Sunday, 30 April 2017

Search Expedition!

Photo 01 - Brian with a St Mary's Brownie!

Search expedition!

Yesterday I joined the trio Gordon McClurg, Brian Fairgrieve and Gordon’s lovable dog Meg. I was always conscious of the fact that the last time we had all gathered and set out on the boats there followed a session of collecting stones for a path that I can only class as hard labour! This time however it was to be an easy session looking for suitable areas to drop our weighted baskets to be used as fish havens.

Brian has one of these new fangled fish finders that relays information to your phone and does indeed give a very good picture of the bottom as well as water temperature and importantly indicates any fish in the area. There were a few areas we wanted to check out so we set off and did a bit of trolling on the way.

We hadn’t even gotten to our first area just north of Rodono House before Gordon hooked a nice “bar of Silver” Trout much to the delight of fellow traveller Meg! It was around three quarters of a pound and it was duly released much to Megs disgust! However Brian meantime started scanning the area and indeed this looks like a suitable area.

It was then off to the Sculptures that tangle of wood and steel as we thought the depth here would be suitable. However just before we arrived at our destination Brian hooked into a nice Trout again around three quarters of a pound (photo above) which was photographed and quickly returned. This area is a bit of a mess with wire hawsers concrete blobs littering the loch bed and no one fishes close to this debris so this is an ideal spot.

Our final area is just south of the boathouse and after surveying the bottom this also will be suitable. So now we will try and secure the necessary permission to drop these baskets with heavy weights attached. Today was a great day out with two top blokes and a top notch pooch! How very refreshing after the Walter Mitty saga!

Epilogue – This morning I ordered two rod holders on Amazon, this trolling lark has got my attention!

Photo 02 - Gordon & Meg on boat two!

Lowes Boat!

Progress continues to be made with the exterior now having been coated in two pack epoxy paint. I had intended to spray the boat but the initial electrical demand from the compressor proved too much of a hurdle for our generators! Next time I will bring a small compressor as we have previously run a compressor on our smaller generator!
So no choice then, I had to brush paint the exterior and that was what I did. Overall it turned out fairly well and the deep blue finish should offer protection for years to come. So only the final step to overcome and that is treating the exposed wood to primer, undercoat and a top coat of exterior gloss. Then she will be ready to return to her home on the wee loch.

Photo 03 - The Lowes boat in her new livery!

The plot thickens!

Well a couple of visitors fishing yesterday caught a twelve pound and a seven pound Pike and boy were they delighted! Anyhow they showed me the photos and on speaking with them it became clear that the larger Pike a female had definitely not spawned! Her belly was taut and screamed full of eggs so maybe the event has not yet taken place!

Photo 04 - Sergejs with the 12 pounder, not a Pike that has spawned!

Of course the spawning event does not take place on one day it can be a protracted affair! It could also be that the female in question is in fact spawnbound, this condition which we have encountered before is when the female cannot release her eggs for whatever reason. Unfortunately this is often a terminal situation for the affected Pike her body can resorb a few eggs but a full complement is too much!
So the situation remains in a state of flux a few more Pike need to be caught to determine the situation!

Photo 05 - Another view of the Lowes boat!

The wider world in my view!

Little Britain!

Three things caught my attention this week the first of which filled me with a feeling of absolute incredulity! Michael Fallon the defence minister beating his chest warning potential aggressors (Russia) that Theresa May would have no hesitation in launching a first strike in what he termed very serious circumstances. This fool seems to think we are still in the days of the empire!

Now this kind of warmongering talk may fool the Watt Mitty’s of this world but any sane individual must have been left open mouthed on hearing such drivel! It is important here to remember just who we are in the big scheme of things! In nuclear terms we are strictly second division! His comments were picked up by a Russian MP who thought to clarify the situation – he said that if Britain attempted a nuclear strike on Russia “Britain would literally be erased from the face of the earth”!

