Sunday, 28 May 2017

Home at last!

Photo 01 - Davy brings Anguilla to the top of St Mary's!

Home at last!

It all came together yesterday with multiple offers of assistance to get Anguilla back to her home on the Loch o the Lowes. In the credits were Mike Wood, mate John, Davy Forsyth, Davy Wilson, Les Henderson Stuart Grieve who didn’t have a Scottish tan but buggered off to Spain for a continental one! Brian Fairgrieve and Colin Rennie had agreed to assist when the outing ended but in the event we had the required number of bodies!

Photo 02 - Davy about to assume the role of ballast for the journey whilst John looks on!

So it was into St Mary’s where Davy Forsyth utilised his electric engine to tow our refurbished craft to the top of St Mary’s. Because of the low water level there was no question of walking her through the channel. Step in Alastair from the Tibbie. He had kindly offered us the use of his boat trailer to ferry her up to the top of the Lowes.
Mike Woods powerful AWD Subaru hitched the trailer to the boat and with Davy Forsyth (rather bravely) providing ballast by sitting at the front of the boat we headed for the top of the Lowes. On arriving at the top after a couple of rope tightening stops we met Karen up at Riskenhope and asked if we could travel through her field to the shores of the wee loch.

Photo 03 - the route to our boat!

We were saddened to hear that a lamb had been run over on this road a few days earlier by persons unknown, so I agreed to walk in front of the car & trailer (without a red flag) and coax sheep and lambs away from the procession. A piece of manhandling and she was in back to her rightful home!

Now rather than mooring her in the old position next to the fence that runs parallel to the Little Yarrow we though she could rest in a much calmer area across the river in front of the Willow bushes. This is a nice area with water three feet deep covered on three sides giving Anguilla shelter from the often hostile elements.

Photo 04 - Davy watches as Mike moors Anguilla in her new home!

And so it was as we tethered her to a rather heavy tree trunk we bid her farewell for the moment. This was a perfect example of the club working well with members only too willing to help and the job was done in no time. Now if you are seeking this boat the shortest route is from the roadside at the top of the Lowes you simply cross in a straight line.

If you are walking down the Riskenhope road stop at the cut-out just before the bridge see photo 03 sight the large light coloured pole (arrowed) walk to there keeping away from stock and follow the old river bed/path to the loch shore. Alternatively cross the bridge at Riskenhope and follow the footpath down alongside the Little Yarrow but you will have to cross the stream. Wellies will get you over in low water conditions waders at normal level but this route should be avoided in high water conditions. The key will be available in the club boathouse as per normal.
Oars are chained into the boat and unlocking the boat will unlock the oars, the only thing you will need to bring from the boathouse along with the key is lifejackets. 

So the refurbishment episode has ended and I would like to thank Mike and John who came down specifically to help with the launch. Stuart, Davie and Les, Brian and Colin who are always around when help is required. Finally Davy Forsyth who gamely captained the boat on her road journey and rowed her to her new home on the Lowes in spite of longstanding trouble with his leg!

Thanks to all of the lads, you are the type of members every club needs!

Photo 05 - The new cafe green camera in test location!

Anti Muppet measures!

With increased numbers of visitors to the area and the recent great weather inevitably brings the odd Muppet under the influence of drink or drugs hell bent on causing chaos! We had earlier pledged our support for the installation of a CCTV set up to monitor erroneous behaviour! Well Alastair from the Tibbie has now purchased that camera and it’s a very good one indeed!

The camera is currently installed on the Tibbie itself for testing purposes and the initial results are indeed impressive! The camera has a range of 400 metres and can provide detail at two hundred metres in the dark! The images come up on a PC monitor and the passkey holders can direct the camera and zoom in to twenty times magnification!

What this means of course is that all activities on the cafe green will be recorded and this footage will be passed to the police to aid prosecution of wrongdoers! We made a commitment to support this venture and once it is installed in a position to survey the cafe green we will review the coverage and if it provides good coverage we will as we said we would, play our part in the scheme and bear our share of the costs involved! Positive action at last!

Photo 06 - A 60kg feast for lucky diners at the Tibbie yesterday!

Pike aplenty!

