The Southern Highlands have been fishing steadily, with lure anglers getting the best of it.
Lake Echo has given up some great fish from the shore on plastics, and trolling has been successful at Lake Meadowbank and Lake Repulse with Tassie Devil style lures.
There have also been some good catches for those lure casting around the Whitewater at Bradys Lake with some decent browns and atlantics being landed. Tailing fish have been active in the shallow northern bay at Pine Tier Lagoon and my younger brother had some good fishing to some very nice tailers at Tailers Bay in Bronte.
Mayflies have put in an appearance at Bronte with plenty of spinners both black and orange present in the afternoons along with good hatches of damsels and dragonflies. A trout guide on Lake St Clair also experienced a huge hatch of gum beetles but unfortunately the fish weren’t switched on to them.
This was the case from another report from Laughing Jack Lagoon, a heavy gum beetle fall but nothing feeding on them, on the top anyway.
We expect heaps of action in January especially for the fly fisher. Early calm morning will have fish rising to midges and a few isolated hatches of caenids. Most of the caenid feeders will be accessible from the shore while a boat will be handy for the chironomid feeders in the slicks and windlanes.
On cloudy days expect to see reasonable dun hatches, with Tailers Bay, Rowallan Bay, and out wide of the Long Shore are all reliable for a few duns, as is the shore from Rowallan Bay around to the point of the Long Arm.
All sheltered shores in Bronte are good for spinner feeders. Never discount Bronte as a polaroiding destination either. On blue sky days, Bronte Bay, Tailers Bay and the shore from Rowallan Bay around to the Long Arm are excellent. The steeper rocky shore from Tailers Bay around the dam is also good in a strong northerly.
This also a good spot for land-based spinning or just drifting around a dry fly on a hot windy day. For the spinner feeders, a good parachute black spinner is deadly and for the dun feeders, you really can’t go past the standard Possum Emerger.
Although the southern end of Laughing Jack Lagoon isn’t real appealing, it’s a very different situation on the northern shores, especially if the levels are up a bit. There are good early morning caenid hatches and caddis along the shores morning and evening and the terrestrial fishing can be great if the beetles are around.
Access to the north of the Lagoon is difficult without a boat but this water is worth consideration and the north is good in windy weather if you want some sheltered fishing.
The caenid hatches hit top gear in January and it pays to be on the water at first light, unlike late spring when the caenid doesn’t seem to hatch until a bit later in the morning. Of course if the windlanes will have plenty of fish working them also. Lake Meadowbank is popular with families for a days trolling, so it pays to keep an eye on the IFS web site for recent releases of Atlantic salmon.
The campsites at the northern Bradys boat ramp is often chockers, so keep your options open as there are also great camping areas at Binney and Tungatinah. Although the trolling traditionally isn’t as good in the chain as it is earlier in the season, it’s still very worthwhile and it will be very popular if some Atlantics are released over Christmas.
Bradys is a very good water for fishing the windlanes, with some of the rainbows beings being real horses. A #8 Cubit Mudeye is worth a try in low light as is a bead head green nymph, otherwise a small Red Tag or Glister Tag should get a fish or two.
Wayatinah Lagoon has been good, with a friend recently landing nine browns on Pearl Water Melon coloured soft plastics. I've seen some good spinner rises along with good falls of beetles here as well.
Most fish are around 500g-1kg mark, over the years some real monsters have been caught here, well into double figures in pounds. There is even a proper caravan park on its shores if you are over from the mainland on a touring/fishing holiday.Reads: 2129