Sunday, 24 September 2017

It's an upward journey!



Photo 01 - Martin with his super 17lbs Pike from the hall.

It’s an upward journey!

I received a photo early on last week of a very fine Pike caught by a visiting angler. Martin came down from St Andrews way to the village hall on the loch to try and tempt one of the many female heavyweights that abound this time of year. He has been a relatively frequent visitor for a few years now and this recent capture is his best to date on the loch!

It is around the seventeen pound mark and is most definitely a fine fish! However what caught me about Martin was his exploratory discourse prior to coming and indeed after. He was keen to find out about our rules and assured us that he would leave the area spotless which he did! Great work Martin!

This is exactly the type of angler we welcome at the lochs! Gone are the days when we tolerated the likes of the local angling bully sneaking around choosing carefully who he would like next to assault! Gone also are the days of the Pike butchers who stopping short of carving them on the butchers table but treated them so poorly that the death sentence was upon them the instant they were hooked!

Gone are the days when hordes of thugs masquerading under the banner of anglers flooded on to our waters seeking alcohol and drugs more than the piscatorial challenge! Yes indeed it was a fight they were after but not with the fish but with anyone who had the temerity to confront them when unruly behaviour was noted! Gone also are the days of weeding out Vipers in our own nest when Mr Xxxxx was exposed and ousted we were again a club! Yes all the chumps above barred from fishing on our lochs!

Yes we have come a long way in the past decade and of course there are many miles yet to walk! But without fear of repercussion I can say that this club is now the best it has ever been! There will be a few hiccoughs on the way forward I am sure but those who next take on the club will have the mettle to deal with whatever transpires!


Photo 02 - One of three Vipers spotted yesterday!

Keeping up to date!!

The more I read the more bizarre the words of the police at the recent meeting held in the village hall about the Cafe Green appear. In the local rag this week police are calling for CCTV footage of the area in Innerleithen where a cash machine was ripped out of the wall! The missing RAF airman case has also called for more CCTV footage! I could pick a couple of stories every week where CCTV footage is sought or where present has been instrumental in obtaining a conviction!

Look at photo 03 below and you will see the actions of Muppet's! A public information metal sign on a heavyweight post secured with concrete ripped up and discarded into the undergrowth! We have lost two very heavy duty signposts both weighed down with 50 kg of concrete mix, one is in the undergrowth at the graveyard the other under 10 feet of water at the top of the Lowes! 

Technology requires that our thinking moves forward! Would Shakespeare have eschewed the word processor or Bach the electric action pipe organ, of course not! CCTV works whilst we are asleep, on holiday or at home in front of a roasting log fire! In detecting crime any evidence helps, Its time to move into the 21st century!


Photo 03 - What happens to concreted in metal signs (behind village hall)!

A concreted in metal sign is no guarantee of permanence they simply haul them out with the aid of a car then discard them. There used to be one in every lay-by now there are none, instead they are scattered under nearby vegetation. What it all boils down to is that any type of evidence is good evidence!

Photo 04 - The largest of the three Vipers spotted!

Watch your step!

Fishing the village hall area yesterday I strolled down to the loch side and was surprised to see a couple of Vipers basking in the albeit short lived sun. They were off the established path so caused me no problems However this just shows how important it is to not go trampling through vegetation where you may just put your feet in the wrong place!

Dogs are often caught out by this but as sentient beings we should know better and keep to the established paths where at least you can see where you are putting your feet! In all my years at the loch I have never heard of an angler being bitten although there have been a couple of close shaves!

It is unlikely that a bite be fatal but according to the many experts it will be very uncomfortable and it is always best to go to the emergency department of the nearest hospital! Put simply watch your step!

Symptoms of an adder bite when venom has been injected include:
  • severe pain at the location of the bite
  • swelling, redness and bruising at the location of the bite, spreading up the bitten limb
  • feeling sick (nausea) followed by vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • itchy lumps on the skin (hives or nettle rash)
  • swelling of the lips, tongue, gums and throat
  • breathing difficulties with wheezing, similar to asthma
  • mental confusion, dizziness or fainting
  • an irregular heartbeat

The wider world in my view!

The Great speech!

