Sunday, 30 August 2015

Where next?

Photo 01 - Natures bounty, delicious sweet cherries on the banks of the loch!

Where next?

It looks like the Scottish Government has dropped its plans for a rod licence and no doubt many will be rubbing their hands with glee!  These people however need to ask themselves where now is the money going to come from to fund research into our sport? I exclude Salmon fishing from my musings as it is already amply catered for by statutory funding!

We are one of the few areas that has a Trout biologist and he is a most hardworking and diligent fellow but he is severely restricted by lack of available funds and being called away to carry out work related to Salmon! The minutes of the meetings are littered with the phrase “was called away to attend”.

It’s quite depressing that any advances made take an inordinate length of time with many topics carrying on for years! Granted much of this work is long term but whichever way you look at it we are the poor relation of Salmon fishing! The rod licence was an opportunity to raise and divert some funds towards neglected species such as Trout and Pike now it looks like that opportunity has gone!

Are the dissenters happy to just keep casting oblivious to all around them and simply wait and see what happens because believe you me the outcome will be dire! We cannot progress fumbling about in the dark we need to be guided by dedicated methodical research carried out year on year! It looks now as though the Salmon funding will be shuffled around with areas struggling getting more help which is absolutely fine as far as I am concerned! We are after all brothers of the angle!

For other species the outlook is much worse. We will continue to bumble along research being carried out on an “if time and funds allow” basis and other areas following suit with even less research being carried out! I blame the Scottish Government for not explaining well enough what the income from a rod licence would be used for! I think if anglers knew the implication of not having this extra money raised they would have welcomed the licence with open arms! Of course the wretched Tories are behind it all with their harsh austerity cuts focused on that which enriches our lives!

Unless some other method is devised by which extra revenue is raised our sport faces very slow progress which is exactly what the Wild Fisheries Review sought to avoid. The future looks bleak! I will be writing to Richard Lochhead at the Scottish Government to see what if any strategies have been devised to surmount the shortfall in funds!

Anglers need to realise the cost of our sport is ridiculously cheap. At the loch you can fish 365 days/year for £35.00! Compare this to the fees demanded by a year on the golf course and you will see how cheaply we get our sport! What difference would it have made for an extra £30.00 to be levied and have a higher level of research fully funded!

Not for the first time anglers have made a big mistake!

Photo 02 - The now legendary path already crumbling!

The unforgettable path!

I read in the local rag the Border Telegraph of a walk around St Mary’s loch which seemed to point to a well engineered, well planned and thought out walk. At first I could not think where this walk was then it came to me that there is only one walk around the loch and that is the farce that has plagued us for the past month!

My blood started to boil when I heard it cost £35,000! This has been a shocking and indefensible waste of money and those responsible should be thoroughly ashamed! Take a walk along it and judge yourself if it is worth the money, I guarantee you will be astounded by the primitive temporary construction for it will disappear shortly courtesy of our weather! A local councillor appears to be the one trying to take credit for this undertaking, most people I have spoken to would try and distance themselves from it, at any cost! As usual this has been a case of interfering busybodies poking their noses in and telling the residents of the area what is best for them!

It was stated in the newspaper that this could be one of the most popular short walks in the land! As we said last week it will be visited only once by walkers, for once traveled never forgotten! undoubtedly the walk will be popular but not for the quality of its construction or implementation rather the ridiculous route that involves crossing over a main road on a blind corner which in summer is festooned by speeding motorcyclists! Similarly with the flattened mud paths already deteriorating someone is sure to take a tumble and file a law suit! I spoke to four walkers this week that had traveled the roadside path and they were less than complimentary.

 One walker said that he had never traveled such a “disjointed and poor excuse for a path”, and on pointing one lady down to the shoreline at our boathouse she shrieked “no way am I going down there” whilst another politely asked “when will the construction of the walk be finished”! Another said it was a confusing walk going up on a hillside, on to a road side verge down steep mud slopes and walking along the rough stones with huge puddles on the shoreline! I didn’t bother to ask if they would be coming back! Perhaps the best appraisal will come from the walkers rather than a remote councillor trying to big up what is a hugely disappointing and lowly construction indeed! Rather than being a magnet for the area it is rapidly becoming an embarrassment! 

