a fishing guide and rake in loads of money, whilst holding no qualifications!

From the e mails I have received many visitors were unaware of this deplorable situation and some expressed surprise that the authorities were content to let this situation continue. Our article brought to heel those content to fleece anglers and exposed the local situation for all to see! I have no doubt that the bona fide fishing guides cringed when attention was drawn to the unqualified lot who were bringing down the reputation of the good guys! The situation however is now better than it was with some being compelled to obtain qualification and some registering with bodies such as Fish Pal or both.

The onus however lies always with the angler. One cannot rely on another organisation such as Fish Pal to act as a vetting authority. Anglers must fastidiously check the qualification status of any guide they may be thinking of using. If the guide lists APGAI next to their name go to the APGAI site and check their list. If they are not listed they do not hold the qualification! I value my free time too much to sit down and answer mail after mail from anglers seeking recommendations as to if and which guide they should hire so don’t mail me!

With our article we have laid bare the embarrassing situation and the ways anglers may bypass the dross and select a guide worthy of hiring, for there are good decent guys out there. Check out this link sent to me a couple of weeks ago by a fishing guide up north called Duncan and locally Tweed Guide seem to have a good reputuation, but that said the choice is always the anglers!

We are pleased to have exposed the shambolic situation and now have a go Harry’s will think twice before unleashing themselves on an unsuspecting angling public! Certainly looks like our site has become the angler’s bible when looking for a fishing guide!

Screenshot taken today showing our site topping the lot!

Our thanks go to Keith and Aaron who this week took on the job of replacing the pull cord on our Hidea engine. It was good of you to carry out this work and we are most grateful!

The wider world in my view!

Bullies, bullies everywhere!

You will no doubt have come across the suspension of Jeremy Clarkson by the BBC. Yes the long time Top Gear presenter is alleged to have assaulted a producer of the show over some disagreement regarding food! Clarkson who it could be argued is Top Gear, is now hinting that his time with the show may now have come to a natural end.

A petition calling for the suspension to be lifted has now accrued around 900,000 signatures which shows just how much certain factions of society value him as the lead presenter of Top Gear. I must admit to being an avid watcher of the programme not for information on cars as there is very little, but for the stupidity of the pranks many of which backfire spectacularly!

The loss to the BBC if Top Gear went under would be immense in financial terms; the show is sold worldwide and brings in millions in revenue! The BBC however has concerns above that of financial gain and that is the ever increasing incidence of bullying in the workplace! Even in angling we are being infiltrated by these schoolboy bullies! Anglers in the Borders were universally embarrassed on a countrywide stage by the actions of a local idiot who acted like a savage and tried to assault a smaller angler but ended up being knocked out cold by the wee chap who was a boxer! Natural justice, but nevertheless the fact that bullies are in the angling scene is a great cause for concern!

Similarly with Clarkson it has been alleged that he punched the wee fellow because he wasn’t getting his way! If the investigation proves that this was what happened then the BBC has only one option and that is to sack the overgrown bully without hesitation! When disagreement boils over into violence there can only be one outcome

Clarkson may migrate to another broadcaster and take his followers and maybe his fellow presenters with him! Of course there would be no shortage of offers as such a motoring show would bring in millions of viewers. If this was to happen then it will be tough for the BBC. But above all must be the mission statement that all BBC employees must be allowed to work in safety, if the allegations are true then the BBC have failed in this!

We do not tolerate bullies in our club in any form, if any are discovered then they are weeded out and barred from fishing most likely for a lifetime! We need to be able to say to parents of young anglers that our club from committee to ordinary member are right thinking individuals and have no bullying tendencies and their children are as safe as they can be! All angling clubs must be able to say the same; there is no room for bully boys in civilised society or angling!

The election bribe!

Of course it is to be expected the great pre election giveaway on Wednesday. Minister without a clue Gideon Osborne targeting pensioners with pension bribes designed to grab the substantial pensioner vote. I doubt that there are many stupid pensioners out there, most having seen through this bungling administration years ago! Of course its not been described as a bribe simply a part of their "long term economic plan" yawn!