Well we were all on the edges of our seats to hear the latest words of wisdom emanating from Florence as our lame duck Prime Minister took to the stage with news of how she is going to unblock the stalled negotiations with the EU on Brexit! Well not really I fully expected a load of waffle with new descriptors such as creative and imaginative and that’s what we got!

Barnier made it quite clear that what was required from the UK was detail and clarity what we got was more of the same waffle! Theresa Mayhem’s vision of a land of milk and honey where we all get along just fine and everyone lives happily ever after! It must now be clear to all that these diddy’s have not got a clue as to what they are doing! A bespoke deal is what she wants and already Barnier has quashed this notion saying a bespoke deal is not on the table!

Under these bewildered fools we are seeing the country’s credit rating being dropped yet again as fears that the economy is going out of control ahead of a Brexit inspired recession! 
Devoid of ideas they have adopted the Labour policy of going for a two year transition deal something that will be welcomed by British business! 

Rather interestingly copies of e mails have been seen from the Department for exiting the EU where top officials are committing to disk their huge concerns as to how unprepared the government are with no plans at all for a no deal scenario! The reason for this is in case of an eventual botched deal (highly likely) they have on record their concerns in case a Chilcot type enquiry ensues! A rather telling move methinks!

Before the Florence flop we were in the dark as to the governments intentions after the farce we still have no idea where we are going and now the cracks in the Tory party are beginning to reappear having been painted over by Theresa Mayhem! The next few years will go down in history as the time mismanagement, lack of vision and rank incompetence did for our country good and proper!


This weak disunited government is quite frankly on fantasy island in spite of countless warnings to the contrary they still believe they can get all the benefits of the single market whilst shouldering none of the responsibilities! Business is already bailing out and moving overseas as it becomes clear that Brexit means Brexit really means Brexit means chaos!

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Sensible advice!


Photo 01 - to member David Shotton this will indeed be a memorable Pike, his first one from the loch, well done mate!

Sensible advice!

It happens every year without fail, a boat gets abandoned and left for one of us to retrieve! And true to form it happened last week. There was a decent breeze which as usual worsens as you near the regulator and as such the two anglers hiring a Lomond boat were told not to venture past the Megget burn outflow.

Instead of heading towards the Tibbie they headed downwards and were seen at the regulator. All appeared well then the wind began to strengthen and it was clear there was a problem with the pair making very slow progress  up the roadside. They abandoned the boat at the village hall and our lochkeeper had to run them back to the boathouse.

They were exhausted and shaken but at least had the sense to crawl up the margins rather than tackling open water. Now when our lochkeeper says do not go down to the bottom of the loch she says that with good reason. Unlike some of the small ponds in the area St Mary’s has the potential to be a very dangerous and life threatening loch in wild conditions! Please follow the advice given to you, the above anglers had their pride dented it could have been so much worse!

Thanks to Elliot Fraser who went down on Wednesday evening and collected the abandoned boat and still managed to tempt a couple of Brownies just under a pound each!

Cafe Green meeting!

I went up to the meeting about the Cafe Green on Tuesday evening. It was a well attended meeting that was to encompass a lot more than the problems of the Cafe Green. The main thrust of the meeting was to agree a strategy for going forward for the management of the whole area. 

Representatives of the police and council were present.
Various recollections of past incidents were presented to the meeting and it quickly became clear there was an underlying thrust towards appointing a “warden” for the area to police the area at busy weekends. It quickly became clear that other viewpoints would receive little attention.

Of course our CCTV camera is now in operation but the use of this it seems did not receive the backing of the police representatives present at the meeting. The problem was that our camera was on Tibbie land looking on to a public place and might contravene the data protection act. The following is an extract from the act that covers looking on to the land of others.

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued its judgment in the case of RyneŇ° on 11 December 2014. In this judgment, the CJEU concluded that where a fixed surveillance camera faces outwards from an individual’s private domestic property and it captures images of individuals beyond the boundaries of their property, particularly where it monitors a public space, the recording cannot be considered as being for a purely personal or household purpose. This means that cameras attached to a private individual’s home may, in certain circumstances, no longer be exempt from the requirements of the DPA under section 36. Those circumstances are likely to include where the camera monitors any area beyond the interior and exterior limits of that individual’s home. This would include any camera to the extent that it covered, even partially, a public space such as the pavement or street. It would also cover cameras which captured areas such as neighbours’ gardens. This decision does not mean that using such a camera is not possible but it does mean that individuals will have to ensure that its use is legitimate under the DPA. The CJEU made clear that use of cameras to protect a property in this way can meet the legitimate interest condition in the legislation. The ICO has produced a short complementary piece of guidance for the public on how to ensure the use of a surveillance camera on a private domestic property complies with the DPA

