Sunday, 22 April 2018

Lure fishing competition.

Lure fishing competition.

In conjunction with the Fishermann (not a mis-spelling) angling club, we are pleased to furnish details of their upcoming competition which we are hosting on both our lochs on the 27th May. The base will be the green of the Tibbie Shiels Inn. Payment instructions are below as is the timetable for the day, more information will be provided in due course.

Please direct any queries to the Fishermann angling club and not St Mary's Angling Club. Follow the link to see the promotional video for the competition. 

From our recommended dealer!

Offers continue to pour out from Mike in Penicuik and this week have a look at the foldaway drogue for anglers afloat. This piece of kit will slow the drift allowing you to better present your offering.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

That time of year!

Photo 01 - Frogs are appearing at the village hall.

That time of year!

The last couple of weeks has given little in terms of the Pike fishing and a likely explanation came from two of our members Davy Forsyth and Stuart Grieve.  They were lure fishing from the boat on the Lowes and they noted several Pike some very nice ones thrashing and rolling next to the reed beds where the Pike typically spawn.

So we can take it that the event has started or even well underway and that the next generation of Pike is being created! So if you were lacking a bite yesterday therein probably lies the answer. Now the spawning does not take place over one day but can be spread over a couple of weeks. Typically however what often follows the event is a feeding frenzy! Let the good times roll!

Just wrong!

Over the years we have had many instances of anglers phoning up to book boats and then not turning up and giving no indication that they are not coming!  This selfish behaviour whilst painless for the perpetrators causes chaos for us as a club. Its a rare occasion when we have all the boats booked and have to decline some bookings because of this but that's what happened yesterday!

Yes, we had to turn anglers away because all the boats were booked. In fact, there was a Lomond lying motionless because the people booking it didn’t bother to turn up! This, of course, meant that the anglers seeking a boat who we had to decline could have had their day out on the loch!!

 We will need to have a think regarding a deposit scheme whereby on booking a boat a deposit of say £10.00 would be required for that booking. Its just such a shame that decent anglers were denied a day out because some Muppets couldn’t be bothered to give us a call!

Member update!

A quick committee meeting took place yesterday and it has been decided that members are to have free use of our electric engines. You will have to bring your own batteries as we do not have any. We thought about installing a solar charging system for batteries but the feeling was that the solar panel on the roof would be too much of a target for vandalism or theft. If you wish to make use of this facility just call 07980350031. One of our petrol engines has again been damaged and is currently under repair once this has been carried out our petrol engines will be available under the same arrangements.

From our recommended dealer!
This week Mike is offering some great value deals on braided line
and for the fly tiers among you never again struggle to place that hackle with a super fly tying lamp with extended reach

The wider world in my view!
Another wrong move!
It's not as if it is a first for the rabble that calls itself our government they have bungled their way through matters since 2010. One of the most serious was the recent air strike against supposed targets in Syria! The people of this country require that before matters of a most serious nature should follow the convention of allowing parliament to debate and vote on any action taken!

The Tories track record throughout the term in office could at best be described as abysmal with embarrassing gaffes and U-turns everywhere. How then could we allow the Maybot and her naive cabinet to throw us into a hostile situation and worse on the instructions from that American ace bungler Donald Trump!  The rights and wrongs of a bombing campaign will continue to be debated for a long time.

Where is the irrefutable truth that such an attack took place, we should not be as naive as to discount a set up for the allies to achieve their aim! Why was the UN not allowed in to establish the facts? Can bombing ever be the answer to a problem? These questions remain unanswered!

The fallout will now take place and whilst the bombers took exceptional steps like advance warning of a strike to avoid impinging on Russian or Iranian territory there will be some form of consequences for the west! Why is this government allowing itself to become America’s handmaiden? Granted they are completely clueless and likely incapable of working with autonomy!

The fool who is supposed to be our foreign secretary has stated that the strike is limited and will not pull the UK into further action. What he does not seem to appreciate is that the matter is out of their hands! Trump or Putin will decide what happens next!

This is a very serious situation with the two world powers on opposite sides; it would simply take one false move to spark conflict on a scale that most will dread! The Maybot yet again proved that she is a puppet with no ability to work independently. Seventy-three percent of the public is against an incompetent administration endangering the country demanding parliament be consulted before military action takes place!

