Sunday, 23 April 2017

The last straw!

Photo 01 - Our new multi coloured boat!

The last straw!

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

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

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

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

Photo 03 - Looking down at the new boat!

New boat!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The wider world in my view!

Not as bad as some might think!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Where are our Pike?

Photo 01 - Yesterday Low water and choppy!

Where are our Pike?

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

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

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

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

Photo 02 - The partly constructed new Bowerhope road!

Bowerhope road!

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

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

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


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

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

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

Photo 03 - If you look delights are everywhere!

The wider world in my view!

A new “cold war!"

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

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

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

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

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

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

A woman of insignificance!

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

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

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

Happy Easter!

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Twas a great day!

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

Twas a great day!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo 04 - the goodies up for grabs!

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

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

Photo 05 - Prizes ready for presentation.

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

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

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

Sunday, 2 April 2017

It's next week!

Photo 01 - Looking to the top of the Lowes!

It’s next week!

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

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

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

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

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

Photo 02 = The Lowes boat awaits solvent cleaning!


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

Photo 03 - A grumbling sky yesterday!

Lowes boat!

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

From our recommended dealer!

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

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

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Further news on our competition!

Photo 01 - Davie works some jigsaw magic on the Lowes boat.

Further news on our competition!

In order to clarify our rules for the competition we would like anglers to be aware that all four of our boats will be available for use at no charge. The pecking order will be first choice boats will be allocated to any entrants with disabilities or difficulties with mobility. These anglers may be accompanied by an able bodied angler to assist as required.

Any boats left after the above group have been filtered will be any angler desirous of a boat may take one subject to availability. If there are more anglers than boats then a draw will take place. So the lowdown is meet at the cafe between 9.00 -10.00 then fish from 10.00 till 16.00 then weigh in at the Tibbie between 16.00 – 16.30 followed by a post mortem barbeque and presentation of prizes.

Just as a reminder the prizes are 1st a day autumn Salmon fishing on the Tweed, The Westbrook gold cup for a year, A box of Flies and a wet cel sinking fishing line, the latter two prizes kindly donated by David Shotton. 2nd prize a bottle of spirits of your choice a box with flies. 3rd prize a box of flies and the three prize winners will get membership of the club for a year and if they are members the next year free. See you there!

Photo 02 - Brilliant weather!


We still get asked how and where you can obtain a permit to fish the lochs so here is a rundown of how to go about it. You may arrive at the lochs and commence fishing and our bailiff will catch up with you and issue the required permits. This is the first choice for obtaining a permit and offers easy access for the visiting angler with no waiting around just arrive and fish!

We also have other outlets where you can obtain a permit. The Glen Cafe will be happy to issue a permit to fish as will Alastair at the Tibbie Shiels Inn you should note however that as the hotel is not currently open there is no guarantee of obtaining a permit. The Gordon Arms Hotel also has a stock of our permits and will be happy to accommodate you during opening hours. We also sell permits through our recommended dealer Mike at Fishers in Penicuick. There are plenty of choices so do please obtain a permit.

The Lowes boat!

Progress is being made with the broken rim of the boat now having been thoroughly repaired. This week Frank and I put a new runner on the bottom of the boat a simple enough task blighted by worn, broken sheared screws. However by the end of the day we accomplished this. All that needs to be done now is to finish the preparation of the boat prior to painting. The colour is going to be a dark blue as opposed to white.
The bottom of the boat will have in addition to the blue epoxy paint a coating of car underseal for extra protection. The rim of the boat will be black as will the seating inside and then she is ready to return to the Lowes.

Tweed Commission seat!

We have received no interest whatsoever regarding the opportunity to take up a seat on this body. I will therefore write to them and formally decline the opportunity. Many anglers when asked said they could see no relevance to the working man Trout or Pike angler, perhaps that says it all!

From our recommended dealer!