So if the end cause is a legitimate one there is no barrier to such usage! Of course the usage of the camera is to pick up any untoward behaviour and any other recording captured will be deleted on review.
The police in particular seem none too keen on our camera saying it only gives 2 dimensional evidence. Now there was a proposal for the new “warden” to be equipped with a body cam which would be more two dimensional evidence! The suspected bomber in the recent tube train bombing attempt was identified by a two dimensional camera!

Now if a serious assault occurred on the green I wonder if the police would want to see our two dimensional footage to establish the facts in the matter?  Our camera is rolling and will continue to do so!  When attempting to detect crime you can never have too much evidence! It is now commonplace for police to call for mobile phone footage when they are struggling to progress a case. Dash cams on cars are now everywhere as insurance companies can resolve a claim in one fell swoop! Yes two dimensional evidence is ubiquitous!

The outcome of the meeting was that a warden should be sought to work summer hours telling people how to dispose of litter and trying to instil in people a sense of responsibility towards the countryside. More litter bins should be sought and the 30p per visit toilets should revert to being free. New signage should be implemented to try and reinforce the message that all visitors should behave in a responsible manner.

The low point of the meeting was the attitude of the police in seeming to try and push responsibility on to others to camouflage the number of times they for whatever reason cannot attend to any incident at the loch. They said the area is low priority which most people appeared to accept but when a call was made that call was invariably about something rather more serious!

We all know this inept Tory government has slashed police budgets and what has happened at the loch in the recent past can be attributed to that very action. I had a concern about the personal safety aspect of a “warden” confronting some of the crazed individuals who occasional populate the Cafe Green and the officer stated that appropriate training would be given to the individual appointed.

The meeting ended with a vote on the adoption of a “warden” resulted in my voting against the motion and the rest of the meeting voting for the said adoption. My opposition was quite clear, why waste thousands on paying an individual to try and achieve the desired outcome when our camera already paid for will survey the area day and night without placing anyone in a dangerous situation.

Irrespective of any training or personal skill that individual will be placed in a position of potential harm as has already happened with a local resident! That individual carries no additional authority over any member of the public! Now it’s all very well engaging in welcoming discussion with visitors impressing upon them the need to take their litter home, not to drink too much and keep music levels to a sensible level!

The problem is that the sensible type of visitor who populate the green already do behave responsibly and it is only the small percentage of Muppet types that cause the problems.  Speaking from personal experience these people do not listen to guiding words and have no qualms about resorting to violence and this is where a police intervention is required.

By all means employ a “warden” but believe me it will have no effect on the shenanigans of these hardened Muppet types! Violence in the past has occurred at night, in the early morning hours, where will this “warden” be then? Our camera will be there day and night! The break in at the Cafe a few years back would have been captured by our camera. The community council will do what it thinks is best and we will do what we think is best!

The wider world in my view!

Further into the mire if that's possible!

It is my desperate wish to say that at last things are getting better but the converse is true! At home Brexit is turning even more bizarre as our weak and incompetent government flounders failing to grasp the essentials of the negotiations! To complicate matters and further weaken our position prize buffoon Boris Johnston has revived the biggest political lie ever, that Brexit will gain us £350 million/week!

This absolute fool of a man is spreading lies and false hope enraging our brothers in Europe with whom we are trying to get an amicable deal!  Putting his own interest ahead of the country’s he is trying to gain the support of the many hard Brexiteers before he launches a bid to topple Theresa Mayhem! He has today been rebuked by the National Office of Statistics for the use of this false figure something Theresa Mayhem would like to do but is too weak to do so!

Theresa Mayhem will likely bang a few more nails in her own coffin when she heads off to Florence to address EU leaders!  Wishful thinking and pure fantasy will be the main thrusts of what will surely be a disastrous speech! On the political front the country is in complete chaos and believe me it will only get worse!



Sunday, 10 September 2017

The Cafe Green!

 Photo 01 - The Red Admirals.


The Cafe Green!

