Category Archives: Loch Lomond 2018

Angling on Lomond on the first day of Autumn

Saturday 1st Sept. 2018

Saturday 1st of September, the first day of Autumn already and I arrive at the Angling Club for an early start to another day on the Loch with my friend and fellow angler Michael arriving just ahead of me. Just before eight o’clock we make our way up the river with dense low mist swirling just above the water. Like a scene from Apocalypse Now I think with a smile checking the banks for the enemy “charlie“.

The route we had roughly agreed was to fish the Boturich shore before crossing towards Inchmurrin and along the islands towards Blamaha. From there we would head northwards to at least Rowardennan.

I had barely left the Leven and laid out the rods when the “striker” weight on the inside rod jumped! Weed or fish? It turned out to be a small perch of about a 1lb beautifully marked which was quickly and carefully returned.

The mist had started to lift providing beautiful and dramatic scenes with the islands and mountains poking through the remaining mist. A tinge of Autumn colours were now becoming more evident on the treelined shores as we ran along the islands of Inchmurrin, Creinch, Torrinch and Inchcailloch. The now flat calm conditions providing a stunning mirror image of the shoreline. I noticed that Michael had stopped some distance ahead. I watched through the binoculars with excitement and interest whilst he was standing with rod in hand playing a fish. It turned out to be a small pike which whilst giving a good account of itself was not our intended prize.

Turning northwards at Balmaha we continued and having left Inchfad behind I decided to check the lures for weed and I was surprised to find a tiny minnow hooked on the treble of the zebra toby. A personal record for the smallest fish I thought and no chance to safely release it unfortunately.

Carefully working the shore as tight as we dared we continued north weaving in and out  of each bay and inlet in turn then around “Ross Isles” without any further contact. Breaking for lunch just below Rowardennan for a stretch of legs, a “fry up” and an adjustment of rods and gear as well a blether. Deciding upon a route home we were soon off again,  sailing south back down the east shore again before crossing amongst the islands of Inchconnachan and Inchtavannach and then down the west shore. I was not familiar with this route so appreciated Michael sharing his experience of this part of the loch.

As we left the end of Inchmoan the wind had noticeably started to blow creating quite a wave as we made for Rossdhu and “The Golf Course“. Aside from the increasingly blustery conditions the run down the east shore was unfortunately uneventful with no contact by either boat. Reflecting upon the fact that eight lures deployed over a the distance we had covered today had failed to produce any results it would be easy to become disheartened. However despite the lack of fish it had been a good day and good company amidst the ever changing and breathtaking colours and scenes of Loch Lomond that we are blessed to have on our doorstep.

Angling on Lomond

Wednesday 29th Aug. 2018

As the season marches forwards and still chasing that first Lomond salmon I set off for another day on the water. It has to be said I think that if it was only about the fishing then I would have quit long ago on this quest. Thankfully Loch Lomond has so much more to offer than purely the fish, although one would be nice! On each outing I’ve already noticed the changing colours and scenes of its unbounded beauty.

The route for today was to fish firstly the west shore taking in the usual marks that included The Fruin mouth, Auchentullin Bay, Finlass Water and the Golf Course with a stop on Inchmoan for lunch before heading along the south shore of Inchmoan and across towards Balmaha and then homeward past Boturich Castle.

After a few uneventful first hours carefully navigating my way northwards and trying to remember all of the gratefully received tips and advice regarding each location I finally heard the welcome sound of the striker weight jumping and the reel screeching. I lifted the “inside rod” thinking it may be weed given the area I was in and initially believed this to be the case until the rod suddenly bent into an arc as the fish sprung to life. I impatiently reeled to see the fish and tried not to curse as I realised that it was a small pike of around 5lbs.  Given the size of the fish I decided to leave the remaining rods out and bring this fish in which I was to later regret as it cost me a lure on the bed of the loch, lesson learned.

No further takes ensured as I headed for Inchmoan for a quiet lunch and a stretch of the legs. Loch Lomond Wed 290818aLoch Lomond Wed 290818bLunch it was but quiet it was not as almost as soon as I opened the sandwich box a troop of ducks was quickly followed by a family of swans padding up the shore to join me. After a “busy” lunch I met some fellow anglers who had also decided to lunch on the island and after a lot of helpful chat and advice I set off re-charged and enthused once more.

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Working my way as tight in as I dared along the “long” and “short” points of “the moan” without any offers I then headed east towards Balmaha taking in the south shore of Inchfad. Turning south at Balmaha I noted that the stiff breeze that had whipped up the water. Seeking some shelter I headed along the south shores of Inchcailloch, Torrinch, Creinch and Inchmurrin but being a south west wind this did not make much difference to the increasing roll.Loch Lomond Wed 290818dLoch Lomond Wed 290818i

Finally deciding to call it a day I headed across the loch from Inchmurrin to Boturich wanting to fish the east shore homewards. As I crossed I reflected how quickly the scenes and conditions can change from flat calm this morning to a bow slapping roll.

