Driving To Mid Calder

wlaa Sat, 01/30/2016 - 19:30

Driving to Mid Calder on a chilly, damp night in January, with sleet falling and the temperature dropping sharply, to attend a meeting would not rank at the top of many people’s social agendas.
But this was the night of the AGM of the West Lothian Angling Association (WLAA) and being a rookie on the river I was interested to hear more having returned to fishing after a 40-year gap. Sadly, work intervened.
I was first to arrive and the hall was empty, but it soon began to fill and the welcome was warm.
Newbies, like myself, were asked if they had enjoyed their first season and we were brought quickly into the discussion.
Our views were listened to and it was clear that the top table, and the long-standing members present, were desperately keen to ensure that the association and fishing on the River Almond prospers.
There was undoubted enthusiasm and a determination to encourage the five-year-old WLAA to grow and develop and it was obvious that hours of painstaking, behind-the-scenes work has been undertaken by the five-strong committee to continue building on the hard core of permit-holding regulars who fish the river.
The overall aim of the association is to provide, promote and protect angling opportunities within the West Lothian area.
It is constituted to encourage fishing for salmon and brown trout on approximately nine miles (double/single bank) of the Almond between Kirkton Weir and the Clifton Hall.
The water is split into two beats. Beat 1 is all species excluding salmon and Beat 2 is all species including salmon.
The basics are that members are permitted to fish using fly, spin or bait techniques and there is a bonus.
Membership of the WLAA is open to all members of the public and juniors aged between nine and 16 can join free as part of a senior membership.
Association benefits include insurance cover. That is a key component and I’ve committed to joining this year.
Officials want to see the organisation grow and increased communication is considered crucial.
In that connection, officials are keen to encourage members to contribute articles and pictures to the new blog (on the website) and Facebook page to spread the message about the enjoyment of fishing the Almond.
The scenic river, which runs through rolling countryside, including the popular, 220-acre, Almondell and Calderwood Country Park, is undoubtedly an asset which is worth preserving and nurturing.
So, consider joining the growing band of anglers on the river by looking at the website for details. The cost is £15, a bargain for a whole season of game fishing.
You are assured of a warm welcome and some handy hints and tips about where and how to catch those elusive trout and salmon. Tight lines.

(Blog post sent by Nigel Duncan Copyright 2016)