Sunday, 31 December 2017

Once more once less!


Photo 01 - Radek with the last Pike of 2017!

Once more, once less!

Well, in a few hours 2017 will be gone forever and we will wake up to the New Year that is 2018! Looking back the initial part of the year was taken up clearing up the almighty mess left by Mr. Xxxxx, and once that was done we could all get on with doing what members of an angling club do – angling!  There were no extremes of weather this year, just an average Scottish year, nothing to write home about!

On the fishing front, it was indeed another good year with unusually, many anglers reporting multiple catches during their sessions! Previously two to three fish would be a terrific day but this year six or eight per session was not uncommon. I took great heart from the fact that plenty of Pike from the different year classes was caught which shows an optimum food tree is present.

Incidentally, for those anglers wishing to age their fish, this can now be carried out easily as we will be installing a microscope (handy), and a microfiche reader (essential,) to magnify the scale making it simple to read. There will also be written guidance on how to read the scales and a pad on which to record these details.
Clearly, our population of Pike is thriving, due in no small part to the eradication of the Muppet types that attempt to visit and injure and kill our stock.

The wee humpy back Pike seems to be caught regularly at the hall, Davy Wilson caught her last week and he estimated her weight at around eight pounds, so clearly she is thriving!
On the Brown Trout front, although fish were caught they were not in the numbers previously recorded but some very nice fish showed! Topping them all was Stuart Sutherland’s six-pound beauty which was an absolute beast! It is important to note that we do not get the numbers of days gone by, due to the fact that we are not allowed by law to stock fish.

On the administrative side, things are going very well in spite of Mr. Xxxxx aided by the angling bully! Informally, our bank balance is the highest it has ever been. We have eight people on our waiting list to join the club so we are again looking at maximising revenue! Club members should take note and be aware that money is available for any improvements, so if you have any ideas let us know!


Photo 02 - Boys will be boys - Great!

On the local front, we hear that the Burns family are taking over the Glen Cafe and this is excellent news, we can now expect the food emanating to be of a very high standard according to the lads who dine at the Gordon Arms, we wish them every success. For the first time in a number of years, we have not made our yearly donation of £50.00 to the St Mary’s village hall fund. Members felt that since only twice did we receive a letter of acknowledgment/thanks (from Doreen Davies and Paul Collins) we should cease this practice! We will be looking for a suitable charity locally to benefit from our donation!

On Christmas Eve I received my usual call from Piotr Kokot our ex-loch keeper who amazingly still gets the odd call from anglers seeking to hire a boat! He sends his best wishes to all at the club and hopes you are all doing well.  Tomorrow we cross the line into a brand new year once more as we have done many times, but in so doing, it is once less, as our allotted three score and ten slowly crumbles away!  Enjoy 2018!


Redressing the balance!

Both the photos this week were supplied by Martin and Radek two Polish anglers who visit the loch as often as they can. The Pike in photo 01 is the last Pike to be caught in 2017 so well done Radek! They catch fish and always return them safely. They leave no rubbish and according to Jenny, all you will find after they have departed are their footprints!

The last group of Polish anglers we reported on were wasters who left a heap of crap behind them! The bottom line is that in every race there are wasters but when you look deeper the majority are decent right-thinking people like the two lads mentioned above! You just need to glance at the court pages in the local papers, indigenous waster, Muppet types are everywhere! 

Martin and Radek, please do keep in touch, we are always delighted when anglers of your calibre visit! Tight lines for 2018!

The wider world in my view!

Blind leading the blind!

On the political front, 2017 was a wretched year, we were subjected to lies, incompetence and high buffoonery the likes of which we have never before encountered! The Maybot and her band of buffoons caused absolute mayhem and at the same time managed to rubbish the standing of the UK in front of the world! 2018 will be a year where unfortunately this mayhem continues, we will be dragged kicking and screaming into an insular little world furiously waving our union jacks.

A cross-party alliance will form to try and derail Brexit but they will fail due to infighting and insignificant issues. Just when the people needed unity there will be none! The bums that comprise our negotiating team will achieve nothing whatsoever other than embarrassing the nation; anything we do get will be gifted by the EU out of sympathy! Foreigners cannot understand the naivety displayed by our negotiators, as the Hungarian prime minister said: “they do not seem to understand the manner of negotiation”!

Our children will see their futures compromised with many exciting avenues that were open to us closed off as we look ever inwardly! Our businesses will be on the back foot wrenched apart by governmental indecisiveness!  Our NHS will suffer a serious collapse as it is again denied the money it needs to flourish. Our councils will become impotent, starved of resources as they try and cover the shortfall of cash from central government.

Our friends and neighbours overseas will watch aghast as we tumble downhill and will look back with heavy hearts as we tear ourselves apart! Students in years to come will be dumbfounded to see how we withdrew from the world’s stage to become the small insignificant country we will invariably become!

Alas, the future does not look great, and for those of us in the winter of their lives, it will not matter too much. For the youngsters, however, our actions have made for a bleak future. I hope those who voted for little Britain can sleep at night, our duty should have been to make things better for the next generation, we are failing spectacularly in this endeavour!

