Saturday, 31 December 2016

Runaway captured!

Photo 01 - our new pump getting a lot of work!

Runaway captured!

The title sounds like some sort of mystery novel requiring investigation and that is exactly the situation we found ourselves in following events midweek! A good friend of the club Karen from Riskinhope phoned to let me know that our boat on the wee loch had apparently come adrift and was languishing at the side of the loch half way down and was full of water. She went on to say that she had chained it up to stop it resuming its travels.

Jenny and me headed up on Thursday to rescue the beast and since the water was high we thought to try and get it to the boat house via the channel that joins the two lochs. We had brought with us our new water expulsion pump and 12 volt battery (Christ that was heavy) ready to put the bung in and pump her out. In a very short time she was empty and we thought we would lead her like a trusty mutt down into St Mary’s.

Of course none of these things ever go to plan and this day was no different. In the time it had taken to walk to the stranded boat the wind had got up and if you know the area you will know the far side of the Lowes has no shelter at all! So it was 10 metres movement the push her off the shoreline as the wind pushed her in all the way down. When we got to the bridge naturally she run aground and it was push pull and curse till the next obstacle and there were six in all!

We did however prevail and were at the top of St Mary’s where we decided we would just push her out into the loch and intercept her near the boathouse. For once things went our way when we got to Summerhope Davie and Stuart were bivvied up and when we explained our plan they intervened and saved the day by collecting our boat with their electric engine equipped Lomond. So once again we are indebted to the lads and of course in equal measure to Jenny and Karen!

Now we needed to find out how did this boat break free into the loch? The boat came away with the chain and the padlock locked so it wasn’t a case of carelessness in locking her up. Now steel corrosion was suggested but this chain is only a couple of years old and the links have only surface corrosion that can be rubbed off with fingers! So corrosion is not a valid reason for the escape. In fact the post the chain was connected to was rotten and fell over with the wind against the weight of the boat! Sometimes shit happens! The good thing however was that even with the drain bung out she did not sink to the depths of the loch. That’s because we built in 3 flotation chambers capable of keeping 2 anglers above the waterline safety must always be our priority!

NB The boat is now at the boathouse and will be refurbished before being returned to the Lowes hopefully around April. Once again thanks to Jenny, Karen, Stuart & Davie we appreciate your help!

Photo 02 - Just had to try out our new fire! Thanks Brian!

Club membership!

For those who are not members of the club but would like to join please send in your application form with the required fee which is £50.00 for eleven months. At the end of January when we have a membership total we will process applications received assuming we are below the 50 member mark. If we are unable to take your membership we will return your payment if you sent it in with your application. We apologise for this faffing around but it is entirely all down to Mr Xxxxx! Existing members should renew anytime through January.

A happy new year to all our readers!

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all our readers!

Mission aborted!

Today a bunch of us were to be heading off around the loch for some shingle to renovate our path to the boats, but storm Barbara put paid to that! I nipped up today to have a look at the weights we cast last week using “blown” cement and lo and behold they have turned out beautifully! We now have enough weights to secure the pier when it is erected. The work Mike carried out on the woodwork around the boat house has now fully cured and it looks very good indeed! Once again thanks to all the lads who helped these actions really do help the club progress!

Membership renewal!

Already eleven applications have come in and been processed and should subject to the vagaries of the post be back with the club members! There is plenty time to renew so don’t get in a flap but applications must be with me by 31/01/2017.

Christmas Eve!

This is always a busy time for men, delivering presses, getting the last minute marriage saving gifts and passing messages of goodwill to relatives you didn’t know you had! So if you are not heading off to midnight mass click the link below and relax with a drop of brandy –

However if your party has just started click on this one –

Merry Christmas to all our readers!

next week's blog will appear at the usual time 31/12/2016

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Membership renewals!

Photo 01 - Gordon & Mike at full throttle!

Membership renewals!

We are now inviting existing members to renew their subscriptions for 2017. This will remain open until 31/01/2017 any member not having renewed by then will be deemed to be a lapsed member! We will maintain a tight schedule this time around so that we have a database by 31/01/2017 for the purposes of our AGM which (weather permitting) we would hold at the Tibbie Shiels Inn sometime early February.