It’s now an annual event, the discussions over the cafe green and how to deal with the loutish behaviour which although decreased is still there. The area is owned by the estate but leased by the council who also provide toilet facilities. There have been many suggestions as to how best to manage this area but very little action implemented!

Photo 02 - This crevice seems to be the focus of their attention!

The only positive action was implemented by Alastair Moody of the Tibbie Shiels and supported by a £100.00 donation by our club in erecting a CCTV camera to record all that takes place. The camera is not officially live until we can sort out the legalities of CCTV recording such as warning signage.
Now I have witnessed over the years many instances of outrageous behaviour and believe me when things are kicking off this is no place for an ordinary member of the public!

I was astounded when I heard of a proposal for a country warden to be appointed to police such disturbances! I am none too sure as to who proposed this but to put a member of the public with no authority into such a position is the height of irresponsibility! What can a member of the public achieve – absolutely nothing!

Worse than that there is a great potential for personal injury and we don’t want to see anyone put into this position! We pay taxes for the police to deal with these situations and they must carry out this function! I am not without sympathy for the increasingly tight situation the police are being put in by our incompetent political masters in Westminster seeing the operating budgets slashed time after time by an administration that hasn't a clue!

Yes they are the real culprits as they systematically dismantle our state. The police themselves point the finger at the Westminster dimwits ruled by ideology and not a care for people! If there is a fracas on the green and an angler is involved we will call the police immediately and with the aid of CCTV footage we will press for charges to be made.

Under no circumstances will we allow our loch keeper to become involved in this farce, we have issued instructions that if a situation looks like becoming overheated then withdrawal is the only safe thing to do and then a decision will be taken as whether or not to involve the police!

Of course everything hinges on a prompt police response something that has been lacking on several occasions in the past but at least now there will be recorded evidence to view to aid tracking down the offenders! I will attend this meeting on Tuesday evening and report next week on any progress made or otherwise! Here’s hoping a line can be drawn under this subject!

Red Admirals!

For the last two weeks we have noted numbers of these butterflies congregating round our boathouse tree to the exclusion of all others in the near vicinity. Occasionally upwards of a dozen can be present but as usual when you want a photo they clear out. We think they might be getting some kind of sweet sap from the crevice shown in photo 02. If you know what they might be doing give us a shout!

The end is near!

With the year scurrying along we yet again near the end of another fishing season. The legal Brown Trout season will end on the 6th of October. Many Trout clubs wind up at the end of September but our anglers like the extra week before the tackle is put away. This year has seen some cracking Brown Trout with currently the heaviest being Stuart Sutherlands 6lbs Brownie .

If ever a stock photo of a Brown Trout was sought then his one is picture perfect! If it holds out until the 6th it will be a fitting winner! But there are still opportunities to try and beat Stuarts fish so get that line in the water. On the Pike front the timescale is a little longer with the season ending on the last day of October.

This end to the season is only for our competition for the heaviest Pike anglers can of course fish all year round for our Pike. Currently ace angler Davy Forsyth holds the heaviest of the season with a corker of 21lbs 9oz. A few anglers have come close to catching him but not quite managing to overtake him.

Of course now the heavies are patrolling and putting on weight by the day so there is a real chance of nipping in front of Davy. The big ones of course are females laden with ever increasing numbers of eggs so great care must be taken as they carry the seed of our future sport! The message is simple there is ample time to climb into our club records so get your lines in the water!

Great buy!

It is often said that nothing beats a personal recommendation and on a tip from Gordon McClurg I purchased a pair of fleece lined cargo trousers. They are very good warm, light and have loads of pockets with some zipped for security. Thanks to his tip 5 further pairs are being ordered by various members! Cheers Gordon top tip!  https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00RXZZ3MK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1  

The wider world in my view!

Succinctly, a disaster!

Its official but I am afraid I do not agree with it, Theresa May has nudged ahead of Lord Snooty as the worst British Prime Minister ever! Given the short time she has been Prime Minister and the short time she has left this is an astounding feat! Her concentrated bungling has led to the rest of the world viewing us as a nation of weak individuals unable to elect a competent government!
Now the backbone of the Tory party those who pump money in to keep the party from imploding have sent out warnings. Lord Kerr a blue nosed Tory if ever there was one has branded May as a hopeless leader leading a weak and fragmented party! Citing he many interventions and U turns as stupid he said a Tony Blair type Labour government would be much better!

