Situated beside the town of Kinross, Loch Leven has the distinction
of being the most famous trout loch in the world. Famed for its
unique strain of brown trout, the fishing in the loch declined sadly
during the 1970s and 80s until, amid a great deal of controversy,
rainbow trout were stocked in 1994.
For once the sceptics were proved wrong. Loch Leven rainbows proved
to be every bit as special as the native brown trout and, without
any doubt whatsoever, are the finest rainbow trout available
anywhere in Britain.
Fishing is by boat only and, like the trout, the 18' clinker craft
on Loch Leven are the best in the country. Normally three anglers
share a boat and fish by drifting beam-on to the breeze.
Traditionally small wet flies, fished four to the cast, were the
standard on this loch - with "wee doubles" in patterns such as Peter
Ross, Grouse and Claret, the Butcher clan, Wickham's Fancy and
Greenwell's Glory being the mainstay of regular anglers. Nowadays,
however, larger flies on sinking lines are sometimes successful when
conditions are difficult and, in direct contrast, dry fly fishing
has become popular on summer evenings. Many of the 6 - 9 lb. class
of rainbows fall to this technique.
Bookings: Phone 01577 863407
Lying below the village of Kingseat to the east of Dunfermline, Loch
Fitty was one of the early rainbow trout fisheries in Scotland but
apart from rainbow trout, it is also stocked with brown trout,
salmon and steelheads.
Fishing is mainly from well appointed 19 foot boats which drift
beautifully beam on no matter the strength of the wind. Like most
modern fisheries each boat is fitted with an outboard engine and an
anchor. There is also good fishing from a defined area of the bank.
Fish can be any size from 1½ lbs upwards with plenty in the 6-8 lbs
class being taken each season. Lures, nymphs and wet flies will all
take fish when conditions are right. Soldier Palmer, Invicta,
Dunkeld, Wickham's Fancy, Grouse and Claret and Black Pennel are
firm favourites amongst more traditional fishermen while black lures
such as Ace of Spades, Viva and red or green Montanas often do well
early in the season.
The onshore facilities at Loch Fitty are excellent with a well
stocked tackle shop; a coffee shop serving breakfasts, lunches and
plenty of bacon rolls; good toilets; a spacious car park and a small
area for caravans. Loch Fitty is open for fishing from mid-February
until the week before Christmas. But from the beginning of November
to Christmas the fishing is by any legal method - except live bait
fish - in order to reduce the large stock of rainbows before the
extreme cold of January and early February.
Bookings and information: Phone 01383 620666
Dominated by Linlithgow Palace, this little loch is a spectacular
place to fish. It was once famous for very large brown trout but,
nowadays, most of the sport tends to be provided by stockie
rainbows. Having said that, the feeding in this loch is particularly
good and the fish rapidly gain both weight and condition.
Standard fly patterns can be successful but some of the best catches
in recent times have gone to the static nymph fished from an
anchored boat. The loch is fairly shallow and areas of it can weed
up in a hot summer.
Bookings: Phone 01506 842943
Located beyond Penicuik, Portmore Loch has developed a reputation
for very large trout. Fish of up to 15 lbs. are not unknown and
there is one story of a competition angler weighing in a bag of more
than 80 lbs.
One experienced Portmore angler swears by sedges on summer evenings
but a large range of flies and lures can be successful. Dry flies,
in particular, are making a big impact on this water - try a
smallish claret hopper or a black and claret emerger fished on fine
Boat and bank fishing are allowed and there is a limit of 10 fish
per boat or 4 for a bank permit.
Bookings: Phone 01968 675684
This is one loch where the wildlife often give more thrills than the
fishing! Ospreys, geese and a huge variety of other waterfowl can be
seen and it is not unusual for deer to come to the water's edge. To
be fair to the fishery, it is always well stocked but the rainbows
won't always take traditional flies. Those anglers who are prepared
to resort to sinking lines and lures will often winkle a fish or two
out, even when conditions are tough.
Butterstone is on the Dunkeld to Blairgowrie road and is immensely
scenic. The boats are a bit shallow-draughted for day-long comfort
but they are perfectly stable. Electric outboards are permitted. The
limit is 6 fish per rod but many anglers will be content with a
smaller basket, especially if it contains some of the larger fish
for which Butterstone is famed.
Bookings: Phone Rick Knight on 01350 724238