Another enjoyable day on “The Big Loch” and a genuine thank you again to all those fellow anglers for so freely sharing their knowledge and experience as well as offering much welcomed encouragement.

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Another good day on “The Big Loch”

Saturday 25th August 2018

Despite previous failures to hook and land my first Lomond salmon I was eager to get on onto the water. You can’t beat a tryer after all as they say. Having checked the weather forecast about a dozen times during the past two days the boat was prepped and loaded. After only a few clumsy collisions as I reveresed out of my new mooring onto the river I was off slowly making my way upriver behind another angling boat, very slow.

As I left the river and entered the loch I noticed the flotilla of Ranger and support boats and suddenly remembered it was the date for “The Great Scottish Swim” event with contestants already ploughing across Drumkinnon Bay. I headed east past Balloch Park thinking that the loch would most likely be busy today with this being a bank holiday weekend. I continue to be surprised how shallow the section off Balloch Park is even well offshore. My planned route was to troll along the east bank past Boturich before heading across to Inchmurrin and along the south shores of Inchmurriin, Creinch, Torrinch and Inchcailloch. From there I would take a familiar route from Blamaha north to The Ross Isles up to Rowardennan and then across the loch and fish homewards down the west shore.

Being a fly fisher and new to this trolling business then amongst a multitidue of other subjects that I have been trying to understand is “trolling speed”. As always other anglers have been more than helpfuil with suggestions. Dependent upon lure type then most seem to agree that a brisk walking or jogging speed is best. Having no idea as to what speed I am actually trolling at I decided to measure my trolling speed on this trip. I used an App for this on my Iphone called”Speed Box” and after several readings then it appeared that my idea of a fast walking speed was 3-4 knots. For me to troll faster I think will need more familiarity of the various shoreline and underwater features (hazards!).

Fished up and along the east shoreline having covered the north shores of Inchmurriin, Creinch, Torrinch and Inchcailloch without any offers, not even a pike! I was captivated by a pair of magnificent Ospreys perched above me on the shoreline, beautiful.

Passing Cashel campsite I slowed to allow a windsurfer to come out from the shore only to almost colide with him five minutes later as he decided to return to shore! Despite my shouts and curses he was blind as he was behind the sail on his board and could not see me (again). Reminder that I must fit that horn lying at home to the boat. Sailing up to The Ross Isles I pulled in at my favourite wee bay for lunch and stretch of the legs.

Heading out after lunch I decided to give “The Ross Isles” a quick figure of eight before I headed north towards Rowerdennan. The wind was now starting to blow fairly briskly (for me) from the north and just below Rowerdennan I decided to cross the loch in hope that west shore would offer some shelter for the run home. A bit of a swell as I made my way across the loch trying to keep bow into the wind before reaching quieter water on the west bank.

Fishing as close to shore as possible and exploring as many of the bays and marks as possible I made my way down toards Luss. No action or interest stopping several times to clear weed or try a change of lure. Continuing down I was reflecting on the days events, or lack of them when some of our fellow wet bike loch users screamed across my bow at Duck Bay Marina clearly in some hurry to get somewhere! As I approached the river mouth I was surprised to see that “The Great Scottish Swim” was still underway as I was directed clear of Drumkinnon Bay area by the Rangers.

Another good day on the Loch despite seeing or hooking any silver, chatting with some returning fellow anglers at the club then there were no reports of anything landed from the loch that day. Whilst not good news in itself I admit I was heartened at this information which made me think at least it’s not just me then.



Wrong species but great day on Lomond

Loch Lomond Friday 27th July, 2018

Friday 27th July saw me back out on Lomond chasing that illusive first Lomond Salmon. Forecast was low cloud and thunderstorms later in the afternoon and planned route was up the East shore to Boturich and then across to Inchmurrin. From there along south shores of Inchmurrin, Creinch, Torrinch and Inchcailloch before heading North as far The Ross Isles. Homeward route was along North shores of Inchclonaig, Inchconnachan and Inchtavannach and down West shore. I saw only two or three other boats but not too many other anglers on the water perhaps put off by the low water and high temperatures.

I am always amazed at the size of lure that these brave wee perch will ambush, in this case the hot lure of the day was a 13cm black and gold original floating Rapala which they and other species seemed to favour over other lures on offer. Some legendary large Lomond pike were also keen to make an appearance once more. Water temperatures seemed to be still very high and the other main issue was weed especially on the West shore homeward leg where you could almost anticipate the ensuing hangup in weed from the fish finder which showed weed climbing all the way to the surface. On the topic of high water temperatures I have been wondering whether it would be worth fishing deeper water with deeper swimming lures would yield better results given recent conditions?

