Anglers have experienced mixed fortunes fishing on Loch Leven over the last week. Fish were proving difficult to hook although anglers were moving a number of fish who were reported as seemingly ‘window-shopping’. It can be somewhat frustrating watching fish up to 3 or 4 pounds cruising in to inspect one of your flies only to turn away untempted!
Fish were however caught and mostly returned and some very nice ones were appearing in catch returns. Rab Wilson from Dunfermline had what we believe was the week’s biggest fish at 4 lbs 4 ozs on a Silver Invicta near the Reed Bower last Wednesday.
Open water drifts are still working even in the recent fresh winds that we have been experiencing. Fish are also holding along most of the weed beds but, as mentioned last week, these are often proving the most difficult to tempt. Fish are also now showing in the estuarial areas of the 3 burn mouths, particularly at the North Queich where some very big trout have been spotted.
The brown trout are now ‘colouring up’ in preparation for their spawning activities later in the year. This is obviously encouraging for the long term and fingers crossed for some good spawning conditions in the burns this autumn. However not all trout will show their breeding colours as there are many juvenile trout yet to become sexually mature. Also, some of the older trout – mainly females – will for some reason miss out on a year’s spawning activities.
Pearly bodied flies are doing well but interestingly so are Black or Claret Hoppers at the moment. As usual, much depends on wind strength. Line density is also important but of late the fish have tended to be mostly in the top 2-3 feet of the water column. Water clarity remains at about 1.7 meters, water temperature is 160C and Zooplankton are still plentiful at our various test sites.
Talking of testing, we yesterday had Ian Winfield & Bryan Spears of the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology here at Loch Leven to do their annual hydroacoustic survey of the fish population of the loch using their extremely expensive kit. They started this in 2007 and so this is their 10th survey. Loch Leven is not ideal for this equipment as much of it is fairly shallow which is why they have their regular monitor sites mostly in the deeper areas of the loch where they can get clearer results. The equipment cannot differentiate between fish species (trout, perch or pike) but it does record size as well as numbers and size can give a general steer (ie perch will tend to be in the smaller size categories). We won’t know the results for a few months yet.
Many thanks to Bryan Spears for sending these photos in.