Loch Leven Fishing report – period ending 27th July

Frustratingly, the weather gods have continued to look less than favourably on anglers venturing out on Loch Leven over the past week. Low temperatures and often high winds, coupled with sparse hatches of flies, have made the fishing a tad challenging.

However, des[ite the conditions, fish are still being caught. On Monday while out fishing on his own, Eric Arthur had 3 fish (all returned) just off Alice’s Bower. Eric estimated his largest fish to be at about 4 lbs which is the largest brownie he has ever caught. Also on Monday evening, Barry Phillips had a lovely fish at 3 lbs 7 ozs brownie when out with Dunfermline Railway AC about 18.30 – again, the biggest brownie he has ever caught! He used a little olive gold head buzzer he had tied up specifically for Loch Leven this year. The drift was point of St Serfs to East Buoy and he was using a Di 3 line with slow pulls. Both this fly and technique have apparently worked well for him this year so far!

Barry Phillips with his 3 lbs 7 ozs brownie and the olive gold headed buzzer he caught it with

Barry Phillips with his 3 lbs 7 ozs brownie and the olive gold headed buzzer he caught it with

On Tuesday, John Findlay was out with a pal and had 4 fish, one of which weighed 3 lbs 4 ozs (see photo below), another 3 lbs and the remaining two much smaller ones at around ¾ lbs. They were fishing traditionals near to Mid Buoy.

John Findlay's lovely 3 lbs 4 ozs brownie

John Findlay’s lovely 3 lbs 4 ozs brownie

On Saturday evening, Cameron Cranston, all the way down from Aird near Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis had a lovely fish weighing 3 lbs 6 ozs caught on a Black Pennell.

Water clarity has dropped to 1.6 meters this week mainly due to the appearance of some small background algae but zooplankton are still prolific in the water column. The water temperature too has dropped to an unseasonally low level at around 15oC. The weed beds are holding good numbers of fish attracted by the wide variety of food sources normally found in that environment.

The open water drifts are all still working, as are all the drop off areas along ‘the bank’ from North Buoy to East Buoy. The area just east of Castle Island and Reed Bower is holding good numbers of fish with some nice big ones in evidence.

Fry are now beginning to congregate around the many weed beds and, as mentioned earlier, these are attracting the attention of stalking brownies.

As reported in previous blogs, it is both surprising and disappointing that Yellow Owl have not made an appearance thus far this season. Equally, the cold, wet & windy conditions over the last month or more have meant there have been precious few meaningful fly hatches of any sort – when are we going to get a summer?

Where is our summer????

Where is our summer????

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Loch Leven Fishing Report – period ending 19th July

The unseasonably unsettled weather has been the main influence on the fishing this last week at Loch Leven. Boats were prevented on Friday & Saturday from venturing out due to the strong winds – it is not just The Open Championship at St Andrews which suffered from ‘wind stopped play’! Heavy rain accompanied the blustery conditions making it an unseasonable spell for July, even by Scottish standards.

Duncan Petrie was out with Gus Elder from Kirriemuir were out last Tuesday and Gus had this nice looking 3 lbs trout.

Gus Elder with a nice 3 lbs brownie (Thanks to Duncan Petrie for the photo)

Gus Elder with a nice 3 lbs brownie (Thanks to Duncan Petrie for the photo)

Colin Penny, out on Wednesday evening, had a lovely fish estimated at 5 lbs+ which he duly returned. The fish was caught on a Black Pennell just off the south east point of Castle Island. Colin also had one other fish that evening.

Lovely 5 lbs+ fish caught by Colin Penny on a Black Pennell off Castle Island

Lovely 5 lbs+ fish caught by Colin Penny on a Black Pennell off Castle Island

Jonathon Dingwall & David Robinson were out last night (Sunday) had 5 fish, all of which were returned, in the area of the Mid Buoy. Their most successful fly was apparently the Silver Invicta. Also out last night was Corin Smith had a fish tipping the scales at about 4 lbs 8 ozs which was photographed (see below) and then returned. Corin caught his fish on a Black Marabou Muddler at last light off the Reed Bower. He and his boat partner Michael Ross had a total of 6 fish, all returned.

