Dour Lochs

Liathach

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 21, 2020
Messages
90
You here it often, "that loch is very dour". Sometimes a loch can be dour but another just a cast way is not. What factors would make a loch dour?
 

Naefearjustbeer

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 16, 2019
Messages
51
Location
North coast Scotland
Size of the fish, I find lochs full of small fish with very few larger ones tend to be eager feeders and free rising. Lochs that have very big fish in it must also have small fish but yet they are rarely caught, this I belive is down to the small fish knowing that they will be eaten by the larger inhabitants if they are seen in the open parts of the Loch, I think they hide in the margins and also down deep so they are out of sight of the bigger fish. The bigger fish are harder to catch but are brave enough to cruise around feeding near the surface as they don't have to fear water bourne predators the same.
However why one Loch can hold monster trout and a the next Loch can be full of tiddlers when they so are close together must be a much more complex combination of factors, I can think of a loch near me where one is considered a dour experts water with large trout and literally a stones throw away the next loch is full of 6oz fish that you can catch 3 at a time.

Sent from my ANE-LX1 using Tapatalk
 

aenoon

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 12, 2009
Messages
11,837
Location
Linlithgow, Scotland and anywhere i can wet a line
You here it often, "that loch is very dour". Sometimes a loch can be dour but another just a cast way is not. What factors would make a loch dour?
Not the Loch thats "dour", its the fish!
Any loch can go from "dour" to "fishing its socks off" and back again, at the flick of a switch in the trouts brain!
regards
Bert
 
Last edited:

Cap'n Fishy

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2008
Messages
25,903
Location
Embra
Like many Lochs, fish can be dour, and sometimes they can be "on".
Dont know about fish density, but Menteith it aint.
regards
Bert

Back in the late '80s, there was nowhere else I wanted to be, but out on Leven on a summer evening... and I was... 2 or even 3 times a week. The fishing was fantastic. Much has changed over the years since then, but the main criticism I hear is that there are not the fish numbers that there should be and that is down to loss of spawning due to water abstraction and the lack of maintenance of the spawning burns (to give priority to spawning trout). They tried to get round it by artificially stripping and rearing the fish, but that just doesn't seem to work with brown trout for whatever reason.

On top of that, added dourness might result from a diet that is effectively filter-feeding on Daphnia and other plankton, such as copepods, plus grubbing in the mud for bloodworm, or sucking hoglouse and snails off weeds. If trout are acclimated to such diets, and meanwhile fly life such as buzzers, sedges and lake olives dwindle for various reasons, then the fish will not behave in the way we need them to behave to take our offerings.
 

Scotty Mitchell

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 25, 2020
Messages
422
Location
The Kingdom of Fife
I speak to a few Leven regulars and none of them are calling it dour just now. Quite the opposite. They are fishing it exclusively for the first time in a long time.
 

gegg

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 11, 2010
Messages
381
Location
Scottish Borders
The thing is, when a usually 'dour' loch comes to life, it can be the most exhilarating fishing experience of the season. I give loch Allt Eoin Thomais in Wester Ross as a prime example.
 

Cap'n Fishy

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2008
Messages
25,903
Location
Embra
I speak to a few Leven regulars and none of them are calling it dour just now. Quite the opposite. They are fishing it exclusively for the first time in a long time.

Aye, I think being a regular and fishing it exclusively makes a huge difference. These guys will get tuned in on where to go and exactly what to do. The casual angler who turns up having last fished it 5 years ago tends to struggle. Well, I do and most of the folk I talk to in that camp do! 😜

Col
 

Cap'n Fishy

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2008
Messages
25,903
Location
Embra
The thing is, when a usually 'dour' loch comes to life, it can be the most exhilarating fishing experience of the season. I give loch Allt Eoin Thomais in Wester Ross as a prime example.

Some lochs can be consistently dour during the day, because the fish tend to feed at night. If you only fish them during the day, you'll always find them dour. Others switch on and off. Some folk seem to think that all you have to do with a wild loch with a good head of brownies in it is turn up and sling '3 black ones' at them and they'll fill the boat every time. But they can turn on an off like a switch with food supply, weather conditions - light, temperature, air pressure, etc... And when they are off, they are OFF! 😜
 
Last edited:

Scotty Mitchell

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 25, 2020
Messages
422
Location
The Kingdom of Fife
Aye, I think being a regular and fishing it exclusively makes a huge difference. These guys will get tuned in on where to go and exactly what to do. The casual angler who turns up having last fished it 5 years ago tends to struggle. Well, I do and most of the folk I talk to in that camp do! 😜

Col

By that rationale it's safe to call any sizeable wild water Dour 😁
 

Cap'n Fishy

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2008
Messages
25,903
Location
Embra
By that rationale it's safe to call any sizeable wild water Dour 😁

I think the Leven trout behave differently to the way they do in a lot of waters, though. I'd be confident to go out on waters like Lochy and Arkaig, or Harray, and catch fish, even if I haven't fished there for a couple of years. However, I would not have the same confidence if I was just to turn up on Leven and take a boat out without help from folk who have been fishing it regularly.

Going back to the switching on and off thing... I see that a lot on the sea trout lochs. They are not even supposed to be feeding (though they do a bit). You can be fishing away and it seems like there is not a fish in the loch. Suddenly they will switch on and give you an hour of frantic action. When it stops, you think you've drifted out of them, so you go back up to repeat the drift, but it's back to where you were - not a fish in the place. Something triggers them on and off...

Col
 
Last edited:

Scotty Mitchell

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 25, 2020
Messages
422
Location
The Kingdom of Fife
I often wonder if for a very short period of time, all the factors that affect the aquatic insects, larvae and fish, all perfectly align, and sparks a short lived burst of general activity, feeding, hatching, generally breaking cover and going for it. Could this happen, and stop as quick as it started?
 

aenoon

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 12, 2009
Messages
11,837
Location
Linlithgow, Scotland and anywhere i can wet a line
I speak to a few Leven regulars and none of them are calling it dour just now. Quite the opposite. They are fishing it exclusively for the first time in a long time.
Yes, I know, I just used it as an example of "dour" fish, and as you have noted, same fish are giving it the opposite at moment.
regards
Bert
 
Top