Loch Leven Fishing Report – week ending 1st May

Once again, there was not a great deal of evidence of warmer spring like weather here last week.  We actually woke up to 2 inches of snow on Friday morning but thankfully it had mostly gone by the end of day, only to be replaced by a strong NE wind which made life challenging for anglers over the weekend.

Water clarity is actually now very good but the water temperature on Saturday morning was 7.50C – drop of 2 degrees over the course of the week which just shows how chilly it has been.

Some of the hardy souls who did venture out have caught nice fish.  Peter Cameron and Paul Donegan had 3 fish on Saturday, all returned and all reported to be in excellent condition.  The biggest fish was caught by Peter (pictured below) and was estimated to be a ‘comfortable’ 6 lbs.  Stuart Moodie was also out on Saturday and had 4 fish, again all returned. Stuart caught his fish at the Mid Buoy.

Peter Cameron with a very nice looking brownie

Peter Cameron with a very nice looking brownie

Pike anglers are having mixed success.  Kenny Johnstone and pal had 6 on Sunday morning before the wind became too strong.  The biggest was estimated at 12 lbs and all 6 pike were caught on the fly.  Having kicked off the week on Monday with a 25 pounder, as reported in the Stop Press in last week’s report, Rod McLennan was out again on Sunday and caught 3 more, two on the fly and one on a spun lure.  Most of the pike are being contacted on the drop offs from Alice’s Bower north to the Clay Hills bank.

Best areas for contacting trout are Reed Bower, Mid and East Buoys, Hole ‘o’ the Inch and just south of Roy’s Folly, all of which seem to be producing fish.

Buzzer methods are still worth a try but pulling methods just at the moment seem to be probably the best bet.  Silver or gold Sparklers, Dunkeld, Kate McLaren and various Snatchers are all worth a try.

Looking out of the window, the weather is still cold, wet and very blustery but thankfully the weather forecast for the coming week indicates that we may be in line for some welcome warmer conditions.  A bit of warmth will hopefully see increased activity from the trout, particularly if this is accompanied as it should be by some good fly hatches.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Loch Leven Fishing Report – week ending 24th April

As seems to be the case most years, April has been throwing pretty much everything at us weather-wise, from heavy snow showers and quite hard overnight frosts to the rather benign weather we had on Sunday which was a lovely day to be out with anglers having to remove a layer to stay comfortable.

The fishing has been a bit patchy with some anglers getting managing to catch a few fish on Buzzers whilst others are having some success on flies fished sub surface – actually, very ‘sub surface’ in most cases!  Out on Thursday, Ian Simpson had 3 very good trout on Buzzers, two of which weighing about 1½ lbs and 3 lbs respectively were returned and one beauty weighing 4 lbs 14 ozs was taken home for the pot!

On Saturday, Brian Mackenzie & Tom Burnett had 6 fish between them ranging from 1½ lbs up to 5 lbs.  All these fish were quickly weighed and carefully returned.  Sunday saw local club Kinross AC out for the first time this season and they managed 11 trout for their 6 boats.  Top rod was Ally Middlemas with 2 fish.  Ally was last year’s Club Champion and so it looks as though the club members will have to watch out for him again this season!  Also on that club outing was Andy Menmuir who caught this nice fish in the photo below.

Nice looking fish caught by Andy Menmuir "at the Gabions and stuffed full of fry"

Nice looking fish caught by Andy Menmuir “at the Gabions and stuffed full of fry”

Stop Press for pike anglers out there – it looks as though things are kicking off because Rod McLellan was out on Monday and had 3 pike, the largest of which weighed over 25 lbs.  There is usually a window for pike fisherman which lasts from now until early June when the weed beds have grown to the extent that they offer pike a concealed habitat in which to roam, making them harder to catch.

Rod McLellan with the 25 lbs pike he caught on Monday

Rod McLellan with the 25 lbs pike he caught on Monday

As mentioned earlier, Buzzer methods are working well when conditions are suitable.  Equally, pulling we flies in the form of Sparklers, mini lures, peraly bodied Invicta and Kate McLaren are all worth a try.  Fishing DI7 lines when the temperature is low as is the case at the moment is probably the best bet but things can and will change.