You need to ask the Tory candidate that turns up at your door why they have punished the weak and disabled in society whilst lining the pockets of their well heeled pals! You also need to ask why they have spent millions disrupting the NHS with their aimless reforms when more investment and less interference is the way forward.

You also need to ask about the latest tragedy and their biggest blunder to date the benefit reforms which are currently unfolding and unravelling before our eyes. Even the Tory loving Sunday Post which had a 4 page spread on the hardship their reforms were causing followed up this week (yes I bought a copy) with a further 2 page expose and the start of a campaign to bring the posh boys back into the real world! Yes this policy particularly defines these fools leaving thousands with nothing to live on as they bungle onwards with yet another failed ideological policy! The working classes have not fared well under the Con-Dems, voters would do well to keep this in mind before being taken in by bribes! Judge them not by what they say, judge them by their actions!

The puppets last stand!                                                                    

It’s finally beginning to hit home, the anger of the public over the puppets betrayal prior on the formation of the Con-Dem coalition! Since that time the puppets have been decimated losing over 2,200 councillors, all of their impressive fleet of MEPs bar one and seeing their support plummet losing 60% of their supporters to an all time low of around 5% of the vote. Locally Puppet Moore is issuing newspapers in a hurried fashion trying (in vain methinks) to drum up support to avoid losing his seat!

Still on a local basis they proclaim the fight is between puppet Moore and the Tories, “no one else can win” they shout! The reality however is completely different with the SNP being 3 points ahead in the area heading for a historic win! The puppets moment of glory was a quick event and now one that will be lodged in the annals of time never to be revisited! Treachery comes with a heavy price!

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Response to the Wild Fisheries Review!




Photo 01 - Wild weather yesterday!

Response of St Mary’s Angling Club to the Wild Fisheries Review.

Relevant key recommendations on which we wish to submit comment.

Background to our response -

We are an angling club in the Scottish Borders Region whose waters are administered by the River Tweed Commission. The fish that are of interest to us are Brown Trout and Pike with Pike anglers making up to 80% of our revenue. Our Trout fishing which prior to the no stocking policy was quite good as we stocked up to 1000 Trout per season and anglers generally had some good sport.

Since that time our Trout fishing has diminished to the point where only a few committed wild Trout anglers remain and catches remain low. One of our anglers who is into his mid eighties and has fished the loch for over 70 years maintains that the current level of sport is the worst it has ever been. We have spent much money and members have given much of their free time in carrying out habitat improvements suggested by The Wild Trout Trust. Only time will tell how successful our work has been.

The Tweed foundation has concluded by analysing electrofishing results they have carried out that there is possibly a problem with fish entering the loch but at this time can offer no solutions to our problem. We have in the Tweed Foundation a biologist who looks into Trout problems but this is on a part time basis and progress is slow particularly when coupled with limited funds. We are hugely grateful for the work he has done as he is a most thorough and diligent individual but is constrained by time and resources.

We see in the Wild Fisheries review a chance to improve the current situation moving resources to cover research and investment into all species.

Our Response.

An all species approach to fisheries management.

With regard to increasing the focus on other species we believe this is vital. Currently and in the past the main focus of fishery boards has been directed towards Salmon. Brown Trout, Pike, Carp and other species are increasing in popularity in Scotland and therefore the revenue received from such anglers should be captured and developed. For too long species other than Salmon have been neglected as can be seen in our introduction where we have a problem but a solution is not forthcoming. We fully understand the importance of Salmon fishing to the economy and we would like to see the continuation of research to capitalise on this.


An ‘Angling for all’ programme to extend the reach of the sport;

 The angling for all aim is laudable. We would welcome any initiative to increase the numbers participating in the sport. We are extremely concerned however with one aspect of current angling and that is the non regulated status of fishing guides and instructors. Research we have carried out has shown that people devoid of qualification and with dubious character are inventing themselves as bona fide fishing guides/instructors overnight! Overseas particularly in the USA one can have confidence in the system as mandatory central regulation is in place supported by the law.