As is often the case following the annual spawning activity our Pike are feeding freely. One group of members managed 5 Pike up to 10lbs with a number of lost Pike. Another pair of anglers bagged 4 Pike on Thursday in probably the brightest day of the year so far. One Pike reported by member Jimmy Ross had a couple of holes in its flank damage he said that was not typical of predator attack. The only thing I can think of is spawning damage perhaps being speared by a broken branch or something. The 10 pounder however seemed unaffected by the damage and spawning can indeed be a violent event!
 Keith, sorry I didn't make it round hope you had an enjoyable trip!

The wider world in my view!


Of course in this country we have extensive poverty which is to our great shame as we embrace and dismiss the huge inequalities of the failed capitalist system! However on another front we will all soon experience of a different variety! That poverty will come in the run up to the general election a wholly unnecessary event perpetrated by an upcoming candidate for bungler of the decade Theresa May!

Yes the would be Butcher Thatcher clone not content with Lord Snooty’s massive bungling plunges the country into yet another crisis of choosing who will govern over us for the next 5 years! We are faced with a choice which simply is a race to the bottom of the barrel! There are no good choices in this upcoming election!

The Lib-Dem puppets continue along their usual lines ready at the drop of a hat to abandon their principles and jump into bed with the Tories. Some people just cannot learn from their past mistakes! UKIP unveiled as a BNP party with a smiling face have been unmasked and on the recent council elections will be sent packing thank god!

No one likes the Greens because their policies will affect our wasteful mode of living and company executives do not want to give up their company VW Passat,s with their misleading emissions data! The Tories are in complete disarray  exhibiting more U turns than a roller coaster ride, the most recent U turn on social care would be utterly hilarious if it wasn't so serious! 

Lets face it they have cost us £12 billion in failed health care reforms and Mays gaffe during the Andrew Neil interview when she costed the provision of free school breakfasts at £60 million meant each child would have a breakfast costing around 7 pence! In spite of this they continue to spout their rhetoric describing themselves as the friend of the working classes! Their manifesto has turned out to be a complete disaster with Theresa May jostling Lord Snooty for the position of the biggest governmental bungler of all time!

In reality they are as they have always been the haters of all things public and passionate embracers of profit at any cost! These monsters who care not one jot for the plight of the low paid poor and disabled in our society continue with their abject subjugation of the above groups! Of course they are masters of sleight of hand and amazingly convince millions of people from the above classes to vote for them!

Then we have the Labour party who actually have some excellent policies like renationalisation of public services, higher minimum wages, and a re-examination of our nuclear policies although when asked on this topic you will get only mixed messages! With these working class policies you would think Labour would walk an election win yet this is not the case!

Like the Tories many of their office holders are clueless bunglers, Corbyn, Thornberry and Abbot to name but a few! Indeed they cannot match the bungling of the Tories who in the last few years have cost us billions of pounds and look set to take us to a new all time low recession with their ill thought out Brexit plans!
Labour are currently not electable as the senior bunglers will take us closer to the heights of Tory blunders! The country has pleaded for years to get the party to ditch Corbyn but like lambs to the slaughter they remain indifferent intent on electoral humiliation!

The best that can be hoped for on the morning of June the ninth is that the Tories win with a tiny majority! Yes Labour are only six points behind the Tories but Corbyn et al will temper their progress! The choice in this election is dire, if you seek increased wealth at any cost you will vote Tory, if you want more fairness and equity you may vote Labour with a good possibility of switching your vote to the local village idiot on polling day!
Whichever route you take for Christ's sake don’t under any circumstances vote Tory! 

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Urgent discussion required!

Photo 01 - sailing craft ruining my fishing!

Urgent discussion required!

Yesterday whilst fishing at the boathouse we also enjoyed watching the sailing club holding an event involving around 30 craft. It was entertaining up to a point but then deteriorated into a shambles! The craft were racing around large yellow marker buoys which at the start of the event was fine as they were well away from the shoreline, but later on a powered craft undid one of the yellow markers and brought it close to the boathouse almost on top of my lines!

I managed to get the attention of the pilot of the powered boat and told him he was on top of my lines but he simply said he had been told to place the buoy there by the race officer! Then followed a rake of craft round the buoy and over my lines spoiling my fishing effort for the day! We know this was not carried out intentionally it was just a case of not thinking of others, something we are all guilty of from time to time!

Photo 02 - Les & Mikes biggest (1.50lbs) lovely colours!

The loch is a large body of water, surely big enough for the two main users to enjoy their respective sports without impinging on the other! The points of contention are why when notified (by me) did the sailing club race officer not take action to prevent my fishing from being ruined! Have our members not the right to enjoy their sport unhindered? If they felt the need to come within 80 - 100metres from the bank why did they not specify the areas affected and let us know before the event was staged so we could direct anglers not to fish that area! We are not rigid and will do all we can to accommodate other loch users.