As a country, we must be content that those who govern do so in a righteous manner and not led by other fools who are incapable of visualising the aftermath! This whole issue could have been tackled by political means. The fools that comprise our government have got it wrong yet again!

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Making sense!

Photo 01 - No parking here!
Making sense!

It’s not the first time and probably won’t be the last time we have to remind anglers of the need to park sensibly around the loch. We received a complaint about a car irresponsibly parked midweek and they were anglers! in some areas particularly just above Summerhope to the top of St Mary’s the grass verge is somewhat narrow and some cars parked there stray on to the road!

This is unacceptable, if you park on a verge you must be able to have your car completely off the road! What must also be considered is that on occasions the verge can be like a marsh leading to cars getting stuck and the creation of massive unsightly furrows! This also is unacceptable to us, the local residents and the owners! In such areas please park in another safe area thereby maintaining safety and the beauty of the area! You know it makes sense!

Photo 02-  found in the local rag!

The warden Act III!

I will be honest with you in regard to this affair, I am close to the point of exploding! We did not vote for this initiative but in the spirit of cooperation and pragmatism were content to work alongside those who voted for the initiative.  We wrote to the secretary of the Ettrick and Yarrow Community Council expressing our wish that we meet with the new warden and any members of the council.

We said that we would be happy to meet their delegation on any Saturday at any time and any place, to date we have neither met the new warden nor been notified of any date for a meeting. Now I have heard that the warden has been meeting with some locals but seems reluctant to meet with the club!

Now, this may be due to the instructions he has received from those on the community council committee or it may be part of his own strategy. Irrespective of which applies this strategy is severely flawed!  Most would think it prudent to meet with an organisation that has at least the moral capacity to deal with miscreants who come under the banner of angling!

We could rescind their permits to fish and bar them from returning to fish something we have done in the past, however, we cannot do so if we are unaware of any problem. I am sure we could work with the warden and indeed learn from him and vice versa! We are being denied this opportunity for whatever reason! We should have been the first point of contact simply due to the fact many of the past perpetrators of wrongdoing were from Muppets posing as anglers! I am getting the feeling that some steering the project have little idea of what has taken place and the people who perpetrated the actions!

The implementation of this initiative has been desperately disappointing. Jenny our loch keeper managed to speak with the warden on Thursday and invited him to pop into the boathouse on his way to work yesterday. We sat from 15.30 until 16.45 no one appeared. This project can only succeed with those affected working together, for reasons unknown to us this is not happening!

Note. Take a look at the photo above of the great and the good and read the praiseworthy text which talks about a really good job being done. The reality on the ground is the absolute opposite, it’s an embarrassing shambles!

Alastair and Eleanor picked this up from Summerhope to top of the loch

Coming clean!

you will remember the photo of two lovely Trout last week sent in by Hawick member Allan Walker. Well, there were five enquiries asking exactly where he has caught these fine fish.  The answer is a tackle shop now ceased trading! They are in fact wooden Trout skilfully painted and fooling most people, and the date of last weeks post-April 01.

Photo 03 - Wooden Trout!

Nice one Allan you caught us hook, line and sinker! Oh and if you are needing an eye appointment next week, give Specsavers a miss, all the slots have been booked by club members me included!

The wider world in my view!

Rank ineptitude!

We have suffered a Tory government for a good few years now and the results of their bungling are clear to see. We are now a country close to collapse as they dismantle everything that we hold dear! Our cherished NHS has been brought to its knees by years of chronic underfunding and recruitment and retention of staff is now a major concern!

Staff are leaving in record numbers as one reorganisation after another leads to staff being overworked and undervalued, dedicated staff are mere shadows of what they used to be. Because of this governmentally engineered shambles patients are dying often in corridors as the service fails them.  Its not the fault of healthcare staff, no, it is this shambles of a government who grow more clueless every day!

The prison service is at breaking point with any attempt at rehabilitation ditched, instead, prisoners locked up for 23 hours per day! The standards of safety in prisons are plummeting for both guards and inmates and again inmates are dying! Infrastructure is crumbling infestations of bugs and rodents commonplace!
The criminal justice system is wilting with cases which under a competent government would be prosecuted instead abandoned as the money and resources required are denied them. Teachers are on the point of calling strike action as the persistent underfunding has them asking parents to supply books and pencils!