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Be patient!

Photo 01 - Looking down the lowes by Stevie Nimmo yesterday.

Be patient!

Over the last few months, we have received quite a few applications for membership of the club. The situation is that at the present time we are at the maximum figure of 50 members with eight people on the waiting list. What usually happens is that a few drop out and these spaces will be filled by the people on the waiting list on a first come first served basis1

It has been suggested that we could increase the membership limit above 50 but we are not so minded at this time. We do not want to slip into a position where there is a possibility of overfishing! There is no shortcut to becoming a member so just hang in there and be patient, your chance will come!

A different level!

We are now a year down the road of having a new loch keeper and after a few teething troubles the system is now operating at a very satisfactory level! Feedback from our members and visitors has invariably been favourable and if an arrangement is made to meet on arrival she will be there unlike in the past!

Jenny was concerned that the Lowes boat was always full of water and came up with a system whereby an elasticised tarpaulin is put on the boat after use stopping it filling with water! Importantly we have realised increased revenue which always helps. Yes, we have moved up a level with our new arrangements which will benefit both members and visitors!

Photo 02 - early morning view from the boathouse!

Buying for anglers!

If you are buying for an angler and you are stumped as to what to get why not visit your tackle dealer there are many staffed by knowledgeable vendors. Around here we have dealers in St Boswells, Kelso, Duns and Berwick and of course our recommended dealer Fishers in Penicuik who also offers a rapid mail order service. Mike and staff in Fishers will be able to answer your every query and if you really can't decide why not plump for a voucher so the angler can choose themselves it's the safest way and I'm sure appreciated by the recipient!

The wider world in my view!

At last!

It has taken a helluva long time and I had almost given up on them, yes, it’s the progressive SNP and their little-used tax powers! I’ve been saying for quite some time that if we want better public services then we have to be prepared to pay extra to get them! On Thursday Scotland took the first step along that road and we will look back on that Thursday and know the country made the correct decision!

We have only the bare bones of a public service facility at the current time as the Tories continue to decimate all that we hold dear! It became apparent to our government that we had to face up to reality and choose a new way! On Thursday the SNP did just that with a revamp of the tax system means the large majority of Scots would not pay any more tax but a small proportion would pay slightly more!

What pleases me the most, however, is that the majority of Scots understand why increases on the higher paid are necessary! No one likes paying more tax but it is a fundamental requirement that those who earn more pay more in taxes. If your next choice is whether to buy a new Audi or BMW then you need to contribute more to society, indeed, you should be proud to do so! We now stand as an example to the rest of the UK!

The political parties in Scotland, on the whole, were satisfied, letting out only a few half-hearted moans all but the Tories! Yes, this party which should have no seats in an equitable society screamed blue murder!  This ill-educated rabble programmed only to shout about the union tried taking a stance on another subject and how they failed!

Local bigmouth John Lamont, he who is content to see poor people struggle to exist under the punishing brutality that is the botched universal Credit system said no one should pay more tax in Scotland than in England! Mr. Lamont should realise that we in Scotland make our own decisions and that he should concentrate on serving his constituents as all he has done so far is put his foot in it!

Similarly Murdo Fraser apparently the finance person for the Tories could only repeatedly blurt out that a manifesto pledge had been broken! In the strictest terms, it has been, but it has been broken to lay the foundations of a new and fairer system! Fraser only needs to look to Westminster to see massive U-turns botched deals and gaffes on an industrial scale!

As pragmatic Scots, we are coming round to the fact that for better services we have to pay more! If you cannot come round to that position then maybe you should move. Yes, McKay delivered a budget along the right lines though most left-leaning commentators would say he did not go far enough and I would agree! Those who earn massive salaries should pay significantly more!

If our way of living such as it affords you a good wage then you should be happy to pay more towards making life better for those who are not so fortunate! If you do not take that view then maybe you should be somewhere else! We need to see this trend continue with the rich being taxed more and more whilst still allowing them a very good standard of life! A significant change has taken place and Scotland will be the better for it! 
A never-ending nightmare!

This week saw the Maybot humiliated yet again as her flagship policy of Brexit stumbled on its way to god knows where! This clueless woman even managed to get a round of applause from the EU27 but it was not for what she had achieved, for that was nothing, but simply out of kindness for one who has been beaten and downtrodden by anyone she encountered!

Not wanting her to get all the attention not so clever David Davies managed to flutter a few EU hearts when he said the previous agreement May claimed to have gotten was christened merely as a statement of intent by the Tories! The result, however, is that everything thus far agreed will now have to be committed to paper in legalese and handed to Brussels’ ASAP!Yet another cringe-worthy moment that marks us all as fools!

