It is always a sad moment when the curtain falls on yet another season at Loch Leven as it did last weekend. In line with tradition, the main event was the Loch Leven Championship which was fished on Saturday in pretty reasonable conditions despite the weather forecast earlier in the week looking a tad dodgy.
As usual, the Loch Leven Championship was based on the lengths of fish caught rather than weight, thus ensuring that virtually all fish caught are promptly released after being recorded. The one downside to this arrangement is that we no longer have the excitement of the weigh-in as anglers tipped their basket of fish caught onto the weighing scales – nostalgia no longer rules!
The 2014 Loch Leven Champion was John Reid from Kinross AC with 2 fish measuring 910mm ((36 inches) in total. His largest fish pictured below weighed in a smidgeon under 6 lbs (ok – 5 lbs 15 ozs to be exact!). Runner-up this year was Les Gunn with 2 fish measuring 770mm (approx. 30 inches) in total and , in 3rd place, was Paul Sharp with one fish measuring 572mm. John Reid would have also won Largest Fish followed by Paul Sharp but we try to spread the prizes around and so winner of the bottle of whisky for Largest Fish outwith the main prize winners went to Mr Mathieson from Aberdour with a splendid trout measuring 510mm. All of these big fish were estimated within a 5 lbs – 6 lbs weight range which was encouraging to see.
The open water drifts between Mid Buoy and East Buoy as well as the south shore along the Gairney front appeared to produce most of the fish but the area off the North Queich also saw some good action.
Over the last few days, we have seen some serious rain – indeed more rainfall was recorded here Friday overnight into Saturday than was reported for the whole of the month of September. Fish will now have certainly begun the spawning runs up streams with this first spate and will surely continue now to do so when conditions are right because most fish caught in recent weeks have been in ‘breeding livery’. I will report more fully on the spawning activities more fully in due course.
Finally, all of us here at Loch Leven would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all those diligent anglers who have come to fish Loch Leven this past season. Loch Leven can, and usually is, a challenging place to fish – but then that is wild brown trout fishing for you! However, the sheer quality of the Loch Leven brownie can make for some memorable outings. Thanks too to anglers for returning the vast majority of their hard earned catches, thereby helping to preserve the fish population although we still actively encourage anglers taking the occasional specimen home for the ‘pot’ because they are tremendous to eat. Finally, a special thank you to all those anglers who so diligently completed the Angler Return cards during their outings here because these are now our only source of catch data.