Local authorities are cutting services to the point where we have little or no social amenities as their funding from central government is cut. The roads are like ploughed fields with massive potholes everywhere! Our armed services have been cut to such an extent they are no longer a force to be reckoned with! Aircraft carriers without planes, and a “dads army” taking the place of regular troops!

Closer to home the police and fire services have had their budgets slashed time after time so that now if you phone the police with a non-critical matter such as a burglary you can expect a visit around two days later! Earning have been cut in real terms with earnings being below the pre-financial crash era. Poverty is again on the increase, only this week due to changes in the shambolic universal credit scheme sees 90,000 children excluded from free school meals. In work, poverty continues to grow as workers are employed on zero hours contracts and massive financial incentives are gifted to those who are already well off! 

Disabled people live on microwavable ready meals seven days a week as support workers are given only 15 minutes to prepare a meal.
We are soon to be an isolated island led by tinpot diddys who yearn for the return of the days of empire. We are probably the only nation in the world who has made a decision to become poorer as we crash out of the EU! Yes, the government has been busy U turning its way towards a strong and stable Britain whilst decimating our social structure!

The current government is probably the most incompetent government ever bar of course Lord Snooty’s calamitous coalition administration with Puppet Clegg who are doing what only Tories can do – make the poor poorer and the rich richer!

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Here we go again!

Photo 01 Allan's two cracking Trout! see Good Morning below.

Here we go again!

Our season is only weeks old and already we see actions from anglers that quite frankly are completely out of order! It is clear that in both cases there was no ill intent on the part of the anglers, it simply boiled down to having little consideration for others. The first case concerned two anglers and two vans on the Cafe Green who camped overnight and duly started up a petrol generator which run from around 09.30 till 1.00am approximately.

Now there are two issues here, the first is that there are signs erected on the green saying that no vehicular camping is permitted. The second issue was that of noise up until the early hours of the morning. Clearly, the noise was an issue as the generator was stationed as far away from the vans as their long extension lead would allow.

The occupants of the van may have been accustomed to the generator sound but the occupants of the Tibbie caravan were not! They had come for peace and quiet only to be subjected to the thrum of the generators engine up until the early hours. It’s not good enough, by all means, enjoy yourselves but think of others!

As I said there was no obvious malice and this was also the case with the second incident where a ghetto blaster type machine sent a stream of music over to the Tibbie on what was a still Thursday evening. Again a case of unthinking behaviour. Anglers need to consider how their actions affect other people.

We are clearly going to have to crack down on this type of behaviour, we must be able to get along with the local residents so please let’s have a more enlightened outlook with regard to your fishing. And in case you can’t read the sign it says No overnight vehicular camping!

Good Morning!

Allan Walker one of our members from Hawick was in touch very early today telling of a short but absolutely super session at the bottom of the loch. When he was a young lad he used to nip down to the river with a few strands of yesterday’s spaghetti to see if he could catch his breakfast and when he did his mum would cook them and all ate heartily. He thought it would be fun to try the procedure 50 years on and below is how it went. Conditions, of course, were poor, being very cold but as it turned out great conditions for catching feeding Trout.

Using a slow sink line and a strand of (boiled) spaghetti impaled on a size 14 he worked the bottom end near Kirksteadnand it was only when the bait was nearing the bottom the line gently pulled and it was fish on and a golden-bellied Brownie came to the net! Half an hour on and the above process was repeated but this time it was a beautifully coloured Rainbow Trout! Turned out to be a really good morning indeed! Just goes to show that the early bird gets the worm or fish in this case!

The warden!

Well the supposed meeting between us and the warden or those who appointed him has not taken place!  We are the most relevant group of people who could assist in the aim of the scheme. We had agreed to meet on any Saturday any time and any place! We do not have contact details for him, we do not know the hours he is working but we do know his name courtesy of the local rag!

This initiative was meant to herald a new start but so far it has proved to be little more than an embarrassment to all concerned with the venture! It’s turning out to be a complete shambles! It’s like the whole escapade had been organised by a Tory MSP or a Tory MP so farcical is the situation. It does not bode well for the future when everyone is at crossed purposes, a coordinated approach is required. I will let you know when they have contacted us but don’t expect to read anything in a hurry!

A jolly decent bloke!

We have a good few members that have given us much in the way of time and angling equipment over the year’s just look back on these news pages.  Well, the one we have come to refer to as Santa Claus made a delivery this week and boy was it a bumper pressie!