This week Mike is offering a Wytchwood Coat and bib combo with a free hoodie for a reasonable £329.00
Also on offer are thistle down fly lines by Snowbee at an amazing £39.00 the name gives the game away and if you are looking for a line that makes splashing on to the surface a thing of the past. With one of these you can land your fly gently in front of your targeted Trout!

The wider world in my view!

Absolute chaos!

Never in my time on earth have I witnessed such chaos as is currently doing the rounds at present! We are faced with leaving the EU and facing Indyref 2 at the same time. My biggest worry is that the current Tory administration seem intent on beating the previous one to take the title of the biggest bunglers in UK government history!
No one really thought that any administration would displace Lord Snooty and Gideon Osborne’s Omnishambles government, but this lame duck administration is coming very close indeed! 

A “hard” Brexit is on the cards and when asked, Diddy David Davies has no plan if a trade deal cannot be gotten from the EU! The remnants our our manufacturing industry are quaking in their boots, financial organisation already have plans to jump ship.
You really couldn’t make this stuff up the incompetence of this administration is breathtaking! Just look at Philip Hammond’s budget which was reversed in super quick time as it did not fit in with the Tory manifesto! It’s a very basic mistake that again shows the UK to the world as a bunch of fools something this administration is becoming very good at!

It is now clear that would be Butcher Thatcher Theresa May is nothing but a figurehead. As a puppet she merely voices the words of the extreme right wing Tories! Two other Scottish Tory puppets David Mundell and Ruth Davidson continue to spout English rhetoric and rather laughably seem to be claiming to speak for the majority of the Scottish people! There are more Pandas in Scotland than Tory MPs!

What a load of tosh, with Mundell being the only Scottish MP and Davidson presiding over a handful of clueless temporary MSP’s their voice is nonexistent! If the Labour party pulled itself together the Tories would be back to a miniscule number of MSP’s which is as it should be! It’s very difficult to feel at ease with such a shambolic administration and believe me there will be much more to come!

When Nicola Sturgeon rightly announced plans for a second referendum she was quickly rebuffed by Theresa May! Of course Sturgeon had anticipated this and after the Scottish parliament’s approval for the referendum later this week a formal request will go to Westminster for the required permission.

Now May and the Scottish puppets claim to speak for the majority of Scots but what must be remembered is that Sturgeon was elected with a manifesto to hold a second referendum if material changes have occurred and without a doubt they have! So to deny a referendum is to rubbish the wishes of the Scottish people! The question therefore as a Scot are you happy to be continually dismissed by a remote government that we did not vote for?

It looks as though a second referendum will take place in 2 or 3 years and Scots can be certain that another will not take place for a very long time! So we need to bite the bullet and accept the inevitable. So the choice would be more of the same and intensifying chaos and a possible economic implosion or a chance to start afresh with new values and a difficult path to self sufficiency! None of these options will be easy, but I know which one I will be choosing!

Return of racing!

I used to be an ardent fan of formula 1 racing until the races morphed into a procession dominated by the team who could invest most in technology. Lewis Hamilton is not a stand out driver most any of the F1 drivers would taste success in a Mercedes car. Today Vettel’s Ferrari demoted Mercedes to second and third. What a welcome development, F1 viewing figures have been dropping like a lead balloon as the outcome was known before the race started! For the first time in a long time I am going to tune into the race and see hopefully some real racing!

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Content anglers and a competition!

Photo 01 - Davie with a picture perfect brownie!

Content anglers and a competition!

You will note the Brownie being displayed by Davie Forsyth is indeed a cracker and more so because it was tempted from the Loch o the Lowes a loch known by our long standing members for its low population of Brown Trout. This is due to the loch being warmer (its very shallow compared to St Mary’s) and it has a much larger growth of weed in a word Mesotrophic! St Mary’s with its much deeper and colder water (Oligotrophic) and much less weed is more suited as a habitat for Brown Trout.