Water clarity is much improved over the last week and now stands at 3 meters using the Secchi Disc but water temperature is still a pretty chilly 90C.

The trout that are being caught this season are almost all in superb condition and are giving a very good account of themselves when hooked.  So when everything comes together as hopefully it will soon, we should see some nice fishing, hopefully a bit closer to the surface.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Loch Leven Fishing Report – week ending 17th April

The weather was pretty chilly for most of last week and indeed, at the weekend, anglers had to ensure sleet and snow showers blown in on an artic wind.  Despite the inclement conditions, flies have been hatching, sometimes in good numbers, and fish have been caught using Buzzers and also pulling mini lures, Sparklers etc.

On Wednesday, Donald McGregor had two very nice fish on Buzzers, one of which measured 53 cms in length and estimated at comfortably over 4 lbs.  Donald returned both his fish.  On Thursday, Barry Tindall and Bradley Chalmers had 5 fish, again all on Buzzers and all returned.

Brad Chalmers with one of the 5 brownies caught by him and Barry Tindall

Brad Chalmers with one of the 5 brownies caught by him and Barry Tindall

Temperatures plunged on Saturday and yet still some areas of the loch did experience a fair Buzzer hatch and yet other areas which had previously had good hatches seemed to ‘dry up’ in terms of fly life.  That said, Paul O’Neill and a pal had 4 fish pulling Sparklers and all were returned.  He caught the one shown below in a sleet storm just off the Reed Bower.

Nanook of the North (aka Paul O'Neill) braving arctic conditions to land this nice brownie

Nanook of the North (aka Paul O’Neill) braving arctic conditions to land this nice brownie

The Hole ‘o’ the Inch and Reed Bower both produced fish during the week and more were seen on the surface along the ‘banks’ between the Mid & East Buoys.

Water clarity has slightly improved to 1.6 meters but the water temperature actually dropped 1oC to 7oC.  Nevertheless, it is encouraging to see these early Buzzer hatches – something which we have been a bit short of these past 3 or 4 seasons.  Indeed, some very large Buzzers have been appearing in the area of the Narrow Neck / Hole ‘o’ the Inch area and the fish have definitely been responding to these ‘lifts’ of flies.

As the loch warms up and Spring kicks in properly, we will hopefully start to see some more good movement of fish and enjoy a bit of sport.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Loch Leven Fishing Report – week ending 10th April

It is always a joy when a new season kicks off, even if it means cajoling Willie into action and start producing the fishing reports for the blog once again!

As usual, a new season kicked on Loch Leven fairly slowly with only a few intrepid anglers prepared to venture out until conditions warm up a bit.  The water is still very cold at 7.5oC which tends to mean activity below the surface is somewhat subdued.  Water clarity at the moment is 1.4 metres due to the presence of background diatoms (algae) in the water but that is totally normal until we get the spring build up of Zooplankton (Daphnia and Cyclops) which it is encouraging to see are already in evidence this early in the season if not as yet in any great quantities.  What is interesting is that, despite being so early in the season, we have already had some good early hatches of both olive and black Buzzers.

Despite only a few boats having ventured out to date, there have already been some very nice fish caught.  Rob Walls was out yesterday with Rod McLennan and had a lovely fish weighing 5 lbs 13 ozs which was weighed and returned whilst Rod had one at 3 lbs.  Brian Mackenzie and Tom Burnett had 6 fish in total between them, all of which were returned.  They estimated that the smallest of their 6 fish weighed about 2 ½ lbs whilst the largest was over 4 lbs – a very nice early season ‘basket’ of brown trout!  All these fish were caught using Buzzers which is pretty early for that particular method to be effective here.

Rab Walls with a 5 lbs 13 ozs brownie caught at the Hole 'o' the Inch on a buzzer

Rab Walls with a 5 lbs 13 ozs brownie caught at the Hole ‘o’ the Inch on a buzzer

The Hole ‘o’ the Inch along to the Old Leven Mouth is where most of the action took place but hopefully, as Buzzer hatches increase, other areas of the loch will start coming into play.  It is just a bit too early in the season to predict with any degree of confidence what lies ahead for us but early indications are certainly encouraging.

