Last week has not seen a great amount of change at Loch Leven with the open water drifts still performing best. Small fish are about in good numbers but there are also some nice ones appearing in catches, albeit no real ‘biggies’ as yet. Rab Walls had the biggest that we were told about, weighing in at 3 lbs 2 ozs – he also had 2 fish weighing in at about the 1 pound mark and a number under the 10” minimum size limit.
Fish are now being seen in the areas around the burn mouths, particularly off the North Queich. These fish are now preparing for their annual spawning activities in the various streams over the coming weeks and months. We will report back in due course how the spawning season appears to have gone.
Fish are also now chasing the huge numbers of fry showing in the loch at the moment, particularly close to the big weed beds where the fry seem to be currently in very big numbers. As usual, the really big trout chasing these fry are difficult to distract and the devil to catch!
As mentioned earlier, all the open water drifts are producing fish both in the north and in the south (between Reed Bower and the east end of St Serfs).
Traditional patterns such as Kate McLaren, Doobry, Soldier palmer and most of the many Snatcher variants are still probably the ‘go to’ flies at the moment. Floating or very slow intermediate lines would appear to be the best line choice. Fish are taking just below the surface and speed of retrieve is as usual very important. A good blow of wind normally requires a good, fast retrieve but the opposite in calm conditions.
Pike have been located along the west shore and in the bays of Castle island where some very nice pike have been caught.
Water clarity is pretty stable at 1.4 metres whilst the temperature is up a little at 17oC. Zooplankton is still prolific, providing lovely high protein food for all the fish.
On a final note, we had Ian Winfield and his team from CEH (Centre of Ecology & Hydrology) here for their annual hydro acoustic survey of the loch’s fish population. Every 3 years, they also carry out a gill-net survey. We won’t know their initial results until early next year but they reported back that the gill netting was very encouraging. Not only did trout and perch appear in good numbers across the various age / size ranges, but they also recorded three-spined stickleback, pike and even eel.