Perhaps the best example of these absolute bunglers is the Brexit team who turn up for meetings unprepared and seem to have no understanding of how to conduct negotiations. They issue vague and woolly papers which when dissected contain nothing but flannel! They say negotiations are going well when they have achieved absolutely nothing other than embarrassing our nation!

With the recent calamitous weather experienced in the Virgin Islands the population could have expected prompt aid from the British government since it had been forecast many days earlier. But what happened is probably what you would predict from such lame duck administration! Yes in the aftermath of what was sheer devastation the leaders of the foreign office were decidedly silent! The two mouthpieces in charge Boris Johnston and Priti Patel were as usual caught napping taking 3 days to get help underway!Hell Venezuela evacuated half the population of one of the islands before Boris knew that he'd fluffed it again!Just tune into the national news to see how the clowns let these british citizens down!

Behind the scenes whilst the public's attention is focused on the many disasters created by this administration Jeremy Hunt the chump in charge of the NHS in England quietly backtracked on privatising the NHSP an agency that provides emergency cover to hospital and saves upwards of £75 million for the taxpayer. Yes when their dealings were rumbled they rapidly backtracked proving they are completely untrustworthy!

A terrifying situation in world affairs makes this the most serious situation since the Second World War! North Korea is on the brink of war with the US whilst Russia and China are moving strategic groups of troops and armaments to counter possible US aggression. The response from Michael Fallon that buffoon in charge of our defence is to beat his chest and flex the might of British military capability!

This fool full of nostalgia for the days when Britain subdued all before it thinks we are still a mighty military power is completely removed from reality! We urgently need to persuade agressors such as Trump that military conflict will have catastrophic consequences for all the countries of the world!
Brexit is what currently consumes us as a country and with good reason the latest forecast states that families could expect to be around £50.00/week worse off post negotiation is likely optimistic! The Brexit negotiations are a disaster, This government is a complete disaster and our future looks like being a disaster of unheard proportions!


Sunday, 3 September 2017

The clock is ticking!

Photo 01 - Meg keeps a lookout for trouble!

The clock is ticking!

Yesterday Gordon, me and his ever faithful companion Meg set off around the loch to have a bash at trolling. It was a super bright day which ensured that if nothing was doing at least we would increase our vitamin D levels which I am sure will be low due to absence of sunlight during what we called a summer!

Flies were aplenty but rising Trout were scarce with only a couple spotted over the day. Undeterred we set off trying to trigger the aggressive response by means of a small Toby Gordon on copper and me on silver. The fireweed has just reached its peak with the gentle breeze raising clouds of seedlings close to the bank.

A mother Mallard duck was shepherding her clutch of five away from our boat just reiterating the glory of Mother Nature. These mother ducks are actresses of the highest order. A few weeks earlier whilst on the troll with Elliot he headed towards the ducks at speed but before we got close to them the mother veered away from her brood slapping the water with her wing feigning a broken wing to entice us away from her young, a mother in any species will vigorously defend her young!

A couple of hours later we had not a bite but there were no long faces here! We passed many members all of who were enjoying themselves fish or no fish, anglers in the true sense of the word capable indeed intent on enjoying the beauty without desecrating the countryside as seems the way with the Muppets that visit!

The weed beds below have now reached their height poking through the surface film before the die back begins, the first yellow leaves float gently on the wave heralding the next batch of nutrients destined to decompose on the loch bed. Soon all species will gorge themselves and secure reserves for the barren season that awaits and the loch will enter a new phase.

The summer such as it was is now recorded history as the natural world prepares for harsher conditions. Brown Trout hunters realise that their time is coming to an end, whilst those seeking Pike know the heavy girls are on the horizon!  Its a case of once more as another season passes and unfortunately once less as another year is deducted from our allotted time!

Time moves on without impediment for all of us, the clock is ticking! It is vital therefore that we squeeze the positives out of every day! Gordon had a knock on the copper Toby whilst my silver one remained unmolested! A day wasted? Not on your life, with Mother Nature all around us and great company what more could you ask for!


Photo 02 - A good day yesterday!

The end of an era!

Now Hawick angling club has always been one of the largest in the area and the only one as far as  I am aware to have a licensed social club. I have only ever been in the premises three times but you could always be sure you would encounter another angler and have a good blether.

