Sunday, 28 February 2016

Free fishing!

Photo 01 - Looking along the "silent loch"!

Free fishing!

We have received correspondence from the new tenants of the Watch fishery down Duns way. The fishery has had a good few tenants in the recent past and the latest is a conglomeration of volunteers from St Boswells and Kelso angling clubs. They describe the fishery as being run by anglers for anglers and they state all profit from the fishery will be reinvested in it.

The new tenants are offering each of the angling clubs the opportunity for one nominated angler to go and fish free catch and release for four hours on Saturday 12th of March 2016. The fishery is well stocked with Rainbow and Brown Trout with many reaching double figures! Naturally as anglers we wish them well in this new venture!

I have fished there many times in the past and given the right conditions will rise freely to the fly. It is a large water and as such there are many areas to explore. If any of our members would be interested in taking this opportunity please drop me a line and the angler will be selected on a first come first served basis. Please note there is no facility to accommodate more than one angler from each club. Click the link to read more of the fishery - http://watchfishery.co.uk/

Let the good times roll!

Following on from last weeks article on the subject it is clear that there are true advocates of each style and that their belief unlike the chap mentioned is 100% resolute! I heard a few weeks ago that Gala Angling Club had a motion tabled that all competitions be held on a catch & release basis the motion however was soundly defeated!

Up here at the loch we have no catch & release policy simply because a significant portion of our Trout fishing membership like to take the occasional Trout for the table. In our view there is noting untoward regarding this! Catch records have shown that between 5-26 Trout are taken for the whole season and quite frankly if a self sustaining population of Trout cannot cope with such small numbers being removed then we should all pack up and head home!

Many of our older members were brought up with the view that it was ok to take the occasional Trout and why would we wish to interfere with their practice! Oh but the Facebook catch & release brigade would say that our population would become larger with more sport available! Who is to say that our Pike would not cream off the excess. What happens to natures balance when more Trout than can be sustained are present, would it lead to stunted Trout or a population of weaker Trout due to the food available being spread more thinly!

It might be worth looking at the Tweed to see the impact of catch & release Grayling fishing! These fish classed as vermin were commonly thrown up the bank until recently now have free rein to multiply at will, will the Trout population be the worse for this measure only time will tell! It’s a lowbrow branch of angling with low numbers of participants but it could have a significant effect on our Trout fishing!

We welcome anglers from both camps and unless our rules are ignored or our Trout population shows a dramatic drop we condone all outlooks! The new age Facebook angler defaults to the catch & release camp simply because it is currently fashionable to do so! There is room at the loch for all to enjoy their sport – let the good times roll as Kawasaki say!

Check out this short video on Fishers direct Facebook page the fishing guide bloke is on a loser!


Photo 02 - Quiet day on the Lowes!


The wider world in my view!

A good day for Scotland!

At last you may say in regard to the fiscal framework deal negotiated by the Scottish Government! Yes it took a while but when you are faced by dogged intransigence put up by the Tory government there was no other scenario! Indeed the Scots had to compromise on some minor points but the Tories had to give in and allow the funding to be implemented with not a penny reduction to use the words of our First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

That is a crucial factor and will allow our government to mitigate to a significant effect the poor punishing policies of the Tories! We are on our way to being able to stand proud knowing that all that can be done is being done to ease the suffering of our poor, weak and disabled people! It may also be that we will be asked to pay a little more to further help these people and I don’t see many who would take issue with that!

However we need to remember that many of the critical powers still lie in the hands of the buffoons at Westminster! The coming situation in 2017 is in effect a halfway house!  It may of course be the case that we will be an independent nation by then and I sincerely hope we are. To be frank having Lord Snooty leading the “In” campaign is guaranteed to turn people to “Brexit” in droves and our referendum is sorted!

There is no doubt that the people of Scotland are behind the aims of our Scottish Government with the SNP looking set to mark down another record majority virtually wiping out the opposition! I’ve never been one for Scottish songs but it looks like we shall send the Tories and Puppets homewards to think again!

Mixed up Puppets!

I was staggered to hear chief Scottish Puppet Willie Rennie harping on about reversing perceived Scottish cuts with regard to education and health!  Unless I am mistaken Puppet Rennie is a member of the Party led by power mad Puppet Clegg that aided and abetted the Tories for five years to wreck the social structure of our country.
The word society has virtually disappeared from our dictionary, more and more of the organisations that care for the underprivileged in society are starved of cash! The result is that these groups are less able to offer these people a level of living where the word quality fits in somewhere!


