Following the extended period of dry, bright weather during May and early June, conditions abruptly changed on Friday as overcast conditions and an often brisk easterly wind set temperatures plunging and made fishing pretty tricky on the loch.
The Loch Leven (Pairs) Classic was fished over two sessions, starting Friday afternoon / evening and continuing for the day session on Saturday with all fish caught being measured and returned. The leaders at the half way stage on Friday evening were none other than Alan Smith partnered by yours truly (Willie Wilson) whose 5 fish between us had given us a narrow lead but it was close and all to fish for on Saturday. Although fish that day proved hard to come by, our lead was whittled away and the eventual winners turned out to be Jeff Lawson & Ewan Clark. Alan & I did just enough to cling onto 2nd place with Ally Wells & Dougie Wells in 3rd place. Jeff Lawson ended up with the biggest fish of the competition measuring 540mm which turned out to make all the difference.
In addition to the £1000 in cash prizes handed out, we would very much like to offer a big thank you to our sponsors, namely Neil Anderson from Angus Angling in Forfar, Ian Christie from Flybox in Perth and to Julie & Jason from the Boathouse Restaurant here at the Pier. Many thanks also to all the anglers who took part in what turned out to be a lovely, friendly competition. Our intention is to stage this revived Loch Leven Pairs competition again next year and hopefully we can fill all the entries.
Despite the dramatic change in conditions, there have still been some very big fish showing up in catches. Michael Wilson, out fishing with Kinross AC on Sunday had what we think was the biggest of the week weighing 6 lbs 7 ozs which he caught at Brock’s Hole near the Sluices.
Best areas over the last week have been North Queich, North Buoy, Reed Bower, Carden Bay and the open water east of Scart Island. Buzzer methods are still working well but pulling wet flies is accounting for fish as well, particularly in the evenings.
Water clarity is holding at 2.8 meters on the Secchi Disc and the water temperature has held up pretty well at 18.50C despite the chilly air temperatures. Zooplankton are still in evidence in the water column in abundance and weed beds are now well established.
Pike anglers are still enjoying good success and indeed 2 out fishing on Friday caught 17 between them just off Alice’s Bower. We do not record the numbers of pike caught at the moment but we estimate that comfortably over 1000 will have been caught so far this season on Loch Leven. After many decades where few if any have been seen in the loch, it is another illustration of how the improving water quality has changed things. The brown trout population has certainly benefitted both in terms of quantity and quality but we are now seeing discernible recoveries in other species such as pike, perch and sticklebacks.
Some reasonable fly hatches have been observed and indeed we have had some very localised hatches of Caenis (White Moth or, as some anglers refer to them, the ‘curse’!). Fish have been responding to these hatches but usually the activity has been in short, sharp bursts as hatches occur.