Winter Trout Options
  |  First Published: June 2010

A quote often thrown around in fishing circles is ‘no run, no fun’.

While it’s often applied to current and tide, I would like to add weather patterns. It might sound odd, but with this run of cold weather the fun factor has been off the Richter!

Some may not like fishing in the cooler months but I’m a big fan.

I reckon if you can rug up, stay warm and dry, you’re a good chance of having a blast.

Brushy Lagoon

Up until recently, it had been some time since I visited this water, and with few trout options at this time of year, it makes an ideal location for a quick flick not far from Launceston, as it’s open all year round.

Cool calm nights have provided ideal conditions for midges, which have been scattered about providing you’re there early. While often a tough prospect, midging fish provide a worthwhile challenge where timing, presentation and fly selection can all dictate the result of success.

Once the sun gets up strap on a big, dirty wet fly, plastic or lure and wait for a monster to latch on. Don’t attempt to go too deep though, as most of the lake is actually quite shallow, with weed often causing some grief.

Fish have been in great nick with some very aggressive and if you’re lucky, there may just be a few 3-5kg rainbows or atlantics from the last IFS stocking.

While some may turn their noses up at stocked waterways, little else matters when it’s cold, your hands are numb and a 10lb leviathan is peeling line from your reel.

The Forecast

The first Saturday in August sees the brown trout season return and while we still have a few weeks to wait, time could be spent cleaning gear, tying leaders and flies, and of course checking the weather patterns and water levels for your favourite haunt.

We can expect that there’s still a high chance of rain so with this in mind, keep an eye on river heights on waterways such as South Esk, North Esk and St Patricks rivers.

If your timing is right and the water is looking to spill, you may sample some sensational flood fishing where worm feeders, tailing fish and backwater-belters are the target of choice.

If dirty water is not your thing, seek some solace higher in the catchments or find a nice clear tributary creek to fill your void.

It’s amazing how many fish will still take a dry fly in clear water during opening weekend, even with a real lack of terrestrial life.

Another great option early in the season is Four Springs Lake. Certainly not a secret spot, with the car park often overflowing by the time opening weekend arrives, but with good reason.

Four Springs is very fertile and although heavily stocked, fish that last a few years are bound to be in great condition, with the odd 4-5lb specimen lurking about and trophy fish not uncommon.

Prospecting the timbered areas with a woolly bugger is a good option, and you can’t go wrong throwing some deep diving lures about the deeper western shoreline.

Weed growth can tend to choke up the southern end during the warmer months so make the most of the high water and put plenty of casts up around the tussocks.

If we’ve had some recent rain, expect some explosive takes from fit brownies searching out a feed of frogs or tadpoles.

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