Facing another embarrassing defeat the Maybot has again U turned and the exit date is no longer written in stone. The negotiations up until now have been led 100% by the EU 27 and there is no reason to believe that this will change in the second part of the process!   May, Davies et al are completely out of their depth, its one humiliation after another any humanitarian would say let it end now to alleviate any father suffering!   
This process has turned out to be a rout for the EU for they hold all the cards, any sane negotiator would call off the process, start again this time with research, proper preparatory work and skilled negotiators, only then would there be a chance of a favourable outcome for the UK! The best option, however, is to ditch this erroneous process and resume membership of the EU!                                                                                                                                                           

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Getting nippy!

 Photo 01 - Clouted ewes! see below.

Getting nippy!

Yesterday up at the loch it seemed almost dead the usual procession of cars absent and not one motorcycle was seen all day! No walkers, a trickle of vehicles mainly vans and a couple of hardy cyclists in thermal gear completed the picture. A few blackbirds were seen feeding off the remaining haws and rose hips as the food source withers away!

As happens every year the weather closes in and effectively the area goes into hibernation. Have a look at photo 02 below and you will see a toad (I think?) that I uncovered under some leaf litter next to the boathouse hibernating for a couple of months waiting on warmer weather. Apparently, these creatures can withstand some freezing in their bodies and recover, oh to be like a toad!

Only three anglers covered both the lochs yesterday and the reason was readily apparent – temperatures dropped to minus 6 later in the afternoon with an all-day high of minus1! Yes, you really need to layer up if you are thinking of spending time outside in this weather.  The upside, however, redresses the balance, Vivid, sharp, and clear days, the sound of nature uninterrupted by endless traffic and no chumps or angling bullies in sight! Breathtaking!

 The boathouse toad!

Back in time!

Have a look at photo 01 above and you will see sheep with vinyl squares stitched to their rear ends! At first, I struggled to figure out what they were for but then it struck me! They are a primeval form of contraception called “clouting”! Stout fabric (I’m told tweed cuttings were very good in the heady textile days) is sewn on to the ewes wool with the tail held down and three sides of the square are sewn leaving the bottom side open for excretion of waste!

The process of “bratting” or “clouting” was used to prevent ewes of 3 years and under from reproducing, as often, they became weak during and after the birth particularly in roaming flocks where rams would do what they do! Today there are more modern methods of contraception available to farmers but how interesting to see such an old method still in use today! Sometimes the old ways are indeed the best!

Photo - 03 Stuart with a blue Pike?

Havin a laugh!

Member Stuart Grieve sent in the above photo claiming it is a blue Pike. Hmmm, it is certainly a fine fish no doubt about that! However, to put this fish forward for the heavy Pike competition we would need scales and a verified weight. It might fool Mr. Xxxxx but for us, it won't do! Also, you look like a youngster in that photo miles away from the elder statesman look you now portray and your clobber seems very 1970s! I'm afraid it's a fail, Stuart!

The wider world in my view!

Beyond normal descriptive words!

This week has been an exceptional one where new hitherto unseen levels of bunging were portrayed by our complete shambles of a government! Most normal people had thought the bungling had peaked earlier in the year but boy, were we in for a shock! I am now firmly of the opinion that no one in this so-called government has an ounce of savvy, they are all variations of the village idiot!

A “deal” was done on Monday, then in the middle of her lunch supposedly to celebrate that a deal had been done she receives a call during which the DUP firmly put a spanner in the works! The Maybot had neglected to get approval from the DUP who are keeping her in office and the deal was blown! You couldn't even class it as a schoolboy error for a schoolboy would have nailed it no problem!

What kind of negotiator does not have the sense to run the proposed deal to all on their own side before going public? The answer, of course, is Theresa Mayhem, this forlorn figure who promised so much and delivered less than nothing! Yes, this incoherent and clueless woman did what no other Prime Minister could. She rubbished the good name of the UK by negotiating like an unprepared school kid on the world stage! The Huff Post mentioned the 3 Bs, blundering, blustering, and high buffoonery as her guiding lights! On all the substantive issues she folded, and the EU won hands down!

Mind you, she is not alone; blustering Bulldog David Davies must take the title of the country’s biggest liar! For months he has insisted that the government holds extremely detailed impact assessments which examine the impact of Brexit on various sectors.  When they were forced to divulge these assessments all that was presented was a ring binder full of loose notes largely amounting to nothing!

When Davies was hauled in front of a select committee he astonishingly admitted that in fact no impact assessments had in fact been carried out! It is beyond belief that they have just walked into these negotiations without doing any preparatory work! Puffed up incompetent fools do not cover it, this is probably the most important negotiation since the 70s and we are stuck with this lot!

It got even worse when Philip Hammond let slip that there was no strategy and worse no idea of the end goal that they wanted to achieve! When did anyone enter a negotiation without an idea of where they wanted to end up! Clearly, the government is comprised of intellectual featherweights!

If ever there was a time for a mass protest surely it must be now! I am not the only one who is staggered by the breathtaking incompetence of this administration! Just take a look at the newspaper headlines on Saturday and the usual suspects are proclaiming a huge victory for the Maybot! The events of Thursday night/Friday morning was not a cause for celebration, it was simply a fudge and a moment best forgotten until it returns to bite us!
Look at the quote below which succinctly summarises the events of the last week entitled -

 The drunken idiot!
 That time that drunk idiot climbed out of the club window wearing union jack shorts, and then queued for two years, argued for ages with the doormen and then paid a huge amount to get back in- just to sit almost where he was before. Then vomited on his shoes!”