How dare these shameless Puppets try and obfuscate their past deeds! They were willing and eager participants in the downgrading of our social structure. Oh yes some say they were blinded by the promise of power but they oversaw the humiliation and degradation of poor people and never uttered a word of compassion! These Puppets are no better than the likes of butcher Thatcher or clueless Lord Snooty! Vote for either at your peril!

Gasbags!

I was recently in the market to have a new gas fire fitted, a simple job for a registered Gas Safe fitter. Now I'm not one who puts up with prevarication and as such everybody gets one chance!  Number one fitter wasn't able to take my call so I left a message to call me, one day later no contact, one down! Number two was contactable and we agreed a date for fitting with me doing the required stonework prior to his arrival. on the day it became clear he was not coming, two down!

later that day I phoned number three he came quickly and put a couple of smoke bombs up the chimney to determine which one was mine. He said he would make the necessary arrangements and phone me on the following Monday. He failed to call, three down! The following day I phoned a public concern who carry out domestic work as part of an income generation scheme . they said engineer would visit on Thursday - he did, job done 90 minutes later at a fair price! You have to be ruthless with these fools do not pander to them, one chance and only one chance is the only way. If you live in the area and would like to know the ones to avoid mail me!

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Nearly time!

Photo 01 - The ring o the loch path is there somewhere!

Nearly time!

A date is fast approaching that is emblazoned on the mind of every Trout angler and it signals the start of the wild Brown Trout season. That day is the 15th of March and it never comes quick enough for most anglers. There was no doubt that last season was a poor one, said by our longest serving member Pete Young as being the worst he could remember! We are hoping that since it was so poor it can only get better! Plenty of Trout were spotted on the odd days the weather obliged and there is hope that the coming one will give up what last year did not!

Its also time to get the gear spruced up in readiness for the start. Here is my rundown of getting my stuff ready –

Check lacquer on rod this mostly applies to cane rods as you really need that weatherproof coating but whatever the construction material used in your rod you should check for any imperfections gained last season. Check the guides for roughness or missing inserts and that the whippings are secure.  Get rid of all old monofilament casts and make up some new ones, losing a good fish due to tired mono is an event you will not forget! Check your fly lines for cracking and cuts and if found replace. Clean your line and re-grease if it's the type that requires dressing. Check spigots I usually apply some beeswax to stop them twisting or separating during casting.

Check reels for roughness, clean and lubricate as required. Check your waders for any obvious signs of damage and repair as necessary, I find “Stormsure” type to work well. Check the contents of your creel or bag and the pockets of your jacket for any ancillaries you regularly carry such as priest, floatant/Permasink, nail clippers and scales. I don’t usually go through my fly’s looking for damaged/blunt ones as I do this when taking the fly’s off the leader!

When you have done that sit back with brandy in hand and contemplate what the future might hold. The future looks bright!


Think before pontificating!

 I always remember being told a story of an “angler” banging on about how all the rivers should be catch and release which in itself is a credible stance. That was until he caught a big fish which he duly executed instantly losing all credibility in the process! His need for glory was greater than his love for fish! That single action of dispatching the fish  cost him dear among the true catch and release anglers! Be resolute in your actions and words and be able to defend your position whatever that maybe. Had the process been thought through his actions would probably have been different but he did not, from angler to charlatan in an instant!

Club Memberships!

The window for renewal and new club membership has now closed. If however you wish to join the club contact Keith and if any spaces are left you may be able to join.

Photo 02 - Looking up the Loch o the Lowes!

The wider world in my view!

Much ado about nothing!

Of course I refer to the intensive and valiant battle fought singlehandedly by Lord Snooty for the hardworking people of our country! Yes Lord Snooty emerged on Friday night looking drawn but elated and announced he had at last forced the EU to come up with a special deal for the UK! He now believes that the deal which he has negotiated against all the odds is a firm basis to underpin the campaign to remain in the EU! Make no mistake the decision of whether to stay or go is a huge one but Lord Snooty’s “triumph” will influence no one!

I find it quite hard to express my disbelief that such paltry gains wrung from the EU even makes the news! As predicted Lord Snooty has gained absolutely nothing when comparing what has been achieved to what was originally demanded!  The whole episode engineered by Lord Snooty is a joke, a play stage managed and assisted by the EU to make it look like they have conceded and compromised towards significant change!