 

Stunning photo of a 4 1/2 lbs brownie caught by Corin Smith

Stunning photo of a 4 1/2 lbs brownie caught by Corin Smith

Barry Tindall & Ross Carnegie were also out yesterday and caught & returned 4 fish on Snatchers (2 fish) and Buzzers (2 fish). Fish are still being contacted on pretty much all of the recognised drifts, with wind direction and strength dictating the preferred ones at any particular time.

Water quality was compromised in the estuarial areas especially at the mouths of the North & South Queich as huge unseasonal spates sent a lot of murky water our way. We recorded just over 70 mm (2.9 inches) of rain over a 4 day period, raising the level of the loch by some 8 inches! Aside from the burn mouths, water clarity is still very good at 2.8 meters.

In case anyone is interested, I thought we might show photos of the 3 different flies given specific mention in this week’s report (courtesy of Google images) – I don’t promise to do this every week!!

Black Pennell

Black Pennell

Silver Invicta

Silver Invicta

Black Marabou Muddler

Black Marabou Muddler

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Loch Leven Fishing Report – period ending 13th July

The fishing on Loch Leven over the last week hasn’t changed much since the previous period.  Fish are being found at or near the surface but are proving somewhat finicky and are prone to being ‘available’ on one drift and then hard to contact on the next run over that very same water.

A prime example was reported on Sunday evening when Alan Smith was drifting over the bank at East Buoy.  He caught and released 4 good fish and tried to repeat that same drift and only contacted one other fish second time around.  He then travelled back to the mouth of the South Queich and caught another 3 lovely fish just on dusk.

Willie the Ghillie himself out fishing at dusk

Willie the Ghillie himself out fishing at dusk

Day fishing has been a bit patchy but Rab Wells was out on Friday and had 6 fish, all but one of which he returned, that one weighing 4 lbs 4 ozs.  Jeff Lawson & Eck Dewar also had 7 fish between them on Friday, 3 of which they kept weighing a total of 6 lbs 4 ozs.  Out on an early morning session, Brian Kerr had a nice fish of 4 lbs 2 ozs and returned a further two.

Water clarity is holding up very well considering the time of year and currently stands at 3.4 meters on the Secchi disc.  The water temperature is also stable at a relatively comfortable level of 17.5oC.  Zooplankton are still prolific, providing a steady and highly nutritious food source for all year groups of fish but in particular the recently recruited juveniles which are now starting to show in the open water drifts.  As reported previously, weed growth is now fully established and fish will be patrolling these areas looking for food such as Corixa and the now hatching perch and stickleback fry.

Fish can be found on pretty much any of the recognised drifts and, depending on wind direction and strength, you will find (hopefully!) some taking fish – best to ask us at the Pier before setting off where fish are thought to be holding that day.

Frustratingly, the big summer hatches of Yellow Owl still don’t appear as yet to be happening in any great numbers but we remain ever hopefully as these usually bring some good rises of trout.

ROAD CLOSURE

For those who are coming to fish

at Loch Leven, you should be aware that a section of the High Street in Kinross is closed for the next few weeks and the normal access down Pier Road is unavailable.  To come to the Pier, you now need to do is follow the yellow diversion signposts to LOCHLEVEN ATTRACTIONS which will take those travelling from the north or west down past Sainsburys and along the ring road to the southern end of the town.  From there you travel north up the High Street until diverted right into Sandport.  See the map below.

It is a thorough nuisance for everyone but we are just going to have to put up with the inconvenience until the works are completed.  Our apologies.

Map showing road closure and temporary diversion route to the Pier

Map showing road closure and temporary diversion route to the Pier

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Loch Leven Fishing report – week ending 6th July

After a productive week the week before, Loch Leven reverted to being somewhat more challenging.  At times, however, such as when the wind freshened a little, the fish were definitely playing  as Kinross AC found out on Friday evening when they had to battle out in a strong east wind but when they reached the far windward shore,  quite a number of fish were caught or hooked and lost.

Unlike in previous weeks, there were no particularly big fish reported but Peter Cameron had a nice one around the 4 lbs mark which he returned and Brian Kerr also had a fish just short of 4 lbs.  Some big fish are to be seen daily ‘splashing about’ and indeed I saw one on Friday evening which caused a splash as big as some salmon I’ve seen on highland lochs!