It’s a sobering thought, however much nearer to the truth than the rubbish spouted by Fallon! This government is applying the same inflated self opinion regarding Brexit and will soon find out that there is a very high price to pay! As a nation we should be proud of all the work the armed forces carry out to keep the country safe but let’s be realistic here!

The UK has in its arsenal around 210 nuclear warheads it could call on whilst Russia the nation the comments were aimed at have over 8,000 warheads even more than the USA who have around 7,300! A pre emptive strike against the Russians would be the end for Britain and any British politician who thinks they could flatten the Russian Bear is a reckless and seriously misguided fool!

It must be terrifyingly obvious that our so called strong and stable government are no more than a bunch of fools! When ministers come out with claptrap such as this it must shake the electorate to its very foundations. This gung ho attitude is seen in every aspect of this idiot administrations doings! For the sake of our future vote for anything but Tory!

In it together!

Secondly Lord Snooty, the knucklehead that plunged the country into this Brexit crisis came to my attention when it was reported he had bought a shed for £25,000 Now that is twice the average annual wage. When he is not in his "shed" writing his memoirs he is away pheasant shooting. He famously said on the severe austerity implemented by his bunch of fools that we were all in this together! I cannot think of any other person I know who had 25 Grand to splash out on a "shed"! It's them and us the way it will always be if we cannot get rid of these Tories!

Knuckles rapped!

The third incident that caught my attention was the debate in the Scottish Parliament concerning the “Rape clause”! Every single politician (Tories excepted) rounded on Cruella Davidson for her stance on siding with the UK government defending the said clause! One after another MSPs cried “Shame” directed at Davidson. The normally ebullient Westminster mouthpiece looked very contrite indeed!

Of course Tory MSPs were whipped into not commenting on her stance but Puppet Carlaw let slip that the policy was “awkward” for the party! You could clearly see Davidson was seething but had no answer to the jibes! The Tories are setting new “low” standards in politics. They are unworthy of anyone’s vote! A vote for your local village idiot would be more productive than voting Tory!

Sunday, 23 April 2017

The last straw!

Photo 01 - Our new multi coloured boat!

The last straw!

It has happened year after year that our agents are severely inconvenienced by anglers phoning to book boats at a specific time and then they do not turn up! In some cases the anglers appear three or four hours later and expect to be given the boat they booked earlier. In some instances this means our agent has to hover around the boathouse in case the said anglers turn up wasting their own time.

Photo 02 - up until this year we could have held our AGMs in there!

What we are now implementing is the following. You phone and book your boat, that booking will remain live for 30 minutes. After that 30 minutes has passed your boat will be given to any other angler seeking to book a boat. Now this will not apply if you phone and let us know when you will arrive if you expect you are going to be late. 

What anglers need to know is that our agents are part time and they cannot hang around indefinitely.
It is the height of disrespect to saunter in a couple of hours late as if nothing has happened. It is simply common courtesy to let us know if you are going to be late. So if you are intending booking a boat please follow the above guidelines!

Photo 03 - Looking down at the new boat!

New boat!

Well today we acquired a new boat that was given to us free of charge thanks to our good friend Mike Christie. Yes Les and Alec delivered here right up to the boathouse on a trailer kindly supplied by ex Bowerhope tenant Ronnie Hook. She is a lump at over 15ft and much wider than our Lomond boats. Les, Stevie, Jenny, Alec, Les R and me were on hand to manhandle her down the banking and along the front of the boathouse where she now rests.

She is an unwieldy brute no doubt about it but we got there in the end. So she sits looking rather forlorn in front of the boathouse looking on to the loch she might one day sit upon, the question we now need to address is what to do with her! She is an elderly creature but could soon be rejuvenated and put on the water.

Overall she looks to be in reasonable condition with a couple of previous repairs evident. There is a small hole along the centre rib which could be sorted easily. She would need an extensive rubdown and repaint with hardwood strapping being replaced along the sides. Mike has suggested thick walled gas pipe the plastic type for the underwater central rib and along the top sides of the boat held in by stainless screws. If we could get this to work it would be a very durable solution! We would also need to make some seating.