This situation allows unqualified non verifiable people to be the face of angling and sets a very dangerous precedent not to mention an embarrassment to anglers countrywide! All such people must undergo statutory vetting such as full disclosure by Disclosure Scotland. If we seek credibility with anglers who pay quite often large sums of money then we owe it to them to ensure all these people have attained a suitable level of competency which is verifiable with a central body. The current situation is nothing short of a shambles and reflects very poorly on angling in Scotland.

A new National Wild Fisheries Unit within government – to give strategic direction and democratic accountability;

We are in agreement with a National Fisheries Unit. With regard to the management structure our only comment would be that localism is a good basis to progress as the River Tweed Commission demonstrates, but that all fishery boards must be accountable to the Scottish Government and through them the population as a whole. The composition of local fishery boards must include all stakeholders who have an interest in the management of the river. A governmental central co-ordinator is a sensible idea to aid an overview of the performance of the individual fishery boards.  Relating to this area we would expect the current staffing level to be maintained or preferably increased.


Introduce a National Rod Licence;

The proposed rod licence will be a contentious issue among anglers with many feeling they pay enough already. We however are cognisant of the fact that improvement comes at a price! We feel that if the money raised from a licence was returned in whole back into fisheries then improvements would become apparent quicker than they would under the current arrangements.

There is an obvious danger in introducing another level of bureaucracy in collecting and administering such monies that the net amount returned to the river bank would be much less than the gross figure collected with funds being swallowed up by the mechanism of collection etc. Subject to the above being avoided by possibly using existing staff and returning such monies into all species fisheries research we are in favour of the introduction of a rod licence.

 Our club like many others engage with all anglers who come to fish on our lochs. Thought should be given as whether use could be made at this interface in issuing licences to visiting anglers, most clubs have contact with all their members. The majority of licences however should be issued online or via the post offices as happens in England.

Introduce licensed rationing to deal with the problem of sustainability of stocks;

 Conservation of fish stocks is at the heart of the review and rightly so, every effort must be made to conserve stocks and any measures to this end are to be welcomed. We take the view that as far as wild stocks are concerned catch and release should become the norm. If however there remains a desire by anglers to take fish then if it is judged that the fish stock can support this then the licensed rationing system would seem appropriate.

Adopt a precautionary approach to licensed rationing where there is uncertainty on the strength of stocks;

The use of caution when the status of stocks is uncertain seems a very fitting measure if conservation is to be maintained. Similarly with licensed rationing these should be issued sparingly. We see no reason why any angler cognizant of the future should disagree with such measures as proposed.

Apply a fee to cover the cost of managing the licensed rationing system.

This is absolutely essential. If the monies raised from licensing are to be fully ploughed back into frontline angling then the extra administration incurred in administering the rationing system should be recovered in full.


We believe the review to be a step forward in fisheries management which if implemented as per the proposals will present a benefit to the ordinary angler. In the present set up we are pleased with what we have in the form of the Tweed Commission and the Tweed Foundation but with the review we can aspire to better in terms of more research into other freshwater species! Everyone however must be under no illusion that improvement comes without a price, every step forward comes with a price and if as anglers we wish improvements, we must pay for them. We fully support the implementation of the review.
Our report will be sent to the Scottish Government tomorrow.
Photo 02 - this was as good as it got yesterday!
Nearly there!

Yes the start of the Brown Trout season is next Sunday; doubtless there will be some Brown Trout anglers on the loch looking for some sport. Many of the long standing members have stated that early season is best for sport and with the Trout caught out of season being in great condition the pointers towards good sport are promising!

The wider world in my view!

Lord Snooty’s U turn!

In 2010 he was all for the debates now he has changed his mind and wants to impose his will on the broadcasters by having only one debate with 7 parties before the end of this month! As has been widely reported Snooty has the most to lose in such debates and this is the reason he has assumed a yellow tinge whenever the debates are mentioned.

The broadcasters however have remained resolute in that all three planned debates will go ahead with or without Lord Snooty! This may mean Milliband debating with an empty chair which would give him an outside chance of coming up tops! The topics confronting Lord Snooty would probably contain the following –

The Big Society- yes Lord Snooty’s flagship policy that was to transform the way we live our lives but shame, it seems to have sunk without a trace- Fail!

