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Shallow water trout
  |  First Published: November 2010



November is one of those key months on the highland trout fishing calendar.

Tailing trout are a regular feature in any water that has shallow grassy margins, beetles are starting to pop out of the trees and plop onto the water, mayflies are beginning to get the urge and the fishing is simply fantastic.

Arthurs Lake

This staple Tasmanian water has had a terrific start to the season, with heaps of fish moving into the shallows once the water warmed up past 8C. On sunny days the polaroiding has been very good, especially for boat-based anglers who can find a deserted shore. These shores aren’t so hard to find, and with most activity taking place in the western lakes on sunny days, the ardent sight fisher can find solitude and shallow water feeding trout.

We can only hope to see a start to some resurgent mayfly action in Arthurs this year. Last year was a fizzer, but with the level being high for a few years now, one can only predict that the mayflies will start to re-populate areas such as the Cowpaddock and Lilypad areas. Stick caddis has certainly filled these areas, with most fish caught in October being stuffed full of them.

Great Lake

As with Arthurs Lake, the level has been reasonably stable for two years now, and this is the perfect recipe for shore-based action on Great Lake.

Once the caddis have re-established themselves on the rock/clay shorelines, the trout soon follow them in. This means that good wade polaroiding is assured on sunny days, and drifting a dry fly (or team of dry flies) on a mixed cloud/sun day will lift plenty of decent fish. The best flies for this style of fishing are big and black, such as Black Crickets and the very ugly Chernobyl Ant.

Lure anglers will be relishing cloudy and windy days, as the shallow water trout get very active and aggressive. Casting into the rocky shores from a drifting boat and flicking soft plastics like Berkley T Tails in 2.5” Black and Gold are assured to bring plenty of action.

Nineteen Lagoons

The 19 Lagoons is perfect in November. The density of visitors increases around the Melbourne Cup week, but then dissipates soon after that. For local anglers, waiting until the cup has been run and won is advised – there will be less pairs of waders out west!

Frog feeders will be pretty well finished, but trout cruising on the lookout for stick caddis will also accept a well presented dry fly such as a Red Tag or Glister Tag, and with the sun high in the sky the conditions will be perfect.

For the bigger fish, try places like First Lagoon, or if not accustomed to finding fish in the 19 Lagoons, try Botsford or the sandy beaches on Lake Ada.

Little Pine Lagoon

The Pine has been good for tailers all spring, and wet fly fishers in boats have also done extremely well. As we get to the last weeks in November the duns will start to pop – look around Scotties Bay in the north east corner for the first of the mayflies, as well as the shallows surrounding the river mouth.

The western lakes are a terrific option in November – good light and enthusiastic trout make for great fishing.

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