Note - we had to put a rope across the steps to our boathouse to stop walkers coming down through our boathouse area, complete and utter confusion describes it best methinks!

The wider world in my view!

Westminster at it's best!

I was utterly flabbergasted to read this week that two former Puppets who were the most extreme collaborators in the recent Con-Dem government were to be knighted as they turned down a move to the House of Lords! Yes Puppet Alexander and Puppet Cable are now to be addressed as sir! 

These quislings sold out the working classes and will never be referred to as Sir! Puppet Alexander implemented poor punishing policies with great relish and betrayed the ethos of the Lib Dem party. Rather than give them knighthoods they should be flogged then put in the stocks for a day in central Glasgow!
Both are guilty of selling out the working classes of Britain! independence can't come soon enough!

Lord Blue nose!

Of course I refer to the recent appointments to the House of Lords that sleeping chamber so famous for failed politicians! This round sees Lord Snooty appointing all of his old pals and collaborators with a sprinkling of worthy and decent people. The house is currently bursting at the seams with Snooty appointing more diddys than anyone before him!
Now at £300.00/day most of the population see this as a complete outrage excepting Lord Snooty and his pals who regard £300/day as pin money! Lord Snooty by his actions guarantees his bills from the commons get minimal scrutiny by the second chamber.

You can’t really blame him for that, as all prime ministers before have done this. What you can blame him for is the number of duds and scoundrels he has appointed! Failed politicians are appearing all over the shop clad in ermine robes having a say in how we live our lives!

The theory behind the House of Lords is a sound one where challenges, revisions and amendments can be made to the bills. With governments like the Con-Dem one or our current one a body like this is required given the amount of unfettered bungling taking place. With Lord Snooty’s latest round of appointments the total number of these people now tops 800 costing the taxpayer million of pounds!

A point has now been reached where reform of this body must take place, paying £300/day to a bunch of old fools and duds cannot go on. Unfortunately the spectacular bungling by successive governments requires that a correcting chamber remains to temper the excesses of the Westminster lot!  A chamber of educated people from a wide range of professions urgently needs to be set up with unrestricted access to experts when required.  

Lord Snooty saw fit to impose extreme austerity on the working classes but continues to squander our money on this house of duds!  The Lords no longer serves the purpose it was set up to accomplish. Governments of different colours have manipulated the make up to suit their own ends therefore any new body must not be accessible to Snooty and his like! There is not much chance however of this taking place it will be more of the same god help us!

If any of the new appointees are looking for appropriate names to use here are a few suggestions, William Hague Tory liability – Lord Bungle, Douglas Hogg ( he of moat cleaning fame) - Lord Fiddler, Michelle Mone  bra saleswoman – Baroness Knocker, Alistair Darling  voice of the No campaign – Lord Nothanks!

Joke of the year!
Heard at the fringe this week -  the Tories are to Nick Clegg what Rod Hull is to Emu! Absolute classic!

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Our take on wire traces!

Photo 01 - apparently it's a path next to our boathouse!

Our take on wire traces!

Over the years we have noticed some Pike anglers setting up with wire traces of questionable construction, quality and suitability for purpose. Everyone knows or should know the purpose of a suitable trace is to prevent the Pikes razor sharp teeth from slicing through the main line be it monofilament or braid and leaving a trace in one of our Pike which is a dire situation for any Pike so affected!

The first thing we would say is that the Trace must be of a suitable breaking strain for the job in hand and I always go for 7 strand 28lbs BS wire. The important thing here is that under no circumstances do you want to leave a trace or part of one in a fish’s mouth! Always err on the side of a higher breaking strain wire. You will find speaking to experienced Pike anglers that increasing the BS of the trace does not put them off from taking the bait.

Similarly with the make up of the wire common formulations are mild steel, plastic coated mild steel, stainless steel and titanium. Titanium wire is expensive but has less tendency to kink  it is also very resistant to attack by hydrochloric acid produced in a Pike’s stomach which means that if a catastrophic deep hooking scenario develops and you have to leave it in a pikes stomach it will be very resistant to degradation!

With regard to the above it has been said that it does not really matter as the steel hooks will corrode which indeed they may do if the Pike does not die beforehand, the salient point however is that a length of stiff wire will remain in situ. It may also travel further down the intestinal system by peristaltic action  and the risk of intestinal perforation is great and this is a very bad thing for a Pike!

