Fishing at times on Loch Leven last week was extremely good. Equally, it is fair to say that it was also challenging at other times – but that is what you probably expect with a wild brown trout fishery.
On Friday, the Scottish National Competition section (SANACC) held a semi final during the day session (10 am – 6 pm). The 12 anglers involved in the semis had a total catch of 65 trout. The top qualifier for the Final was Euan Clark who had 18 brownies, all caught using buzzer tactics. Earlier in the week, Euan had been out practicing with Geoff Lawson and they had caught 40 between them so he was obviously ‘in the groove’!
On Wednesday, Mr Fairgreave was out fishing for 4 hours and caught 26 trout using buzzers, returning 17 and keeping 9 weighing 18 lbs 7 ozs. Then on Sunday in a very strong NW wind, Stan Headley and Paul Sharp had 10 fish pulling traditionals, keeping 3 weighing 5 lbs 7 ozs and returning the remaining 7.
Big fish are still featuring consistently in angler returns. There were two trout weighing in excess of 4 lbs which were caught and then returned during the competition on Friday whilst that same evening Andy Menmuir, out fishing with Kinross AC, had a beautiful trout weighing 5 lbs 1 oz which we believe was the top weight for the week.
Best areas last week appear to have been the North West shore from Scart round the Green Isle corner to the North Buoy- if you are using buzzers in that area, try to stick to the 10 – 15 foot contour. Elsewhere, Brock’s Hole to Levenmouth is holding good numbers of fish whilst Elbow, Mid and East Buoys are all worth a drift when conditions allow.
The most successful flies are the same as those listed for the past few weeks, namely the Kate McLaren, Biblio, Peach Tailed Muddlers and all the Snatchers. Black Buzzers are probably the first choice for those fishing buzzers but olive and black & red patterns are all working.
Water clarity is still very good at 3.8 metres whilst water temperature is steady at 16.50C. Weed growth is now prolific, providing huge areas of first class food-producing habitat which is important for the back end of the season.
Thus far, the paucity of fly life has meant that most fish have remained deep as there has been little to tempt them up to the surface, which is why fishing buzzers has in the main been the most successful tactic. It has been important to discover the depth where fish are feeding and then use a line density that gets you down to them. We are still waiting for the hatches of large flies (Yellow Owl) that usually occur in the evenings at this time of year. Last year, it was early July when these hatches started and the fish do respond when these big juicy flies are on offer. It will be interesting to see when these hatches occur this year.