February’s Highland Fling
  |  First Published: February 2011

Unlike our Aussie Cricket team, the fishing in the southern highlands hasn’t been too bad.

There have been some very good gum beetle falls on all the usual storages such as Bradys, Bronte and Laughing Jack, with some good rises to black spinners on Bronte Lagoon’s sheltered shores, with the road shore being a standout.

A mate of mine and his companion had a great session in Bronte’s Fly Corner, landing 15 good fish in a short time; the trout just seemed to be taking anything and everything floating on the surface.

Lure anglers haven’t missed out either with some anglers landing some good fish at Cluny Lagoon and Lake Repulse.

Cluny Lagoon and Lake Repulse

These two waters are very under-fished and February is a very good month to fish them. They both contain some very good fish and they provide some sheltered fishing if things are a bit rugged further up on the plateau. Trolling and spinning are the most popular methods, with one local angler having some good success on Rapalas and Eddy’s Lip Rippa’s in Trout or Perch colour. Small redfin perch have been a nuisance; there seems to be an abundance this year all through the system, in all three of the lower Derwent storages.

Cluny and Repulse are also great venues for the flyfisher, with good beetle falls and other terrestrials such as ants and grasshoppers being in abundance. Grasshopper flies are just as effective on still waters as they are for river and stream fishing and should be used far more often in the late summer and autumn months on all Tasmanian still waters.

Noel’s Knobby and the W.M.D Hopper are great Tassie grasshopper patterns and North American patterns, the Dave’s Hopper are just a few of the many that will get you a fish or two. Shore access can be difficult so drifting the shores from a boat is the way to go, as well as being far more versatile.

Lake Meadowbank

You will still find the odd fish feeding on caenid in February but the main hatches are just about finished, every year is different though. Orange spinners feeders are a feature again on calm days and of course fish will hone in on the damsels and dragonflies, creating some very frustrating fishing.

Chironomid feeders are bound to be around on calm mornings and again on calm evenings. Of late I’ve been using a Cubit Mudeye on these fish; it works just as well here as it does in Lake Burbury. Warm evenings will also entice a good caddis hatch around the tussock and reedy shores.

Bronte Lagoon

February can be iffy at Bronte, but this year could well be a different matter with the cooler and wetter start to summer that we have had, time will tell and I intend to find out! Bronte has had some very good gum beetle falls and spinner hatches and fish have been in very good condition. Hopefully the beetles will continue to fall as they have been doing.

If so the Road Shore from Hut Bay right through to Monument Bay will be the hot spot.

Lake King William

All of tree-lined shores will have of fish looking for any kind of surface food. A Glister Tag in fine weather or a Claret English Hopper on a dull day will raise plenty of fish.

St Clair Lagoon

The wade polarizing in February can be brilliant. The average size of the trout isn’t as large as it was 10 or so years ago but you usually gets shots at plenty of fish on good blue sky days. Be careful of areas of soft bottom around the north eastern edges of the lagoon. If the fish seem a bit fussy towards your favourite dry, suspend a size 16 007 nymph under it, it’s a real killer in here.

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