The weather has probably been the dominating factor on Loch Leven with wind speeds approaching gale force persistent during much of the period. Those anglers, who were brave enough to venture out, were effectively restricted as to where they could fish and the methods they could use.
That said, some very nice baskets of fish were recorded. On Sunday, fishing the open water onto East Buoy, Tony Black and Stevie O’Neill caught 22 brownies, all of which were returned bar one! Both anglers were using DI 7 lines and mini lures. Also on Sunday, Brendan McWilliam was out with his club East Kilbride AC and had a cracking trout weighing 7 lbs 12 ozs (the Facebook post diddled him out of 4 ozs when stating it was 7 lbs 8 ozs!). Brendan caught his fish in the Hole ‘o’ the Inch on an Orkney fly, the Merkister Maid.
Yesterday (Tuesday), Alan Campbell had 11 fish also in the Hole ‘o’ the Inch, all on buzzer patterns and all returned. He reported that 2 of the fish were in the 4 lbs class. Regular readers will recall that in May 2013, Alan caught the largest brownie ever taken on Loch Leven at just over 11 lbs 5 ozs, beating the previous record which had stood for over 100 years. By pure coincidence, we received back the record-breaking fish which has been beautifully mounted by Ronnie Glass and we were able to get a nice photo of Alan being reunited with his fish which will have pride of place in the refurbished Boathouse café.
Also taking place yesterday on Loch Leven was a SANA prelim for the Scottish National. A total of 46 fish were caught, 22 of which were kept and weighed in at 16 lbs 6 ozs. The remainder were released with an assumed weight of 1¼ lbs each although several were actually well above this weight. The top 3 qualifiers were 1st Brian Mackenzie with 14 fish, 2nd Tom Burnett with 9 fish and in 3rd place was that old campaigner from Dunfermline, Ian Simpson, with 6 fish. The 3 of them are pictured below, together with the full SANA heat results. Well done to all the anglers who fished on what was a very challenging day by all accounts.
Pike anglers are still doing well, particularly in the early evening with the fly probably the most effective method. Top weight this week was an 18 lbs pike caught by Rod McLennan.
Water clarity is very good at the moment, measuring some 4 metres on the Secchi Disc. There is a profusion of Zooplankton at the moment in the water column and there have been some good buzzer hatches taking place given suitable weather conditions. The water temperature is still a tad cool at just on 12oC.
Fish are to be found pretty much all over the loch but it probably pays to have a word with Fishery staff before setting out as areas may change day-to-day depending on the wind direction. Hopefully the weather will now settle down a little and allow anglers to fish with less restrictions laid on them by the weather and also allow some more consistent fly hatches.