Sunday, 26 March 2017

Further news on our competition!

Photo 01 - Davie works some jigsaw magic on the Lowes boat.

Further news on our competition!

In order to clarify our rules for the competition we would like anglers to be aware that all four of our boats will be available for use at no charge. The pecking order will be first choice boats will be allocated to any entrants with disabilities or difficulties with mobility. These anglers may be accompanied by an able bodied angler to assist as required.

Any boats left after the above group have been filtered will be any angler desirous of a boat may take one subject to availability. If there are more anglers than boats then a draw will take place. So the lowdown is meet at the cafe between 9.00 -10.00 then fish from 10.00 till 16.00 then weigh in at the Tibbie between 16.00 – 16.30 followed by a post mortem barbeque and presentation of prizes.

Just as a reminder the prizes are 1st a day autumn Salmon fishing on the Tweed, The Westbrook gold cup for a year, A box of Flies and a wet cel sinking fishing line, the latter two prizes kindly donated by David Shotton. 2nd prize a bottle of spirits of your choice a box with flies. 3rd prize a box of flies and the three prize winners will get membership of the club for a year and if they are members the next year free. See you there!

Photo 02 - Brilliant weather!


We still get asked how and where you can obtain a permit to fish the lochs so here is a rundown of how to go about it. You may arrive at the lochs and commence fishing and our bailiff will catch up with you and issue the required permits. This is the first choice for obtaining a permit and offers easy access for the visiting angler with no waiting around just arrive and fish!

We also have other outlets where you can obtain a permit. The Glen Cafe will be happy to issue a permit to fish as will Alastair at the Tibbie Shiels Inn you should note however that as the hotel is not currently open there is no guarantee of obtaining a permit. The Gordon Arms Hotel also has a stock of our permits and will be happy to accommodate you during opening hours. We also sell permits through our recommended dealer Mike at Fishers in Penicuick. There are plenty of choices so do please obtain a permit.

The Lowes boat!

Progress is being made with the broken rim of the boat now having been thoroughly repaired. This week Frank and I put a new runner on the bottom of the boat a simple enough task blighted by worn, broken sheared screws. However by the end of the day we accomplished this. All that needs to be done now is to finish the preparation of the boat prior to painting. The colour is going to be a dark blue as opposed to white.
The bottom of the boat will have in addition to the blue epoxy paint a coating of car underseal for extra protection. The rim of the boat will be black as will the seating inside and then she is ready to return to the Lowes.

Tweed Commission seat!

We have received no interest whatsoever regarding the opportunity to take up a seat on this body. I will therefore write to them and formally decline the opportunity. Many anglers when asked said they could see no relevance to the working man Trout or Pike angler, perhaps that says it all!

From our recommended dealer!

This week Mike is offering a Wytchwood Coat and bib combo with a free hoodie for a reasonable £329.00
Also on offer are thistle down fly lines by Snowbee at an amazing £39.00 the name gives the game away and if you are looking for a line that makes splashing on to the surface a thing of the past. With one of these you can land your fly gently in front of your targeted Trout!

The wider world in my view!

Absolute chaos!

Never in my time on earth have I witnessed such chaos as is currently doing the rounds at present! We are faced with leaving the EU and facing Indyref 2 at the same time. My biggest worry is that the current Tory administration seem intent on beating the previous one to take the title of the biggest bunglers in UK government history!
No one really thought that any administration would displace Lord Snooty and Gideon Osborne’s Omnishambles government, but this lame duck administration is coming very close indeed! 

A “hard” Brexit is on the cards and when asked, Diddy David Davies has no plan if a trade deal cannot be gotten from the EU! The remnants our our manufacturing industry are quaking in their boots, financial organisation already have plans to jump ship.
You really couldn’t make this stuff up the incompetence of this administration is breathtaking! Just look at Philip Hammond’s budget which was reversed in super quick time as it did not fit in with the Tory manifesto! It’s a very basic mistake that again shows the UK to the world as a bunch of fools something this administration is becoming very good at!

It is now clear that would be Butcher Thatcher Theresa May is nothing but a figurehead. As a puppet she merely voices the words of the extreme right wing Tories! Two other Scottish Tory puppets David Mundell and Ruth Davidson continue to spout English rhetoric and rather laughably seem to be claiming to speak for the majority of the Scottish people! There are more Pandas in Scotland than Tory MPs!