This is not the first time this has happened but we want to ensure it is the last! I will be writing to the sailing club outlining our concerns before this escalates into a full scale melee! Many of our members are not as laid back as I am. We desperately want to avoid potential conflict, with planning and discussion this can easily be prevented. The loch is big enough for both groups to operate without impinging on the sport of the other! Discussion between our clubs is urgently required!

Photo 03 - Craig Hunter's 12.50lbs Pike from the Lowes yesterday.

Brothers in angling!

Mike Christie and Les Robson are well known to the long serving members of the club. Mike and Les came up today for a day in pursuit of our Brown Trout and did they do well! In what was a cold wet day with a lack of wind between them they bagged 4 fine Brownies from three quarters of a pound to the big one pictured (photo 02) above which was estimated around a pound and a half.

They could only estimate the weights as all the fish were returned immediately as is their way, and these two old hands could estimate the weight of a Trout at fifty paces to a fine margin. Now don’t get to thinking that you can just nip out on a boat and bag four fish it’s not that easy. These lads are seasoned loch fishers who have served an apprenticeship on the loch and built up a knowledge base most of us could only dream about!

Photo 04 - The fish finder kindly given to the club by Mike!

Now these lads are not only top notch anglers they are bloody decent blokes to boot! In an extraordinary act of kindness Mike has gifted us a comprehensive fish finder with all the attachments in a carrying box. Now our anglers will have access to the device to check out their particular areas of interest and will surely be a great help to our anglers!
Exactly the kind of anglers we love to see at the loch and what a sea change from the bullies, varlets and knaves we encountered last year! Yes we class these boys as our friends but more than that they are our brother’s in angling!
Mike thanks again for your kindness!

Photo 05 - Ready for the Lowes!

Lowes boat!

Unfortunately it was not possible to get the boat out of our boathouse yesterday due to the random nature of people arriving. Of course it is Watt Mitty that has done for us good and proper by cutting our sliding beam in half! In days gone by two of us could have the boat out simply sliding her out. So if you are desperate to be on the Lowes on the boat ask Watt why he cut our beam in half. It may be that we will be able to get her our midweek if not we will try again at the weekend!

The  wider world in my view!

Our enemy!

Theresa May the woman who can rant on for an eternity yet somehow say nothing has finally said something! Yes the would be Butcher Thatcher clone has lifted the veil and uncovered real Tory policy targeted at the elderly and families who are struggling by ending free school meals! Extreme complacency fostered by the huge lead in the opinion polls has led her to targeting the very people who pushed the Tories into power!
Hitting pensioners many of whom are poor people is what Tories do best whilst looking after their well heeled pals and that is exactly what May has done! The Tory manifesto has bombed cutting the Tory lead from a sixteen point lead down to nine points! Her policy dubbed “The dementia tax” to make elderly people pay for social care if they have assets of more than £100,000 and getting rid of the triple lock on pensions has elderly voters up in arms!

Coupling this with what was seen as a very positive manifesto for Labour has the Tories scrambling around furiously! This is a most welcome development but in reality Labour winning is not a possibility with Corbyn at the helm! The best that could be hoped for is that the Tories win with a much smaller majority which would give the population hope that Brexit could be averted!

Normally a government as incompetent as the Tories are would see the opposition streets ahead. Just look at their pledge from 5 years ago to get rid of the deficit. It was meant to be eradicated this year but now the estimate is 2025! Ending free school meals for needy families punishes the very people she said she would help! This measure will see about 600,000 families pushed to the brink! At last the Tories can be seen for what they are simply enemies of working class people!

Sunday, 14 May 2017

On the Lowes boat!

Photo 01 - Our Lowes boat ready for launch!

On the Lowes boat!

Yesterday the final coat of black gloss was applied to the woodwork hopefully giving it protection from the elements for years to come. We refitted the oar anchoring points and nipped them up tight, all that remains is for a bleach cleanout and she will be ready to return to her home on the Lowes! Well not quite we could in the past simply have slid her out but thanks to Watt Mitty and the infamous cut beam we can no longer do this!

So with the next arrival of a few of our burly lads we will have to manhandle her out on to St Mary’s! The plan would be to row her to the top of St Mary’s and using Alastair’s boat trailer transport her to the top of the Lowes and row her to her base. If we cannot do it in one stage we will simply moor her with the Lomond’s until we can complete the transfer.