The condition factor and fighting quality of all the trout caught so far has been excellent which suggests that the fish have had good food availability throughout most if not all the recent winter months.

There have been a few pike caught already which again is quite early for here.  Normally we would expect pike fishing to pick up towards the end of this month (April)  and continue through to early June by which time the weed beds will be becoming established and the pike retreat into them to hunt their prey.

************************************************************************************

LOCH LEVEN PAIRS CLASSIC – STILL SOME PLACES AVAILABLE!

Loch Leven Pairs Classic 2016

As announced a little while ago, we have decided to resurrect the old Loch Leven Classic Pairs which will take place over 2 days in June (Friday 10th & Saturday 11th). There will be cash prizes totalling £1000 for the first 3 pairs and the anglers catching the 2 biggest fish plus other prizes. We have also located a wonderful old trophy which will be polished up and presented to the winning pair.

The competition will take place over 2 sessions: Friday afternoon & evening (2pm – 11pm) and Saturday day session (10am – 6pm)

Entries are invited from any 2 anglers wishing to enter as a pair with an entry fee per pair of £150. Number of entries limited by the size of our fleet of boats and there are only a few still available – so don’t delay getting your entry in if you are interested.

To enter, you can download the Loch Leven Classic Pairs 2016 Entry Form .  Any questions, phone Michael Wilson on 07894 899 532

***********************************************************************************

BOOKING A BOAT THIS SEASON

Online Booking

We have tried to make things even easier for you to book a boat this season by launching an online booking system through iBookfishing.

  • It is designed to be accessible through your phone, tablet (iPad), laptop or desktop pc and is simple to use.
  • Once you have entered your details the first time, it should remember them when you next log in to book.
  • You can quickly see if there are any boats available for the date you wish to fish and you can choose to book boats for early morning, day or evening sessions.
  • There are no booking charges and full payment as usual is only taken on the day at the pier (not online).

You can access the online booking system by

  1. Clicking on the BOOK A BOAT tab in the navigation bar at the top of this blog
  2. Click on the BOOK NOW button on our Facebook page on our cover photo at the top
  3. Go direct to http://www.ibookfishing.com/booking/Loch-Leven and bookmark as a favorite

Telephone

For the not-so-techie minded, the following numbers in order of preference can be phoned

  1. The Fishery Mobile (Michael Wilson) on 07894 899532 – texts to that number are good too.
  2. The Fishery Shed at the Pier 01577 865386
  3. The Green Hotel Reservations team 01577 863467

or finally Email: info@fishlochleven.co.uk

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

LOCH LEVEN – END OF SEASON REPORT 2015

Another fishing season over at Loch Leven and, looking back, at times it performed really well and at other times it was pretty difficult for anglers – that pretty much sums up Loch Leven and wild brown trout for you. However, even on those days when catching them was proving challenging, anglers were usually aware that they were in amongst a good head of fish.

April saw some nice baskets of fish reported and, from the very start of the season, the fish were in beautiful condition and fought just as hard as you would expect from a wild brownie in good condition. Fry feeding was a feature in the early season and small lures fished at varying depths accounted for some good fish.

Pike fishing also enjoyed a very good spell from the third week in April through to the end of May when the weed growth in the ‘pike areas’ really got going and when we think the pike start to confine their feeding activities to the very lush weed beds.

Buzzer fishing enjoyed a lot of success as we moved into June but it has to be said that sport during this period was slightly patchy rather than consistent. Both June & July worked away quietly rather than being really busy with day sessions generally performing better than the evenings.

August saw the return of some serious fry feeding along the huge weed beds in various areas of the loch but the fish were difficult to engage when engaged in fry bashing but some very big fish were caught, some were lost and the rest just teased the best efforts of anglers.

September proved to be probably the most challenging month with lots of fish in evidence but often seeming indifferent to the anglers’ offerings although some very nice fish were caught right up to the end of the season.