We have been gifted a 44lbs thrust Shakespeare electric outboard engine and it is in pristine condition!  It is so good that a few of us think it may be unused! With it came a heavy duty battery charger and a litre of engine oil obviously not for use in the electric engine. We are indebted to the angler as we are to all the others who have selflessly given.

It is the highlights as above that effectively outweigh the negatives and make this club such a great one! You won’t find a Mr Xxxxx or the local angling bully here just good honest right thinking anglers! Perfect!

We would like to make these engines available to club members so watch this space!  If any of you have experience of solar battery chargers please get in touch.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Rest in peace!

Alasdair White R.I.P

Rest in peace!

It is with sadness that we have to inform club members of the death of a longstanding member Mr Alasdair White.  Alasdair had been a member for more than twenty years and had a passion for the sport he loved. A fervent fly fisher he could often be seen on the margins of the loch deftly practising his art. Often when other competent anglers blanked Alasdair would quietly bag three or four fine Trout.

But even whilst changing flies on the banks the loch would grab his attention as he was a keen nature lover. Often he would tell of flora he had documented that was specific to poor heathland and in some cases quite rare. He marvelled at the elegant Osprey and the comical Red Squirrel and from his tone, you could tell instantly he cared deeply for the natural world.

A quiet man he often kept his own counsel, however when the discussion moved to matters around the loch he always had a view.  Because of the research he carried out on subjects dear to him his words always carried weight. He was secretary of the club for three years and his aim always was how to make the fishing better and keep the proud tradition of St Mary’s Angling Club alive.

He became a tempering voice always erring to the middle way and his influence probably guided the club along smoother routes. Not one for confrontation, preferring instead compromise, however, he would not countenance inaction when a problem arose.

He has left his mark; indelibly intertwined into our history, a past winner of our Westbrook cup perhaps shows his most prominent skill as an angler. Now we are one less in number and things will undoubtedly be different. As a body of anglers when we lose one we become weaker and we must rebuild. The loss of a colleague always hurts, it is the way for everyone.

There are many things we could say about Alasdair but for anglers probably the best thing we could say that first and foremost he was a real angler in the true sense of the word. Passing on the news yesterday one angler said that “if there is an afterlife then Alasdair would be standing on the shores of a loch pondering over whether to tie on a Woodcock & mixed or a black pennel”.

We will remember him as a most able angler and a decent chap who made his mark in the club. A friend and colleague now passed, R.I.P

Anyone wishing to pay their last respects may do so at the small chapel at Mortonhall Crematorium at 12.30 (tomorrow) on Monday 26/03/2018. The club has arranged for a wreath from the club members to be delivered prior to the funeral.

Photo 02 Stevie's Heaviest in great condition wth lovely colour.

Triple joy!

No, it’s not about riding Kawasaki’s legendary three cylinder two strokes rather Stevie Nimmo’s second attempt to catch the first Trout of the year. Yes, he ventured out yesterday and caught not one but three fine Brown Trout with the heaviest just over a pound. 

Photo 02 - A smaller spotted Trout.

Rather, unfortunately, he hooked, fought, and brought to the side one of around two pounds but as often happens it threw the hook at his feet and escaped back into the loch!  A fish lost but nevertheless a great day!

Photo 03 - A typical St Mary's Brownie.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Beyond our control!

Photo 01 - One of Stevie's shots from yesterday!

Beyond our control!

They say there’s nowt as queer as folk, and of course, it is a true saying as indeed we have found out recently. However pushing the above saying is our ever-changing weather, the last few weeks bearing testament to that. As far as I am aware no one managed out on opening day but yesterday (Saturday) saw Stevie Nimmo venturing out to have an early season bash at the Brown Trout.

It was cold with the wind chill estimated by Stevie to be minus eight or nine which is bitterly cold. Add in a bit of driving snow and you have a horror of a day. Casting became problematic after two or three casts when the wet line simply froze on the rings obviously nothing was seen to be rising but in the event, it didn’t really matter. Stevie persevered for around an hour but it soon became clear watching Scotland in the rugby might be the better option and although they scraped a win it was a desperate showing from the Scots!
There are many things we can control and equally as many things we cannot. The weather clearly is one we cannot!

Photo 02 - A chilling view of the loch from Stevie Nimmo!

The warden!