Note - due to the low level of the loch there is no chance of coaxing her through the joining channel.


I have heard a Cuckoo calling many times over the years invariably from the Bowerhope area. However the last few years her call has been missing. We can only speculate as to why this is we simply do not know. This year however her familiar call has been heard several times which just enriches the stunning morning chorus!

I remember well many years ago when I came upon her whilst clambering down the steep bank near the boathouse. When she heard my clumsy descent she flew out of the long grass across the loch to her roosting place. I had a look round the area from where she had flown and soon found a nest with two small eggs and one large egg. I watched from a distance and soon spotted a Pied Wagtail returning to her nest.

How this small bird can be fooled into thinking the giant egg in her nest is one of her own I do not know! It’s just another of Mother Nature's wonders!

Photo 02 - Bleach clean required!

The wider world in my view!

In brief!

Shown up again!

This week Cruella Davidson a known loudmouth and the Tory mouthpiece in Scotland was shown up as a fool not once, not twice but three times! Firstly in the debate on foodbanks she was put on the spot and challenged by all parties why ex servicemen were being pushed into using them. Rather than admitting her parties policy of relentless punishing of the poor was the cause she traipsed out Theresa Mays standard reply that the reasons for foodbank use were “complex”! To universal boo’s she sipped back into her chair suitably embarrassed!

Her next ordeal was when she tried to get one over on Nicola Sturgeon stating that her education policy received scant mention in the election leaflets issued by the SNP. When it was pointed  out that the “curriculum for excellence” was at its inception supported by all political parties she seemed to withdraw! Furthermore Sturgeon drove in the knife when she pointed out that independence, SNP and Nicola Sturgeon were mentioned over 110 times in Tory election leaflets! Just goes to show the negativity of the Tories! 

The third time came at the end of the week when the clown U turned on free prescriptions! Yes she was vehement in her opposition for almost ten years but all of a sudden she is all for them! Thanks to Jeremy Corbyn Labour is finished and Cruella senses a chance to nab some of the more bewildered among Labour voters! In her desire to please puppet master May she will stop at nothing! Just another principle free Tory unworthy of anyone's vote!

Amber Dudd!

Yes our brash home secretary pontificating to all health boards telling them they need to do more to protect data in light of the recent cyber attack! It appears that many health boards are still running Windows XP a system that is no longer supported by Microsoft.

Ms Dudd appears to be blaming the health boards for this disaster when in fact she should be looking at her own government! Yes the continued misguided austerity imposed by this government has brought the health service to its knees as it has to all public services by massive underfunding! The very fabric of our existence is being unpicked by these zealots to allow private contractors to provide services which will come at a considerable cost!

The Tories are doing to this country what Adolph Hitler could not. They are constantly degrading our ability to live as civilised beings! Instead of outwardly destroying the backbone of our way of living they are achieving the same result by deceit and stealth! Remember this when you visit the polling station!

Donald Chump!

It just moves further into the realms of fantasy with every day that goes by! Donald Trump in full view of the American people is removing one by one anyone who is investigating his party’s links to Russia during the election campaign. Does this man who now has the lowest satisfaction rating of any US politician think that by removing people investigating the link such investigations will cease!

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Game on!

Photo 01 - Davie with a cracking 1.75lbs Brownie in the WHITE BOAT!!

Game on!

Well over the last few weeks we were swithering over whether our population of Pike had carried their spawning for the year. Member Stewart Grieve and a visiting angler midweek have answered that question with a high degree of certainty when a 14.75lbs Pike caught by Stewart and an 11.50 lbs Pike caught by the visiting angler showed both had the classic signs of spawning.

Yes a flaccid abdomen and a reddened vent on both fish displayed both and couple that with Pike being caught in numbers indicates to us that the yearly event has taken place! After concentrating on producing our future sport the Pike are invariably hungry for food to once again build up their reserves to complete the cycle once again so it’s game on!

When Davie or Stewart phone for a boat they always stress the green Lomond in the one they want. I asked why they always ask for the green one thinking there might be a problem with the white one.  Their reason, the colour! They thought the green one is more camouflaged well on that Trout above I'd go for the white one!

Photo 02 - Bumbles working Willow blossom yesterday!

Lowes boat!