Looking back over the 2015 season as a whole, the two big positives were the number of fish in the loch and the quality and size of some of the fish caught. Although nobody landed a real monster this season, we had regular reports, often supported by photos, of cracking fish being caught in the 5lbs, 6 lbs and 7lbs size bracket – more so perhaps than in any previous year that we can remember. Many an angler recorded their Loch Leven PB.

Below is a photo compilation of some of the top fish caught on Loch Leven last season – apologies to those whose photos did not quite make the cut!

L-R from top left: John Reid, Darren Scott, Eck Bolton, Scott Reith, Brendan McWilliam & Donald McGregor

L-R from top left: John Reid, Darren Scott, Eck Bolton, Scott Reith, Brendan McWilliam & Donald McGregor

On the downside, the brownies often proved challenging to hook but I dare say that is just Loch Leven for you – the better you know the loch, the greater seems to be the chance of catching them but quite often one also needs a bit of luck. It would have been nice if the fishing had been a bit more consistent throughout the season but that is perhaps just wishful thinking for a wild brown trout fishery.

As for the evening sessions during the summer, they could also have done with bigger and more frequent fly hatches. This has actually been a disappointing feature of the last 2 or 3 seasons where we have had a distinct lack of hatching chironomids such as the Yellow Owl (Curly Bum). There were a few hatches of these big juicy flies but nothing like what we had a few years ago. Mention of this has been made to scientists who visit the loch about the recent lack of fly life and they are monitoring this now but as yet there is no indication from them as to whether they think this is just a short term cyclical downturn or whether it may be a longer term structural change resulting perhaps say from the improvement in water quality in the loch.

One of the better fly hatches (photo by Corin Smith)

One of the better fly hatches (photo by Corin Smith)

Water quality throughout the season was generally pretty acceptable. Blue / green algae did make an appearance in June & July as usual but never came close to reaching the high biomass status recorded in previous seasons – indeed cyanobacteria (blue / green algae) counts are done fortnightly throughout the season on Loch Leven by CEH and there was only one at the very beginning of August where it moved out of low and into moderate on the internationally recognised World Health Organisation (WHO) scale.

Zooplankton was prolific throughout pretty much the entire season and this provides a plentiful supply of high protein food to all year groups of trout (and of course other fish species in the loch) but particularly for juveniles newly recruited from the streams in the catchment area. Areas of weed growth in the loch have shown a dramatic increase in recent years, confirming the inproving trend in water quality. These weed beds are very important to fish populations generally, providing an environment for many life forms on which the trout feed but it also allows them to engage their predatory instincts and therefore improve their feeding habits generally.

As mentioned earlier, all the different year groups of brown trout have not only been seen in excellent condition but, just as importantly, all year groups are well represented in the loch. The streams throughout the catchment area system are holding good numbers of 0+ and 1+ year old juveniles. Brood stock are now well through their spawning activities and good numbers of these adult fish have been observed in the feeder streams over the last couple of months. Water levels in the streams were a bit low in October but the trout showed considerable determination to get upstream and it was lovely to see the trout on the redds because this augurs well for the future.

Finally, we would like to thank all of the anglers who visited the loch throughout the past season and in particular for their responsible behaviour – by this of course I mean the practice of careful catch & release which anglers have adopted. As you know, we have no bag limits here on Loch Leven because we have found that we don’t need to be Nanny and tell anglers how to behave. Return cards filled out by anglers suggest that more than 6 out of every 7 trout caught are carefully released back into the loch which must surely be helping the fish population. That said, the Loch Leven brownie is delicious to eat and we fully encourage anglers to ‘chap the odd one on the heid’ and take it back for the pot because after all, a key reason behind fishing is to satisfy our ‘hunter gatherer instinct’!