Lord Snooty created this farce after being put under pressure by UKIP to hold an in out referendum and all the high cost play acting will cost us dear! Saturday’s newspapers rubbished the deal without exception because when analysed it is meaningless! Nothing gained that makes any significant change to our membership of the EU.
To think we have had to suffer day after day reporting about nothing just goes to show what a sham our current system of government is, if any credibility was there prior to this it is now gone! Embarrassed Tory MPs go out of their way to avoid interview lest they be ridiculed for the entire fiasco!

The aim prior to this debacle was for the renegotiation to boost the campaign to remain in the EU! The campaign has in fact done exactly the opposite with the “Brexit” campaign shooting forward by another three points! It has been one of the lowest points in this desperate administration's reign and just goes to show that bungling is what they do best!

We really do need to be part of the EU for many social and economic reasons but Lord Snooty is severely hobbling the campaign. Scotland is committed to remaining a part of the EU so it is in our interest to see the “Brexit” campaign win the day! Yes it seems odd but if the leavers won then that would trigger the much anticipated second referendum and we could leave the UK and join wholeheartedly with Europe.

To leave behind an administration devoid of compassion, completely directionless and reaching new highs in bungling must be our aim! We need to form a society with the opposite aims from those stated above. Only then will we be able to secure a future for those who in our current society have nothing. Make no mistake the going will be very tough and it will take a great deal of effort from all of us to make it successful but we must forbear! Continuing with Westminster is not an option unless you wish to view your comedy broadcast from Downing Street as opposed to the comedy channel, we must seek a better way of living, and independence will give us that opportunity!

Good to know!

A You Gov poll conducted this week in Scotland gave out some very reassuring news. The poll found that the SNP are headed for another majority government which is absolutely astonishing for a party in power! The Tory revival much postulated by Borg Queen Ruth Davidson has it seems petered out already. Yes the great comeback is finished before it had even started which is very good news indeed!

The Scottish Puppets aka the Lib – Dems continue to lose support paying the price for colluding with the Tories! You would think Puppet Rennie could have halted the slide but clearly he cannot! They continue to slip ever downwards and are now a complete irrelevance! The Greens continue to grow but as yet are still a fledgling party, nevertheless among the young of the nation they are increasingly popular!


Kezia Dugdale in spite of being a fine politician has been unable to turnaround the fortunes of Scottish Labour! There are too many poor politicians in her ranks and they must be weeded out mercilessly if the party is ever to hold the title of the official opposition!

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Latest news from the Scottish Government!

Photo 01 - What was served up yesterday!

Latest news from the Scottish government!

The latest news from the Scottish Government on the Wild Fisheries Review can be viewed by clicking the link at the end of the paragraph.  There are issues that concern freshwater anglers seeking species other than Salmon. Have a read, there is a lot of stuff but if you feel able write in to the government with your views it could make a significant difference! We will formulate a response.


Salmon fishing!

Well the season is now well underway and on my travels around the Scottish Borders I see little evidence of a rush to get a fishing slot. True the water is still big but on those beats that have fished the result is best described as mediocre! Given the huge floods we have been subject to recently there will be much change in the river bed. It has been said that spawning may have been seriously affected, however we shall just have to wait and see! It’s not looking that great!

The last chance saloon!

If you have desire to join the club then you only have a few days left in which to get your renewal or new membership sorted! Go to the sidebar on this page and follow the instructions and good luck! Your membership entitles you to a boat free of charge and more importantly the camaraderie of your brother angler!

Hooligans!

Over the last few weeks we have been on the lookout for the returning Oystercatchers (Hooligans). Not a sign of them as yet, of course they could well have arrived and due to the arctic weather that seems to materialise at weekends only could well be sheltering at weekends, I know anglers do! Hopefully they will be heard soon as it's a great sign the year is moving on!

Photo 02 - The type of weather we prefer, with a ripple of course!

The wider world in my view!

Life under the Tories is not a future!

The National Health Service is a system of health care delivery the envy of the world and yet we see the Tories intent on dismantling it until there is nothing left. They call it outsourcing seeking private players entering into what should be non profit working! These private companies however are intent on one thing only increasing their profit! Hey won’t say they are privatising because the backlash would do for them but quietly they are doing just that!

There is no doubt that the health service is in crisis due to a mammoth shortfall in funds and morale among staff plummets quicker than a lead balloon! The cause of this is clear to all but the tories and probably the Puppets it is one failed restructuring after another disrupting the daily delivery of healthcare! Even now super rich posh boy Jeremy Hunt has managed the almost impossible task of forcing junior doctors into industrial action.