Under dramatic skies and breathtaking scenery I broke for lunch at a favourite wee bay up at Ross Isles I took the time to fit the new boat “Dogged Angler” name plates which look great. My thanks and gratitude to Eric and Thomas at The Vale of Leven District Angling Club (VOLDAC) for their kind assistance in “planing” down these name plates to allow fitting to the bow.

Encounters with some big Lomond pike were once again on the cards with the black and gold rapala again proving the predators choice. On the homeward leg I hooked and landed perhaps my biggest Lomond pike to date which gave a good account of itself on a 15ft fly rod. I have great admiration for these big predators with their beautiful markings and strong runs but if I am being honest I do not like handling them in the boat, which is evident in the video. Whilst trying to deal with them respectfully and safely return them my preference is to try to get them to “slip” the hook wherever possible or to deal with them at the side of the boat.  I have made a note to devise or buy a “fish mat” try to improve matters here.

Overall another great day out on the water despite the lack of any silver fish, with this weekend’s rain falls hopefully this will freshen things up and bring in some runs into the Loch. Already thinking of next outing, thinking of giving the Endrick or Leven a try early this coming week given the weekend rain.

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Don’t forget the “When all else fails”- Burlesque option

When current conditions make if hard to for me post tales of heroic catches and pictures of fish then for me a look back at trips earlier in the year is perhaps the only solution. This of course presumes that stories and photos of my catches will be in abundance when conditions do improve, a risky assumption indeed on my part given my normal catch return rate.

Loch Lomond May 4th, 2018

It was a very welcome surprise when I received an invite from my good friend Michael to join him for a days fishing on Lomond. The invite was particularly appreciated given that I had managed to “drop” two fish on earlier trips and it had crossed my mind that perhaps I had blotted my copybook.  In hindsight it was obvious that part of the reason for losing these fish was the overly courteous discussions and resultant delays as to who should lift the rod with the fish. An early start saw us leave the Angling Club with conditions looking good and expectations high. In an attempt to avert another “dropped fish” incident we had agreed a game plan for who does what should we hook a fish which in hindsight seemed obvious.

Fishing up the west bank of the loch covering the usual hotspots without success we decided to pull onto the beautiful island of Inchmoan for lunch and a stretch of the legs. A discussion of tactics and next steps was somewhat one sided given my inexperience of Lomond and trolling. I did however decide to throw a wildcard into the conversation and suggested a change of lure. Producing a white and pink rapala from my bag I said don’t laugh but it might be worth giving this a go. With a smile Michael agreed it was worth a try so on went the white and pink rapala (Japan Export only). Rapala. COUNT DOWN CD-9 JAPAN SPECIAL. HBM japan import Japan Import

We had barely pulled out of Inchmoan when the outside outrigger buckled and the reel began to screech, yes the one with the white and pink rapala. Like a well oiled pit crew (of two) we were soon playing a decent fish which put up a good fight and displayed none of the behaviours of a Pike. After a short contest a lovely brownie of around 4.5lbs was netted. Admittedly it appeared to initially resemble a sea trout but after some quick discussion we agreed it was a brownie.


Heartened and with renewed vigour we fished on between the islands and were quickly rewarded with the sound of a reel screaming once more as we passed close to Inchfad. Applying our now drilled routine then the fish holding rod dutifully bent into what looked to be a good fish. After a few strong runs it revealed itself to be a decent sized pike of around 8-9lbs which put in a strong account of itself before being netted. A lesson for me in what not to do was in bringing the pike into the boat in the net. The treble hook quickly entangled itself in the mesh of the net preventing a quick release. The solution in the end was that Michael recognising my difficulty cut the treble in order to allow the release of the pike.NwivdVLLTqWGe4sBtjcfAQ_thumb_9b0

Fishing on without any further excitement we decided to head for home around late afternoon after what had been a “good day” on the water.

Aside from avoiding bringing a netted pike into the boat then we should perhaps be mindful of not forgetting the “When all else fails option” when things are simply not happening. Sometimes the “gariest” lure (or fly) that resembles something from a burlesque show is just what’s needed when all favourites fail.

A very Hot July Day on Loch Lomond

A few scenes from a “Hot” day on Loch Lomond on Monday 9th July….scenery to die for… nowhere to be seen! A good day nevertheless. Still trying to familiarise myself with the Loch from a trolling viewpoint. Some very shallow areas where least expected partly due to low rainfall conditions and partly due to learning process on my own part. Also slowly getting up to speed in using new GoPro Hero 6 Black camera so your patience is appreciated.

Loch Lomond July 7th 2018jLoch Lomond July 7th 2018i