It looks as though at some point conversion to a wet keel had been considered as a false floor is fitted across three quarters of the bottom of the boat. If we chose to complete this work we would need to ensure that the fibre glassing was at least 4 ply and we would need to carry this out all along the false floor joins (since we do not know the status of this work) to make sure it was of a robust construction.

The beauty of such a conversion would improve the handling by filling the under floor areas with water giving increased stability the same system employed on our Lomond boats This of course would require significant outlay in fibre glass materials not to mention time. It’s a usable boat and I think there are 3 options.

(1) Carry out safety work making the boat sea worthy with minimal cosmetic work and use her as an unpowered freight barge for carting materials.

(2) Carry out safety work with more cosmetic work and construct oar pillars possibly mooring her as a backup boat.

(3) As above but proceed to constructing oar pillars, wet keel better seating  work on the rim and moor her as an everyday spacious boat.
Now of course there are endless combinations of what we could do so if you are near the boathouse nip down and have a look at her and let us know your thoughts.

The wider world in my view!

Not as bad as some might think!

I was a member for nearly twenty years, I hoped for a better fairer society where the greed culture bestowed by Butcher Thatcher would be brushed aside! That day has not yet come! The Labour party beloved of socialists has degenerated firstly into a centrist Lib/Dem amalgam with Tony Blair then into the tired dinosaur that now confronts us on a daily basis!

The vile Tory party with their ill thought out policies should be on its knees instead because of non existent opposition they are miles ahead in the opinion polls. Bungling on a scale never seen hitherto should have seen the Tories confined to eternal opposition yet they are supreme! It’s an odd state of affairs wholly caused by Jeremy Corbyn and his band of minions bathed in 1970s extremism who now have a stranglehold on the Labour movement!

Poll after poll places Corbyn on a new low with new records being set on a daily basis for the most mistrusted leader of a political party! The party seems very reluctant to pay any heed to what the country is saying and for this they will again pay a heavy price! In fact this morning Corbyn has already blew it for Labour when he did not seem to know what his party's stance on nuclear missiles was, so it's all over already! I read with complete frustration the party denials that polls do not present the true picture and that a miraculous turnaround will take place come election time! The Milliband episode is still ringing in my ears!

The Labour party as we have known it will cease to exist after what will have been an electoral disaster for the Labour movement. The party will split with the larger faction being a Lib/Dem type party and the smaller a communist orientated extremist and unelectable party! On a national basis the election is lost to all but the Tories

This of course is a tragedy for any that seeks fairness and equity in a society but as I have said often there is a get out clause for us Scots and that is abandon the sinking ship that is the United Kingdom! It is almost certain that the SNP will be again elected as the biggest party by far! Oh they may lose a couple of seats in the Borders and Dumfries to the Tories but the mandate for a referendum is still there and there will still be a majority in Holyrood for independence. Because the SNP will be the biggest party in Holyrood they will have a mandate and if they get more than 50% in the election that mandate will be written in stone!

It’s an opportunity to break free from the Westminster chaos and lay the foundations of a new way forward! In addition we would be back with our European neighbours working with them as opposed to being a little Britain struggling for a trade deal with whoever we could get and on their terms! this could take place in mid 2020 by which time the rest of the UK will be languishing out on their tod! The election at first might seem like a disaster for people who care about others but for us forward looking Scots it’s a tremendous opportunity to ditch the vile incompetent Tories and move towards a fair and caring society! The election will be a disaster for the English, Irish and Welsh but for us Scots it might not be as bad as we think!

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Where are our Pike?

Photo 01 - Yesterday Low water and choppy!

Where are our Pike?

It’s a question that almost always gets asked at this time of year when catches slow dramatically or cease altogether! There is nothing new in this, our records show this to be the case in nine out of ten years. Of course it’s around the time that Pike are thinking about or indeed carrying out the act of procreating the species.