Immigration- Lord Snooty’s famous words “judge me on this policy”! yet again of course he has failed spectacularly with immigration massively up as the feckless twits ponder their next move (blunder) – Fail!

Deficit Reduction – their deadline was the end of this parliament and in this they have failed spectacularly! Their next prediction is 2018 which of course will be extended to the end of the next parliament should they gain power. They of course famously altered the method of calculating the defecit which moved the stuck record that proclaimed it had been cut by a third to the new figure of cutting it by half – Fail!

Borrowing record – naturally they were going to get borrowing down when in reality it has increased steadily to a new record high pushing the country's national debt up by 0.6 trillion pounds since 2010 – Fail!

Clamping down on tax dodgers- obviously they failed on this pledge as to implement it would have seen their pals being out of pocket to a massive extent. Of course the large conglomerates continue to flaunt the system whilst the Inland Revenue go after the real crooks the small trader who slips £50 into his back pocket – Fail!

Employment – against their rhetoric the actual situation is dire, granted employment is up but in terms of real paying jobs with a future they have achieved nothing! More working people are claiming benefits than ever before due to low wages, part time employment and zero hours contracts, it’s been a great piece of spin but as a worthwhile policy – Fail!

Benefit reforms & Bedroom Tax- they have spent billions in effect to make things worse and the irony is that there is still more to come! Yes the quiet man (IDS) has caused absolute havoc with his little thought out reforms. Thankfully the Scottish government have put paid to the Bed tax!Measures that punish those who have nothing, those who are chronically or terminally ill, and those who by the quirks of fate that confront us all find themselves between a rock and a hard place. Perhaps rather poignantly for Lord Snooty and the quiet man a newspaper scan I was sent today from the avid Tory supporting rag the Sunday Post tears the benefit reforms to shreds in a 5 page expose on people that have endured hardship using the shambolic system – Fail!

To be frank what Snooty chooses to do is up to him, but given the above maybe his stance is the right one from his perspective. Even a duffer like weak Ed Milliband would shred Snooty on the above policies! Puppet Clegg has stated his willingness to step in as Snooty’s deputy but this must not be allowed to happen! The puppets are now a minority party hated by the electorate with the SNP, UKIP and the Greens all overtaking them, the puppets are finished! The debates must go ahead and if Lord Snooty decides not to turn up then the electorate will judge him on his actions!

Good or what!

The latest polls out this week show the SNP predicted to have up to 52 of the 59 Scottish seats. Our own local puppet, Puppet Moore is also marked down as a casualty! What great news, the goal of independence is ever nearer voters should not be swayed the finish line is in sight an independent Scotland is on the horizon!


Sunday, 1 March 2015

Not quite true!

Photo 01 - Stevie opens his Pike account with a solid 12 pounder!

Not quite true!

I was listening to the Borders news on Radio Scotland midweek and heard Nick Yonge of the Tweed Foundation stating that all angling clubs were up in arms about the possibility of introducing a rod licence in Scotland! It was only on Tuesday night when I made clear that St Mary’s Angling Club would not be averse to the introduction of a rod licence if the money raised was ploughed back into angling and a policy developed with less of an emphasis on Salmon. This must surely be the aim of all clubs angling for species other than Salmon! We realise unlike some others that there is a limited pot of money available and if we want more then it has to be paid for! We are not content with what we have good in comparison though it is, we aspire to better!

Now we have received two written responses and one verbal one from members to be incorporated into our formal response to the Wild Fisheries Review. All are broadly similar to my own views so we are going with that. So if you have some views and you would like them included in our response you had better get them to me quick as we will be publishing our response and sending it out to the Scottish Government next week! We will be in favour of the implementation of the review!

Update on the funeral fiasco!

I never expected the incident to go by without hearing in some form from the perpetrator who rather interestingly calls himself Mr Clegg! The following is an e mail he sent if you can decipher it please let me know what it says. I also received an answer phone message that is gobbledygook, compiled of random words in no order whatsoever!