We are still waiting patiently for the big hatch of Yellow Owl to materialise.  Caenis are still hatching in huge numbers when conditions are favourable and the fish do respond to these hatches but are normally the very devil to catch.  Some Silverhorn Sedge are also appearing in the evening but it is the big Yellow Owl we are really waiting for.

Pulling methods are the No 1 choice for most anglers.  Line density selection is very much down to individual anglers with fish available pretty much anywhere in the water column.  Obviously it does depend on light conditions and wind strength as to what line densities are appropriate at any one time.  Buzzers are still worth a wee shot but it does appear the main buzzer time may now be over  – but as anglers we should never say never!

Water temperature rose during the week courtesy of some nice warm weather and it is now standing at around 17.5oC.  Interestingly, water clarity remains very good at just over 3 meters.  Normally by now, water clarity would be dropping as algae increased in the water column but for whatever reason that has been delayed this year.  Zooplankton are still prolific and the big weed beds are becoming ever more noticeable in all the usual places.  Fish are to be found along the edge or near to the weed beds, taking advantage of the very diverse food supply known to inhabit these lovely areas.

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Loch Leven Fishing Report – period ending 29th June

All in all, it has been a very interesting week’s fishing at Loch Leven.  Some nice big fish have turned up in returns, topped by a beautiful fish weighing 7 lbs 14 ozs caught by Stuart Hunter out on Saturday fishing with his club ABCD.  Stuart caught his fish on a size 12 Invicta at the East Buoy on a floating line.

Stuart Hunter with his cracking Fish of the Week here at Loch Leven weighing in at 7 lbs 14 ozs

Stuart Hunter with his cracking Fish of the Week here at Loch Leven weighing in at 7 lbs 14 ozs

Also out on Saturday, Norman Aird from the Isle of Skye had a nice brownie at 5 lbs 8 ozs on a teal & claret at the Sluices whilst James Stewart from Uddingston had a fish of 5 lbs 6 ozs which was one of four in total kept weighing 10 lbs 12 ozs.  James and his friends were drifting through the shallows from the Mid Buoy using traditional flies and low density lines.

Aberdour AC were out on Sunday in very challenging conditions but had 16 fish with their top rod being Mike McKenna with 3 fish weighing 6 lbs 4 ozs (biggest was 3 lbs 14 ozs). Finally, Nick Dales who had travelled up from Whitby Bay, Newcastle had a fish on Saturday evening and then another lovely one on Sunday weighing 4 lbs 6 ozs.

Stop Press: A late bid for ‘fish of the week’ today (Monday) saw Frank McFarlane come up just short with a fine specimen weighing 7 lbs 4 ozs which he caught just off Roy’s Burn.

Water clarity is holding up at about 3 meters and water temperature is at a moderate 15.5oC. Weed growth is well established.

Fish are now holding round the weed beds in good numbers, feeding on various food sources courtesy of the good cover provided by these beds.  Open water drifts are still producing fish especially inside the buoys all the way through the ‘shallows’.

We are still waiting for the big hatches of Yellow Owl which assuredly will bring the fish up out of the deeper water drifts particularly in the evenings.

Pulling methods are probably the No 1 choice of most anglers with traditional flies of all ‘breeds’ working depending on the time of day, place and conditions.  Buzzers are still working at times but, now that weed growth is so prolific, conditions are becoming less suitable for them – but they are still worth a try.

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Loch Leven Fishing Report – period ending 23rd June

I think that the fishing on Loch Leven over the last week could best be described as ‘interesting’!  One day the trout simply will not look at a buzzer and yet the next day they are all over them.  The same to perhaps a lesser extent applies to pulling methods.

As we reach midsummer, the main food source for the trout is very much sub surface, which means that buzzers do go down well with the fish, as do ‘wets’ fished with high density lines.  Fish are now starting to come up to feed at or near the surface in localised areas in the evening, where hatches of Caenis and some Sedge are coming off and some good rises have been seen.  A huge thanks to Martin McLaughlin for posting this lovely photo looking out from the pier on Monday evening when he reported ’.. flies all over the surface and fish rising around the pier’.

