Following an unusually delayed start to our season which in keeping with other West coast systems saw little action during April and May, perhaps due to record low temperatures and water levels then it is heartening to see the numbers of Salmon and Grilse now steadily increasing. June and July on Loch Lomond have produced not only some good numbers of fish but some very good quality fresh fish in the high teens. However with very low recent rainfall and levels during May and June then the River Leven has not matched the Loch in terms of (confirmed) catches of Salmon, Grilse and Seat Trout despite large numbers of running fish being sighted in the River. We can only hope and pray that we get some significant rainfall in the next weeks in order to freshen and raise water levels for the Leven and our other Rivers in the system. The relatively short lived rainfall of last week provided a short period of optimism and a flurry of fishing activity with fish being seen moving up the Endrick and reports of follows and fish lost during this brief spate period last week.
River Leven Work Party 17th-18th July 2021
Following postponement last season due to Covid-19 restrictions which have now been eased sufficiently and with with bird nesting season restrictions ending at the end of June we are pleased to announce the resumption of the normal clean up weekends that have traditionally been part of our calendar of routine activities each year. The date for a work party on the River Leven has been scheduled for the weekend of July 17th & 18th and given that such needed activities were not possible last season it is important that such work is successfully undertaken and supported by all committed members and anglers this year.
The arrangements are to meet at Bonhill Bridge Car Park at 09.30 on both days. As in previous years the plan will be to work from the top pool all the way downstream as far as we can get, the fitter people with chest waders will form a line across the river and manhandle all rubbish i.e scooter’s, bikes, traffic cones large tree limbs and all non natural rubbish out of the river onto the towpath which will then be collected regularly by one of our vans and box trailer and then dumped into large skip that has been organised with the Council and that will be placed at Bonhill Bridge.
Additionally there will be strimming tasks required to strim either side of entry/exit points and the ‘sensitive‘ trimming of any problematic overhanging branches or shrubs using appropriate tools and PPE supplied.
This your system and we would therefore encourage as many anglers and members therefore to support these improvement activities that have been successfully undertaken and attended each year by anglers and members.
Dates concerning the resumption of work party activities concerning the River Endrick will be announced shortly where once again the support and participation of anglers and members is much needed and appreciated.
Reported and confirmed catches
On the 3rd June Leven angler Kirk Phillips successfully hooked and landed a beautiful fish of 24lb at McKinnons, congratulations Kirk.
On the 5th July Billy Clark landed the first of two beautiful fish on the fly despite challenging low water conditions the first being a fish of 9lb well done and congratulations Billy.
Billy quickly followed up on the 5th July landing another lovely fish of 9lb once again, congratulations and well done Billy.
River Leven Water Conditions
Additionally the current water gauge level for the River Leven at Linbrane can be obtained from SEPA by following this link https://www2.sepa.org.uk/WaterLevels/default.aspx?sd=t&lc=133107
Local information concerning tide tables can be found here http://www.ukho.gov.uk/EasyTide/easytide/ShowPrediction.aspx?PortID=0404&PredictionLength=7
Reported and confirmed catches
Following an unusually delayed start to the game season lasting until the end of May the Loch finally began to produce fish in both numbers and quality.
On the 18th May James Cannon landed a fine trout of 7.5lb on the Loch (No image available), congratulations James.
Seasoned Loch angler and VOLDAC member John Connolly enjoyed a good day on the Loch on 28th May landing two Salmon of 12.5lb and 10.5lb in or near ‘Cemetary Bay’ plus a lovely Sea Trout of 3lb. Congratulations and well done John. (no images available).
The following day (29th May) saw Jamie Hyslop also enjoying success in landing two Salmon of 12lb and 9lb, one of which was landed near ‘Darroch’. Jamie also landed a fine Sea Trout of 4.5lb on the same outing. Congratulations and well done Jamie (no images available).
On Monday 31st May it was reported that another Loch angler successfully landed another fine Sea Trout of 4.5lb (no image available).
Wednesday 2nd June saw the Loch continuing to produce good quality Sea Trout with a fine Sea Trout of 10lb being landed by another VOLDAC member. (no image available)
On Friday 4th June experienced angler Billy Quinn landed a fine Salmon of 10lb, congratulations and well done Billy. (no image available).
Also on 4th June seasoned angler Tam Dorrian successfully hooked and landed a beautiful looking fish of 15lb, congratulations and great start Tam.
Saturday 5th June and things are ‘hotting up‘ in terms of both catches and temperatures with experienced angler Philip Shannon landing a lovely Grilse of 8lb just north of ‘Balmaha Pier’, well done Philip (no image available).
On the 12th June VOLDAC member Robert McKeague landed a fine Salmon of 13lb, brilliant well done Robert. (no image available).
The 12th June saw Jamie Hyslop back on the scoresheet landing two fine fish of 12lb and 11lb, congratulations Jamie and looks like you are continuing your excellent form from last season. (no image available).
Experienced angler and VOLDAC member John East got his season off to great start with a lovely Salmon of 10lb. Congratulations and well done John what a bonny looking fish.
Saturday 19th June saw seasoned angler Robert Mair successfully landing a lovely fish of 10lb, congratulations and well done Robert.
Also on Saturday 19th June there was a confirmed report of another 10lb Salmon successfully landed on the Loch (No image or details available). Seasoned angler and VOLDAC member Alex Doey successfully landed a Salmon of 11lb also on Saturday 19th June, congratulations and well done Alex (No image available).
The 21st June saw another VOLDAC angler Rab Strachan land a fine Salmon of 10lb, well done Rab. (No image available)
Regular Loch angler Philip Shannon was back in the news on 25th June when he landed a nice Salmon of 11lb just south of ‘Pulpit Rock‘, congratulations and well done Philip. (No image available)
On Saturday 26th June Loch angler Stephen Kennedy had a reel battle on his hands when he hooked into a stunning fresh fighting fish of around 18lb. Stephen said that the fish took off immediately with ‘the reel absolutely screaming….”. Forty minutes later Stephen had the fish complete with lice to the boat and successfully in the net. This lovely fish was revived and successfully returned. Congratulations and well done Stephen …. your smile says it all and a memorable day on the Loch for you.
Also on Saturday 26th June VOLDAC member and experienced angler Stuart MacFarlane hit into another beautiful and strong fighting fish of around 8lb at the “Scattered Isles“. After a fiesty battle and aided by Stuart’s young daughter thankfully the fish was successfully netted, revived and returned. Congratulation to Stuart and his Daughter.
Early July saw Hamish McCaig land a lovely wee Grilse of 4.7lb and a nice Sea Trout of 3lbs near “Ross Isles“, congratulations and well done Hamish.
Also on the 2nd July Stuart MacFarlane continued his success in hooking and landing a lovely Salmon of 12lb in “Manse Bay“. The fish was revived and safely returned, congratulations and well done once again Stuart.
Also on 2nd July experienced angler Alan Dorrian successfully landed a beautiful shining Grilse of 5lbs which was safely revived and released. Well done and congratulations Alan, smile say everything
On July 3rd Robert Mair was in the news once more in landing another large Salmon of 18lb in “Achentillie Bay“, once recovered the fish was safely released . Congratulations and well done Robert.
Also on 3rd July experienced angler Steven Gilfeather and his young Son landed a beautiful Grilse of 8lb (estimate), congratulations and well done both.
On the 5th July VOLDAC member and experienced Loch angler Thomas McBride landed a beautiful fresh wee Grilse of 4lb, congratulations and well done Thomas.
On the 5th July Stuart MacFarlane continued to show the way to do it by successfully hooking landing another nice Salmon of 11lb near the “Scattered Isles“. The fish was revived and safely returned. You are definitely on a roll Stuart, well done.
6th July and yes it’s the Stuart MacFarlane show as Stuart continues his successful run by hooking and landing a lovely Grilse of 5lb on “The Endrick Bank“. Attempts to revive and return the fish were unsuccessful. Congratulations and well done Stuart you are truly leading the way!
Our very own Jim Raeburn (Chairman LLAIA) got his 2021 season underway on 7th July by hooking and landing a lovely fresh Salmon of 10lb off Rowardennan. The fish was revived and safely released. Congratulations and well done Jim.
In addition to the above catches there have been numerous reports of fish hooked and unfortunately lost including the long battle between Dick Dickson and the “lomond Leviathan’ which captured the interest of so many members and anglers. If you missed Dick’s tale of this epic fight you can find it using the link here: https://www.lochlomondangling.com/news/2021/06/24/lomond-system-news-an-encounter-with-a-lomond-leviathan-dick-dickinson/
You will note from the reports above that there are many instances where “no image available” has been noted, we would encourage all anglers to share your catches, tales and images with us in order that we in turn may share with our members and readers.
No confirmed reported catches at the time of report
No confirmed reported catches at the time of report
Whilst there have been a significant number of anglers fishing the Estuary areas with informal reports of good catches of Sea Trout there have been very few confirmed catches by anglers fishing the saltwater and tidal reaches. We would like to encourage anglers to share their successes and catches with us so that we can in turn share with all of our anglers and members?
Several weeks ago a fly rod and reel setup was ‘left behind’ by an angler at Cardross sawmills car parking area. We are keen to reunite this equipment with its owner so if you are or know of someone who is ‘missing’ a fly rod and reel setup please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
So after a late start to the season in terms of catches and rod pressure then recent weeks have seen some great quality fish coming off the loch and in reasonable numbers. July has witnessed the first real Grilse catches of the season which hopefully will grow over coming weeks. So despite very low water conditions in the River Leven fish are clearly continuing to travel up and into the loch despite the low levels. Like many systems in Scotland we desperately need some prolonged rainfall in order to both raise heights and freshen the system. Lets hope that we get lucky in this respect soon, meantime we wish all anglers tight lines in the coming weeks and please do remember to send in your reports, tales and photos.