Anyway the Trout caught on the Lowes tend to be very fine Trout and Davie’s is no exception. He landed it after a spectacular take on the surface and it had him touching all sides of the loch. For the lure fishers among you it was caught on a Savage Gear Rat surface lure. Now trying to get a photo from Davie is like trying to squeeze blood out of a stone!

Photo 02 - Stevie Nimmo opens his account!

It’s not that he doesn’t catch many fish for he does and currently holds the heavy Pike at 21lbs 8oz for the current season it rather more a case of quiet contentment devoid of the need to send fish photos all over the internet like some of the new age facebook brigade! Just another of our anglers at one with the lochs and at peace with his sport! Well done that man!

Photo 02 - Stevie added another!

Wild Trout Competition!

We are pleased to confirm the details for our annual competition in pursuit of our wily population of Brown Trout.
The competition will take place on St Mary’s Loch on Saturday the 8th of April 2017. The competition will take place between the hours of 10.00 until 16.00hrs. There will be a warm up session as usual being held at The Glen Cafe which will run from 09.00 until 10.00hrs where bacon rolls and coffee will be served.

The weigh in will take place at the Tibbie Shiels Inn between 16.00 and 16.30hrs followed by our usual barbeque cooked up by Alastair. The cost is being held at £16.00 per entry and the competition is open to members and visitors. Its always a great day with much banter so come along and join in you will be most welcome!

Photo 04 - The best bit - Davie returns his prize safely!

Competition Rules

(1) There is to be a bag limit of 4 Trout then catch and release.

(2) No Trout under 8 inches may be taken.

(3) Fishing will be fly only using rod (one) and line.

(4) No Trout shall be passed to another angler (Bag sharing).

(5) Pike and Perch to be returned to the loch unharmed.

(6) The organisers may inspect all tackle and fish caught.

Boats will be available for disabled anglers and those with limited mobility in the first instance any remaining boats will be given to other anglers as required. If the need for boats is greater than boats available a straw poll will be the arbiter.

(7) Parking in designated areas only, please avoid blocking farm gates and entrances.

(8) Any angler found to be in breach of competition rules shall be disqualified.

(9) Fishing shall commence at 10.00am and finish at 16.00hrs with all catches to be weighed in by 16.30hrs at the Tibbie Shiels Inn.

(10) Fishing to be confined to St Mary's Loch only.

You are advised to carry a mobile phone with you in case of difficulty. A ferry boat will be available from 09.30hrs for anglers wishing to fish the far side of the loch.

Lowes boat!

Work has progressed much more quickly this week with the super strong structures to hold the oar pins now completed. There is a great deal of rigidity now present along her sides.  Davie Wilson stepped in and saved us countless hours and cut the ply to replace the rotted rear seat which we then fibre glassed. The paint we have chosen is a dark green with the bottom part being painted with car under seal rubberised paint. So we are nearly there!

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Paradise in all its glory!

Photo 01 - Reinforced area to be filled with chopped strand!

Paradise in all its glory!

Yet again the date all Brown Trout anglers yearn the legal date for the opening of the Brown Trout season is almost upon us.  The 15th March is a date etched into the minds of committed anglers. Rods have been checked rings inspected and fly lines inspected and cleaned. The fly box will have been inspected for rusting flies and any found ruthlessly discarded. Casts will be gathered ready for a mass execution there can be no survivors from the year past!

Memories of the one that got away last year will come flooding back and that particular area of the loch will be included in the first assault. Many old haunts will be revisited with expectation, new areas of interest will be pencilled in and visited when time allows. The horizon will be scanned for rising fish and any spotted can expect to be bombarded by a torrent of iron and feathers! Brexit and other such tosh will be banished for the day!