“Wots ur problem sirv.was pay in my respect to a great man was u jealous like me now in my head at curtains at a great friend I new very well and the minister introduced me the

I met the officials of Selkirk AA at a meeting midweek and the first thing they spoke of was the disgraceful behaviour of the chap in the baseball cap and this was the theme for the week from all the mourners I met!

There is a time and place for such outbursts but whichever way you look at it a funeral service is not on that list! It’s just a real shame that the memory of a good send off was marred by this fellow and his beef with a shopkeeper! I have no doubt all who were present were unanimous in this view and my hope is that he will learn from this fiasco! But will he pay heed, we will just have to wait and see!

Photo 02 - The calm before the storm yesterday!
 The wider world in my view!

Lord Snooty’s legacy!

Club treasurer Elliot phoned this week which is nothing unusual, but what he had to say was somewhat depressing! After 21 years of service to his engineering employer he was made redundant along with two others, the work for his type of milling machine had dried up. The motives of the employer are dubious but on looking into challenging this decision he encountered hurdle after hurdle making the prospect of moving to an industrial tribunal ever more remote! Of course the Con-Dems have made it near impossible to take an employer to an industrial tribunal; the cost alone is near £12,000 which dissuades many which is exactly what the posh boys want! Their aim an all powerful employer and a weak workforce just like in Queen Victoria's time!

Now Elliot is no shrinking violet as any who know him will tell you, if he has something to say then he says it! Not a troublemaker, but one who stands up for himself and those less willing or able to do so themselves, you might say a Robin Hood type man of the people! There being no realistic possibility of directly challenging this decision he had no choice but to register as unemployed. He had in fact been to the jobcentre a week earlier when it became apparent redundancy was on the cards, but the people there said there was nothing they could do to assist him at this point!
Yes there was a redundancy payment but as always under the Con-Dems the working classes lose out! If Elliot was a puppet MP who will be made redundant on May 7th then he would get around £40,000 plus a portion or all of £40,000 for winding up expenses depending how much he wants to squeeze the system! All that for doing nothing other than lying through their back teeth and rubber stamping Tory policy! Let me tell you Elliot got nothing like that! Of course there are the spin offs such as after dinner speaking around £5,000 plus expenses, directorships from contacts made and a chance to move sideways into Europe now there is a money spinner just look at Tony Blair! But I digress!

He went back a week later to register as unemployed and was pointed in the direction of employment agencies offering “we will phone you contracts more commonly known as zero hours contracts”! No words of reassurance or hope just cold instructions as to what will happen! A highly skilled engineer with masses of experience and a family to support effectively binned! No specialist help that they so often bang on about just pointed in a vague direction with words that they will get him a job! This is the Con-Dem legacy zero hours contracts, low quality and part time dead end jobs! That’s what the posh boys have created, anything to get someone into a job in the loosest sense of the word just so they are able to say they have brought unemployment down! The quality of our existence has plummeted with these diddys whilst theirs has rocketed skywards with their chuck it and see policy!

The kind of future for the younger generation does indeed look grim with a job in TESCO or ASDA becoming the norm! What a waste of resources,education and skills, instead of building a solid manufacturing base their main aim is to increase the London based financial sector, lining the pockets of their rich chums and to hell with the rest!

These fools along with the greedy bankers have brought this country to its knees! Oh their clever spin doctors would have us believe otherwise but thankfully the people of Scotland see through their empty phrases! The real picture is that agencies now comprise over 40% of all new jobs created with part time retail jobs accounting for a further 30%, the future for the unemployed with skills does not look good!

The Con-Dems need to look at creating real jobs and retraining the jobcentre staff to be welcoming and accommodating rather than aloof and detached! The way these idiots treat honest hardworking people is an absolute disgrace! The five years of unmitigated bungling that characterises the Con-Dems time in office has been a disaster coupled with spin that makes Tony Blair look like an escapee from a home for the bewildered!

I have no doubt Elliot will prevail and he will find employment commensurate with his skills but not through the state network, but by making his situation known to those in the industry who can appreciate high skills and experience! Elliot is everything that the posh boys are not in that he knows what a hard days graft is, knows the price of milk, is as honest as the day is long and is benevolent to others! In other words a man of high moral standing and integrity like so many other hardworking Scots!