That is exactly what has been achieved although we have still to vomit on our shoes! Don’t worry however there will be numerous instances of this in the near future! The Maybot and blustering Davies have only achieved what the EU wanted them to achieve, without Juncker’s help they would have achieved nothing. They took six months to achieve what a smart sixth former could have achieved in two weeks!

The next year I fear will be a rollercoaster ride which will end very badly indeed! A monumental success would be getting a free trade deal like Canada the more likely scenario is, however, we end up with no deal with the EU and suffer a massive recession that will make 2008 seem like a boom! These clueless fools are ruining the future for all our youngsters; it doesn’t matter much for those of us in the winter of their lives!

The next year will be pivotal for the country, England in particular, as we Scots can take the independence route! This is an insignificant government with nothing at all to commend, how unfortunate then, they are in office at the most important point in our recent history! Those thirteen Scottish constituencies who elected a Tory gasbag will have a lot to answer for! God help them and us!

Sunday, 3 December 2017

A winner, and a jolly decent bloke!

Photo 01 - Les presenting Davy with the Pike cup!

A winner and a jolly decent bloke!

Photo 01 above shows Davy Forsyth being presented with the heavy Pike cup by boathouse manager Les Henderson. Davy led the competition from start to finish and I am sure will be in the running for this season’s cup! Of course, Davy's membership of the club for next season is free! This year’s leader, even though the season has barely started is Stuart Grieve with a very nice 15 pounder. So you know the figure to beat!

The far side!

After numerous incidents of littering and fire setting, we have to remind visitors to the loch that the road to Bowerhope may only be used by members of the club. We made this restriction a few years ago to lessen the amount of unsocial behaviour that took place there. Cars dotted all over the area, coupled with copious littering do nothing for the ambience of the area and we do not bear any of the cost of the upkeep of the roads.
This restriction, however, does not close off the area to visiting anglers. If you are visiting the area and want to fish the far side of the loch there are two options –

(1)  Park at the bottom of the loch in the area just past the bridge that spans the outflow, and walk up to your chosen spot. If your chosen area is closer to the top of the loch then the best bet is to park near the Cafe Green. Walk past the Tibbie and the sailing club and head to your spot.
(2)  The most popular method, however, is to hire a rowing boat and row across to your preferred area. This is the method of choice if you are looking to fish the central area of the loch.

Please follow these guidelines, we do not own the land and we have a duty to the riparian owner not to cause damage.

Photo 02 - A lovely winter's day from the hall!

The wider world in my view!

 What a bloody shambles!

The farce continues on the subject of Brexit! It looks like this government of fools is content to hand over £55billion (that an absolute minimum) in order that we are worse off, what a bloody shambles! When the EU rightly set out their requirements for an orderly break there were cries of never, as the Brexiteers flexed their muscle!
Well, we are six months down the line and the EU has moved not an inch whilst our weak negotiators create much noise but on every step move closer to the original demands! We are now at the point of agreeing to meet all the original demands – six months totally wasted! What a bloody shambles!

The Tory dimwits clearly thought little about the consequences of our leaving the bloc. We have been turfed out of Europol, we have been thrown out of the Euro-defence group, we have lost the medicines agency and the latest is that we are being booted out of the Euro aviation industry watchdog meaning after Brexit our planes will not be able to fly! What a bloody shambles!

The Irish border now rears its head and we have until Monday to present in writing a workable solution! All the intellectual lightweights could come up with was a woolly proposal aided by unspecified technology! No detail, no substance just a few meaningless headings! This is a negotiation which has turned out to be a rout for the EU! They are staggered by the incompetence of our negotiating team led by a clueless bulldog, David Davies! What a bloody shambles!

It must now be clear to all except those who are brain dead, that this venture of leaving the EU is a complete and utter disaster! Jobs are disappearing all over the place! Companies are relocating to Europe and high-quality migrants urgently needed no longer grace our shores! Yet it seems all the Maybot can say is that she and her party of goons will carry out the will of the British people! What a bloody shambles!

Any thinking politician can see this is a massive disaster that unbelievably is going to get worse, and the most worrying thing is that it will do so by our own hand! We need an honest politician to admit the mistake, and ask the people once again to consider our future now that the truth is being uncovered! Only today the Social Commission select group chaired by Alan Milburn resigned en masse saying that no progress whatsoever has been made on lessening social inequality! Income inequality is at it's lowest point since the early eighties!  Milburn went on to state that the government was completely fixated on Brexit and they are making a complete hash of that!  What a bloody shambles!

Perhaps the latest gaffe on the Universal Credit farce which compels terminally ill people to be allocated a work coach highlights just what a load of rubbish constitutes this government! We surely cannot continue with these acts of self-destruction, nor the interminable bungling, that reduces our international standing! There are too many and potentially catastrophic consequences of so doing! I would add my weight to the many political commentators who say unequivocally, what a bloody shambles!