Yesterday due to the fact that heavy winds made boat angling an unsafe proposition Gordon, Mike, Brian, Colin, Les and me turned our attention to moving forward our Lowes boat. The first and not inconsiderable task was to flip her over without removing the newly applied two pack paint. With all hands deployed and foam blocks in position we flipped her over with relative ease.

With the boat right way up all the exposed woodwork could be treated which includes the rim of wood around the boat and the seats. We ruled out varnish because of the bits of filler here and there and we decided on a black gloss finish which would sit nicely with the blue body and hide the imperfections.

The process would be a coat of primer followed by a coat of undercoat finished off with 2 coats of black gloss. Now this would have cost a pretty penny but Gordon brought with him all the paint required kindly donated by Gordon, Colin and Brian thanks lads most kind of you. So it was on with a coat of primer after thorough degreasing. The rest of the cycle will be completed midweek and the oar brackets bolted on and with a bit of luck she could be returned to her home on Saturday! Happy days!

Lost net!

Yesterday a walker kindly handed in a large landing net in very good condition. I won’t describe it here or give the location where it was found but if the angler who lost it gets in touch with a description of the net we will put in place the framework for it to be returned. Simply call or mail us and we will take the required action.

Go Outdoors!

I was speaking with one of our members in Hawick recently and he was very enthusiastic in telling me of this outlet and the value for money it offers. As the name suggests they cater for all the common outdoor activities including fishing. They stock loads of products many from top manufacturers such as Shimano, Okuma and Shakespeare.

 I think you have to be selective and compare prices but undoubtedly there are super bargains to be had. Remember also that if you become a member (£5.00/year) you can get up to a further massive 60% discount of the RRP which is a tremendous saving! Click the link to see the offers in store and thanks to Alan for the pointer much appreciated!

Road Closure!

On departing the loch yesterday we were turned back by Police just before the Gordon Arms Hotel due to a serious (fatal) accident having taken place at the crossroads involving two motorcycles. It is reported that a female pillion passenger was fatally injured and the two riders are very seriously ill in city hospitals. How sad yet another fatality on this road has occurred. All we can say to drivers car or motorcycle is to drive to road conditions and be aware that animals may be wandering on the road.

 The wider world in my view!

Choices to be made!

If there was doubt before Wednesday there is now none! Theresa May is a dud but much worse than that she is playing us all for fools! Of course there was going to be public posturing , snide remarks and nasty rumours  but instead of thinking her strategy she jumps in like a bull in a china shop and starts accusing EU officials in a manner that would make Walter Mitty pale into insignificance!

If you had any doubts Brexit might turn out to be a complete disaster then start worrying – it is and worse! This lightweight woman impersonating a Prime minister is sinking any chance we had of securing a good deal! Without really trying she has made enemies of the remaining EU members and astonishingly before the real negotiations start!

Blaming the EU for trying to affect the election outcome does not really tie into her “strong and stable government” sound bite! It rings of paranoia and rank ineptitude, traits that are becoming more apparent as she ploughs ever onwards into the mire! We are already in a weaker position, she has issued threats with regard to defence cooperation with Europe which exposes us and our good neighbours in Europe!

She has admittedly been very good at one thing and that is pulling the wool over the people of England! There are massive cuts to come for the less well off and still she rides high in the polls. Most of this is due to Labour’s most incompetent leader since the party was founded.  People who earn less than 50K have nowhere to place their vote the choices are vote for a lying incompetent (May), an out and out loser (Corbyn) or go to the pub and watch reruns of the 1966 world cup final!

This country has never before been in such a perilous position any influence we once had has been lost by May trade opportunities look to be a forlorn hope as our relations with our European friends are destroyed by these tragic fools!  May rather pompously described herself a a “bloody difficult woman” the public however see her as a bloody fool of a woman completely out of her depth!

This woman (who would be better suited to serving tea in the WRVS) and her party have our public services on their knees, our education and health services crippled! And its no use blaming the Scottish Government they can only distribute what they get and that is being cut to the bone by Westminster!

How any working class man could squander a vote on what must be the most inept government ever is beyond me! However my feelings aside it is happening and its all down to Jeremy Corbyn a man who is living in the past! If you needed any evidence to support this just look to the disastrous council election results!

It must now be clear to Scots its either more of the Tories and their stripping of our public services and more punishment for the poor who have already borne the brunt of the cuts to public spending or go forward our own way building a new future! That is the choice; there is no in-between it’s no future or a difficult road to a new future for those who come later!