Plastic coated wire can lead to problems similar to the titanium variety in that the steel underneath will not be subject to attack by hydrochloric acid in the same manner that mild steel traces would. Stainless steel will degrade but it takes a while. By far the best option in my opinion is ordinary mild steel which can degrade quickly in the acids produced by the Pike’s stomach.

Of course the aim must always be not to leave a trace in a Pike but with even the most meticulously planned expedition accidents can and will happen so it is best to engineer your terminal tackle with this in mind! I have only used mild steel and titanium and can’t really say that I found the titanium to be any better than steel other than in the respect it’s tendency to kink is much less.

Some shopkeepers sell very short traces indeed which may be completely engulfed by a feeding Pike leaving the mainline in the Pikes mouth just waiting to be severed! I always go for 18 - 24 inches and no Pike I have ever caught could engulf that length! In fact I find most of the shop bought ready made variety to be unsuitable for several reasons. Length, type and mode of construction to name some of the shortcomings!

Making your own traces is simple and the following link will show you how to do this. there are many different ways to do this but the above method using crimps gives a good solid trace. There is further information here regarding brands of wire, swivels and hooks but I will restrict myself from commenting other than to say I find the barbless variety of hooks to be best!

So there you go a wee treatise on traces, they are much better made by yourself and of course it’s just like catching a Trout on a fly you made yourself you get a great feeling having done more to catch your fish. Do not be under any illusion that a Pike will easily recover from a deep hooking event by corroding the trace and hooks, such an occurrence is a catastrophe for the Pike and invariably it is a death sentence as peritonitis develops rapidly!

From our long term Pike tagging project out of 7 Pike that were caught with deep seated traces in situ only one made a re-appearance and that was 3 days later from the initial capture and over the following years none of the rest were ever caught again suggesting the outcome was grave! Make returning you’re Pike safely your motto and you will have a good Piking career, tight lines!

Pike on the fly!
We occasionally get anglers coming to fish for Pike on the fly and results are mixed as you would expect them to be. Today members Fraser Patterson and Steven Hodge ventured out to try and tempt a few using flies made by themselves and had some really good sport.

Over their ten hour session on the boat they accounted for 5 Pike one at 13lbs 8oz, one at 10lbs 10oz, two Pike between 6-8lbs and one about 0.75-1.00 lbs the smallest Pike Fraser has ever caught! They were using size 9 fly lines with sink tips and on a strong 9ft fly rod had some tremendous sport! Several dead baiters around the loch turned up blanks, it just shows sometimes instead of waiting for a Pike sometimes it is better to get afloat and search for them! Well done lads, a great days sport!

Photo 02 - Fraser & Steven on the loch.

Ring o the loch path, not coming back!

Well I said last week the aftermath of this path would continue and so it has been! Four walkers came down our walkway which actually looks like a walkway and through our new boat repair area before they were turned back and directed along the grass verge to the path down to the loch side behind our boathouse walking south to north! One of the problems seems to be that the walkway is coined as a lochside path which it is not, most of the path is a hillside walk. Clearly some more imposing signage is required to steer walkers along the grass verge away from our boathouse and I will see what we can come up with later in the week!

On speaking to some of the walkers they are singularly unimpressed by the new “construction” on the west side of the loch, one having asked when the “bottoming” and hand rails on the steep climb up to the verge were being installed! I myself travelled the path from the lochside on to the roadside verge and believe me this will be a dangerous climb when the really wet weather comes and erosion takes place if that is it is not completely washed away beforehand!

Now I know it is not easy to undertake such work, but by any standards this has been an utter fiasco. There have been feasibility studies and apparently consultation yet it still tops conversation as the joke subject of 2015. Yes the walk will attract ramblers, but only once, for as one of the chaps walking today said “I won’t be back”!

Note – I gather there is still a feeling among those busybodies who seek to interfere in loch matters to come up with plans for a public jetty on St Mary’s loch. I am filled with horror just thinking about it and if the plans ever do come to light expect some fireworks!

The wider world in my view!

The re vitalisation of the Borders!

