What a sensational time of year – daylight savings is perfect, enabling us to sneak out for a quick fish after work.
The mayfly and caddis have started popping up on the rivers and whitebait are in massive numbers.
Trout in our rivers are very much looking up and are eager to chomp down a dry fly. I’ve had a few good sessions on the St Patricks, North Esk and their tributaries, with most trout polarioded prior to casting.
While I’m generally happy to tie on a Royal Wulff on the rivers, I have been playing around with a few different emerger patterns which are getting smashed. Flies like a parachute Black Spinner and the trusty old Possum Emerger are not the easiest to see at times but are really productive dry flies on both rivers and lakes.
Snowflake caddis have been fluttering about amongst sheltered shrubs and trout have been very close by. Find the caddis hatch and you can bet your bottom dollar that fish in the vicinity will be switched on and keen to feed. Water clarity in these parts has cleared dramatically – a welcome change and a real pleasure to fish.
Red Spinners have been in numbers on Brumbys Creek and Macquarie River. Wind has been a little frustrating on my outings but as the gusts subside, the spinners are back out in force and trout snouts begin taking duns and slashing at spinners.
Fish at Brumbys have been in great condition and pull hard, in fact one fish in particular need a little extracting from the weed. With the sun a little higher in the sky, feeding trout can be polarioded from a good distance and have recently been spotted in gravelly riffles between the weed.
I am quite partial to a sparsely tied Macquarie Spinner pattern, and will sometimes clip the hackle underneath so the fly will sit a little lower in the surface film. This can give it a bit more of a scruffy appeal, which I prefer.
I’ve taken a couple of journeys to the lower Great Forester recently and have found plenty of whitebait. Fish have been hammering schools of fish on the outgoing tide and most activity has been occurring toward the low tide, especially if this coincides with low-light hours like sunrise, sunset or overcast conditions.
While I’ve personally found the fishery very challenging, the sport becomes hardly worthwhile on the high tide. The bait seems to push into the middle of the river and are not easy pickings for those ambushing trout. Visually, the estuary end of the river is very spectacular, though I have not seen a lot of action here and there often appears to be a lack of whitebait.
A local couple mentioned that they have caught a few small bream here also, so still very much worth a shot - just watch out for the wayward golf balls!
Searun trout have made their way into the tailrace but activity appears to be patchy. Bait aren’t too thick at the moment, but no doubt this will increase over the next couple of weeks.
Flyfishers really rely on sight fishing for productive sport here – it’s the lure angler that really comes into fruition. Soft plastics like the ever-popular Berkley 3” Minnow really do some damage here - my favourite colour being Ginger Beer. Depending on the tide, the water can be quite murky so matching the whitebait hatch here is not as imperative as it can be in other waters.
November is a sensational time for some mayfly carnage on Four Springs, which has been hot since early October. Both black and red spinner mayfly hatch on this water and a still, overcast and muggy day can see some mind-blowing hatches.
It can be important to present your offering well in front the fish, particularly if the fish is a rainbow – they move pretty quickly between rises.
Shore-based anglers are able to access rises within casting distance, they may even be able to polariod the odd fish in the shallows - just keep a watchful eye out for snakes.
Success can be increased dramatically by boat. Your options are almost endless with a boat and the advantages of an electric motor far outweigh the leg-power. Stealth can be important here as the hum of an outboard tends to put fish off very quickly on this water.
On a side-note, be sure to keep to the five knot speed limit here – far too many boats have been screaming around the lake at full noise and it’s only a matter of time something disastrous occurs. It shouldn’t take accident or injury to do the right thing.
Other waters to keep an eye on are Huntsman Lake and Brushy Lagoon. I’m not too familiar with Huntsman but it will be interesting to see how the terrestrial life is progressing in the lake since it was dammed. My tip is that we will see some really superb fish from our rivers over the next month. Don’t forget your polariods.Reads: 1772