No, it’s not Trollope’s novel of the life and times of clerics in the fictional town of Barchester, rather the appointment of a warden for the St Mary’s Loch area. We have been advised that a Mr Chris Amy has been appointed to the role. There is also an invitation to us to attend a meeting to meet Mr Amy at St Mary’s Hall on Friday evening at 18.00hrs.

Unfortunately, the short notice and work commitment mean that I cannot attend but I have extended an invitation to Mr Amy and any members of the community council who would wish to attend to meet in the club boathouse or indeed any other location on any Saturday that is suitable, any members of the club committee are also welcome to attend. Of course, this appointment makes no difference to our CCTV camera, it is up and running and will survey the area in the coming year.

Photo 03 - Certainly not the height of summer!

From our recommended dealer!

This week we see some great deals from Mike including a bumper load of new fly patterns and some great deals on clothing.

The wider world in my view!

Be very worried!

The recent poisoning of two Russians and a police officer in Salisbury is a wakeup call to us all! There are a few countries in the world that quite clearly do as they please irrespective of the laws of that country and Russia is clearly in that category. Unfortunately, there is no concrete evidence that Russia is behind the attempted assassination.

However, numerous pointers suggest that either directly or indirectly Russia is to blame I would happily go along with this train of thought! `The problem is how this country makes their outrage known in practical terms. The expulsion of diplomats, whilst a standard response, will have no effect on the Russian state. They have of course expelled a similar amount of British diplomats!

That leaves the question of what comes next. This is where things become rather more serious. The current government comprise a collection of fools and serial bunglers and we must remember we are dealing with the foremost or second most powerful nuclear state in the world! Some Tory politicians are keen to stress the fact that Britain is a nuclear power and indeed it is but its a lowly second division one! Britain has enough nuclear weapons to start a war, but it will fall to Russia or the USA to finish it!
The worldwide renowned fool Boris Johnston has previously suggested that a cyber strike could be carried out against Russia but this is a step too far! This fool should be aware that President Putin is a very unpredictable character and a response may be prompted that is out of proportion as in the use of a massive cyber attack in the UK!

This is a highly volatile situation and the UK must act very carefully. By all means, move more UN troops to the Russian border this will not threaten the regime! Financial sanctions are an option but wealthy Russians in this country provide the Tory party with much funding which they will be reluctant to lose!  Similarly with the World Cup Putin could care less if FA top officials or the royal family attend, certainly football fans won't bat an eyelid because they are absent!!

What a shame then, that at a time of heightened tensions we have a rabble for a government. One wrong move could have catastrophic consequences! We need strong leadership and we have the weakest most useless Prime Minister in history with the Maybot! Perhaps the words to Russia from our clot of a defence minister and Prime Minister hopeful, Gavin Williamson who stated Russia should “Go away and shut up!” a statement you would usually associate with an immature schoolboy! Yes, most definitely this is a time to be very worried!

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Opening day 2018!

Opening day 2018!

On Thursday the lochs open for anglers seeking to catch the wily Brown Trout. There are always a few diehards who venture out on opening day and this year the weather forecast looks to be reasonably good with temperatures of around five degrees light breeze and drizzle. 

Now we have often been asked why on Brown Trout issues we tend to veer towards the fly as opposed to baiting or spinning. Well, the club was formed way back in 1933 as a fly fishing club coupled with stocking Trout to maintain the level of the sport. It is the historical legacy and nothing more. There is just as much skill in properly fishing the lure or bait!

We welcome anglers who prefer to fish with bait or spin and we appreciate the variety of methods used. Using either of these options is not the easy cop out that some might imply! I have witnessed many anglers coming off a boat having spent the whole day giving their best only to have an empty creel! Whatever your poison get out and give it a go!

Memberships now closing!
Unfortunately the “Beast from the East” caused some havoc with our membership renewals. Renewals delayed in the post and a number of one to one renewals up at the loch rubbed out by the atrocious weather. So if you have a renewal sitting at home you need to get it to me as soon as possible! Those who have made arrangements to renew should not worry but if you have not made contact before Saturday will automatically become lapsed members!

Multiple deaths!

Speaking with Alastair and Eleanor yesterday they told me of multiple causalities amongst the Oystercatcher population. They were scattered all along the shoreline and whilst there are causalities every year numbers this year have been high. The cause, undoubtedly the exceptionally heavy snowfall, making getting down to the grass in search of food almost impossible. Nothing could have been done it’s just what Mother Natures throws up every now and then!