If you want to emulate the Maybots journey search Maybot in your Play Store or App Store - it's a crackin game!

Donald Chump!

He is at it again, but if the truth be known he has never stopped! Putting his foot in it thrashing out twilight tweets that come back to bite him as daylight beckons! The trash that is Britain First is over the moon as the most powerful man in the world (god help us!) gives them a massive boost! Theresa Mayhem’s response was typically weak and insipid and she should be embarrassed by it!

We need as a matter of urgency to cancel immediately the impending state visit of this buffoon! For once Mayhem must stand up and make it crystal clear he is not welcome here! For mark my words, if he does come here, there will be mass protestation the like of which has never been seen before! The Maybot is on the way out but at least show some courage, for your record up until now has been lamentable!

Prince Harry!

The day of their formal engagement was a long boring affair! All real news was put on the back burner forcing the majority of us to head for the off button as all the main channels broadcasted this tripe! Yes, its nice when people become engaged but look at it pragmatically, and you see a barely educated man in a position of high privilege living off the state! Of course, this means the taxpayer has to keep him and however many offspring they produce! Stories like this should be consigned to the back pages for the truth is they are nothing more than well-heeled benefit claimants! 

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Catch & release!

Photo 01 - The old wood at the top of the Lowes!

Catch & release!

This subject has been a perennial one cropping up often in conversation and the views quite strongly put forward by their proponents! It does seem to be a trend where indigenous Brown Trout are concerned with the advocates of this view citing the need to protect stocks of this slowly growing species! Indeed, such a stance is laudable but with a greater understanding of the potential future is there a need to formulate rules to achieve this?

Our rules on taking fish at the present time are quite clear. By law, it is forbidden to take any Eels from the lochs. By virtue of a club decision many years ago we do not allow anglers to take any Pike. Now the majority of contraventions to this rule are committed by anglers from other countries. The favourite excuse being that “we take them at home”!

But the above group are not wholly responsible for the removal of Pike. I remember well a Scottish angler who when I came to get his oars from the boat noted a dead Pike lying on the bottom. When quizzed he said he killed the fish to show it to his pals back home! It was an absolutely shocking admission given that a photo would have had the same effect but there is no accounting for people!

At present we allow anglers to take if they so wish two Brown Trout or two Perch per session. What we find in practice, however, is that Trout are only rarely taken and I can only think of three occasions in the past when Perch were taken.  We have got to ask ourselves that if the lochs cannot survive the taking of the odd fish then the reality is probably that we are presiding over a clapped out fishery!

No, I cannot at this time see a need for an all-out catch & release policy. We have only a few members who take the odd Trout and I would be against denying them that freedom. Typically the loch was used as a fishery where it was expected that if you fairly caught a couple of nice sized Trout you would take them for the pot.

 We no longer stock the loch but we are looking at figures in single digits for Trout taken in a season and as such there can be no compulsion to move towards full on catch and release! Of course, this is my view and the issue will be decided by our membership at the AGM!

The wider world in my view!

Omnishambles ever present!

All I have heard and seen on the subject of Brexit leads me to believe that the way the Tory party is going about this is a joke! Prior to the scheduled meetings, we have heard David Davies who is apparently our lead negotiator say that we are within touching distance of a deal! How strange then that post-meeting Michel Barnier says that much more progress is needed from the British!

We have arch buffoon Boris Johnston categorically stating that the £20billion we offered should be rescinded and now he is all for doubling the amount!  This fool is probably the country’s biggest liability and he is at the very forefront! But we shouldn’t bleat too much ace wheeler-dealer Liam Fox said Brexit would be easy, trade deals would be lining up at our door! Actually, the sum total is nil at this time, oh indeed, there have been many fine words exchanged but that’s the sum total!

Master front stabber Michael Gove now seems to have made up with Boris Johnston and is fuelling the Brexit fire! There is no remorse for deceiving the people of the UK with the now infamous Brexit lies about massive trade, more NHS money, and a huge prosperity! Of course, at the very front, we have Theresa Mayhem!

This weak and increasingly bewildered and embattled woman is but a figurehead who is pushed from pillar to post at the whim of the dolts above! No leadership, no strength of character and crucially no understanding of what a negotiation entails! The same pattern emerges on a daily basis! The EU state their position, Mayhem says its too much and a few weeks later they are complying with the demand!

It’s absolutely embarrassing to hear what politicians from other countries say about our negotiating team! Boris Johnston described as “unimpressive” was I suppose a kindness but they added, “at least he avoided any gaffes”! David Davies described as unprepared arriving with no documents and having little to say other than the latest buzz phrase “a deep and special trading deal!

They do not seem to understand that leaving the EU means that any deal secured will be less than would be the case if we remained members! This weak and wobbly administration has embarrassed this country like no other in history. A bunch of chumps constantly chasing the game, never catching up and blundering into the bargain on a massive scale!