It’s just a couple of weeks now until the railway transforms the Borders into the land of milk and honey! Let’s get the situation straight, the railway is welcome but its half a job! If it had been double tracked to Carlisle and carried goods as well as passengers then it would have been welcomed by all and sundry like the old Waverly line which should never have been closed in the first place!

Those who think our lives will be hugely transformed by its arrival will end up disappointed, oh it will have a novelty value for a time and I have no doubt will take a deal of passengers entering Midlothian. Similarly with the High street farce of giving shopkeepers our money to have their shop fronts revitalised is an absolutely disgraceful waste of our money! If they cannot afford to refurbish then they should be left in their current shabby state a condition they have been in for years!

All this tosh about asking estate agents to take down the “for sale” and “to let” signs is simply papering over the cracks. Do these people think we are all stupid? If we look into an empty shop front that has a few dresses designed by students at the local college, will we think that shop is open for business!
Do these people think importing a few court jesters into the main street will bring crowds from afar? Not on you Nellie! Do they think the queen if she decides to walk round the town will be impressed by the large number of empty shops filled with non descript items behind a locked door?

All this faffing around will make not the slightest difference? The council’s great hope is that the much talked about and increasingly hated (because of the money it will cost us!) tapestry at Tweedbank will act as a huge electromagnet and draw in crowds from all over the world – it will not, in fact it will be a catastrophic failure that will cost each and every one of us dear!

Visitors would be happier seeing weeds emanating between pavements and roads treated, holes in roads filled in, litter picked up, the dandelion grass verges replaced by grass, cemeteries nicely mown with headstones put back in the vertical stance, libraries stocking up on new books, money invested in social care, in youth projects, in charities forced to the wall by Tory cuts I could go on for hours!

All this superfluous nonsense will enrich our lives not one iota! I am fed up of hearing of one dopey scheme after the other to no benefit! Look at every town in the country they are all disappearing there is no going back! Numerous shops in the town are on their last legs clinging on by their fingertips. The internet and superstores have vanquished all before them and their slice of the market will continue to grow!

So please stop all this claptrap about re vitalising the High Street, it is dead! Instead concentrate on some of the things above, things that can enrich our lives!

Sunday, 16 August 2015

On Baits!

 Photo 01 - swimming safely away, one of the high spots of catching a Pike!

On baits!

Speaking to anglers fishing on the loch I am now noticing a difference in the types of baits used and the efficacy of them. It is clear to me anyway that oily sea baits are the most consistently successful baits on the lochs but further clarifying this I have seen that pre pack frozen baits are a very poor second when compared to fresh baits such as those caught just prior to fishing or bought from a supermarket early in the morning and frozen quickly!

Further reinforcing this from data taken from our Pike Tagging Project which ran for 7 years shows that fresh Mackerel is undoubtedly the top catching bait on the loch! Other useful baits are Sardine, and Herring, I’ve never been a fan of pre pack baits finding them limp, soft and devoid of scent which surely is one of the main attracting forces for Pike taking the bait.

The baits bought fresh were invariably much heavier necessitating cutting the bait into two and these may be cast with only a small lead as the bait weight is sufficient to load the rod for casting. This being the case a 3lbs test rod (or more) can whack the aerodynamic fish tails a great distance if desired. On certain areas on the loch I used to row out 100 yards or more then drop the baits and row back to the shore with the rods and this accounted for significant numbers of fish.

Now I’m not saying all other baits will fail because they will catch fish but the evidence from our project which involved anglers recording the baits used showed clearly Mackerel to be the premier bait. Invariably at least two differing baits were used and on many occasions four mixed baits! Pre packed Mackerel compared poorly to the fresh variety. Of course bait is not the only factor in catching fish but it is an important one

What I require from my baits are the following factors.

(1) Smell - the more intense the better.
(2)  Oil - the oilier the bait the more attractive it is.
(3) Blood – establishing the injury factor another important aspect.
(4) Visibility – the more easily seen the more likely it will be detected.
(5) Firmness – the bait must be hookable without elastic or wire.
(6) Aerodynamic shape so casting will be maximised, to this end I snip the tail and adipose fin  to cut down drag.

There is no question that the fresh bait triumphs over the insipid pre pack stuff, so give yourself the edge, give it a go and see what happens!