Photo 02 - weights lined up and  ready for action!

We cannot take applications from non members wishing to join the club until we see how many members we have. This will become apparent at the end of January where we will offer membership to interested non members with a £5.00 discount (£50.00 instead of £55.00 due to January being lost) if we are below the 50 member mark. We apologise for this unusual measure but for conservation and insurance purposes we cannot have more than 50 members!

When our ex loch keeper Mr Xxxxx was sacked he decided to assume the role of a sulking schoolboy and held on to various pieces of club equipment including the club membership database and it is because of this that we are unsure of just how many members we have. So if these arrangements inconvenience you please get in touch directly with Mr Xxxxx, after all this situation has arisen entirely because of his childish actions!

Please send applications with an SAE to Richard Plisga 28 Meigle Street Galashiels TD1 1LL or hand them to me any Saturday on the loch. Renewal price of £35.00 may be paid by cheque/ postal order made payable to St Mary's Angling Club. You may also pay by cash in person.

Photo 03 - Concrete weight made with "blown" cement!

Please note – Existing membership cards will be valid until the end of January 2017.

Great work today!

The photos tell the story best, Gordon McClurg Mike Wood resident Les and I set about making the weights to be used for anchoring our pier. We had made two test weights the previous week and they turned out first class in spite of us using “blown” cement according to Mr Xxxxx! So we set to it and got cracking.

Photo 04 - Timbers protected for another few years!

First problem was the mixing tub springing a leak but this was quickly overcome by mixing by hand specifically by Gordon & Mikes hands! Soon a production line was established and in no time the job was done. Gordon and me set out to commission our new 12v high flow water pump which pushes out 40 litres/min. The pump is suitable for water and diesel and will be a great help to us.

A little bit of clamp tightening and hose adjustment was all that was required to have the machine gunning out water like one of those red lorries with blue flashing lights! In a short time we had emptied one Arran full of water and another with around a foot of water. Meantime Mike was not sitting idly he was recoating all our external woodwork with Cuprinol preservative (his own) which he had brought up. As if all the above was not enough Gordon had cleared out his shed and gifted us boxes of screws and nails and a new saw!
Photo 05 - Our new pump throwing it out!

Now if you are wondering how the club keeps going simply look above at these hardworking members and others like them! Were it not for them the club would have finished many years ago. Next week the muddy potholed path to our boats gets remedial treatment!

  The club is most grateful to Gordon, Mike and Les your hard work is very much appreciated!

An old friend!

Yes our old loch keeper and good friend Piotr phoned today to wish all the club members A very Merry Christmas! He is enjoying life along with Tasha and they now have their house as they want it to be and both are working very hard! The antics of Mr Xxxxx were a shock to him yet in a way he wishes he was back at the loch. He still thinks of us all and sends his very best wishes! An old friend and a true gent!
Our next blog will appear on Saturday 24th December.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

And so it begins!

Photo 01 Gordon & Brian hard at work while Les supervises!

And so it begins!

It’s been on the cards for a very long time in fact since the original wooden one crumbled away many years ago. We first thought to resurrect the pier around 5 years ago when we purchased three pieces of heavy duty metal flooring which we could bolt or weld together into a suitable layout. We now have a vision of the structure constructed to best meet the needs of our boaters.

The type of pier we will be constructing will be a floating structure held in place by weights and uprights which will allow it to rise and fall as the level fluctuates. Now that we have experienced the lower loch level we will have a baseline on which to base our construction.

Photo 02 - Brian & Les in discussion, Gordon as usual hard at work!

With the above in mind two of our heavyweights Brian Fairgrieve and Gordon McClurg came down to shift the ton of aggregate sitting at the car park and they had it done at an astonishing pace! These lads really do know how to work! They also brought with them 20 buckets that we will use as moulds for concrete weights which will stabilise the structure.

Gordon suggested we should carry out a trial mix so we did a pair of weights cast into greased buckets with half inch rebar for the anchoring hooks. I had with me a 5lbs mash hammer to form these hooks. I needn’t have bothered, Brian bent all twenty by hand and a cracking job he did and never even broke sweat!

