Fishing on Loch Leven last week can probably best be described as frustrating. When conditions ‘fine down’, some very good rises of fish are being seen but when the wind, which in the main has been from the east, has blown at all, it has put the kybosh on any surface activity and it has proved difficult for those anglers fishing on or near the surface to draw the brownies up to their flies.
Buzzer methods have therefore probably enjoyed most success but pulling mini lures and traditionals have worked on occasions too. At the moment, the fish appear content to feed at or close to the bottom and so finding the correct level in the water column is proving critical. Even on dull days, anglers have been having to resort to high density lines to contact the fish. There are plenty of fish around but, to add to the frustration felt by anglers, they are being found in concentrated areas but are moving around so that drifts that are working one day are coming up blank the next. But hey, such are the joys of fishing for wild brown trout – you need a dollop of luck as well as skill and local knowledge.
Boats which have found the areas where the fish are and have managed to work out the depth where the fish are feeding have done well. For others, it has been quite challenging. Biggest fish of the week was a 5 lbs 13 ozs trout caught by Peter Cameron fishing with his club Rowbank on Friday evening. Sylvia Todd had a lovely 4 lbs 3 ozs fish that same evening just off the East Buoy.
Hole ‘o’ the Inch, Brock’s Hole, Carden Spot and Cavelstone Strip have all been holding good numbers of fish. When the wind allows, the best open water drifts are along the bank between East & Elbow Buoys, Point of St Serfs to south of Reed Bower and around the sunken island NE of Castle Island.
The best flies not surprisingly have been Kate McLaren, Fiery Brown, Black Snatchers, Peach Tailed Pearly Invicta and the Dunkeld variants although Olive & Brown Buzzers have been working best just lately.
Last week, we had a rather unexpected bloom of green algae but that appears to have run its course almost as rapidly as it arrived and water quality has improved dramatically over the last 48 hours to the point where the latest reading was 3.1 meters. Although the water in the harbour remains murky, having seemingly collected most of the algae courtesy of the recent persistent and cold east wind, the water is becoming lovely and clear throughout the rest of the loch.
Weed growth now is becoming prolific. Now I know I bang on a bit about weed growth in these reports but it is such an important feature in a brown trout loch. The weed beds are a positive indication of the general recovery we seem to be experiencing in Loch Leven’s very diverse environment and this is very good news in the long term for a balanced wild brown trout fishery.
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No sooner had we published the above report bemoaning the frustration of knowing there are loads of fish out there but everyone having difficulty in finding them than 2 boats out today hit paydirt.
Jeff Lawson & his pal Frank caught 20 fish of which they returned 16. The 4 trout they kept all weighed in at between 1 lb 5 ozs and 1 lb 9 ozs. They were fishing at the Hole ‘o’ the Inch using buzzers.
Rod McLennan, out fishing on his own, had 10 fish of which he kept 2 and returned 8. He was fishing Brock’s Hole again using buzzers. [Please not that the Hole ‘o’ the Inch and Brock’s Hole both were mentioned as 1st & 2nd as the places to fish in the above report – spooky or simply inspired?
Finally, it might be of interest to some that Ally Wells had 4 fish today using pulling methods.
Might it be the greatly improved water quality that has prompted these big catches or simply the fact that all these guys are Loch Leven experts? The latter will undoubtedly be the overriding factor but hopefully others now will start getting in amongst the brownies.