Note -  in this area only Morrison’s supply whole Mackerel with the entrails intact and you need to get there early before they are snapped up. Failing that take a boat to Dunbar harbour and catch your own!

Photo 02 -13lbs 12oz Pike

The path!

Well yesterday saw the first walkers coming round the loch and as has been the case every week for the past four weeks it was not without incident! Mr Xxxxx and Aaron were clearing the area directly in front of our boathouse removing scrub to construct our boat repair area. This involved the use of power tools specifically a chainsaw axes and saws and with large branches everywhere not really an environment conducive to walking!

Four walkers and a dog attempted to walk through this area bypassing the correct route which is supposed to take walkers up to the roadside before reaching our boathouse. Of course this is completely unacceptable, our express wish was that no walkers should come in front of our boathouse and the first four walkers we encounter tried to do just that!

Clearly the sight of a newly constructed path is not enough to keep walkers adherent to it so I have contacted the organisers of this route to erect a sign just before our boathouse to send walkers up to the roadside verge! It may be that we will have to erect a fence to reinforce this but we should not have to go to these lengths!

It is interesting to note that the path which was constructed simply by leveling an area of soil or stone is already decomposing, most noticeably the areas of soil which is breaking away at the edges. I dread to think what this path will look like after prolonged heavy rain! I’m fed up to the back teeth already with this path but I cannot rid myself of the feeling that this matter will linger for a long time to come!

Ten not out!

He has done it many times in the past, and our Heavy Trout Cup it seems is on an elastic band constantly darting back to Motherwell! Yes Elliot Fraser was out on the loch for the first time in a while and boy did he show our resident Trout who was boss! He had umpteen takes over his short session and landed ten with the biggest just coming in over the one pound mark! Had he managed a full session then god only knows what the total would have been! It’s been dismal for our fly lads with fish being hard to come by but Elliot’s exploits yesterday would seem to suggest it’s time to wet those flies again! Well done mate on a cracking total!

The wider world in my view!

Will we ever learn?

I watched a few programmes this week commemorating VJ day (Victory in Japan Day) and indeed  the surrender  must have been a great day for all those millions who were entwined in this human tragedy it was also however extremely depressing! I’m not sure if the Japanese were more brutal than the Bosch but if they were not then they came very close!

How men could act with such brutality is beyond my ken. Granted in war emotions are significantly heightened and we would all probably react with more aggression less judgement and become detached from normal living parameters! But the systematic torture and cruelty shown by the guards in the railway death camps as they were called was truly breathtaking! People were beaten to within an inch of their lives and in many cases simply beaten to death! The lack of even basic medial facilities and constant malnutrition meant systemic disorder was a certainty!

We should be grateful for the sacrifice made by these men and women and that a few lived to tell the tale is hugely important. It again highlights just what we as human beings are capable of, the depths to which we can sink! It tells us that we can reach depths to which the animal kingdom is incapable of and yet we are supposedly the most highly developed species!

I find it extremely difficult to understand why we have not learned from these dreadful events. When you look around the world there is conflict everywhere humans dying needlessly. Hand in hand with economic development comes military development where new methods of killing are devised capable of destruction on a level most of us could not comprehend! Once again I ask will we ever learn! we have in our thoughts all those who suffered and to those who have departed R.I.P

Won't get fooled again!

I was heartened to read this week that the SNP have again moved forward in the polls showing a four point increase over the figure at the end of the year! Our situation under the Tories worsens by the day as the much lauded economic recovery collapses around the posh boys ears! I mean whoever heard of an economic recovery based on service industry and consumer credit spending?

There can be no future under the Westminster buffoons as they seek to line the pockets of their own kind whilst returning the working classes back to an earlier Victorian age! As the elderly disappear and the new free thinking youth take their place the dice become loaded towards independence and a new future for the people of our beloved Scotland.We will not be denied a second time and to the politicians in Westminster we won't get fooled again!

In short!

Tory poor basher John Lamont managed to top the local MSPs expenses table claiming £27,631 on top of his salary of £58,678! This is a staggering amount of money and calls for urgent scrutiny especially from a posh boy who only seeks to punish the working classes!

Expensive waiting room!

There was much hilarity and backslapping at the grand opening of the new Transport Interchange in Galashiels or as it is commonly referred to the new waiting room! Apparently you cannot pay for a ticket on a greyhound bus here you have to go through Edinburgh! £5 million seems a helluva lot of money for a waiting room!