The man managed to do what no other part of the UK has done! Why because of an inability to understand how the health service operates! Trying to push business values into a healthcare system simply does not work! It works with cardboard boxes but cannot be transferred to people!

People who work in the health service do not work eight hour or twelve hour shifts they simply work on until it is safe to leave! Now that applies from cleaners to consultant surgeons it is part and parcel of being a healthcare provider. Of course there is no payment for this extra work the majority of staff will not even get their time back!

Hunt does not have a clue as to how a hospital runs that is quite obvious! Why else would he be forcing decent very hardworking people into industrial action! A massive amount of money is required to bring the NHS back to spec and the challenge for Hunt and his type is how to gather those funds! Another reorganisation wont cut it, things have deteriorated badly after all of their ill thought out reforms!
Since they stumbled into government they have set about dismantling everything we hold dear, they know not what the word society means! They want everything out in the hands of private contractors so their own kind can benefit and the poor suffer! There is a real fear that by the time this administration is outed there will be little left of public services!

They seem content to bungle on a massive scale hushing things up whilst crying out “doing the right thing for hardworking people!” they started spectacularly as the “Omnishambles” government and then raced rapidly in a downward direction! Lord Snooty invented the EU membership crisis to stave off an attack from UKIP and million have and will be spent as he scoots all over Europe trying to convince bemused heads of other countries that his reforms are necessary!

Quite frankly none of the heads of state seem to have a clue as to what he is seeking! He made a bold pronouncement on Monday that prison should be rehabilitative and that is indeed a correct outlook, the only problem being he has been spouting this from the first week of the Con-Dem fiasco! Yet again they promise much and deliver nothing!

But that just typifies this government spending millions if not billions on complete and utter nonsense whilst institutions such as the health service and our social services flounder! Couple that with lofty words and you have this directionless travelling circus the jesters of Europe! The problem for us as taxpayers is how long the country can withstand this level of bungling! Oh they have sold off much of the family silver in the Royal Mail and others but thats a one off scoop! Their policies if you could call them that are now coming back to bite them!

As one who has worked and used the NHS it is utterly depressing to see how much it has deteriorated in the last few years. Staff are under so much pressure they are desperate to get out, this was never the case in the past so something has changed recently.  What it boils down to is more bureaucracy more organisational change hence less continuity and less staff support!

Locally we see the local hospital in the papers on a regular basis. Occasionally it is to highlight excellence but more often it is for negative reasons due to under resourced wards, increasing workloads and plummeting staff morale! The future for the services we hold dear is anything but rosy. We are one year in with this government and already they are emulating the havoc caused by the Luftwaffe!

We are not being governed by a competent administration if anything turns out right it is by sheer chance the likelier outcome is yet another costly farce! When Lord Snooty returns home at the end of the week he will try to look exhausted but also elated by his success! We however know that absolutely nothing has been secured!

WE can opt to keep on with this charade on a revolving door basis or we can seek something better! With the Labour party in complete meltdown we are faced with a Tory government in perpetuity! For me and increasingly many like me this is my worst nightmare! 

We do have a choice and that is the same old nonsense or a new way with Scotland becoming an independent nation! I think you know which way I will be going and thankfully our number increases by the day! 

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Angling etiquette!

Photo 01 - A loch Skene Trout caught last year by our secretary Alasdair.

Angling etiquette!

In general as anglers we are a pretty well behaved bunch and don’t really cause any real bother but there are always exceptions. You will recollect the story of a so called angler who shamed the good name of our sport with his appalling behaviour in attempting to assault a smaller angler following a local angling competition. This goes down as the worst episode of thuggery in the history of angling in the Borders! Idiots like him aside we generally conduct ourselves to a high standard. Irrespective of the grievance no angler, nay right thinking human being should act in such a disgraceful way! Etiquette is demanded of us in every facet of our lives it is the framework that guides our lives.

Up at the loch we have anglers who like to set up and fish certain areas but these areas do not belong to that angler, so if an area is clear and you fancy fishing there then just go ahead and fish. There are no reserved areas on the loch for anglers.  Similarly on the river especially with Salmon fishing no spot belongs to one angler. Etiquette however dictates that one should move through an area thereby allowing an angler behind to fish the water you have. Always observe the club rules they may differ somewhat from national ones. Respect the property of others which means if you are using our engines and boats you should look after them as though they were your own!

Always defer to another angler giving him or her first opportunity to fish the stretch if you both intend on fishing that stretch. Do not invade the personal space of another angler, only move into such an area if invited to do so. Only net other anglers fish if you have his or her consent if you lose the fish of a lifetime for an angler it will not go down well. Be generous, if you are catching fish on a particular fly and a brother angler does not have one give him yours and share in the sport! This is the angling brotherhood in action!