Incapable of thinking they plough on with a failed concept that is Brexit! Jobs are now disappearing at an alarming rate. Companies relocating to elsewhere in the EU and the bill for making things a hundred times worse is piling up into the £billions! The reality of Brexit is apparent to all bar this bunch of fools who look intent on doing for the country good and proper!

The recently failed budget unraveling as I write only tipped cash into the pockets of the wealthy and punished everyone else showed the disastrous figures for projected economic productivity and growth! No increase in wages predicted, rising prices and Brexit proper hasn’t even started! Three respected bodies (IFS, OBR, and RF) making economic forecasts which are nothing short of terrifying!

 And now with the intervention of the Irish government, it looks as though Brexit will not happen which is the best scenario we could hope for! The Westminster Tories don’t even appear to have factored in the Irish situation which is in keeping with their bungling interventions!

We have here a rabble posing as our government, they have inflicted incalculable damage to our economy, our public services, our international standing and our social fabric! How much worse can this get?

Sunday, 19 November 2017

New permits!

New permits!

Our old day permits have served us well being drawn up with the assistance of the Tweed Commission and the police but next week they will be no more. Yes, they have run out but Elliot Fraser was ahead of the game and we have taken delivery of a new batch that will see us well into the future! They are half the size of the last ones but are equally full of necessary information.

Because of Mr. Xxxxx retaining a book of our tickets among other club property we felt we should make the change so that any appearance of those tickets would stand out prominently. There is a section for catch returns and we will be constructing a returns box fixed to the club boathouse to replace the one that was vandalised back in early summer and we would appreciate anglers filling these in. An information slip will be issued with all permits asking anglers to return all Pike and think carefully before taking any Trout or Perch and will also contain information about the general conduct expected from anglers. Mandatory catch and release is a topic for our AGM in 2018.

We are still asking for car registration numbers as these allow the police to trace the owners and hence occupants quickly. The problem here, however, is that as most members know when given this information they do not act on it! Now it is not only our club that is disadvantaged by this inaction but the population as a whole!

This Tory government has cut public funding to the bone, forcing the police to focus only on more serious crimes. A member emailed me this week complaining about a pile of litter left by two Polish anglers asking what we could do regarding this. The short answer is not a lot! The police don’t want to know and all we can do is keep a record of their names and registration numbers and if they are encountered again chase them!

Sometimes if the angler’s car is not in close proximity they could give us any old number and we would be none the wiser! It’s a difficult problem with no easy answer, but thanks to that member for cleaning up this mess it’s something most of our members have had to deal with at some time or other! We ask all our members to check the permission of others so if you see an old style permit and it didn’t come from Fishers in Penicuick please let us know!

Photo 02 - 4 fire sites close together, not what we want to see!

Keeping warm!

At this time of year, it’s easy for hardy Pike anglers to get chilled by the low temperatures and biting winds. That is why you often see a group of Pike anglers huddled around a blazing small fire. We don’t have a problem with our anglers having a fire for cooking and heating purposes. What we do not like to see is anglers cutting down trees trying to burn green wood! Stealing parts of fences that belong to local farmers!

Having a bonfire that could get out of control! Siting fires two or three feet from a previous one leaving a scorched earth landscape! By all means, have a fire but do apply some common sense and if you can bring your own fuel be it coal or wood!

From our recommended dealer!

This week Mike has some outstanding deals just in time for the shopper seeking to buy something for an angler. Check out the items below to fill his or her’s stocking!

The wider world in my view!

A bit of a letdown!

John is one of our regular visitors and works as a supervisor in a large mobile phone shop in Edinburgh; here he gives his appraisal of the current scene.
I phones sell in their millions initially through innovation but now just fan loyalty. I say that because the original I phone looks the same as the just released I phone8. They are completely devoid of style and no one buys these devices looking for cutting-edge design. Indeed they are good communication devices but in my opinion no better than any of the Android flagships out there today from Samsung, LG, Huawei etc.

There are a few novelty features such as emoji, but why would you buy a phone for that? They are very quick when viewing the various benchmarking tests but in real life much the same or only marginally quicker than an Android flagship such as the Pixel 2 or Galaxy S8. Android phones are now much in advance of I phones being significantly cheaper and countless times more stylish than the small rectangles from Cupertino.

Apple was late to realise this and have rushed out the I phone X (ten). This phone is $1,000 or more depending on the storage option and is 30% Samsung the OLED display coming from them. As such the screen is very good if you get the $1.99 app (which is selling like hotcakes) to get rid of the already infamous notch at the top of the screen. It’s an ordinary flagship phone that is grossly overpriced and outclassed by the leading Android offerings.

The I phone X brings nothing new of any substance to the table. Face unlocking is and has been incorporated into Android phones for a couple of years now and Apples version like Androids is a long way from being reliable. The bezeless design has been used by Samsung since the Galaxy S6 in 2015 as has the all-glass construction.
Battery life on the I phone has always been a sore point and this is still the case with the I phone X and the smaller I phone 8s. But this release at least supports fast charging and soon will offer wireless charging (at some considerable cost) again this has been available on Android for at least three years.