Lovely photo by Martin McLaughlin looking out from the pier at dusk

Lovely photo by Martin McLaughlin looking out from the pier at dusk

Until Tuesday evening, we had not recorded any big fish being caught over the period with a few reported as having been hooked but lost.  However smaller fish had put in a welcome appearance.  On Friday evening, Ally Wells 23 trout, most of which were small but measurable (10 ½ inches or more).  Ally had most of hi fish drifting onto the Levenmouth Bank but he had 4 at the Castle Island using an intermediate line.  The rest of the time, he was using a full floater and his best fly was a black UV Spider, with the orange UV Spider also working well.  That same evening, Kinross AC had 24 fish for their 7 boats.

Earlier that day, SANA held one of their Area Semi-Finals.  Unlike those fishing in the evening, the day session was pretty tricky for anglers with fish relatively hard to come by.  Donald McGregor was top qualifier with 6 trout, Mick Thomson second with 3 whilst Ally Middlemass claimed the 3rd and final qualifying place with two.

SANA Semi Final Qualifiers - Mick Thomson, Donald McGregor & Ally Middlemas

SANA Semi Final Qualifiers – Mick Thomson, Donald McGregor & Ally Middlemas

As intimated earlier, we did have one good sized fish recorded on Tuesday evening by Brendan McWilliams who reported ‘5 1/2lb fish taken at the Green Isle on Tuesday night on a Deer Hair sedge. It took off in the direction of Glenrothes in a bad mood and took a fair bit of effort to get him into the boat, ably assisted by R McKean on the net – that’s his hands holding it. Safely returned to fight on’.  Thanks so much Brendan for the photo and commentary!

5 1/2 lbs brown trout caught by Brendan McWilliams

5 1/2 lbs brown trout caught by Brendan McWilliams

Water conditions are pretty stable with water clarity having reduced a little from last week to stand now at 3.3 meters.  The water temperature of 14.5oC is pretty low for mid June.  Some algae are now present and weed growth is well underway as reported previously.

As high summer approaches (well, we live in hope!), the large Yellow Owl should become prevalent and hopefully give us some good evening sport.

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Loch Leven Fishing Report – period ending 16th June

Last week’s fishing on Loch Leven was very encouraging.  Fish were being caught on both buzzer and pulling methods with big fish continuing to register in returns.  On Saturday when out fishing with his club Butcher Boys AC, Darren Scott from Kilbirnie in Ayrshire had a fabulous looking brown trout weighing 6 lbs 4 ozs on a Sparkler lure at the North Buoy.

Darren Scott with his lovely looking 6 lbs 4 ozs brown trout

Darren Scott with his lovely looking 6 lbs 4 ozs brown trout

On Sunday, Tony Black had a fine fish weighing 6 lbs 14 ozs on a buzzer in the Hole ‘o’ Inch, the only strange hing being its deformed top lip (or pug nose as some described it!).  Anyway, this was one of 18 fish in total Tony had, all but 2 of which were returned.  Also out that day, Kinross AC had a nice outing, recording 38 fish between their 6 boats.  Paul Wilson was their top rod with 9 fish, all measured and returned.

Bigger - but not perhaps as pretty!  Tony Black's nice 6 lbs 14 ozs trout with deformed top lip

Bigger – but not perhaps as pretty! Tony Black’s nice 6 lbs 14 ozs trout with deformed top lip

Water clarity is very good at the moment, measuring some 4.2 metres on the Secchi disc.  There is a bit of algae showing in the water column but it appears to be only one variety at the moment and is not compromising clarity much at all at the moment.  The water temperature did rise at one stage to 17.7oC in the warm sunny weather but it has since dropped back as cooler conditions have taken over.  Weed growth is now prolific in all the areas of the loch we would expect it.

Fish are being found in a number of areas, especially close to the drop offs but, in a good wind, you can pick up fish in all the open water drifts.

As yet, fly life has not proved overly abundant in the evenings in particular but some good hatches have been encountered in the right conditions. Caenis (white moth) are just beginning to show as two anglers found out one evening last week just off Castle Island.  They saw a good number of big fish 9sipping’ the Caenis off the surface and were rewarded with 2 fish of 2 ½ lbs and 5 lbs (estimated & returned).  The larger of the two fish apparently went berserk when hooked as it was only in water 3 ½ – 4 feet deep.

As we approach mid season – high summer (?!) – we are looking forward to some good hatches of the big Yellow Owl flies in the evenings which will surely attract good numbers of fish to have a go at.

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