I have said it many times but I feel nauseas whenever Snooty or his underlings spout forth, for they do so with a forked tongue! If I had my way they would all be Con-Demned to a life on the minimum wage then we would see what they are made of! No million pound cushion to fall back on, methinks they would be singing a different tune!

Just another real life example of the bungling Con-Dems in action and how they ruin the lives of ordinary hardworking people! Their rhetoric sounds great but the actions if indeed there are any are dire and always end up punishing the weak disabled and ever increasing numbers of poverty stricken in our society! It has become increasingly difficult to differentiate between lies and damned lies; the truth is not even in the equation! And make no mistake Labour are not much better, the only solution for the people of Scotland is to leave behind the bungling of Westminster and go our own way as an independent country, Westminster holds nothing for us Scots!

Rock bottom!

I will make no distinction here between the posh boys, Labour or the puppets! The Straw/Rifkind affair showed just how low the standard of British politics has descended! The two elder statesmen of parliament were always held as a last bastion of what was good in the country! I have no experience of Jack Straw but I have had dealings with Malcolm Rifkind on three occasions two work related and once dinner in Comiston/Morningside(never live that down!)!

I am no personal friend, but Rifkind was a friend of my then girlfriend’s father! Politics aside, I found him to be a rather pleasant dinner companion chatting about Scots history, rugby and Edinburgh life. I thought just until the story broke irrespective of his political stance here was a principled man who was honest and showed great integrity, he had my respect! A million miles in front of the current bag of posh boys!

Yes I did have respect for the two elder statesmen, how deflating then to see that they were up to the same tricks as all the others! I’ve long said that the system in this country is corrupt with our elected officials lining their own pockets! The problem is a human one inherent in us all – Greed! It was ever thus and it will be forever more as the bible states “to those who have more shall be given and to those who have not more shall be taken away”!

It will be a massive problem to solve if indeed it can be. The whole structure of our society needs to be torn down and rebuilt from the bottom up with fairness and equity as the foundation stones! That’s why I like much of the “Watermelon” policy which to a greater degree than the SNP seeks an end to the likes of Rooney earning £300,000/week which has to be a good thing!

Hell even the Royal Bank of Scotland is paying out £420 million in bonuses whilst making massive losses and they are owned by us the taxpayer! Give me a shout if they asked your permission to do this because they certainly never asked me! It has to stop we cannot go on like this. We have the buffoons above living a life of grand opulence and we have a huge amount of people scraping by day to day with no real hope for the future!

Rather than repair the fault which is massive inequality, they apply sticking plaster in the form of encouraging food banks to stop the poor from starving whilst withholding their benefits because they missed a bus or had a heart attack making them late for an appointment! These clowns are not fit to run a country they are Bullingdon automatons that cannot see past Tory ideology where the rich prosper greatly and the poor survive if they are lucky!

Borg queen Ruth Davidson promises a new brand of Tory but with the same ideology driving. Alas she is destined for oblivion (the Scots have long memories) as her policies lead to the same end result. The one thing that makes the SNP electable is the word equality and the desire to create a fairer society! Don’t think however all will be better overnight, the salient point however is that they are making a start with some fresh ideas, something none of the others promise!

Yes Straw and Rifkind have yet again awoken us to the fact that our country and more so our political system is in intensive care! Pie taxes, NHS reforms to no end costing us billions and the latest benefit reforms which already have cost us dear and are four years late should be enough for anyone! Another few months of these clowns in government could see us at war with Russia as many in the posh boy’s camp want to start arming the Ukraine! For crying out loud this is not a two bit conflict with Colonel Gadhafi where we can make things worse then bale out and watch the ensuing mayhem with no consequences!

 Russia has been stealthily building up its armed forces and hardware (it has 8,000 nuclear warheads which is more than any other country) to an extent only the USA could engage them! That of course assumes China do not step in to help the Russian bear, many commentators think they would! We do not need the likes of Lord Snooty or Bungling Bill Hague taking us into yet another conflict we could not win, and more importantly could make the last two world wars seem like a back street brawl!

The first step to putting things right is to get rid of Westminster, let’s do it on the 7th May!