Hiya, I have been fishing the Kelvin now for over twenty years and writing about fishing it over at urbanflyfisher.com for the majority of that time. I was the main drive towards “social media”for the Kelvin – some of you can remember the infamous Kelvin Forum wars we had and some of the characters we had to deal with. At least with facebook they are forced to use their real names so we can see them for who they are.
John Wilson made some points in his video and I would like to clarify some things that have been bugging me for a while.
AGM – John spoke about his first AGM where someone stood up and spoke about postcodes and why the meeting should not go ahead. The members were asked and it was a resounding 66 to 1 vote for the AGM to go ahead. That aside I think our AGM’s are utterly appalling. The behaviour displayed by some members has got a lot to be desired.
At our last AGM we could not even hold a minute’s silence for a chap who ran the pub where we held our opening ceremony due to the fear that it would be disrupted. When the wildlife crime officer was speaking these guys were asking questions designed to be disruptive and talking amongst themselves. Even when other members did ask questions important to the river these guys spoke over them and I felt like a schoolteacher telling them to shoosh. At the end of the night one of them walked past me and said “see ya later bawbag” My kids are better behaved than this.
This is the sort of person that argues about postcodes and a constitution but does not abide by the being respectful to your fellow angler bit. I remember the last time we tried to invite someone along to give us a talk on the fly life in the Kelvin – one member (now ex member – one of the ones that people may want the amnesty for) shouted at the guy that this was “alright for the kids but nothing to do with the salmon” Dr. Willie Yeoman’s (Clyde River Foundation scientist)then told us he would not put a member of his staff through that ordeal again.
Paul, Alan, Jim and myself put a lot of thought into the AGM’s and for some folk to cause disruption throughout is just disheartening. Personally, I dread the AGM’s and the total lack of common decency is appalling. One guy told Paul to get out of “his fucking way” at the start of the meeting – when Paul challenged him on this the guy thought this was perfectly reasonable behaviour. At the second last AGM the janitor complained to us about the smell of cannabis outside the hall. I guess this is better than when we held the meetings in Partick when lots of folk would turn up drunk to the meeting. One guy was shouting at us because he had never had his permit checked by a bailiff despite always talking to him – he did not realise that the same guys who were talking to him every time he fished were bailiffs. He then started ledgering with two rods and rod rests coming up with the bullshit story that his son was away having a pee – it must have been a long pee as he was away the whole day.
Personally, I think it is elitist to not have the AGM in places that actually have the most members – there is more of the river outside the city than in. At the last AGM Paul was quizzed about spending a couple of hundred pounds on bailiff stuff – where were the questions when the previous secretary used to spend money on new tyres for his car or his MOT?Certain people quiz me where I live now and where Paul lives as if you have got to live a stone’s throw away from the river to do admin for it. One of the previous long standing chairman did not even fish the river and neither did the treasurer – why was there no questions of them? I think it is pretty much because they just gave away free permits to the bams and let it become the wild west that it is.
Personally, I think that every person with a so-called “Gold Card” should be expelled from the association for not doing enough to manage the river. Banning members – very few members are ever banned from the association. Each one of them knows the reasons why. They know this as if they are banned they get a letter with a right of appeal. Unfortunately we are not dealing with honest people which is why folk only ever here one side of the story – “
“I was banned for having a fishing forum”
“I was banned because the secretary took a dislike to me”
“I was banned because I just did not know a simple rule”
All total rubbish – banning folk from fishing a river is actually a very hard thing to do and is always a last resort. For a start you’ve actually got to police it in some kind of way. Also, you have then got to put up with all the other nonsense about their mates who tell untruths. I read on another fishing page that a guy with the second name of Murphy would have a hard time from the RKAA committee because of his name. I mean come on, we live in 2020! I actually had to look up why this might be the case.
How about the guy who we ran into on a Sunday with his Salmon fishing gear – “i’ve been out walking the river since Saturday” An Association – John made reference to the fact that this is the anglers river and yes he is correct. However we have a lease to pay to the crown estates and believe it or not we are not one big happy family of reasonable people- some folk are unreasonable and actually want a level of anarchy just so that they can do their own thing. In no other association would anyone get away with fishing in a bowl like the so called “falls pool” There used to be a place like it on the Leven at the barrage many moons ago and guess what the LLAIA banned people from fishing there. Lots of folk act surprised that we still accept fishing at such a spot.
That aside you need a level of administration to attend to the day to day affairs of running a fishing club and that is what we do – volunteers doing a pretty boring job. If folk just turned up to fish the river like normal people then that would be that – but no, folk decide to hurl abuse or fish on a sunday or cause random people to complain about people shouting down at the sea pool. Or random people complain to us about anglers threatening dog walkers at the science park. And we try to deal with it. And people, the ones that are causing the problems do not like it, and say they are doing nothing wrong – that it is the “people’s river” or their mate was banned because the secretary does not like them.
All utter bollocks and I am sick of it. At pretty much every AGM their are rumours of coups or a vote of no confidence in the committee, even when we put ourselves up for reelection we are still voted back in – Paul put himself up even when he did not have to and I pointed out to the room that they could now get rid of him – nope,voted back in. All because this small vocal minority cannot get three honest folk together to actually do the jobs – instead they will plot about petitions and draw other people into their bullshit conspiracy theories.
So yes,something needs to change about this association and it has nothing to do with the committee – as quite frankly we are there for the silent majority that are appalled at the vocal minority that think that sticking the boot in to “authority” is their own sad way at some kind of rebellion. Even if that “authority” is an admin at a fishing club.We need more of the silent majority to get involved and call out the bullshit when they see it – we need more guys at the AGM that actually want to see positive changes for the river and it’s fishings.By the way, when I get voted out I will have a smile on my face as it means I get to do the complaining for a change at someone – I think I know who I will nominate in my place.
TL:DR A small number of bangers cause problems for the majority of anglers. They look on admin workers at a fishing club as “authority” and an easy target. Some folk believe their bullshit – we need more good guys to call them out.
I have turned the comments off for this post however feel free to join in over at the River Kelvin Fishers Facebook page.