Do not blunder onto the property of others unless you have explicit permission. We as an angling club have negotiated access to the lochside but that access does not include taking vehicles on to that land nor does it allow setting up a mini rock concert complete with bonfire and limitless alcohol! Do not attempt to fish without firstly obtaining a permit and ideally spend some time speaking with other anglers or the bailiff, this will pay dividends in the long run. If you think you may be getting in to a situation where fists may fly back off, the brotherhood of angling will thank you for your actions, on no account disgrace the good name of angling!

As anglers we are expected to act in an acceptable manner, the general public holds us in good esteem, we all make mistakes very rarely to anything like the extent of the person above, but nevertheless we must always strive to act in the most decorous manner! If we respect others abide by the rules of the club then our great sport of angling will be what it is at its best absolutely fantastic!

Looking good!

Yesterday I met with some of our new members and I have to say I was very impressed! Yes they are obviously country men with a great understanding of what it takes to be an angler. Kitted out for a weekend long session with all the essentials they were at great pains to point out that when they were gone only their footprints on the muddy bank would be evident!

 There is always a last minute dash for membership and we only have a few spaces left so some will be disappointed. Now that’s a great shame especially when some very fine specimens are being caught! One group of lads yesterday bagged 3 heavy doubles in a six hour session. So if you read this lads, congratulations and we hope you have a few more sessions like yesterdays!

Photo 02 - Loch Skene earlier last year taken by Alasdair.

Memberships!

Some members have still not renewed but please do not leave it to the last minute. There is still time to avoid the £20.00 administration fee so get pen to paper and get it done! Check the sidebar on the right of this page.

The wider world in my view!

Lord Snooty in Europe!

The situation of Lord Snooty and his renegotiation of out terms of membership has deteriorated badly from a comedy to a complete farce! This situation is endorsed by the general public, business and most of the Tory party. Yes universally condemned by one and all Lord Snooty has not only managed to achieve absolutely nothing he has managed to deal a possibly fatal blow to the stay in campaign!

The “Brexit” campaign has now generated a nine point lead following Snooty’s adventures! I do believe Lord Snooty has finally taken leave of his senses! How anyone could come back with such an insipid package of measures that bear no relation to the original demands is beyond me! Thin gruel is how one Tory MP described it another called it poo and it is certainly no more than that! It’s now reinforcing our position as the clowns of Europe a label started by the Omnishambles brigade! The good thing for Lord Snooty is that he will get the other nations to stamp this deal quite simply because it is an irrelevance made by Snooty and bungled by him!

The good news however, is that when the UK leaves Europe Scotland will leave the UK! Let that day come!


Crucial for Scotland!

The infamous “Vow” as it was called that frightened pensioners all over Scotland into voting no in the referendum looks like it will crash and amount to nothing!  Yes the talks with Westminster have faltered over the amount of the block grant to Scotland! Tory puppet David Mundell Scotlands only Tory MP lays the blame firmly at the feet of the Scottish government!

You would however expect this fool to come out with this line! The reality is however is that the austerity loving Tories are trying to cut the block grant to Scotland and mixing the cheat in with all the other stuff hoping it won’t be noticed. Praise then to the Scottish Government who rumbled their scheme!

Nicola Sturgeon has stated that she will not sign up to a deal that sells Scotland short and the people of Scotland are right behind her! These Tories would like nothing better than to short change our country and then revel in the fact that the government of Scotland were happy to accept the offer! No Nicola Sturgeon must hold out until the country gets exactly what is due. Whimpering Mundell will have to continue with his line that the Scottish Government is being unreasonable because if being unreasonable means holding out for what we are due, we must continue to be unreasonable!

Unruly Scottish Puppets!

I like to tune in to first ministers questions midweek if I can and this week amongst the usual toing and froing the speaker was forced to reprimand a group of puppets (Lib-Dems) naming local puppet Jim Hume! We don’t hear a lot of positive contributions from Puppet Hume or indeed the puppets in general! However stepping out of line like recalcitrant schoolboys only serves to demean the already dire reputation of the puppets in Scotland!


So how’s about growing up folks, and instead of your circus like behaviour, let’s see some real positive contributions to the debate. If we felt we needed some pointless raucous behaviour we could pay some real schoolboys to carry it out and save the country significant monies as well! So come on lads start acting like grownups!