The cameras on the I phones have always been good and Android really only challenged them with the Google Pixel and the Samsung Galaxy S7. The current camera on the I phone X is a good one but not ahead of its rivals by any significant margin.

In its favour the I phone X is the most stylish I phone ever but even then its a dullard compared to the latest Android with sleek lines and dual curved screens. Most Android flagships are IP68 certified whilst Apple is content with IP67 which is only splash resistant whilst top Androids can be dropped into 3 metres of water and still function. The mad rush for I phones has been absent for the last few years and that in itself tells the story.  There will always be a dedicated band of Apple enthusiasts who will purchase anything Apple it is in my experience a rapidly diminishing band.

To conclude if the I phone X was the same price as the Pixel or S8 and had the same features I might recommend it but at the sky-high price at launch, I would say keep your money and buy an S8 or a Galaxy Note 8 they are great feature packed phones and you will be hundreds (with the S8) of pounds in pocket. The I phone X is more of a flop than a revelation. The report card for Apple states – must do better.
There you have it the lowdown on the I phone 8 and the I phone  X so thanks, John and he has agreed to write for us now and then on the subject of phones.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Countryside code!

Photo 01 A night time 15 pounder caught by Stuart Grieve.
Countryside code!

It really beggars belief that I find myself having to write about something that should be second nature to anyone who enjoys an outdoor pursuit. Our bodily functions operate irrespective of what one is doing and given that occasionally we find ourselves getting caught short. The countryside code gives sound advice on what to do.

But what can we do if we need to empty our bowels and no toilet is nearby? What you do not do is make a deposit close to a well-worn walking path and leave the area with your deposit in open ground and toilet paper strewn all over! If that course of action is taken you can bet your bottom dollar that the mess will invariably be found by a local resident walking the dog and a complaint will be forthcoming upon which we will be bound to act!

What should be done is having come equipped with a trowel or similar tool, found a well-hidden place away from any walkways and dig out a small hole, with the deposit in the hole it could then be filled in and tamped down and no one is any wiser! I knew this from an early age and have various implements in my bag that double as digging tools as most anglers do!

If you are an angler and the above was alien to you might I suggest you read a copy of the countryside code and our club rules. We have as users of the countryside a duty not to damage the environment and make that countryside the best it can be! We would take a very dim view of any members not so doing!

Photo 02 - Before refurbishment, rusty old trike.

Don’t throw it away!

I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to retire early, I have not though given up work altogether. I work 2-3 days per week as a volunteer trainer facilitator with people who have learning disabilities. We are a registered charity and look after the grounds where we are based and do outside garden work for those for whatever reason cannot do so themselves. Most of our squad of men and women are on the autistic spectrum or have a congenital learning difficulty.

We have recently established a new sphere of operation in that we rescue old bicycles refurbish them by means of mechanical rectification and or cosmetic renovation. The refurbished bikes are then sold cheaply to allow people who could not afford a new bike the chance to own a mechanically sorted and cosmetically acceptable bike.

Photo 03 - After a respray and mechanical fettling, it sold the next day!

Out of the small profit, we make we pay members of the group a small training allowance which affords them some spare cash and the dignity of working to help others. The newfound purpose experienced by the group members leads to increased confidence and self-esteem and prepares them for a work environment. If you have a bicycle in any condition that you do not use you can donate it to our charity by getting in touch at

Welcome news!

We heard last week that Mr. Xxxxx is moving out and heading to Selkirk. I am sure that all members of the club wish him well and hope he has learned from his many mistakes! We have pasted his photo into our records book so that future loch keepers will recognise him and send him packing if he ever tries to come and fish!

The wider world in my view!

Lest we forget!

Today is Remembrance Sunday, a time when we remember the sacrifice made by members of the armed forces and civilians in the two World Wars and more recent conflicts. They gave their lives in order that the lives of you and me could be conducted in freedom and safety. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.

Only eight more needed!

It’s been another disastrous week for Theresa Mayhem with ministers resigning and good old Boris making a proper dick of himself condemning that poor woman in Iran to what will be another 5 years in an Iranian prison! The imbecile didn’t even have it in him to offer an apology for his monumental cock-up! Of course, this bumbling idiot played straight into the hands of the Iranians who now have “proof” of what they say were the woman’s intentions.

Yes, the fool above who gets nearer every day to being sacked as the pressure mounts would already be out on his ear if we had a Prime Minister able to exert any authority! I am at a loss to understand how the public can put up with this charlatan! The Maybot is in office but not in power! Priti Patel another hardliner blue nose decided to invoke her own version of foreign policy by arranging meetings (12!!) with various bigwigs in the Israeli government including the Prime Minister and wait for it, all on a family holiday!

Under any other regime, such actions would have led to an immediate sacking but again the weak Maybot could only slap her wrists for fear of causing an uprising which would topple her out of office! Patel’s replacement Penny Mordaunt is another chump, forgetting the massive belly flop on prime TV, she was the one warning Turkey would be joining the EU and that the UK would be incorporated into an EU army! Worst of all, however, she posed like an uninformed fool in front of the infamous Vote Leave bus promising an extra £350million for the NHS every week! 