Where there was confusion and irritation there will be clarity of thought and contentment. Worldly worries will disappear albeit temporarily as the rugged atmosphere consumes us and we blend seamlessly with the loch! We will delight as the hooligans fly overhead with their distinct inimitable calls. Smiles will abound as the Grey Wagtails dance merrily on the bank filled with happiness on arriving back at the loch. We will stare in amazement as the deadly hunter the Osprey executes its attack on an unsuspecting prey fish.

There will be many more individual thoughts and sights encountered by the angler as he nestles into the ambience of the loch for another season. However it will be a case of once more, once less, as our body clock ticks ever onwards relentlessly eating in to our allotted time! The need to savour the most the lochs can offer is intense and for many overpowering! To the average punter the 15th is just another day, but for the Brown Trout anglers on the lochs it will simply be paradise in all its glory!

Wild Trout Competition!

It will soon be time for our annual Wild Trout Competition to be held on St Mary’s loch. We are looking at Saturday the 8th of April as the date. This will be confirmed next week. Prizes will be – 1st prize a day autumn Salmon fishing on the upper Pavillion beat on the Tweed. The Westbrook cup for one year and membership of the club for a year and a Hardy fly line kindly donated by David Shotton. 2nd prize a bottle of spirits of your choice plus a selection of loch fly’s. 3rd prize will be a selection of loch fly’s suitable for use on the loch. More details will follow in the next few weeks.

Our representation on the Tweed Commission.

So far no nominations have been received for this position mentioned last week and I can’t say I am surprised the reputation of the Tweed Commission among regular Trout anglers is not good. We will hold off replying to the invitation until Thursday and if no nominations are forthcoming by then we will formally decline the invitation.

Photo 02 - Reinforcing added!

Lowes boat!

Progress is being made, it is however less rapid than we would like. Frank and I spent some time trying to drill through two steel bars each an eighth of an inch thick and we managed two holes out of twelve required. The battery drills discharged quickly and our Titanium coated drill bits looked like they were made out of lead so hopeless were they!

Well one side has the reinforcing plates fitted and do they make a difference! There is a rigidity never before seen on this boat pulling on the oars will actually translate into movement on the water, it's a heavy duty solution that should last for years! We also sealed the end flotation tanks with a couple of layers of heavy fibre glass matting once again joining the tanks to the boat sides repairing the previously inflicted damage. So it’s a heavy duty electric drill and a couple of Cobalt drill bits for next time!

From our recommended dealer!

This week the offers from Mike include a bumper clearance event where rods reels and accessories can be had for knockdown prices. Also a large selection of fully loaded reels for those who need to say goodbye to their old tackle. Click the links to see for yourself -

Sunday, 5 March 2017

How its done!

Photo 01 - Stuart with a ten pounder in tip top condition!

How its done!

All Pike anglers know that with the advent of winter and dropping temperatures the Pike become less active and our sport becomes subdued. Weighing in against this is that with the production of eggs the females can put on up to 25% of bodyweight turning a good 16 pounder into a cracking twenty increasing the chances of landing a whopper!

Speaking with the chuckle brothers yesterday (Davie & Stuart) it seems that once again they are proving the point that if you put the time in and vary your tactics success is there to be had. Davie lured and landed a fine 12 pounder (photo to come) using a soft rubber eel and also lost a fish on dead bait, mate Stuart Durham also part of the blue tarpaulin squad landed a plump ten pounder in peak condition (photo 01). Well done lads!

Photo 02 - Fine sanding still to do!

Having a voice or rubber stamping!

Late last year our then secretary Alasdair White tendered his resignation from the club! Alasdair was our representative on the River Tweed Commission who look after primarily the Salmon fishing’s in the area. Quite frankly I am not too bothered regarding membership of this forum but we feel it is only right and proper to offer any interested member the opportunity to take this seat.

The commission is a group of fishery proprietors (often said to be the real commission) and representatives of other groups who have an interest in fishing. The longstanding view held by angling clubs is that the power brokers meet on the golf course on a Sunday to decide policy, then on the Monday the full meeting is asked to rubber stamp these decisions!

