Just letting folks know that as from this Friday, you are now fine to travel to the Lake from any area within Scotland. Please book on line and pay before arrival at the website payment page. Payment/booking can also be made by telephoning the fishery or if needs be with cash or card on the day (although we prefer prey payment because of covid in the meantime).
6ft water temperature 8C and secchi disk 2.1m
We have a new lake cam -hope you like it (thank you Digital Boost Grant Scheme). The weather has not really encouraged too many of our few potential customers, and staff continue to outnumber the customers most days.
Despite our losses and having an extremely quiet Kirk and School day last autumn due to travel restrictions, the Board has kept up the donations to the Kirk and School (£1200) as they are so important to our wee community. Thanks also to the anglers who donated.
From Tom MacTaggart. Scottish Club Championship: Entries are still being taken for the Scottish Club Championship. There are still plenty of spaces in group 2 (26th June, 3rd July, 10th, July, 17th July and 24th July). There are too many teams wanting a heat in group 1 and unfortunately some will have to be moved to group 2 to balance the heats up a bit.
March 23rd 2021: 6ft Temperature 6C and clarity 2.5.m
Well we are open and were into double figures re boat numbers for our “Opening Day” but it has felt more like winter time with only one or two boats out since Sunday and a lot of absent friends. However, it is apparently good for your health to list all the good things that happen each day, so; the fishery was Officially declared Opened by our celeb…Douglas Fraser, some tunes were provided by stand in piper your truly, friendships were revitalised, there were some laughs, some sloe gin was enjoyed before 9am, there was no stress, the sun was shining and fish were caught – quite a few by some folks. On the other hand it was fairly baltic with a steady breeze and low temperatures but out of the wind it was very pleasant and that is where the best catches were – Tod Hole and the Butts. The fish werent deep – as you would expect in 10 ft of water and good lines were sink tips or slow glass. the usual wets and lures did the trick. Best boat of the day was Alan MacLachlan and Murray Hunter with 38 returned (not sure what they were fishing). A couple of other boats recorded catches in the mid 20s including Cameron Davies and Boat Partner from Gartmore who weighed inb 4 fish for over 18lbs. Callum Fraser from Thornhill recorded 16 to the boat with 4 fish weighed in for 16lbs.
Competition News: On the competition scene. I have been in touch with SANACC and they finalised things last night. They are cancelling the heats of the National and moving all the competitor to their semi-final slots. The Scottish Club Championships are presumably going ahead as planned with the first evening heat taking place on 22nd May. The Scottish Open Fly Fishing Championships is “good to go”with heats on 16th May, 30th May and 13th June and the Final on Sunday 12th September. The Scierra Pairs Menteith Heat is currently scheduled for Sunday 25th April. Travel restrictions may still be in place for this date but Phil Dixon is keen to wait and see if there is a chance that the restrictions might be lifted a little earlier than planned rather than moving the heat to midweek on the 6th July – so it is wait and see. The Menteith Evening Boat League is kicking off on the 12th May with 15 heats. The final heat will be on the 18th Aug. Fario flies and the Lake will again be sponsoring this competion. The Disabled National on sunday May 9th is currently under review. We hope to hear from the organisors in the not too distant future.
We look forward to our proper Opening Day on Monday 26th April!
The first minister detailed the governments time line for lifting of travel restrictions as the 26th of April. We had hoped it would be sooner but happier at least that we will all be able to move about Scotland by that date. In the meantime only Stirling Council residents or 12 to 17 year olds who have permission to travel outside of their council area (more or less), can come and fish on the Lake. This puts paid to our normal opening day and those of you who had requested an opening day boat and who live outwith the Stirling Council Area will already be resigned to not being able to attend. We might manage 15 boats! Please get in contact if you are unclear.
We have carried out a preliminary stocking of 990 trout (554 of average wt 1.9lbs and 436 of 2.8lbs)- which is less than normal. In 2019 we stocked 1400 fish preseason with a bit of a record opening day catch. In 2020 it was 1010 fish. We may put a few more in prior to Saturday but are temped to wait a little for the cormorants to migrate to their breeding grounds and then we will put in a lot of fish as we will need the room, similar to last year.
Pictured below are the fish going in, the remnants of snow on the Lake’s Bens and two anglers who sadly recently left us and they will be much missed. Jim Horne. Janet Robertson. We know they enjoyed their Lake time.
Look forward to meeting up with those that we can on Saturday. There is a wee story about the Lake below the pictures.
Fishing is not a new pass time at theLake as this sound byte from the excellent Radio Scotland programme – Out of Doors describes. Worth a listen. I am sure the beeb wont mind a bit of free advertising. Tune in on Saturday mornings…
PS Someone was asking us why we put up our prices at the weekend. Answer our income is limited by boat number as we have no bank anglers due to the SSSI status of the Lake, and effectively limits angling pressure/ income. So it is market driven and helps revenue but also assists the folks who are hard at work during the week to get a boat at the weekend as it reduces weekend demand from others who can fish any day, e.g. retired folks – for whom we do a good value reduced weekday ticket :).
Well things are moving on re unlocking but we are still not sure when the travel ban will be lifted which effectively reduces our business by 90%. The fact that it is has been recently announced that the whole of Scotland will be released at the same time is good news, and means that the Stirling Council area will not be left behind- and to me at least it means sooner than expected. The latest government statement does give 12-17 year olds the right to travel outwith their council boundary to take part in organised sport.