Since a few factors come into play to provide the stimulus for spawning it is difficult to determine exactly when this occurs. The classical sign that in some years has informed us the act of reproduction was taking place was Pike of all sizes being noted at the top of the Loch of the Lowes thrashing on the surface close to the reeds!

Now this has not yet been noted this year but of course there are many days when anglers are not present so this spectacle may have been missed. We will not know with certainty when the event has been completed until someone catches an 8lbs plus fish whose abdomen is flaccid and shows a degree of redness around the vent. This would be indicative of the female having shed her eggs indicating spawning has taken place!

A few anglers are having jitters that a catastrophic event has taken place either man made or by Mother Nature. Of course we cannot be certain that this has not been the case but it is extremely unlikely. As I have said this period of Pike showing no interest in feeding is a yearly one well known to us. The likelihood is that once the event is over they will be back setting about baits as they embark on a post coital feeding frenzy!
So the message is grin and bear it our head of Pike are still there!

Photo 02 - The partly constructed new Bowerhope road!

Bowerhope road!

Members should be aware that work is being carried out on the road that leads to Bowerhope. The road is being resurfaced and widened at various points in order to deliver a more stable and pothole free surface (Council take note!). The process involves bringing in crushed stone which is being laid up to three feet thick on top of the original road.

What throws up problems for road users is that heavy articulated lorries are traversing the road loaded with cut wood harvested from the plantations on the hill. This is compacting the outer areas whilst leaving a centre ridge of loose stone which will damage the underside of your car if you have insufficient ground clearance.

 The edges of the road are also unstable in places so keep firmly planted away from the edges!
The plan once the lorries have finished their work is to level the road and compact the surface with a heavy roller. Once this has been carried out the surface should be very much better. So if you need to use this road please drive carefully!


It’s been happening in the lower regions for a couple of weeks now but finally we are seeing new life all around the loch. Lambs are being born on a daily basis and this will continue for two to three weeks. We have not had any problems made known to us over the last few years which is great but here’s what to do –

If you can avoid it do not enter any field with livestock present.
Under no circumstances enter a field containing stock if you have a dog with you!
Do not attempt to set up camp in a field with stock present and you may only camp in a field if you have permission from the relevant farmer!

If we receive reports from a farmer about stock being harassed or frightened we will deal with such matters severely!
Ouite simply use your common sense The lambs and their mothers are a lovely sight rubberstamping the fact it is spring. These creatures however are the owners future income and they would not take kindly to that income being jeopardised!

Photo 03 - If you look delights are everywhere!

The wider world in my view!

A new “cold war!"

Again Donald Chump Trump has plunged the world into the mire, this reckless fool could do for all of us! I have yet to see categorical proof that Assad launched the chemical attack on his own people! The man is not a fool he was educated in Damascus University as a doctor and spent 4 years in the UK specialising in ophthalmology! We are not talking here of a chump but a man who should hold the values of a righteous human being!

He would know that to launch such an attack would bring heavy retribution in one form or another. The Russians are adamant that Assad is not guilty and that it was rebel fighters against Assad that carried out this atrocity in the knowledge that he would be blamed! The byword in civilised disputes was always military action was only valid if irrefutable proof was obtained. Where is this proof?  Hopefully in time this will be clarified.

Trump with no international backing launched an attack on Syrian bunkers with the heaviest non nuclear bomb ever used! Naturally this has enraged the Russians who have stated any further such strikes will be met by force from the Russian Bear! This is an extremely serious state of affairs and our Tory government yet again assume the role of the USA’s lapdog agreeing with all that they say!

This fool is shaping up to do it again with North Korea he who said “America first” and no more meddling in overseas affairs! News just released stated that Russia has moved considerable armaments 30kms from the Korean border, so the crisis intensifies this has now become very serious! Both these situations will develop and if we do not end up in some war situation I will be very much surprised! America seems to set itself up as the world’s policeman but on whose authority?

I am unaware of the countries of the world electing America to this role! It would be bad enough with a rational American president many fold worse with the fool currently in the position! Donald Trump is an idiot, there is no other description for him! Having him in such a powerful position must make us all worry!