With still more revelations to surface on the sexual harassment front, Theresa Mayhem’s odds of lasting until Christmas have been slashed to 6-4. It’s like a crap episode in a B rated soap opera! It has been reported yesterday that 40 MPs have now signed a letter expressing no confidence in Theresa Mayhem only 8 short of the figure required to oust her!

But it’s not the above that instills worry in the general public, it is the intractable bunging on such a regular basis it has become the norm! The EU stated this week they are waiting for the government to collapse and really that says it all! This government is impotent capable of doing nothing at all of any importance. Indeed the lofty statements keep on coming but that’s all we get! We have drifted from being a respected country to a rabble capable only of blundering! Our credibility sinks each time they make a pronouncement, the EU briefing statements make me cringe as they look at us with incredulity at how disorganised our negotiators are. Probably the most crucial time in our history since World War 2 and we are stuck with a bunch of incompetent dummies!

Sunday, 5 November 2017

The heavy Pike cup!

Photo 01 - A cold winters day!

The heavy Pike cup!

Tuesday passed with no last-minute pleas for a heavy Pike to be considered for the 2016/7 competition. This, of course, led to Davy Forsyth being crowned as the winner! Now Davy has led the competition from the start, his 21lbs 8oz fish whilst being attacked by a good few heavy doubles snapping at his heels over the year remained untouchable!

So Davy takes the honour and the cup and of course free membership of the club for the coming year! Davy is not a man given to bragging like the local angling bully, he, for the most part, keeps his angling memories close to his chest. This most welcome trait in an angler is evidence that like old Izaak he appreciates the wonders that are available to the thinking angler!

Freely passing on his considerable knowledge to newer anglers and giving items of tackle to others is a trait confined to real anglers! Always there if there is some work to be carried out to propel the club forward and always ready to give a few tips to those not having such a good time. Probably the archetype of what we would call a great club member and as you have read in the past we have an increasing number of them. You will find him on the loch in all weathers he puts in the time and reaps the rewards by trying new techniques in new areas.

Once we catch up with Davy we will present him with his trophy and hopefully get a wee photo. Well done Davy you thoroughly deserve the accolade!

The wider world in my view!

Potential gloom!

Sometimes you stop and think what a wonderful world. But looking at recent events over the last ten years I bet that thought was the furthest from your mind! We are a relatively rich country and yet the number of people we have in abject poverty continues to rise. We see our public services brought to their knees by throttling of the money given to them by our central government!

Yes, indeed the culprits presiding over our rapid decline are the Tories! The last government led by Lord Snooty and minister without a clue Gideon Osborne sowed the seeds and plunged us into a horrific mess and one from which we are unlikely to recover! Lord Snooty fearing to lose a raft of votes to UKIP initiated the process to allow a referendum to be held on our membership of the European Union and from that point onwards there has been a rapid decline in our standard of living!

When Snooty realised what he had done he abandoned ship leaving the way open for the bewildered Diddy’s we now have! Theresa Mayhem has lived up to her name causing complete and utter mayhem in our lives with her clueless ministrations! We are the laughing stock of Europe as we bungle our way through the Brexit negotiations with the total achievement to date of gaining nothing whatsoever!

We have in the Maybot probably the weakest leader ever, clinging on to her office and being pushed and pulled by the warring factions of her party. Yes, this band of idiots, fools, jesters and now sexual perverts are in open warfare with the casualties being the general public as they pay scant attention to trying to run the country!

The 58 “secret” study’s that the Tories tried to keep under wraps will soon be made clear to us all and believe me they will paint a frightening picture of our future or lack of in life outside the EU! Instead of being frank and open with the public they seem content to lead us into what will be one of the darkest times in our history!
The Brexit negotiations started badly, they are currently going very badly and they will end extremely badly! The EU side must think we are a nation of ninny’s, what is taking place is not a negotiation it’s a rout for the EU side! If we get anything at all from the EU it will be because they gave it to us it will not be because we negotiated it!

Just how this government is completely without a clue is not 100% clear for as individuals there are some pretty clever people among them. This government is about cock-ups, U-turns, and unfathomable downright blunders. They seem to be unable to accomplish anything no matter how straightforward the task. On every conceivable front we are in the mire, be it social care, health, education or any other topic you care to mention Brexit, of course, is the star of the show, an absolutely monumental blunder that if progressed will cost us dear!

Their time is thankfully now limited with the sex scandal being the final nail in their coffin. The interminable bungling by this administration will be recorded in history; their actions are on the point of being incomprehensible! In amongst all the blundering, our social structure is being systematically dismantled by the time they are ousted there will be left only a ruin! The next administration will have a mammoth job trying to repair the damage done by the Tories.

Unless the country gets rid of these Tories and Brexit is reversed then the next ten years will make the great depression look like a walk in the park!