What a load of tosh, with Mundell being the only Scottish MP and Davidson presiding over a handful of clueless temporary MSP’s their voice is nonexistent! If the Labour party pulled itself together the Tories would be back to a miniscule number of MSP’s which is as it should be! It’s very difficult to feel at ease with such a shambolic administration and believe me there will be much more to come!

When Nicola Sturgeon rightly announced plans for a second referendum she was quickly rebuffed by Theresa May! Of course Sturgeon had anticipated this and after the Scottish parliament’s approval for the referendum later this week a formal request will go to Westminster for the required permission.

Now May and the Scottish puppets claim to speak for the majority of Scots but what must be remembered is that Sturgeon was elected with a manifesto to hold a second referendum if material changes have occurred and without a doubt they have! So to deny a referendum is to rubbish the wishes of the Scottish people! The question therefore as a Scot are you happy to be continually dismissed by a remote government that we did not vote for?

It looks as though a second referendum will take place in 2 or 3 years and Scots can be certain that another will not take place for a very long time! So we need to bite the bullet and accept the inevitable. So the choice would be more of the same and intensifying chaos and a possible economic implosion or a chance to start afresh with new values and a difficult path to self sufficiency! None of these options will be easy, but I know which one I will be choosing!

Return of racing!

I used to be an ardent fan of formula 1 racing until the races morphed into a procession dominated by the team who could invest most in technology. Lewis Hamilton is not a stand out driver most any of the F1 drivers would taste success in a Mercedes car. Today Vettel’s Ferrari demoted Mercedes to second and third. What a welcome development, F1 viewing figures have been dropping like a lead balloon as the outcome was known before the race started! For the first time in a long time I am going to tune into the race and see hopefully some real racing!

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Content anglers and a competition!

Photo 01 - Davie with a picture perfect brownie!

Content anglers and a competition!

You will note the Brownie being displayed by Davie Forsyth is indeed a cracker and more so because it was tempted from the Loch o the Lowes a loch known by our long standing members for its low population of Brown Trout. This is due to the loch being warmer (its very shallow compared to St Mary’s) and it has a much larger growth of weed in a word Mesotrophic! St Mary’s with its much deeper and colder water (Oligotrophic) and much less weed is more suited as a habitat for Brown Trout.

Anyway the Trout caught on the Lowes tend to be very fine Trout and Davie’s is no exception. He landed it after a spectacular take on the surface and it had him touching all sides of the loch. For the lure fishers among you it was caught on a Savage Gear Rat surface lure. Now trying to get a photo from Davie is like trying to squeeze blood out of a stone!

Photo 02 - Stevie Nimmo opens his account!

It’s not that he doesn’t catch many fish for he does and currently holds the heavy Pike at 21lbs 8oz for the current season it rather more a case of quiet contentment devoid of the need to send fish photos all over the internet like some of the new age facebook brigade! Just another of our anglers at one with the lochs and at peace with his sport! Well done that man!

Photo 02 - Stevie added another!

Wild Trout Competition!

We are pleased to confirm the details for our annual competition in pursuit of our wily population of Brown Trout.
The competition will take place on St Mary’s Loch on Saturday the 8th of April 2017. The competition will take place between the hours of 10.00 until 16.00hrs. There will be a warm up session as usual being held at The Glen Cafe which will run from 09.00 until 10.00hrs where bacon rolls and coffee will be served.

The weigh in will take place at the Tibbie Shiels Inn between 16.00 and 16.30hrs followed by our usual barbeque cooked up by Alastair. The cost is being held at £16.00 per entry and the competition is open to members and visitors. Its always a great day with much banter so come along and join in you will be most welcome!

Photo 04 - The best bit - Davie returns his prize safely!

Competition Rules

(1) There is to be a bag limit of 4 Trout then catch and release.

(2) No Trout under 8 inches may be taken.

(3) Fishing will be fly only using rod (one) and line.

(4) No Trout shall be passed to another angler (Bag sharing).

(5) Pike and Perch to be returned to the loch unharmed.

(6) The organisers may inspect all tackle and fish caught.

Boats will be available for disabled anglers and those with limited mobility in the first instance any remaining boats will be given to other anglers as required. If the need for boats is greater than boats available a straw poll will be the arbiter.

