Loch Leven Fishing Report – Week ending 24th April

The best fish of the season so far was caught on Friday just off the sluices using a buzzer – it was carefully returned and estimated to be a ‘comfortable’ 6 lbs.  Quite a few fish in the 3½ to 4½lb class have been reported this past week, along with the more usual 1 lb to 2 lbs ‘brownies’.

Colin McGlone with the 6 lbs brownie he caught (& released) off The Sluices on Friday 22nd April 2011 using an olive buzzer

At this point, I think that anglers should be complimented on the wonderfully responsible attitude that anglers are taking to trout they are catching.  The overwhelming majority of trout are being returned which can only helpLoch Levenin what appears to be a really encouraging recovery as a natural brown trout fishery. Various clubs appear to be adopting a catch & release policy for their outings on the loch with trout being measured by the centimetre.  However, we would absolutely not want to reach a situation where anglers felt there was peer group pressure to release everything they catch.  We all know thatLoch Levenbrownies are absolutely delicious to eat and fishermen should have no compunction about taking fish back home ‘for the pot’.

One other feature worthy of mention is the fact that fish are being found in almost every area of the loch, which is really encouraging to hear even if they are hard to get into the boat at times due to them being preoccupied with ‘fry-bashing’.  The best areas of late have been Mary’s Knowe out through the North Deeps,North Queichto Green Isle, Hole “O” the Inch, Brock’s Hole and, just yesterday, the Thrapple Hole produced a few fish at the beginning and end of the day.

Small traditional flies are beginning to pick up fish – Kate McLaren and various Snatchers all have had a mention along with Dunkeld Sparklers, Viva, Humungus and a variety of bright coloured lures.

Water temperature has edged up this week to 13.5°C and the water is also improving, currently standing at about 2 meters.  The increased water clarity is clearly starting to encourage weed growth which again is a good sign, ensuring plenty of good quality areas for producing all the different food types that the trout rely on.

 Following the recent welcome warmer weather, it is only going to be a matter of time before we see the first of the buzzer hatches which in turn will hopefully mean we start to see some ‘good top of the water’ action.

 PS With anglers returning so many of the fish they catch, many are taking to capturing photographs of the trout on their cameras – presumably to provide ‘evidence’ to doubters back on shore.  Please send these photos to us at fishing@green-hotel.com and we will put these into the Fishing Report and / or onto the Loch Leven Fisheries facebook page.

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2 Responses to Loch Leven Fishing Report – Week ending 24th April

  1. David McIntosh says:

    I just read Willie the Gillie’s post.

    If catch and release is to be encouraged on Loch Leven.
    Why is the only option a No limit permit.
    There is no catch and release permit for anglers wishing to fish this way.

    Why not have a limit on fish being weighed in and the option of a catch and release permit made available.

    David McIntosh.

    • David,

      I have had a word with Willie and both of us agree that we want to keep everything as simple as possible for anglers on Loch Leven. We have always only had one set of boat charges and feel strongly that it is kept that way.

      We do not have a catch & release policy as such and would not want to impose one unless it was absolutely necessary. At the other end of the scale, we also do not place any limits on catches. If the preservation of fish stocks ever became an issue again, I am certain that we would address this by instigating a limit rather than imposing a catch & release policy.

      Pricing on Loch Leven therefore is to catch (hopefully) rather than to keep. Apart from labour costs, the Fishery’s major cost is fuel and that is totally unaffected by what anglers do with the trout when they catch them. Now that the Loch is once again a natural brown trout fishery, we are no longer having to stock the loch – which makes us very different from most other commercial fisheries. If we had been still stocking the loch, then we would very likely have retained the 6 trout limit that we had for many years and might possibly have considered a Catch & Release permit as you suggest.

      All we were saying in the blog was that we really appreciate that so many anglers are acting so responsibly on the loch at the moment and are returning many of the trout being caught. This means that there is no pressure at all on the Fishery to introduce limits. However, what we did not want to happen was for for anglers to feel that there was increasing pressure on them to return everything they caught and not to keep some ‘for the pot’. At the moment, there seems to be a nice balance and, as I say, that is down to the very responsible attitude being shown by anglers on Loch Leven.

      Jamie Montgomery

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