So the moulds are all laid out ready for next Saturday when the lads will bring a cement mixer and we will do the lot!  Incidentally Gordon asked a builder about the cement we had stored and he said it will be perfectly fine as long as it has not gone hard in the bag! Always best to seek the views of a professional and not rely on a blowhard! Brian, Gordon and Les on behalf of the club thank you!

Photo 03 - Not really a welcome visitor!

Plenty of fish!

Since I wasn’t fishing yesterday and we finished the work session early I took the opportunity to nip round and see the anglers on the loch for a blether. It seems we have some very contented anglers in that they have been catching fish but keeping mum regarding this! Some anglers like to report their fish and some don’t. It’s good to hear of fish being caught but we will always respect the wishes of the angler! So if you want your fish in the gallery let us know but if you want to keep your catches to yourself then that just fine too! Tight lines!

Common sense at last!

I was interested to read in the Daily Record on Friday that at last the record authorities are clamping down on “plastic” fish being submitted for record status. Scale examination can reveal the past history of any fish submitted for record status and any that have clearly been stewpond reared. Yes fish reared to record or near record weights then released will no longer be accepted for record status!

Now I am not surprised that the awarding body has come to this conclusion, I am surprised it has taken so long to arrive here! Maybe now we can afford “plastic” fish the derision they deserve and value the captures of wild fish in their natural environments, the way it should be!

Fishers Direct at Christmas!

Mike at Fishers just keeps on dishing out the deals. There are some fantastic products at January sale prices giving you the opportunity to make the angler in your life very happy indeed! So go on and leaf through all that is on offer -

The wider world in my view!

This is our world!

We have as a species been through a lot in the years we have inhabited the earth. Many natural disasters, many more self made conflicts but after every event came the now too often heard mantra we will change and make things better! Our aim has always been to help the unfortunates in life and getting rid of those we perceive to be a threat to our way of living!

Worthy aims indeed, and to accomplish this would be a huge step forward. Every politician reels off these worthy statements and in every case things remain the same or deteriorate! It has been our way since the beginning of time and it will continue to be our way!
What causes us to fall at these hurdles is undeniably greed! No one really likes to talk about it but make no mistake it is the reason nothing will ever change! We want the newest car, the biggest house and the ability to dispense with the need to think before we buy! A much kinder way of looking at it is to say that we want nothing but the best for our families. Contentment appears to be a bridge too far!

The bottom line is that we will never change! Our current society encourages greed, the concept having been revitalised by Butcher Thatcher and it continues without hindrance! We will never see a world free of conflict, a world free of social inequality, a world free of poverty! The future is just to continue as we are striving against our neighbour to feather our own nest!
It’s not pretty or correct but it is the situation we have brought about through our own choice!

In Brief!

Donald Trump being voted man of the year by Time magazine. Absolutely outrageous but perhaps it says more about the magazine than it does about Trump! So steer clear of Time magazine its obviously a work of fiction and well off the mark!

Theresa May her on the side of the JAMs in the country posing for a photo shoot in a pair of leather trousers costing £995.00. This would keep a family of four for a couple of weeks! It's still them and us the way it’s always been and the way it always will be!

The SNPs failure in education policy. The rhetoric of the policy sounded great, the implementation however must have been a shambles! This is policy implementation at its worst that left Nicola Sturgeon looking like a recalcitrant schoolgirl! Come on SNP pull yourselves together you're acting like Tories!

Prince Harry and his world wide jaunts at our expense. Nice work if you can get it, most of us however have to do a proper job for our money! Get a proper job mate!

Boris Johnson it seems was a buffoon as a kid and clearly as age progresses he is still a buffoon! There will be many adjectives used to describe him in the future but the word buffoon will be ever present! 

Borg Queen Ruth Davidson was adamant we should stay in the single market! It seems now she has done something the Tories are famous for a U turn! That's right now she says we should be out! The blind leading the blind methinks!

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Erased from our history!

Photo 01 - unusually quiet waters for December!

Erased from our history!