(7) Parking in designated areas only, please avoid blocking farm gates and entrances.

(8) Any angler found to be in breach of competition rules shall be disqualified.

(9) Fishing shall commence at 10.00am and finish at 16.00hrs with all catches to be weighed in by 16.30hrs at the Tibbie Shiels Inn.

(10) Fishing to be confined to St Mary's Loch only.

You are advised to carry a mobile phone with you in case of difficulty. A ferry boat will be available from 09.30hrs for anglers wishing to fish the far side of the loch.

Lowes boat!

Work has progressed much more quickly this week with the super strong structures to hold the oar pins now completed. There is a great deal of rigidity now present along her sides.  Davie Wilson stepped in and saved us countless hours and cut the ply to replace the rotted rear seat which we then fibre glassed. The paint we have chosen is a dark green with the bottom part being painted with car under seal rubberised paint. So we are nearly there!

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Paradise in all its glory!

Photo 01 - Reinforced area to be filled with chopped strand!

Paradise in all its glory!

Yet again the date all Brown Trout anglers yearn the legal date for the opening of the Brown Trout season is almost upon us.  The 15th March is a date etched into the minds of committed anglers. Rods have been checked rings inspected and fly lines inspected and cleaned. The fly box will have been inspected for rusting flies and any found ruthlessly discarded. Casts will be gathered ready for a mass execution there can be no survivors from the year past!

Memories of the one that got away last year will come flooding back and that particular area of the loch will be included in the first assault. Many old haunts will be revisited with expectation, new areas of interest will be pencilled in and visited when time allows. The horizon will be scanned for rising fish and any spotted can expect to be bombarded by a torrent of iron and feathers! Brexit and other such tosh will be banished for the day!

Where there was confusion and irritation there will be clarity of thought and contentment. Worldly worries will disappear albeit temporarily as the rugged atmosphere consumes us and we blend seamlessly with the loch! We will delight as the hooligans fly overhead with their distinct inimitable calls. Smiles will abound as the Grey Wagtails dance merrily on the bank filled with happiness on arriving back at the loch. We will stare in amazement as the deadly hunter the Osprey executes its attack on an unsuspecting prey fish.

There will be many more individual thoughts and sights encountered by the angler as he nestles into the ambience of the loch for another season. However it will be a case of once more, once less, as our body clock ticks ever onwards relentlessly eating in to our allotted time! The need to savour the most the lochs can offer is intense and for many overpowering! To the average punter the 15th is just another day, but for the Brown Trout anglers on the lochs it will simply be paradise in all its glory!

Wild Trout Competition!

It will soon be time for our annual Wild Trout Competition to be held on St Mary’s loch. We are looking at Saturday the 8th of April as the date. This will be confirmed next week. Prizes will be – 1st prize a day autumn Salmon fishing on the upper Pavillion beat on the Tweed. The Westbrook cup for one year and membership of the club for a year and a Hardy fly line kindly donated by David Shotton. 2nd prize a bottle of spirits of your choice plus a selection of loch fly’s. 3rd prize will be a selection of loch fly’s suitable for use on the loch. More details will follow in the next few weeks.

Our representation on the Tweed Commission.

So far no nominations have been received for this position mentioned last week and I can’t say I am surprised the reputation of the Tweed Commission among regular Trout anglers is not good. We will hold off replying to the invitation until Thursday and if no nominations are forthcoming by then we will formally decline the invitation.

Photo 02 - Reinforcing added!

Lowes boat!

Progress is being made, it is however less rapid than we would like. Frank and I spent some time trying to drill through two steel bars each an eighth of an inch thick and we managed two holes out of twelve required. The battery drills discharged quickly and our Titanium coated drill bits looked like they were made out of lead so hopeless were they!

Well one side has the reinforcing plates fitted and do they make a difference! There is a rigidity never before seen on this boat pulling on the oars will actually translate into movement on the water, it's a heavy duty solution that should last for years! We also sealed the end flotation tanks with a couple of layers of heavy fibre glass matting once again joining the tanks to the boat sides repairing the previously inflicted damage. So it’s a heavy duty electric drill and a couple of Cobalt drill bits for next time!

From our recommended dealer!

