I´m no expert on the fish of Loch Lomond but I am more of an expert than I was this time last week after having made a trip up to the Loch and to stare, for the first time, into its dark, peat-stained water.

When God was shaping the heavens and the earth he flattened some of Scotland to give us the lowlands and he rest, which was a bit bumpier, became the highlands. And, of course he gauged out deep crevices, some of which filled up with water, and he made lots of islands and stuff. This is all pretty impressive in itself, but what I had not realised is that God had the divine foresight to put the south shore of Lough Lomond close enough to Glasgow that you can get there by train in half an hour.

My daughter Pippa is studying at the University of Glasgow and Catriona and I popped over to see her last week. On Tuesday all three of us hopped on the train and headed off to Balloch which is the end of the line and only a stone´s throw from where you can hop on a cruise ship (maybe ship is stretching things a bit) that will take you up to the south shore of the loch.

Lomond, the queen of Scottish lochs, has earned its place in folklore, in literature, and of course in song. “I´ll take the high road and you take the low road” provide an alternative should you and I not simply want to hop on the train, as we did last week, from Glasgow Queen Street.

So what about the fish? There are 21 species swimming around in there. The most interesting might well be the powan, Coregonus clupeoides a whitefish which is endemic to only two lakes in Scotland, Lomond and Esk. The only other fish mentioned on our little cruise were salmon and sea trout but, of course, the lough is famous for its pike. I remember reading the late Fred Buller´s accounts of the pike fishing there. There are pike all over the British Isles but they reckon if you want to have a crack at a really big girl (the really big pike are females) you should think about Lomond. For this reason Lomond became the destination of choice for pike fishermen with the shared dream (obsession more accurately) of landing a real whopper. From memory, Buller hooked and lost a leviathan there and somebody who caught a glimpse of the thing and said it was all of four feet long, maybe more. I reckon that that fish is the last thing he thought about at night and the memory of the parting knot must have haunted for the rest of his long life. There have been, in recent times, three 40 pounders taken from the loch and so it seems its reputation is well deserved. My advice, for what it´s worth is that if it´s a real monster you´re after you should consider going to Loch Ness!

What else? Of interest to anglers, there are big perch (a 4 pound 4 ounce perch was caught in 2015), and big roach (a 2 pound 12 ounce fish in 2016). There are also massive shoals of bream.

It´s getting late now and I have a glass of white wine looking at me so I will just cut to the chase by providing a list of all the species of Loch Lomond just in case you are curious. I stole it from the Loch Lomond Fisheries Trust http://www.llft.org/fish-species/ and reproduce it without any further ado:


Common Name (Scientific Name)

Powan (Coregonus lavaretus)
Sea/Brown trout (Salmo trutta)
Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)
Sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus)
River lamprey (Lampetra fluviatilis)
Brook lamprey (Lampetra planeri)
Pike (Esox lucius)
Minnow (Phoxinus phoxinus)
Roach (Rutilus rutilus)
Stone loach (Noemacheilus barbatulus)
Eel (Anguilla anguilla)
Three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus)
Ten-spined stickleback (Pungitius pungitius)
Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis)
Flounder (Platichthys flesus)


Common Name (Scientific Name)

Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)
Crucian carp (Carassius carassius)
Gudgeon (Gobio gobio)
Chub (Leuciscus cephalus)
Dace (Leuciscus leuciscus)
Ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernuus)

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Here´s Pip and me cruising Loch Lomond