We welcomed the arrival of two new solid Coulam 15ft Defenders today (we now have 8 recently purchased Coulams). It was planned to purchase 4 this year but with the big losses made last year we had to trim back and at £4500 each plus VAT – these boats don’t slide under the radar when the cash flow is being scrutinised.
We look forward to next weeks update re travel restrictions and welcoming those that can reach the lake on opening day. Don’t feel you have to cancel unless you have a crystal ball as we now have spaces for those that can travel in the immediate future (including opening day on Saturday 20th March). As usual we close for the week prior to the main opening weekend and paint the hut floor and stock the water. The first stocking will be of fish which would normally have been stocked last season but we had too many fish and not enough anglers able to travel. The upside is that they are a good size! It will be a quiet opening day but more on this next week.
Due to the pandemic restrictions we now have plenty of boats available on opening day (and going forward – for Stirling Council Area residents Please book online.
We are selling this boat to the highest bidder for £300 or over as seen. Please phone the fishery during office hours for more information.
Covid Law requires that we are open only to those who are conforming with the Governments Covid 19 rules. This means that at the current time anyone attending must be from the Stirling-shire. To show due diligence the police have requested that we ask all visiting anglers for proof of residence until the covid regulations permit otherwise.
Covid 19 and the legal statute concerning travel may end up damaging the fishery even more than it did last year. We will be allowing two people in a boat as long as all social distancing measures are observed. Boats will be disinfected as per last year and we ask folks to pay before arrival at the the website.
With this is mind no draw will be required for an opening day boat but I would be grateful if you could let me know whether you are able to attend the opening day or not. In addition I will be sending out emails in batches concerning future bookings (for the near future as no-one really can be 100% sure of how things will develop), advising anglers of this requirement.
It looks like we will have to do the cormorant scaring ourselves as we expect very little custom under these conditions. We will probably be stocking fish as normal to give our fish the room they require. When we are allowed to open properly – it will be good.
Best Regards 🙁
PS Big hello from the three of us. Hope all is ok. Hairy times. I am smiling.
Not too long now to our scheduled opening day on 20th March with pike outings scheduled before that. However we will all have to wait and see what happens with Covid restrictions before we know what is happening. With this in mind I am postponing the opening day boat draw until next week when hopefully there might be a clearer picture of what is happening re restrictions – so there is still time to apply and it will be Davies pies…. I am going to ask him if he can create a special Menteith curry pie option for the occasion.
The ice has blown off today and I dont expect too much more with the imminent mild weather forecast but there is a hint of another high pressure building over Greenland………….
We were sorry to hear of the loss of our friend and Lochinch AC Secretary George Mooney who lived in Callander. We will miss that truly engaging smile and the man behind it. George and his mandolin were an ever-present at the extra curricular port music sessions in the hut. Our thoughts are with his friends and family.
Hoping you all have a great Christmas and New Year!
The booking Portal will be open on 21/12 for online booking for those wishing to book 10 or more individual boats (apply by email for an early access code). If you are a club booking , and we havent already heard from you, we should have reserved your dates from 2019 (due to 2020 being a bit of a mess) provisionally but please get in touch before new year to ensure your club has a good choice of dates (even if they are still only provisional). If you have requested bookings but haven’t heard please email as soon as possible. It is planned to open the booking portal for all to book from 1st January.
Remember that Sundays are normal start times for next year (8.30 till 9.30am). We plan to keep the spread of opening times so will be opening at 8am with boats out 8.30-9.30am and returning for 5.30pm on all days. Depending on the covid situation we plan to have the permit shop office/shop open, otherwise it will prepayment before arrival as per last year but booking is possible without online payment.
We are closed for fishing from 19/12/20 to 3/1/21
All the best
Strangely quiet at the Lake of Menteith these days due to the travel restrictions and catch details from 2020 are scanty due to the pandemic limiting catch recording. Our most recent visitor had over 20 on the bung and bug. This being the preferred winter method these days – as well as the snake.
For anglers that like to test their skills/enjoy the big social side of angling we are pleased to confirm that we are hosting the Scottish National Championships, the Scottish Club Championships, Sierra Pairs Heat, Anglian Water Heats, Police Scottish and UK Championships, Menteith Boat League and the Scottish Open Fly Fishing Championships.
We are busy getting ready for a hopefully busy season in 2021, vaccinations permitting. The 2021 season opens on the 20th March. In the mean-time, the boats and engines are getting their required maintenance and we are catching up with all the other winter jobs. Most of are stock trout are now bedded in for the winter and they look lovely as always. The main message for our visiting anglers is that our online booking system will be open to the general public at www.menteith-fisheries.co.uk for boat booking purposes from 1st January 2021. This is reservation only and no prepayment is required. We hope to allow payment at the permit office in the new season but if covid necessitates prepayment – there will be a system in place to allow for this. If you are a club (3 boats or more on a single day) or an individual wanting to book 10 boats or more please email firstname.lastname@example.org, as these bookings can be processed before the new season portal is made available online. Please contact the fishery at this email address if you wish to enter the ballot for an opening day boat.
We are still waiting to hear from many clubs with respect to their bookings for 2021 and we are emailing these club secretaries to let them know that we have provisionally held a booking similar to their 2019 booking (we didn’t use 2020 bookings as there were so many cancellations and re-arrangements) and that this will only be held for a limited time.
We were saddened to hear of the recent loss of Sam Montgomery. Sam had fished at the Lake for many years and was well known in the angling scene. Maz has been in touch to let us know that his funeral will be tomorrow.
Sam and I shared a love of things fishy but I especially enjoyed our talks about skiing and the Alpes, another shared passion.