This week the offers from Mike include a bumper clearance event where rods reels and accessories can be had for knockdown prices. Also a large selection of fully loaded reels for those who need to say goodbye to their old tackle. Click the links to see for yourself -

Sunday, 5 March 2017

How its done!

Photo 01 - Stuart with a ten pounder in tip top condition!

How its done!

All Pike anglers know that with the advent of winter and dropping temperatures the Pike become less active and our sport becomes subdued. Weighing in against this is that with the production of eggs the females can put on up to 25% of bodyweight turning a good 16 pounder into a cracking twenty increasing the chances of landing a whopper!

Speaking with the chuckle brothers yesterday (Davie & Stuart) it seems that once again they are proving the point that if you put the time in and vary your tactics success is there to be had. Davie lured and landed a fine 12 pounder (photo to come) using a soft rubber eel and also lost a fish on dead bait, mate Stuart Durham also part of the blue tarpaulin squad landed a plump ten pounder in peak condition (photo 01). Well done lads!

Photo 02 - Fine sanding still to do!

Having a voice or rubber stamping!

Late last year our then secretary Alasdair White tendered his resignation from the club! Alasdair was our representative on the River Tweed Commission who look after primarily the Salmon fishing’s in the area. Quite frankly I am not too bothered regarding membership of this forum but we feel it is only right and proper to offer any interested member the opportunity to take this seat.

The commission is a group of fishery proprietors (often said to be the real commission) and representatives of other groups who have an interest in fishing. The longstanding view held by angling clubs is that the power brokers meet on the golf course on a Sunday to decide policy, then on the Monday the full meeting is asked to rubber stamp these decisions!

I have no idea if this is the case and it may be that indeed there is an opportunity for the ordinary angler to have his say  and influence policy. There is a “vetting” process to be completed to weed out angling bully/super chump types but other than that membership is straightforward. Meeting are held on weekdays so if you have difficulty in securing a weekday off then this is not for you.

If you are interested drop me a line and I will pass on the relevant information. We would like to extend our grateful thanks to Alasdair for his input into club matters over the years.

Photo 03 - sanded back to the original gel coat!

Lowes boat!

I put a few hours in yesterday making a start to preparing the boat for fresh paint by sanding down the previously applied paint to give a key for the new finish. Its hard going even with a power sander but it has to be done. We should complete this work with another session leaving the woodwork fibre glassing work and painting still to be done. The seats and rim of the boat are ready for varnish but this will be the last task.

If you have any preferences regarding which colour the boat should be let us know. The options suggested so far are white and a blue similar to the fibreglass gel coat which when chipped as it will inevitably be will not look so unsightly. We had thought we might move the mooring point from the top of the Lowes to a point near the bottom for ease of access but we felt the possibility of Muppet damage was too great, so back to the top it will be.

The wider world in my view!

Opposition, what opposition!

There can be no doubt that the Scottish government are traversing choppy waters at the present time. Education and the health service policy being the most prominent but across the board the shine is coming off the SNP machine! Naturally then one is keen to look at what the opposition have to offer and with this in mind I watched the Tory conference on the TV.

There was much cheering and applauding as the Borg Queen introduced would be Thatcher clone Theresa May. The Tories say they are fighting for the people who do not want a second referendum and want the Scottish government to stop banging on about it yet what is clear the referendum is mentioned by the Tories more than it is by the government!

There was very little talk about the “Brexit Crisis” manufactured by the Tories plunging the country into economic uncertainty. Instead the Borg Queen reeled off a series of "policies" to right the perceived wrongs of the Scottish government and what did we get? A series of headings with no actual policy details that has yet to be determined!

Did you ever hear of such nonsense, a party that claims to be the next government clearly proving they do not even make it as an effective opposition! At least with the government there is some structured thinking even if it needs some tuning. Anyone swayed by the tripe spouted yesterday should not be allowed to vote. We heard nothing of substance merely lofty ideas that will never come to fruition!

Yes the Scottish government has lost its shine but the official opposition seem to have no idea of what it takes to run a country. Tory voters need to give themselves a damned good shake because if this lot get anywhere near power we will know the true meaning of the word disaster! The Tories are not an effective opposition just a bunch of well heeled loudmouths seeking to increase their own prosperity! God help us from these fools!