Sunday, 26 July 2015

A loch side farce!

Photo 01 - I'm told it's a path!
A loch side farce!

On our customary trip round the lochs prior to fishing we noticed a mini digger on the shore of the loch next to Rodono and assumed some work was being carried out there. Throughout the day snippets of information led us to the true reason for its presence!

It appears that the Regional Council have decided to route the new circular loch walk along Rodono bay with entry next to Rodono and the exit just after the big lay-by . The section looks like it will run along the shoreline going by the digger’s tracks so far!

Quite apart from anything else this area in winter is often flooded and unless it is solidly constructed will be washed away in no time! That however is not the point! We administer the fishing on the loch and after checking round none of the club officials have been contacted regarding these works!

Now common courtesy demands that any groups or individuals be consulted on issues which have the potential to affect them! Our Pike anglers generally sit back from the water’s edge with their rod holders beside them and the lines go over the area where this path is to be situated. Our Trout anglers generally wade out into the water but in the process of casting their flies the line whips back onto the shore.

It is well within the possibilities that a quiet rambler could be struck by an angler’s line, casting deep in concentration. The potential for injury is a real one and I cannot for the life of me fathom out why anyone would seek to place a walkway in this area! The construction of this path has in fact turned out to be a fiasco! At the Village Hall the path crosses the main road on what is probably one of the worst blind bends in the area!

The whole process appears to be nothing short of a joke with a huge potential for injury! How easy it would have been to consult with us on this topic which impinges on our sport! We are miffed to put it mildly and I will be on the phone to the Regional Council first thing tomorrow to seek some answers!

Photo 02 - The secret path!
Some things never change!

A meeting was held last week comprising of a drop in session at the Ormiston Institute in Melrose. The session was scheduled to run from 11.00 until 15.00hrs, in fact it went on until 15.30hrs. The vast majority of those attending were Salmon fishery proprietors, Tweed Commissioners and Salmon anglers.

From the other species standpoint the turnout was abysmal with only Hawick and Kelso managing to attend! Granted it was good to see none of the “dissenters” (calico printer types that have the answer to all things) attended thereby negating the possibility of a complete furore! The mechanics of the meeting was disappointing in that those closest to the panel and those who shouted loudest got an unfair bite at the cherry!

Rather depressingly the same old theme came up from various people with Salmon interests –“The Tweed Commission works why change it?” To them I would say yes it works but what is wrong in trying to make it better! Must we always be shackled by the “It’s aye been “brigade!

It was obvious that questions on the other species would be in the minority but I got my questions in by persevering. It was said that the move towards other species research may be much less than what many people think, but no figures could be placed on funding for this at the moment!

I would rather the Other Species group concentrate on Trout Pike and Eels for the most part excluding coarse fish which are well catered for by English research establishments. I have made this point exactly in my personal submission to the review! Pleasing to some was that the introduction of a rod licence is not currently on the agenda of the Scottish Government! Now this is all very well but if improvements are sought how will they be paid for?

There are two options either levy a fee on anglers (rod Licence) or do not offer any real improvements. Anglers may yet rue this decision and the Scottish Government may well come to regret a golden opportunity to raise funds to better our sport! All other questions related to Salmon and the future of the Tweed Commission. What clearly came out of the answers given was that change will take place the status quo was not an option!

Central to the above was that various directives regarding habitat and conservation were being asked for by the EU and their point of contact would be the Scottish Government and not the Tweed Commission! Therefore the Tweed Commission by whatever name it goes under in the future will be accountable to the Scottish Government which was one of the key points in our submission to the review! I hear also that many of the representatives nominated by the council who sit on the Tweed Commission are about to resign over the councils inability to come down either in favour or against the wild Fisheries Review! They should go ahead as the body will be dissolved and reconstituted with the reorganisation of the fishery boards!

It is now imperative for those angling clubs who have not made a submission to do so now! The window for responses closes on August the seventh! As has been my experience all through my angling life, apathy reigns supreme! Yes you will always get the loudmouths and brags hollering and thumping the shopkeepers counter, but when the chips are down they are nowhere to be seen! Some things never change!

Photo 03 - Les with the best of the day! Thanks Mike.
Brothers of the angle!

One of the most enjoyable parts of a day at the lochs has just got to be our speakeasy session at the end of the day where the high and low spots of our respective days are recollected and everyone has a tale to tell. I look on all those gathered as good friends each and every one of them an angler true to the values of old Izaak!

Mike Christie and Les Robson had spent the day up at Fruid and managed to tempt some fine Trout. They joined Stevie, Pete, Aaron, Mr Xxxxx, Les and me for a blether,  the photo above shows Les (well his hands anyway) with the best of the day and it is indeed a very fine Brown Trout! Yes you might say anglers of the old school, each prepared to give of their best for their club, happy to carry out the unglamorous tasks essential to keep a club running. Each and every one of them a true gent and in every case I would much rather spend a day with them, than spend a day with any of the all knowing new age types!

Good in character, heart and soul, pre requisites of calling oneself an angler!

The wider world in my view!

Welcome Scottish Secretary!

The Trussell Trust in a rare moment of severe misjudgement invited Scottish Secretary David Mundell to open a new food bank in Dumfries! Yes the town which already has a well utilised food bank is to have another to cope with the ever increasing numbers of poor people forced to use them by the implementation of Tory policy!

As would be expected this did not go down well with the working people of Dumfries who have a social conscience, and a group of protesters were there to greet him! Mundell is rapidly turning into the Tory puppet capable only of reiterating the preaching of Lord Snooty et al! The protesters of course were correct the increase in food bank usage is directly related to the Tory cuts!

The Trussell Trust’s own figures show that following the latest round of Tory cuts usage of food banks has increased by over 400%! I don’t know who made the decision to invite Mundell but whoever it was needs a good shake! A Tory toff opening a food bank for the poor and needy smacks of the maister and the downtrodden worker relationship! Mundell prior to this was wallowing in his glory of being appointed Scottish Secretary! This protest by those who care would have woken up his ideas and brought him back to earth with a bump! Just another clueless Tory automaton, what a pity he squeezed in by a thread!

It’s even worse!

Yes indeed the carry on with the Labour party seeking a new leader seems to get worse by the day. Jeremy Corbyn has a significant lead and it looks like it will be close right up to the line! What must be worrying for Labour is that two distinct camps are emerging, Tory lite and eighties left!

What seems to be emerging is the early stages of Labour breakup into two distinct political parties none of which would be electable in England for that is where the effect will be felt!  By the time this happens we will be independent and free of the buffoonery of Westminster! If Labour cannot remain intact their future as an effective political party is in severe jeopardy!

With all the bickering comes disenchantment and the electorate will not ignore the fragmentation that ensues. The Labour party will remain unelectable for a generation at the very least! The Tories will remain in government not by good governance but as the lesser of two evils!   It is an unthinkable catastrophe but believe me it’s coming. A Tory government in perpetuity for England! The very thought chills me to the bone!

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