I have no idea if this is the case and it may be that indeed there is an opportunity for the ordinary angler to have his say  and influence policy. There is a “vetting” process to be completed to weed out angling bully/super chump types but other than that membership is straightforward. Meeting are held on weekdays so if you have difficulty in securing a weekday off then this is not for you.

If you are interested drop me a line and I will pass on the relevant information. We would like to extend our grateful thanks to Alasdair for his input into club matters over the years.

Photo 03 - sanded back to the original gel coat!

Lowes boat!

I put a few hours in yesterday making a start to preparing the boat for fresh paint by sanding down the previously applied paint to give a key for the new finish. Its hard going even with a power sander but it has to be done. We should complete this work with another session leaving the woodwork fibre glassing work and painting still to be done. The seats and rim of the boat are ready for varnish but this will be the last task.

If you have any preferences regarding which colour the boat should be let us know. The options suggested so far are white and a blue similar to the fibreglass gel coat which when chipped as it will inevitably be will not look so unsightly. We had thought we might move the mooring point from the top of the Lowes to a point near the bottom for ease of access but we felt the possibility of Muppet damage was too great, so back to the top it will be.

The wider world in my view!

Opposition, what opposition!

There can be no doubt that the Scottish government are traversing choppy waters at the present time. Education and the health service policy being the most prominent but across the board the shine is coming off the SNP machine! Naturally then one is keen to look at what the opposition have to offer and with this in mind I watched the Tory conference on the TV.

There was much cheering and applauding as the Borg Queen introduced would be Thatcher clone Theresa May. The Tories say they are fighting for the people who do not want a second referendum and want the Scottish government to stop banging on about it yet what is clear the referendum is mentioned by the Tories more than it is by the government!

There was very little talk about the “Brexit Crisis” manufactured by the Tories plunging the country into economic uncertainty. Instead the Borg Queen reeled off a series of "policies" to right the perceived wrongs of the Scottish government and what did we get? A series of headings with no actual policy details that has yet to be determined!

Did you ever hear of such nonsense, a party that claims to be the next government clearly proving they do not even make it as an effective opposition! At least with the government there is some structured thinking even if it needs some tuning. Anyone swayed by the tripe spouted yesterday should not be allowed to vote. We heard nothing of substance merely lofty ideas that will never come to fruition!

Yes the Scottish government has lost its shine but the official opposition seem to have no idea of what it takes to run a country. Tory voters need to give themselves a damned good shake because if this lot get anywhere near power we will know the true meaning of the word disaster! The Tories are not an effective opposition just a bunch of well heeled loudmouths seeking to increase their own prosperity! God help us from these fools!

Sunday, 26 February 2017

New bathymetric map!

Photo 01 - Master carpenter Frank at work!

New Bathymetric map!

I have mentioned previously some exciting work being carried out by one of our members Dave McGarvie in carrying out an accurate bathymetric survey of our two lochs. Well the project is progressing and if you nip over to his website you will see already the substantial work that has been carried out. These are very detailed maps and Dave’s plan is to create an app for Android whereby an angler can determine the depth of his intended swim with a degree of precision which will be invaluable to Pike anglers. To see the work carried out on the Lowes and some great photos click the link -

A makeover!

This week it was back to the grindstone after our hugely successful AGM last week with a record attendance and more importantly members with a view! Our Lowes boat was kindly lifted into the boathouse last week by a group of members, and this week I started the preparation for the work to be done. Unexpectedly in came committee member Frank Gillespie and with two we could make much greater progress.

The plan was to rub down the wood and see the condition along its length. What we found was that the wood was solid all along its length with the exception that where the oar pins sat, the hardwood (Teak or Mahogany we think) had turned to mush with no strength whatsoever! The plan was to remove all the rotten wood back to solid timber and cut a check to allow for a 2mm steel band to be fitted either side of the fibreglass carcass bolted to sound wood.