Clearly our government is unable to think independently they will simply rubberstamp everything the USA says and does careful not to upset the possibility of a meagre trade deal! It therefore follows that if America starts a war we will be dragged in even if that is against our will! It has been said that we are now in a place never seen since the cold war proper! Our future has never been so uncertain with the catastrophic Brexit farce and now this! I think if you have a god then pray to him if not just hope!

A woman of insignificance!

When you look at the parliamentary system in Scotland there is a sense of pride that women are very well represented in the main parties! Yes we have our First Minister astute, intelligent with good foresight. Kezia Dugdale who also has the above qualities but is plagued trying to fight the years of damage done by Joanne Lamont and Ian Gray.

Then there is Ruth Davidson who is - well a reactionary loudmouth and a Westminster puppet! Yes the Ruthsfuhrer acting like an East German Stasi officer appears to have forgotten she is a woman! Having ruffled the feathers of women all over the land she is adamant the policy from Westminster is the right one! Her stance on the rape clause has attracted universal condemnation from  women’s groups, politicians and ordinary working people, there is even a petition to have the shameful policy axed which I have signed already has over 18,000 signatures!

In so doing she has exposed herself showing her true colours, nothing better than a cruel Butcher Thatcher clone! Yes for Cruella Davidson the mask has been ripped off and she stands as a motionless puppet waiting to be worked by the Ultra right Brexiteers at Westminster! If you thought this fool was some kind of sugar coated Tory then you have been enlightened she is a bitter, cruel and deplorable human being! If you want to sign the petition click the link -

Happy Easter!

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Twas a great day!

Photo 01- Competition winner Les Robson receives the trophy from last years winner Alan Ramsay.

Twas a great day!

The forecast for yesterday was good but the reality of the day that came and went was very much better! Probably not the ideal conditions for fishing but nevertheless the small band of anglers that had assembled had fishing on their minds. Yes it was a time to rekindle old friendships and make some new and one thing was certain that a good day would be had by one and all!

It was bright sunshine all day long and if nothing else we knew we could dispense with vitamin D supplements that night! Blackbirds recited their most tuneful melodies and Song and Mistle Thrush battled to see who could get the highest decibel level. Very soon small white balls of wool will appear all around the loch, what a fabulous time of year! As usual our day started in the Glen Cafe where Kath sorted us out with bacon rolls and coffee a great way to start the days fishing. Soon it was ten and we all went our separate ways and of course savoured our different outcomes!

Photo 02 - Stevie Nimmo receives the 2nd prize from Alan.

Although the day was warm when the wind died, the persistent wind for most of the day kept things chilly in the more shaded areas. Only a few Trout were spotted rising to food Stevie Nimmo seemed to be in a real hotspot seeing quite a few fish whilst most of the others saw very little! Of course on such a fine day there was much to wonder at like the floating Buzzards in a cloud free sky or the chirping as a flock of long tailed tits worked their way through the trees seeking food titbits.

Photo 03 - Mike Christie gets 3rd prize from Alan.

In absolutely no time it was time for the weigh in at the Tibbie and the smell of barbequed food wafting towards us was an enticing one! As we all met it was clear that a few anglers had struck gold. One also struck the water as is now traditional. Last year it was Frank Gillespie this year it was last year’s winner Alan Ramsay. Of course Alan took a dip in order to cool down in the scorching sunshine! The victorious anglers were Les Robson, Mike Christie and Stevie Nimmo. 

Photo 04 - the goodies up for grabs!

The scales were set up and all the anglers were weighing in one fish. In fact Stevie had lost two fish and Mike had returned two fish of 8 inches as he imposes a minimum length of 10 inches for any Trout he takes! If he had compromised his stance its likely he would have won, obviously a man of principle, indeed a rare beast these days!