We have just emerged from the most shameful event in the clubs history where a sacked employee of the club tried to bring down and belittle the work of many club stalwarts and the club as a whole. Ultimately he brought the good name of the club into question and alienated himself with his ridiculous actions!  We had not yet decided how long he would be barred from fishing on the lochs but in the event that task was taken out of our hands by two riparian owners who have effectively barred him from fishing on the lochs for a lifetime! This is a severe penalty but then again just consider what he has done to the club!

 This means that the future administrators of the fishing after we are gone will have no choice over his admission to the club! Any attempt to give him membership will lead to the lease of the fishing being withdrawn! Only when an administration puts forward a membership that excludes Mr Xxxxx will the rights be restored! This move has removed a huge weight from our shoulders!

We cannot erase the despicable actions of this fellow, but this blog which is the social history of the club can be cosmetically altered without disturbing the main thrust of the posts! We will leave the childish actions perpetrated by him in print, but as anyone reading back posts will by now have gathered his name will be obliterated as will any images of him! Never in the history of the club have such actions been required, perhaps a fitting testament to his abhorrent behaviour and the fact that he has embarrassed every member of the club! Not to mention the fact that he is now universally seen as a chump!

If we are unfortunate enough to have to mention him again in the future he will be referred to as Mr Xxxxx! He behaved in a shameful and embarrassing manner the like of which the club has never seen before! We will not tolerate such despicable behaviour! So the only thing the AGM will need to consider is whether or not to take legal action against Mr Xxxxx in pursuance of the club property he holds! So as far as the club is concerned Mr Xxxxx was never here!

Photo 02 - Rose hip brandy methinks!

Proper club members!

Looking at the shameful legacy of Mr Xxxxx you might think it’s all doom and gloom! Of course you would be wrong. The huge majority of club members are decent worthy individuals who not only practice their sport but in addition are always thinking of the club and how to help!

Members like Brian Fairgrieve who when inheriting a Calor gas heater with a gas cylinder, a working 12 volt battery and a battery charger thought of the club donated them to the club. Selfless actions in contrast to the actions of Mr Xxxxx that propel the club forward. Similarly member David Shotton donated to the club a new Hardy fly line and a super new waterproof fly box to be used as prizes in our wild Trout competition.

Now don’t get me wrong we are not here concentrating on material gains welcome as they are, we value just as much those who give of their time!  Members like Les Henderson who emptied a one ton bag of aggregate filling in the potholes in our parking area at the boathouse! Yes a 74 yr old man who thought he could help in spite of us telling him not to do such work!

Men like Stevie Nimmo who without being asked serviced our new Calor Gas heater to a point where it starts first time every time! Men like Elliot Fraser who thinks nothing of enduring a 140 mile round trip as he did last week to help us out of a tight spot!  Men like David Wilson and Stuart Grieve who regularly stay late to take in boats for us on a Sunday and safely lock them up for us! Men like Gordon McClurg and Mike Wood who when being asked if they could help us out are saying yes even before they know what that task may be!

Men like the dozens of new members too many to list who have offered to assist us in any way they can! In contrast to the actions of Mr Xxxxx above this is the real St Mary’s Angling Club and it is because of these people that the club will endure! To all of the members who make our club the best it can be, a huge thank you! Compare this with the hate fuelled idiot above and you will see the real angling club!

What now!

Well for all the game lads the season is over and it’s time to assess the hammering you have given your tackle. Flies with blunted points and hackles coming loose, my remedy – bin them!  The hassle of sharpening and stabilising hackles is more bother than it’s worth but if it’s your go to fly then get the carborundum and varnish out!

Rods just get a clean and check for cracked rings, if it’s ok then dry and store. Reels get a clean with Paraffin/alcohol and relubed ready for the 15th March. Lines cleaned and inspected for cracks but if you are like me and use low end lines they get junked and a new one bought! See Mike’s latest offers below for some great bargains!

You can of course continue fishing for different species with Pike being the standout species there are others of course such as Perch and Grayling. I am getting out the wire traces looking for a croc!

Xmas presents at Fishers!

Have a look at some of the great offers from Mike at Fishers. There will be bargains without end right up to the New Year! Great deals such as the Greys GTS 700 for only £55.00 instead of £99.99 and there are many more click the link to see more great bargains