Shabby shopkeepers!

I hear yet again that a scheme to brighten up shop fronts has been passed. Do these shopkeepers have no pride? Are they not capable of buying a tin of Dulux and carrying out this work themselves? Our council are making some truly astonishing, extravagant and misguided decisions these days. Remember this come election time!

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Designed by Tories?

Designed by Tories?

It’s a bit of an odd headline concerning the construction of the ring o the loch circular walk. The reason I ask the question is because just like the Tories in government the construction of this path if indeed you could call it such is characterised by bungling, non communication and confusion!

We were asked last week if we would object to the path going in front of our boathouse along the shoreline in front of our boats and after putting this to the committee we felt this would be inappropriate! We conveyed this information back to the organisers and all seemed to be well!

A phone call from loch keeper Mr Xxxxx accompanied by an e mail and attached photos signaled that all was not well! Somehow a path was constructed through the marshland behind our boats which brought walkers down from the grass verge on the roadside into a marsh and if walkers could traverse this back up on to the road at the Rodono boundary wall!

We now have a path through our boat mooring area which serves no purpose! When i informed the organisers they were again most apologetic and said that the offending path would be blocked off later that day by putting a wall of tree branches cut to make the roadside verge wider across the path entrance! They will also at a later date insert hefty wooden stabs to make a more permanent barrier!

Of course we have lost a deal of woodland due to the clearing work and they have agreed to replant this area with natural trees at a later date! You could challenge me when I say this project has all the hallmarks of Gideon Osborne and the quite comical “pie tax” on which they immediately retracted when subjected to public ridicule!

On the actual construction of this path it seems to be simply scraping the soil to make it level and nothing more! All of the people I have spoken with cannot see certain areas lasting more than a season! The path at the big lay-by and at the top of the loch is bound to disappear through erosion and anglers who can’t believe their luck finding a nice flat area on which to pitch their bivvies!

I can’t remember a year when walkers have been so scarce there appears to have only been a handful this year. Now this is not only based on what I see but from residents and workers who see the situation daily. It seems like a lot of money spent to achieve not a lot! A lot of locals are expressing concern about the money spent and the outcome achieved! Of course that is no concern of ours we will concentrate on the angling side of this path and see how it pans out! Just like the Tories in government the whole process does not inspire confidence, the question is – are the Tories involved with this project, going by the amount of bungling and U turns it certainly looks like it!

Flood protection works!

 I went along to the site of the Flood Protection Works site at the old Bridgehaugh Dyeworks in Selkirk on Monday to meet with the project director Conor Price. The meeting was at his instigation and the purpose was to update us on the works at St Marys Loch and answer any concerns we may have.

Of surprise to me was that the “packets” of stones being placed behind the newly constructed dam was are primarily for erosion control but will serve a secondary function of drainage. If in an exceptional flood event the wall was to be breached then the soil would be eroded away but the stones would prevent major erosion and all the top soil eroded away would require to be replaced.

On the fish pass which will now be called the fish way this will be the primary control for natural removal of water the regulator controlled entirely by computer will operate only when the water nears its limit for exit by the fish way. Human intervention will only take place when high water alarms are activated. Some buffering of the flow is still to be carried out and the construction of a "picnic" area just above the existing one still has to be done.

With the Regional Council now taking ownership of this area we will have to lease this area from them instead of Scottish Water. In the recent low water we experienced some difficulty in getting our boats out due to the low level and he has agreed to assist us with correcting this situation. A digger will be coming to carry out work on the sailing club pier and this machine will then come and excavate our boat bay to a suitable depth.

This is a golden opportunity for us to use this machine to drive in the posts that will be required if we are to erect a pier! This mechanical monster would be able to drive suitably treated posts in to a depth which we alone could never achieve! We must carry out a survey of the loch bed at this area to see if and where solid bedrock may be present. We would need to have measurements to ascertain the positions for the posts. We have no firm date for the arrival of this digger so the quicker we can price treated posts and determine the required measurements for erection will need to take place soon.

From our recommended dealer!

Fishers in Penicuick have some great offers on at the moment and in many cases they are post free so you can order from your lounger tonight and receive your items on Tuesday! I won't single out any items just click the link and browse to your hearts content.  

