Margin fishing galore
  |  First Published: October 2010

October is really the month where the dividends from the winters rains are paid.

While September is terrific for rising levels of both water and enthusiasm, October warms those margins and delivers consistently exciting shallow water fishing.

My old mate ‘Hairy’ castles reckons that the frog feeders don’t get fully underway until Caulfield Cup Day, however some of the tailing waters are at their best right now.

Arthurs Lake

Arthurs Lake has risen to levels we haven’t seen since 2006, and the trout are feeding heavily on worms. While this might conjure images of hundreds of fish in the shallows, the reality is that the bulk of the fish are sitting in 1m of water feeding on them as they drift out.

Once the shallows warm to over 10C they will be in the extreme shallows feeding, so patience will be a virtue.

The dreaded pump has finally been repaired and turned on, so we can expect the level to remain pretty much static over October and then drop as both the pump and evaporation conspire to reduce the level. This won’t effect the fishing at all, and in many ways can enhance it.

Stoneflies in the tussocky bays will start to get some good fish looking up in the shallow water – these clumsy flyers are often mistaken for mayflies, however a grey dry fly or a black nymph fished in the area where they are rising usually gets a response.

Little Pine Lagoon

Little Pine has been up and down like a bride’s nightie, with heavy rains spiling this wonderful lagoon regularly. It either needs to be spilling or stable at around 80cm below full for good fishing from the shore, although wet fly fishing from a boat doesn’t rely on water levels.

A point to consider is that if it is tough in the boat, have a look on the shore, as often they will be in the shallow water if they can’t be found in the deep.

The opposite works well too – no fish in the shallows means good fishing from the boat.

Western Lakes

With constant spring rain and snow, the gate isn’t expected to be open until the first few weeks in October. This means instant action out west once we can get out there, with many cruising fish keen for a dry fly. Bright sunny days are a marvel, as with few people out there and trout keen for a feed, anglers can often have the best fishing of the entire year.

Frog feeders are prime in October, with Double Lagoon being great water for this phenomenon. Have a look around other lakes/lagoons with soft marshy shores – your ears will soon tell you where the frogs are!

Great Lake

October on Great Lake means a few gum beetles on warm days, increasing midges hatches on calm mornings and the rainbows returning from spawning activities.

Light levels are getting to the point where wade-polaroiding the shores such as Dud Bay, Boundary Bay and Haddens Bay is very worthwhile – a stick caddis under a dry fly such as a Red Tag is the best method.

Del Robinson with an example of an Arthurs Lake trout taken during high water levels.

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