The fishing on Loch Leven this past week has been at times very good, with successful anglers mainly using buzzer methods at anchor or, when the wind was light enough, on the drift. However, pulling small traditional flies did also work on occasions especially when the wind was strong.
A heat of the Lexus European Flyfishing Championship was fished on Loch Leven last Tuesday. It was a truly filthy day weather-wise with constant heavy rain driven on by a fresh-strong east wind. Grahame Connelly was the top of the five who qualified with 8 trout weighing 9 lbs ½ oz. In 2nd place was Bill Bruce who had 5 fish weighing 6 lbs 4 ozs, 3rd was Michael Wilson with 6 fish weighing 6 lbs ¾ oz, 4th was Alan Smith with 6 fish weighing 5 lbs 4¼ ozs and the final place was claimed by Billy Neil – who travelled from Spean Bridge to take part – with a single fish weighing 2 lbs 12 ozs. The total number of fish caught was 41 weighing 44 lbs 8 ozs – including 13 returned. Great credit must be given to all the anglers who endured the very challenging conditions throughout the day.
On Friday, in very contrasting conditions with gentle, warm breeze, a S.A.N.A. semi final was held on the loch and some very nice catches were recorded. Again 5 anglers were to qualify for the final. Top rod was Alan Smith with 11 fish weighing 18 lbs 6 ozs, 2nd was Ewan Clark with 11 fish weighing in at 14 lbs, 3rd was Neil Barnett with 9 fish weighing 12 lbs 2 ozs, 4th was Graham Connelly with 5 fish weighing 6 lbs 5½ ozs and the final qualifier in 5th place was Jimmy Young with 5 fish weighing 6 lbs 1 oz. In total, the 15 competitors caught a total of 57 fish weighing 74 lbs 13 ozs.
Some other results – on club outings, Keithlick AC (4 boats) weighed in 27 fish 34 lbs 4ozs plus 36 returned and Bridge of Allan AC recorded 22 fish at 24 lbs 8 ozs plus 4 returned. Elsewhere, Ewan Clark had 8 fish weighing in at 15 lbs 6 ozs and returned a further 10, Willie Sterricks had 4 fish at 6 lbs and returned 5, Jim Moncur had 2 fish at 3 lbs with a further 3 returned and Stan Headley weighed in 3 fish at 5 lbs 10 ozs.
Rod McLellan with a 5 lbs+ brownie caught on a buzzer just off the Scart
Best areas over the past week appear to have been Scart Island to Green Isle,Castle Island, Point of St Serfs to East Buoy, Carden Point and Cavelstone to Reed Bower.
The unseasonably cold, inclement weather has definitely restricted the fly hatches which has prompted the fish to feed primarily on the bottom. As mentioned earlier, buzzers have probably been the best method in these conditions. On less windy days, it may be better to drift rather than sit at anchor when using buzzers. Pulling methods have also worked well especially the last 2 hours before dark.
Kate McLaren, Snatchers, Black Pennel, Yellow Tail & Greenwell have been the flies most mentioned by successful anglers recently, although black, olive and claret buzzers also seem to have had their moments.
Water clarity is now 2.3 meters and the temperature is creeping up, but is still only 15.5°C which is a little lower than we would expect at the end of June, but nevertheless very comfortable for the fish.
The season is now almost half way through and yet we have not really had a good hatch of fly in the evening – apart from caenis. As a result, evening rises have generally been pretty sparse so far. However, these last few days have seen better conditions with more fish now moving about and so an improvement in evening fishing is hopefully imminent