The wider world in my view!

Warning Windows 10...........

Its been available for a good few days now and its free, yes the new operating system from Microsoft has arrived. I knew it would take an hour or so and for that reason I left installing it until today. I started at 06.30 this morning and I am still picking up the pieces! Firstly it took over an hour to install itself which would have been ok if that was all the disruption entailed. But as usual there was much much more!

The first thing I noticed was my bookmarks were missing on the Bing browser and the favourites bar was missing which for me is a catastrophe! when your'e down someone usually puts the boot in and thats what happened. You tube was just a blank screen, all my music and videos were without sound and the video playback was pixelated and beyond watching. 

Some word documents would not open when previously they did! The size of the text seems to have changed and for the visually impaired (thats me) is unreadable, The spacing when starting a new paragraph is non existent. only some pictures are available which is why there are none tonight!
So if you are thinking of installing the product give yourself plenty time it could take a looooong time!
I am going to try a system restore later and hopefully that will sort out some of the problems.

Warning Windows 10 could seriously damage your health!

Update- got rid of Bing and installed Google Chrome - big improvement!

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Resolution, we hope!

Photo 01 - Finishing touches to the flood barrier a giant soakaway!
Resolution, we hope!

You will remember from last week how we were taken by surprise on hearing of the proposed construction of a circular walk around the loch. We had thought the proposed path would stick to the hillside after exiting the Dangerfield area on Jim Mitchells land. The proposals however will take the walk lochside from Jims field with two excursions up the bank at our boathous4 and Rodono right up to the top of the secret swim.

Keith managed to source an e mail sent by the Ettrick 7 Yarrow Development Company to interested parties which gave us the contact to query this unusual situation. On Tuesday i spoke with Jeremy Snodgrass the treasurer and contact point for this work and we had a pleasant and interesting chat.

The walk will proceed lochside with an important caveat! Signs will be erected at the entry points to the loch stating that walkers must defer to anglers fishing and keep well out of the way in order not to disturb the anglers sport. Now this will mean on some occasions the walkers will have to proceed up to the verge to safely bypass anglers.

The three areas that concerned us were –

(1)  Pike anglers generally take up most of the bank right up to the shoreline leaving little room to bypass them behind. In this case walkers will have to go up the bank onto the verge to safely bypass.

(2) Fly fishers a few yards out will cut across the banks during the back cast and there is a potential for injury here. Walkers should again move up the bank to avoid the risk of personal injury.

(3) In winter much of the path will be submerged making walking hazardous. In this case the roadside verge should be used and whilst not ideal it is the only option.

Therefore our angling will remain as before with walkers at all times giving way to the anglers. As such anglers should take up their positions as before and if their gear or lines cross the path then so be it! The onus is on walkers at all times to find a way forward that does not affect the anglers sport! Naturally any difficulties encountered should immediately be reported to our lochkeeper and we will take the matter up with the development company!

Mr Snodgrass was at a loss to explain how the angling club possibly the largest loch users were not contacted regarding this initiative. He was however most apologetic! These things do happen and we are pleased to be able to accommodate the new loch users as our sport will be unaffected!  course be monitoring the situation on an on-going basis!

We cited the Regional Council last week as being the likely party behind the works and an e mail from a fellow angler last Sunday night told us we were wrong so we apologise to the council! Conflict is never a way forward and we are pleased to have reached a solution acceptable to both parties! Well almost,
Reports coming in today say that branches and scrub that have been cut have been deposited on the banks in a heap, we will review this next week! an e mail today asks if we would find acceptable routing the walk in front of our boat house and along in front of our boats as an alternative to coming up from the shore before reaching the boathouse and proceeding along the grass verge. I have e mailed the committee for their views.

Photo 02 - Solitary foxglove among Bracken which I'm told can be sprayed again!
Not what we want to see!

Milling around yesterday I noticed a car on the verge at the secret swim which had been there all day. So I stopped and asked if they could move the offending car and most importantly not park there again. They were ok with this and I headed back to the van, however as I was about to enter I heard a chopping noise from the woods across the road and I noticed a chap cutting dead branches off a tree with a hand axe!