Photo 02 - Rotten wood stripped ready for a new seat!

To increase rigidity the space between the steel bands would be filled with chopped strand fibre glass with the oar pin structure fitted before the chopped strand cures. Then it would be a case of bolting everything up tight and its job done. The rear seat requires attention in that the pressure from the boat being left full of water cracked the fibre glass joins allowed water ingress and a piece of the wooden seat has rotted. This will need replacing and the flotation chamber topped up then glass the whole structure.

The window boxes on the underside of  the seats require to be modified and the idea is to put a strip of hardboard across the bottom of the boat leaving the very bottom open for movement of water and a space for the anglers feet. Anglers have often said that they balance against the seats so this will allow them to get their feet underneath. Next hardboard which has been cut to size will be tacked around the window box foam and tacked to the seat underside. Then resin will be painted on the sheet to stiffen it and fibre glass matting will be layered on top giving a very strong structure. Two holes will be left and expanding foam will be injected to fill any airspaces. The holes will then be plugged giving a sealed chamber.

Finally the exterior will be sanded down with filler primer applied where required and when rubbed down a one stage activated two pack epoxy paint will be applied one or two coats as required. After curing the boat will be ready to return to the Lowes. Many thanks for your help Frank!

Underwater fish havens!

Speaking with fellow committee member Gordon McClurg he outlined a strategy for placing our wire boxes on the loch bed. Using an upmarket sonar system likely areas will be mapped in the 10-20ft depth range and these will be studied and sites selected. The idea is to drop these baskets with up to four heavy concrete weights to anchor them and let Mother Nature do the rest. In time the structures will be festooned with weed and the size of the netting will only allow entry to small fish. It is hoped to try this out once the weather settles.

Old membership cards!

It should be noted that all such cards are invalid; one member presented one last week because he had forgotten to bring his new one. Similarly all complimentary cards are also invalid and will not be accepted as permission to fish. Please make sure you are carrying this years card!

Photo 03 - Coloured water gushing into the Lowes as the heavens opened yesterday!

From our recommended dealer!

This week Mike has some further great offers including a great offer on studded Vass waders. Essential for safe wading these tungsten studded boots will allow you to be sure footed when the pulse rises in pursuit of the one that break your record -

A great new development is the price match guarantee offered by Fishers where they will match any price by other retailers so there is no reason to go elsewhere!

The wider world in my view!

Its getting worse!

With Brexit and Trump making the news every day you could be forgiven for reaching for the bottle of chemical cosh on the sideboard! Trump continues to make an ass of himself speaking like some demented fool which of course is exactly what he is! Here we have a man displaying qualities more usually found in a low rent used car salesman and not the president of the united States! Everything he announces seems to be hurriedly withdrawn and either seriously modified or silently scrapped. This has turned out to be a sick joke with the population of the world sniggering at the US. It surely cannot continue.

Obama was not without his faults but at least he had a coherent line of thought and policies that were targeted to help poor people specifically in the provision of health care! If anyone disagrees with Trump he condemns it as "fake news" and no further discussion is allowed.He has singled out all the news agencies that have published things he does not agree with creating a situation more reminiscent of Nazi Germany prior to World War 2.

Many countries used to look to the United States for guidance but no more! This pantomime played out on the world stage is an embarrassment to humanity! The extremist views of Trump have no place in our modern world, the people of America need to wake up and without delay get rid of this fool before he causes irreparable damage!

Similarly with Brexit this country seems to be unravelling with many businesses preparing to pull out and head to pastures new! The falling value of the pound has given many businesses the excuse they needed to increase prices often by scandalous amounts sending our weekly bills through the roof! Granted the population voted for it as they did for Trump but no one could have envisaged the now increasingly visible potholes appearing on the horizon. It looks likely the House of Lords will amend the Brexit bill to include a vote on the end deal and we should applaud this, It may be the thing that saves us from disaster!