First on to the scales was Les Robson and his fine Trout weighed in at 1lbs 4oz. Next up was Mike who tipped the scales at 10oz and finally Stevie who inched past Mike for 2nd position with 11oz.  So Les Robson wins the cup, the Salmon fishing, the Hardy sinking line, and the CF fly box both kindly donated by David Shotton. All the prize-winners receive free membership of the club for one year or an equivalent gift. Mike receives free membership of the club for a year and Stevie receives membership free next year. On the advice of Mike we will obtain a fishing tackle voucher from our recommended dealer Fishers in Penicuik to make sure Les gets the value of club membership.

Photo 05 - Prizes ready for presentation.

By now the juices were running as Alastair finished off the sausages and burgers which were served with a fresh salad and salad potatoes. It was delicious and just what was needed after a day casting and covering much ground.

And so the day drew to a close, a super day out in the company of real anglers, men of worth with whom it was a pleasure to engage. The past year has seen us under assault by the pernicious chump Mr Xxxxx and the local angling bully. It is days like this that makes it all worthwhile. Angling is not all about catching fish it is the camaraderie of your fellow angler (invariably right thinking people) and the peace and beauty of the surroundings! Twas indeed a great day!

Thanks to the Glen Cafe, Alastair at the Tibbie and all the lads who took part, it was a pleasure to be in your company!

Sunday, 2 April 2017

It's next week!

Photo 01 - Looking to the top of the Lowes!

It’s next week!

Of course its our annual Wild Trout Competition and in case you missed the last few posts here is a catch up for you. The competition takes place next Saturday the 8th of April commencing with the usual coffee (or Tea) and bacon roll in the Glen Cafe running from 09.00 until !0.00. Its a great chance to exchange theories maybe let slip a few tactics and generally meet the other competitors.

The fishing itself starts at 10.00 and is fly only with any trout over 8 inches in length counting towards the total weight. Fishing will cease at 16.00hrs and the weigh in will take place at the Tibbie Shiels Inn between 16.00 and 16.30hrs. Please do attend before the 16.30 cut off time.
Finally on the day we round off with a post mortem barbeque at the Tibbie Shiels Inn which is always good fun. To recap the prizes are as follows

1st A day autumn Salmon fishing on the upper Pavilion beat on the Tweed, a new sinking fly line by Hardy in WF7 and a super CF design fly box with compartments and slots for 120 flies both kindly donated by club member David Shotton, a floating fly box containing 50 flies suited to loch fishing. The Gold Westbrook trophy which will be engraved for you and is yours to keep for a year.

2nd prize will be a bottle of spirits of your choice and a floating box of 60 flies suited to fishing on the loch.

3rd prize is a floating box of 40 flies all chosen by fishers on the loch. All the fly selections contain a line of flies no self respecting Brown Trout angler would profess to use, but do! Yes it's the type of fly you yearn for when you have been through the box to no avail! In addition all the prize winners will receive membership of the club for one year or free membership if they are already members. It’s always a great day out and as prices have been held its still only £16.00 for the whole day. See you there!

Photo 02 = The Lowes boat awaits solvent cleaning!


Even though he has been binned Mr Xxxxx continues to blight us.  This week two members popped up seeking to renew their memberships We are now completely full and if any other members appear then this will cause us difficulty! Undoubtedly when the time comes to take the Lowes boat out of the boathouse he will again be cursed as 6 men will have to struggle to lift out the boat whereas in the past two men just slid her down the purpose made beams! He thought to leave a legacy, unfortunately its a wholly negative one that blights our every step!

Photo 03 - A grumbling sky yesterday!

Lowes boat!

At last the boat has been fully rubbed down to fibreglass and adherent epoxy paint.  The next steps are as follows – solvent clean the shell, apply adhesive, apply primer and then apply two pack top coat. We will use a one stage epoxy paint which is adherent and durable.  Once she is on the Lowes I’m putting my name down for a session!

From our recommended dealer!

This week Mike has some great offers including deals on Airflo lines in floating and sinking varieties click the link to see what’s on offer -

For the Trout angler determined to minimise spooking of fish “Sightfree” fluorocarbon line is on offer as a buy one get one free which is a cracking deal -