Photo 01 - The fragrant Dog Rose and an effective pollinator the bumbler!
The next generation of anglers!
It is of course a longstanding problem at least that is how it is being viewed by some in the sport! Yes the lack of youngsters coming forward to enrol as members of the angling brotherhood. But should we be surprised or concerned by this. I think not! In my day there was a fairly limited range of recreational facilities and for me angling was a fairly attractive option as it was for many of my generation.
Nowadays social media vanquishes all before any outside activity is considered and youngsters are content to stay indoors and carry out these activities such as Facebook, Twitter and all that type of trash and couple that with the gaming scene where you can play on a global scale, why would they want to go out in often unpleasant conditions to try and catch a fish!
The world has changed beyond what anyone would have expected, there is now a veritable cacophony of indoor activities that the outdoor ones must contend with. Compared with the options open to the likes of my generation there is now a massive range of activities available to youngsters with regard to recreation. There are attempts on the go to try and stimulate interest such as the “Tweedstart” initiative where schoolchildren are taken to a well stocked “plastic” fishery for a day to show them the intricacies of angling.
As an introduction to angling its a reasonable idea because it gives the children an opportunity to see if angling might be for them. It is however “plastic” fishing and I would imagine if any did decide to take the angling route they would be thoroughly disenchanted with the situation found in wild fisheries! With the advent of the no stocking policy the numbers participating in angling have dropped like a lead balloon! Youngsters have a limited span of concentration and unless there is action fairly early on then it most likely will be ditched in favour of a more pleasing activity indoors.
There is no follow up with these initiatives so we do not know the numbers of children that go on to take up the sport! It is a lets do something as opposed to doing nothing activity and if it has any long term benefit we do not know! It is also worth noting that angling is not given a good press in some areas with the anti angling brigade efficiently getting their point across!
This will rise to the surface again soon with the carry on regarding fox hunting. Could it be that the people who advocate non cruel sports are winning the argument! The never ending mind numbing movement towards increasing political correctness will fuel the cause of the anti fishing lobby! The salient point is that angling now has to compete with many other activities many of which are accessible by staying at home.
It may be the case that angling will experience a downturn indeed I believe it has been on such a curve for many years! How many youngsters have you met lochside or on the riverbank! It could also be the case that with many youngsters once they have traversed the 2.4 kids part of life they will be mature enough to seek out sports such as angling in later years when they can better appreciate the wonders of this outdoor pursuit.
I am in no panic over the diminished interest shown by youngsters as I firmly believe that those in later life who take up the sport will do it for the rest of their lives and so the sport will be sustained! Angling is essentially a sport of middle age and has been throughout my lifetime so the sudden focus on the shortage of youngsters entering the sport somewhat surprises me! Men and women who have settled down and are looking for a challenging pastime that will bring them to the bosom of Mother Nature are in my opinion the group of people who will take up the sport on a lifelong basis. It is these people who will ensure a healthy participation level in angling! We must of course be open and welcoming of any person who shows interest but pumping money into schemes that cannot be shown to be effective is essentially money wasted!
To encourage youngsters it would be of more benefit if the parents of youngsters could be sure their offspring were entering into a sport where the participants doing any induction could demonstrate good character e.g. free of any wayward tendencies and vetted by Disclosure Scotland! This would immediately convey to these parents that their children were as safe as they could be! Would you allow your son on to a water that is frequented by people of questionable character? Without formal and informal vetting how can a parent be sure their children are not being taught by a thug!
The future of angling does not lie with young people alone in fact I believe them to be in a significant minority. Youngsters have many life changing things on their minds I doubt if angling would rate highly. Older people have in effect settled down and will be on the lookout for worthy pastimes it is here that the future of angling lies!
Photo 02 - The fish pass nears completion, the deep centre channel will allow fish passage even in low water conditions!
Good reports this week from both the Trout and Pike anglers with many specimens being caught and returned to the loch. Club treasurer Elliot Fraser managed 4 very nice Brown Trout in a short session yesterday. One Pike angler had his day made when he landed and returned a very hefty specimen yesterday, looks like its game on!
Not for us!
I read the local rag with a significant degree of disappointment this week. An article where a Tory MSP (failed MP thankfully) was invited to the loch by the sailing club to commission their new rescue boat. Now the sailing club are free to choose whoever they like to grace their shores but let me make a point here. If we ever had occasion to ask someone to come and christen a new boat or for whatever reason we would not invite a politician. I cannot envisage any circumstances under the sun where we would invite a politician who represents a party whose speciality is bashing the poor, weak and disabled in our society and are thoroughly toxic to the people of Scotland!
Due to lack of time the series on the unwanted flora and fauna will appear soon and our main website will have a section on this when time permits.
The wider world in my view!
What did you expect!
Minister without a clue Gideon Osborne the architect of the now infamous “pie tax” and "Omnishambles" budget unleashed his first true blue Tory budget this week. As expected he rewarded his well heeled pals and without the slightest tinge of embarrassment hammered the weak, disabled and the poor! There is no question about it, he has heaped on to the poor punishing cuts which will be successful in only massively increasing the numbers having to use food banks! Three million families according to the Institute of Fiscal Studies will lose around £1,000/year thanks to the savage cuts imposed by the butchers!
Showing their true colours and pampering to the wishes of middle England the buffoon tried to sweeten the cuts by trying to con people into believing he was giving them a nine pound living wage enshrined in law in 2020 for over 25s! Firstly it is not a living wage on a par with the one in use at present. Secondly by 2020 nine pounds will not be sufficient to keep poor people above the breadline!
The £9.00 con has no meaning other than it will be slightly less than the minimum wage at present extrapolated to 2020. If the living wage was to be calculated in a proper manner it would work out at £12.40/hr. It is a shocking indictment on the Tories that they cannot envisage a strategy that does not hammer those at the bottom of the pile! A disabled couple stands to lose £4,300/year following these cuts, a single parent will gain £8.40 but will lose exactly that £8.40 with the cut to income support! Furthermore they will lose significantly more if they receive other work related benefits!
For the poor of the country it’s all pain and no gain but for the better off in true Tory tradition its all gain and no pain! The list of sanctions against the weak, poor and disabled is huge and the bottom line is that if you are working class you will be significantly worse off! Those paying the higher rate of tax will see hefty gains and those leaving up to a million will not be subject to inheritance tax. Exactly how this fits in with the definition of being on the side of working people is beyond me perhaps the buffoon will explain this in the coming weeks!England voted for these so called politicians devoid of empathy and compassion and they got their wish. I personally am sickened by the society the Tories are creating, we are now reverting to the greed culture spawned by Butcher Thatcher, a society where we care not for the unfortunates! It really does not say much about the current way we live! Unfortunately the people of Scotland who sent the Tories packing also have to suffer under their inept bungling! For the majority of Scots it’s not looking good for the immediate future. It will of course be another shell to add to the armoury in the fight for independence to rid ourselves of the incompetent butchers! Who would have thought that the Tories would be one of the main drivers in setting up an independent Scotland! Our day of destiny comes ever nearer, thank