Tam Easton sent in this photo just illustrating the gorgeous pink flesh for which Locj Leven brownies are renowned

Tam Easton sent in this photo just illustrating the gorgeous pink flesh for which Loch Leven brownies are renowned

Looking forward to next season, you will be pleased to hear that:

  1. We have decided that there will be no price increases for boats next season,
  2. Indeed, we are reducing the price of peak season evening boats and early morning boats from £44 to £40.
  3. We are going to continue with the Monday Special discounted boat prices that proved pretty popular last season ( the number of Monday boat turns in 2015 was almost 3 times what they were in 2014)

You can see the full Loch Leven 2016 Boat Charges here

Anyone looking to book a boat or boats for next season should either:

Finally, some other photographic memories of last season here on Loch Leven

An osprey in action on Loch Leven

An osprey in action on Loch Leven

John Reid & Donald McGregor's surprise fishing companion!

John Reid & Donald McGregor’s surprise fishing companion!

Dawn over the Harbour (photo by Tom Drysdale / Sunrise Scotland)

Dawn over the Harbour (photo by Tom Drysdale / Sunrise Scotland)

Alan Campbell reunited with record Loch Leven brown trout

Alan Campbell reunited with record Loch Leven brown trout

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Loch Leven Fishing Report – period ending 5th October 2015

So that’s it – another brown trout season finished at Loch Leven. It has to be said that September has been a disappointing month in terms of fish caught although, frustratingly, plenty of fish have been seen on the surface during that time all over the loch.

Our traditional season-ending Loch Leven Championship took place on Saturday and all credit to the anglers who took part because we ended up with a very good result. All might well have been different if I hadn’t had to take to my bed with a serious case of ‘Man Flu’ on Saturday because I was quietly confident that this was going to be my year! However, in my absence, Stan Headley was crowned Loch Leven Champion 2015 with 4 fish. In 2nd place was Stevie O’Neill with 3 fish and in 3rd place was Graeme Connolly who also had 3 fish (in the Loch Leven Championship, trout are measured by length rather than weight and all are then released).

Stan Headley receiving the Loch Leven Championship trophy

Stan Headley receiving the Loch Leven Championship trophy

Instead of heaviest fish, a prize goes to the angler catching the Longest Fish and this year the bottle of whisky went to Connor Campbell with a cock fish measuring 550mm which we reckon would have weighed approx 3 ¼ lbs. In the end, it was a nicely symmetrical result with the 35 anglers taking part catching 35 fish between them. Judging by how difficult September had been, that was a pleasing result.

I will compile a full season report in due course once the ‘dust has settled’ on this season and we have all the boats safely out of the water. I will also give an update on the feeder streams in the catchment area which we monitor because the trout will be running these just as soon as we get a bit of water in the system Hopefully we will get the conditions for a good breeding season.

Finally, a big thank you from all of us at the Fishery to all our many loyal anglers who fish Loch Leven with great diligence during the season. Fishing for wild brown trout can be demanding enough but Loch Leven, with its size and now very rich ecosystem, often takes this to new levels. However, hopefully you will agree that when your diligence and tactics pay off and you successfully land a Loch Leven brownie, the time spent in diligent pursuit is amply rewarded because there is no doubt in our minds that the quality and condition of the fish are as good as they have been in living memory here at Loch Leven. It is wonderful to see how the loch has recovered over the last 2 decades and that we now have a viable wild brown trout fishery again here in Central Scotland. Tight lines!

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Loch Leven Fishing Report – period ending 21st September

Although the fishing has been pretty quiet over the last week on Loch Leven, there is action still being found close to the drop offs and along the weed beds. Fish are still chasing and feeding heavily on fry which are prolific in the loch at the moment.

Anglers are still though managing to lure a fish or two. Indeed, on Sunday, fish were only just sub surface and were being contacted pretty regularly to a fair selection of methods and flies.

No really big fish have been reported to us this week as having been caught but a fair number have been seen splashing around waiting to take part in the spawning activities in the burns. All fish being caught are still in excellent condition as we have come to expect but the mature brood stock, especially the male fish, are now beginning to colour up.

The best areas are still the open water around the Reed Bower, all along the weed beds, particularly those along the south shore of St Serfs, Gairney Mouth to Dog Island area. East and Mid Buoys are also still worth a visit.

Traditional flies are still to the fore, as are some of the smaller lures in various colours are all working such as gold, silver black & green.

The water clarity has improved slightly to 1.4 meters and the water temperature at 140C is very comfortable for the fish.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment