It has been a slow start to the 2023 season with little in the way of reported or confirmed catches during May on the River Leven at least. This trend has been echoed across the majority of fisheries around the country concerning catch reports. Recent reports of fish running through the Leven have been evidenced by the increasing number of Salmon being landed on the Loch which appears to have come into its own in recent weeks. Even in the dry, bright hot conditions anglers are reporting good catches from the Loch with one angler reporting three Salmon in a single day. Good quality catches of Sea Trout on the Loch continue with anglers reporting regular numbers of Sea Trout and fish up to 10-12lb.
Concerning the River Leven then despite the low water and high temperatures many fish have recently been seen holding up in the usual pools. However rod pressure is relatively low despite there being fish present with very few anglers venturing onto the banks during recent weeks.
Obviously the concern is that we continue to witness long periods without some meaningful rainfall which combined with high temperatures is not good news. Given these conditions it is worth reminding all anglers of the need to carefully play, land, handle and return fish in a responsible way to ensure a successful recovery and release.
The Estuary continues to fish extremely well with anglers reporting great sport and good catches of Sea Trout and Sea Bass. Reports of larger Sea Trout in the 5-8lb class continue to be received from anglers fishing the usual marks.
William Ward landed a beautiful fish of 14lb on 6th at the ‘Top Pool’ on the worm which was safely returned to do what it does. Congratulations William on landing this stunning fish.
On the 5th June, Leven angler Nathan Munro also enjoyed some success in landing a good fish of 11lb 12oz on a Green Francis followed by another on 6th June of around 7lbs.
River Leven Water Conditions
Additionally the current water gauge level for the River Leven at Linbrane can be obtain
ed 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
The past week or so has seen the Loch come alive after a rather subdued period during May with anglers now reporting some regular good Salmon catches as well as a continued run of nice Sea Trout ranging in size from 2 – 12lb. The hot and bright conditions does not appear to have prevented some good sport for those boat anglers venturing out.
Saturday 6th May saw VOLDAC member Daniel Steele successfully hook and land a lovely 10.5lb Salmon, congratulations and well done Daniel.
Tam Dorian successfully landed a nice 5lb Sea Trout on 12th May which was safely returned, excellent and congratulations Tam.
On the 13th May seasoned Loch angler Hamish McCaig reported some good catches of Sea Trout including a fish of around 3lb landed near Sallochy Bay. Hamish also landed some further catches of Sea Trout on the 14th and 15th May in the 1.5-2lb range which were safely returned. Congratulations and best wishes Hamish.
Iain Morison also enjoyed some good gatches of Sea Trout including a 2lb fish on 18th May on a Rapala and a 4lb fish on the 19th May on a Toby, nice going and well done Iain.
The 19th May saw VOLDAC member A.McArthur land a beautiful Salmon of 8lb which was carefully returned. Fantastic and well done.
With a record of landing big trout Donald Brown netted 3 fine Sea Trout on 20th May of 5.5lb, 7.5lb and 10.5lb! All fish were carefully returned. Amazing and congratulations Donald.
On the 26th May Loch angler Craig John landed a lovely Salmon of at The Cashel Burn, congratulations and well done Craig.
The 30th May saw a name well known around the system, angler Robert Adair successfully hook and land a stunning Sea Trout of just under 12lb off Balmaha on a Black and Gold Rapala. Fantastic Robert and no doubt a great scrap and memorable day.
Experienced Loch angler Frank Caldwell and his Brother Des landed a lovely Salmon of 9lb off the The Stables on the 1st June. Congratulations and well done both.
Saturday 3rd June saw seasoned Loch angler Phil Shannon successfully hook and land a lovely Salmon of 11lb 12oz on The Endrick Bank. Good stuff and congratulations Phil.
Also on the 3rd June Loch angler James Dickie successfully landed a fine Sea Trout of 6lb which once more was carefully returned to do its stuff. Well done and congratulations James.
Experienced Loch angler John Connolly landed a lovely Salmon of 11lb 7oz on 5th June.
Tuesday 6th June Loch angler Michael King landed two beautiful Sea Trout of 4lb and 8lb, congratulations and well done Michael.
Michael King continued to build upon his success on 7th June by landing a lovely Salmon of 11lb 2oz from The Endrick Bank on a Copper and Silver Toby. Congratulations and well deserved Michael.
Experienced Loch angler Frank Caldwell produced the treble on 8th June in landing three Salmon of 11lb,12lb and 13lb with at least one of which was landed near the ‘Black Rocks’. Each fish was carefully returned with the exception of one which unfortunately could not be released due to injury. Fantastic Frank, congratulations and a day you are sure to remember.
Video of Frank Caldwell Releasing one of his Salmon
Saturday 10th June saw experienced Loch angler Scott Laird land a beautiful Salmon of 11lb (estimate). Congratulations and well done Scott.
No reported catches as yet. The Endrick normally does not start to fish until later in the season and being a spate river is very dependent on those first initial spates to allow fish to enter the river. The Endrick however does hold some really nice trout which often can provide some good sport and which are rarely targeted by anglers.
No reported catches as yet. The Fruin normally does not start to fish until later in the season and being a spate river is very dependent on those first initial spates to allow fish to enter the river. The Endrick however does hold some really nice trout which often can provide some good sport and which are rarely targeted by anglers.
The Estuary has been producing some really good action in recent weeks with some good catches of Sea Trout and Bass for those anglers fishing the fly, bait and lures.
Experienced saltwater specialists Colin Ferguson and Chris have been enjoying some of the action including that on on a recent trip on 30th May.
Colin Ferguson and John Bell also enjoyed some great action on 1st June on the Estuary getting in amongst the Sea Trout and Sea Bass once more. Fishing aside what a marvellous backdrop for an evening’s fishing.
As can be seen there are some very good catches being reported from the system despite some very challenging conditions which if these conditions continue may present some serious threats to juvenile fish stocks. As can be seen the Loch and The Estuary are currently producing some fine sport and catches. The River Leven despite fish being witnessed in all of the normal areas and pools appears to only being lightly fished by a few rods.
As I personally witnessed our partner organisation the Loch Lomond Fisheries Trust (LLFT) have already been required to intervene and conduct the first fish rescue operation of 2023. This rescue of fry and parr was a result of very low water conditions within the Achingaich Burn which is a feeder and spawning burn to the River Fruin.
Further details of this fish rescue can be found by following the link below:
We wish all anglers and members tight lines in the weeks ahead and we would encourage all anglers to share their tales and catches by sending details to email@example.com