Dry fly action soon
  |  First Published: October 2010

The Launceston region has experienced some mixed reports recently.

Wild, cold weather has made fishing tough on our still waters, and rains have spoilt regular success on our rivers.

Ironically though, this rain will benefit the condition of our trout and enhance populations of our insects such as caddis and mayfly. A few small trout have been landed on the North Esk and St Patricks Rivers, but mostly higher up in the system, and earlier in the season prior to the deluge.

September has seen the rivers flowing at much higher levels and quite murky; most have broken their banks on more than two or three occasions. Bait anglers have probably had the most success, with worms fished in deeper, slower pools and backwaters bringing several fish undone.

One lucky angler fishing the lower Meander hooked and landed a very healthy brownie tipping the scales at 8lb, while several to 5lb were also reported. These fish have been found mooching around over freshly flooded paddocks in search of drowned worms and the like.

I’ve mentioned previously that timing is crucial if you wish to experience flood-fishing success, and it seems that I must heed my own advice. I headed to the midland rivers thinking that things were looking promising, when upon arrival the water was rising as expected, but at a rapid pace!

It seems there was simply far too much water around, making the task of finding fish very difficult. Although I’ve not experienced a lot of flood fishing, I am told by seasoned anglers that certain rivers have an optimum flood level at which they fish best. I look forward to the challenge of working them out.

An upside to the floods on the Macquarie River was witnessing nature at its intriguing best. We saw literally tens of thousands of spiders and beetles washed out of paddocks and scrub, all hanging onto nearby trees and man-made structures like bridges. It was an amazing sight of panic and the fight for survival. I can only imagine how many made it into the mouths of hungry trout.

There has been mixed success at Four Springs and Huntsman Lake with anglers arriving early enough finding fish in shallow but very flighty. Trolling and fishing plastics deep at Huntsman has accounted for a few fish to 1.5kg, but one lure angler found himself wishing he had the flyfishing gear as dozens of fish were spooked in shallow, with trout fleeing every time at the small splash caused by the lure.

There has also been some midging fish at this destination but once again, mostly early.

I’ve ventured to the Lake and Isis rivers a couple of times, but waters still running high and dirty will need to recede before fly and lure angling provide worthwhile sport. I spoke to another worm angler on the Lake River who had accounted for three fish to 1.2kg in a short time, all within a short stroll via a recently added Angler Access point.

The recent downpours have put the whitebait run on hold but there has been a few anglers finding sea-trout on Northern estuaries. While it’s a bit of a hit-and-miss affair, the truth is that you could encounter sea-trout almost anywhere at this time of year.

From Rowella to Rosevears and all the way to the Tailrace, I would suggest that if you see some commotion close to shore or on the edge of a bank, investigate as soon as possible with a lure of your choice. It may well be a sea trout ambushing a resident school of baitfish while waiting for the masses of whitebait to arrive.

A young angler fishing from a pontoon at Deviot recently caught a nice silvery specimen but was disappointed because he wanted flathead for dinner.

In years to come he may realize the significance of his special capture!

The Outlook

Launceston Show Day is usually around the time that the temperature starts to warm up a little and a good indication that mayfly season is upon us. Both red and black spinners can start to show up during this month, providing some sensational sight fishing opportunities.

This is even more probable if the temperature starts to creep into the 20-22C mark during the middle of the month.

Typically, October can be quite wet, but with several moderate floods and a fair drenching over the past couple of months who knows. It will be interesting to see what the weather gods dish up to us over the coming month, how much more rain could we get?

Not that it’s a bad problem to have; the more the better I say so bring it on Huey.

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