Well one of my colleagues told me recently the club serves alcohol for the last time tonight. They needed to find volunteers to man the bar to keep costs down and only one person came forward! So the High Street presence ends and we are all poorer! As a final flourish the members only club are selling pints to members tonight for two pence per pint. A great gesture marking the end of an era!

Correction- Allan Walker one of our members mailed me to say that we did not get the above item right. It seems there were a few volunteers but not enough to run the facility properly, and the beer on sale on Sunday evening was sold for £2.00/pint not 2 pence as we reported. Thanks Allan.

The wider world in my view!

An absolute farce!

Whenever there is a report on the Brexit negotiations you think it couldn’t possibly get any worse and yet in every case it does! Surely David Davies is not the best negotiator we have got, a table banger who seems unprepared for every session. Yes if we as a country had a reputation that was on the positive side of average then that is now gone!
What our lame duck Prime Minister and the rest of the pro Brexit clowns do not seem to appreciate is that when we leave (God forbid) the EU there will be many very negative consequences and the benefits of EU membership will no longer be available! When you leave a club the benefits of that club membership are no longer open to you!

They are claiming they are being blackmailed by the EU which is utter poppycock! These fools signed up and agreed to the order of business and now they do not seem to like what is taking place as the consequences become clear! I can’t remember a time when my faith in British politicians was this low! The incompetence of the British negotiating team is quite simply staggering!
As Barnier put it they are not only cherry picking they want all the cherry pie as well! Their performance is excruciatingly embarrassing and that chump Davies is proclaiming in the US that after Brexit Britain will once again lead the world! This whole Brexit fiasco started badly and everyone thought things could only get better!

It has descended to a new low depth previously unimaginable we are the laughing stock of the world and to think we are paying two billion pounds to watch this B rated pantomime! Believe me this will get much worse as the general public see the consequences of the erroneous decision to go for Brexit!

My generation will endure the catastrophic drop in living standards that beckons but for those who come later the outlook is dire! I cannot recall an instance of greater self harm in the past, we are being led by directionless fools dizzy with the masses of U turns they have carried out intent on reliving the days of empire! The reality is however we are a small increasingly insignificant nation of shopkeepers only able to curry favour with bampots like Trump! A small band of Scots elected these diddy’s, how they now must rue that fateful day!

Sunday, 27 August 2017

A job well done!

Photo 01 - Halfway done!

A job well done!

As we mentioned last week Davy and Rab had elected to take on the tedious but necessary task of removing the thick carpet of moss that accumulates on the roof of our boathouse particularly on the west side. When we arrived they had the ladders out and were gathering the necessary tools required to carry out the work.

After a blether mostly focused on what Davy had caught during the week which incidentally included an eighteen pounder and a fifteen pounder using a couple of new lures, no secret, just time put in and diligence in his endeavours! After looking at the photos we decided there was nothing for it but to set about the task in hand.

Now we have a couple of handmade bespoke tools with the teeth cut out to match the ridges and furrows of the asbestos sheeting  with one on a pole and the other much shorter hand held. Unfortunately whilst the tools had the correct contours on some parts of the rood on others they just slid along the top of the heavy carpet of moss.

So it was do what we can with the tools and augment this with the most tiresome procedure of removing the moss with paint scrapers. Luckily at this point Davie and Stuart appeared and helped ease the workload. With all of us on the roof another problem reared its head and that was once the damp moss was removed the roof was transformed into an ice rink!

Yes we were sliding all over the place and safety became a major concern however with no readily to hand solution we proceeded gingerly! These little scrapers took a toll on our hands with cuts and bruises everywhere, but after 4 hours the job was done and although it was tough going the end result was well worth it!

We were battle weary, soaked through and absolutely black and we took a decision to postpone the spraying until the roof was completely dry. Thanks to Davie and Stuart for their timely intervention which prevented thanatoid thoughts and extra special thanks to Davy and Rab for seeing the task through from planning to completion, all valued members of the club!
Photo 02 - The job done!

Good communication!