We do not own this wood it belongs to Benson & March estates and we do not have permission to cut their trees however sympathetically it is done! I also noticed the fence was trampled flat at the point of entry however it has been this way for some considerable time! The lads did not realise they were doing wrong and I believe them. What I cannot comprehend is how people think it is ok to move on to the property of others and remove wood which does not belong to them! I am vehemently opposed to the current state of land ownership in Scotland, but we must all comply with the law of the land such as it is in the present day!

It's not like we own the fishing we lease it, and must comply with the wishes of all sorts of organisations most prominently our riparian owners, the police and the local community to name but a few! From now on all anglers will be told that no parking is allowed on the verge and no cutting of wood from living trees is permitted. Similarly no dead wood may be taken from any area other than the floor of the shoreline! Bringing your own wood to burn or buying some from the hotel is acceptable! Failure to comply with these measures will lead to your permission to fish being rescinded. We should not have to repeat this again but there you are from here on it stops!


Photo 03 - Our national flower also loved by Bumble Bees!
Muppet season!

Yes the season continues unabated with two canoeists in a two man canoe driving through my lines at great speed and then giving the customary sheepish look when they realised what they had done. It will happen many times more before the season is out! The loch is huge, why then do the canoeists hug the banks and risk ruining an anglers sport? I don’t know if you do then let me know!

Fishing week at ALDI!

Its that time again when ALDI offer to fishermen a mixture of tat and good tackle. Yes you have to be selective and choose wisely often with the advice of your peers click the link to see the range-

The wider world in my view!

Beginning of the end!

Jeremy Corbyn vanquishes all before him gaing the backing of yet another trade union! Of the four candidates for the Labour leadership three are varying shades of Tory and one (Corbyn) returns to proper Labour values!! As I have said before Corbyns policies would go down well in Scotland but in middle England where the ciurse of Butcher Thatcher is rife greed and not compassion is the guiding principle!

The galloping support for Corbyn does not bode well for the future of Labour, the Tory leaning sector will not tolerate a leader from the left wing. The increasing band of left wing supporters will have no truck with the mild Tories! The obvious outcome is therefore a split down the middle!

Corbyn will win the contest but what follows is anyone’s guess! Perhaps it is for the best if Labour does split because the last four terms of government were characterised by mild Tory policies paying no heed to traditional Labour values! Just as young people are moving in droves to support the independence lobby so in England they are migrating to the Corbyn camp!

If a split does happen and I hope it does, then the growing numbers of left leaning voters will have a party that they can purposefully vote for! Increasing numbers of people are fed up to the back teeth of the new class of poor people being created by the buffoons that call themselves our government! Remember the Tories did not win Labour lost! This is a time where we are seeing the most incompetent government holding power. Beleaguered by bungling and crass incompetence they push on with the only strategy they know cut public spending at any cost!

The Corbyn supporters are unhappy at the way our public services are being systematically destroyed leaving the door open for private companies to step in and make unlimited profits! It is likely that by the time this happens we will be on the road to enlightenment having obtained independence from Westminster, if however I lived in England then the Corbyn camp would certainly get my vote! Corbyn will win and that will signal the beginning of the end for the Labour party as we know it!

The killing of Cecil!

The wealthy American dentist who went big game hunting with a crossbow and injured a magnificent lion called Cecil. The beast had been tagged and was part of a controlled study into the behaviour of these animals. The dentist seems to have disappeared amid large crowds of protesters camping out at his dental surgery.

There is no case in this present day for people to hunt these endangered animals. This lion was hurting no one and deserved to be unmolested. Bad enough with a high powered rifle but utterly sadistic with a crossbow which only injured the beast the authorities having to track him and humanely kill him with a rifle! Yes the dentist should face criminal charges; this type of hunting although legal is morally indefensible.  These people belong to a long gone era and it is only right that he be pilloried!

Wettest July on record!

Now that July has gone and probably any hope of having a summer the official figures show that this July was the wettest ever! Not too many people will need to be convinced it has been all too apparent! Days when you needed an overcoat and gloves and gardeners were looking out the insulation material to prevent their delicate plants from frost!

We need a summer to lift the spirits all we have had is early autumn weather with extra rain. There will be lots of people traipsing off to the doctors seeking mood altering substances to mitigate the effects of this summer that never was! That’s Scotland for you!