This weekend of course sees the sailing club holding their annual Regatta and they were kind enough to inform us that the event would be taking place and that sensitivity would be employed in course planning. Well today I received a call from their commodore Gerry Ailsa saying that due to a change in wind direction they would again be operating in the vicinity of our boathouse.
He stressed however that they would have the marker as far out as possible but thought it best to inform us of the new situation. As of next season we will receive a timetable card highlighting the various events so all our anglers can see what is taking place, this will appear in the boathouse and on the web so anglers can better plan their days. Now that’s what I call good communication!

Interestingly during a conversation with Gerry he said that the sailing club have also had troubles with canoeists!

More Gear!

Every now and then we encounter an angler who has come away without his gear and of course that’s a problem as most visitors even members live a good way from the loch. Over the years we have built up a collection of tackle items kindly donated by our members. We have various rods and reels, wire traces, flies and the latest additions kindly donated by Gordon McClurg are a brand new landing net and a very sturdy professionally made wading stick!


Now our stock has increased all members should be aware of this last chance safety net just see Jenny oh and Thanks Gordon!

Monday, 21 August 2017

Late news!

The sailing club have informed us of their annual regatta to be held on St Mary's loch on the 26th and 27th of August that's the weekend coming. Now this should not give us any problems but if you see large yellow buoys be advised that sailing craft will be whizzing round these. They will mostly be on the bottom part of the loch so you may want to fish the top half of the loch or why not try the wee loch!

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Of Brown Trout and curios!

Photo 01 - A swell day looking towards Rodono!

Of Trout and curios!

Anyone looking over St Mary’s loch in contemplative mood must surely wonder what lurks below the surface! Over the years we have slowly uncovered just what the loch holds for us anglers and the many curious onlookers. Look at the clubs gallery over on the main site and you will see a feast of heavy fish from over the years!

The recent run of heavy Trout is nothing new heavy, specimens have appeared over the years culminating in the famous Trout called Matilda which was first caught by Les Henderson at 6lbs 10oz and appeared in all the papers and Border TV. What was special about her was her ability to pack on weight at a great rate!

She was first caught in October 2008 by Les and numerous captures over the following year saw her weight rocket up to 8lbs 4oz at her last recorded capture. In between she had been caught three times by me a further time by Les and two captures by other anglers. The last recorded weight of 8lbs 4oz fell to Ian Lambert from Ayrshire (he beat me by 2oz!) and after this only vague reports of her capture were heard until she disappeared.

Her disappearance was probably down to someone killing her for the pot which was a crying shame as she was the second heaviest Brown Trout caught on St Mary's loch according to reliable records but that's how it goes, the good news is that the recent ones were all returned! Heavy Trout are ever present in the lochs and if one is not caught in a season it is simply because anglers had been unable to tempt one.

More general items found have been numerous artillery shell cases often around the Bowerhope area which was apparently used as a firing range around WW2. The story goes that unwanted armaments were rowed out to the middle of the loch opposite Bowerhope and the cache tipped into the deeper part of the loch. So if you see a huge water spout when fishing your anchor has probably pulled the pin out of a discarded grenade!

The old Model T Ford which sunk on the ice in front of Rodono brings divers every year to try and find a memento but as far as I am aware nothing has been found! Bottles have obviously been thrown into the loch for hundreds of years as people enjoyed the tranquility of the placeand we have a nice collection in the boathouse dating back to the 1880s. Bottle divers have taken many examples over the years.
An old tractor was apparently driven/pushed on to the frozen loch in the 1930s which sunk without trace never having been seen since. We have retrieved ladders probably from sailing boats, fishing brollies chairs rods complete with terminal tackle, old cast iron mill wheels and general rubbish. 

The lochs undoubtedly hold many curiosities many of which are as yet unknown and maybe some that are best left unknown!


Photo 02 - just before the downpour!

Moss removal!

I mentioned last week that Davy Forsyth and mate Rab were going to start removing the moss from the boathouse roof which has really become thick over the last few years. Acting like a sponge it puts an unwanted weight on the roof of the boathouse. They are coming at 08.30 on Saturday and anyone free to lend a hand will be more than welcome.

Bloody awful!


The so called summer season is coming to an end looking back it's not been a great one by any means. I was out with Elliot Fraser trolling on the boat yesterday and it was only by the occasional glance at my phone that I was reminded it was August and not November!  With near gale force winds, huge swell, white horses, torrential showers and dropping temperatures when the sun disappeared I was convinced it was winter! In their eternal optimism many are saying an Indian summer is coming, pray to your god that they are correct!