The central highlands has really benefitted from a wet spring and a wetter than average summer.
While the polaroiding fanatics have been quite disappointed this season, the trout have been fitter and fatter than I can remember for a long time.
Overcast and rainy days have lead to some wonderfully consistent mayfly hatches on Little Pine Lagoon and Woods Lake, with Arthurs Lake regaining plenty of popularity as well.
Arthurs has been much maligned over the past four year – firstly it was the plummeting lake level, and now with very high water we have this worrisome murky water to contend with. This doesn’t seem to be worrying the fish at all – I’ve recently caught some of the best conditioned trout here that I’ve ever seen.
These fish were feeding in small slicks close to the shore and looking for mayfly spinners – the end result of sparse, yet consistent mayfly hatches. Duns have been hatching sporadically since early December, and while we probably won’t see the hatches of legend this year, next year will be entirely different I suspect.
Soft plastic casters and troller have been doing extremely in the Morass area, and contrary to some reports, fish condition has been excellent.
This wonderfully productive water lies at the end of a terribly rough road, a road responsible for more trailer and tyre damage than it should be.
It hasn’t affected the popularity of the lake so much though, as on most days there is a flotilla of boats out chasing the fat little trout here. Due to the excellent spawning conditions over the past 5 years, there are masses of fat silvery trout to about a 1kg, they eat well, fight hard and take flies and lures with gusto.
The mayfly hatches here are sensational on cloudy days, and the following sunny days are yielding excellent spinner falls, as well as sprinklings of gum beetles.
The water does get warm here after consecutive hot days, but it won’t worry the fish too much.
When the right day presents itself, (bright, sunny and warm north winds), there have been masses of anglers on the lake. On one day in January I counted 25 cars and trailers at the Boundary Bay ramp! The fishing had been patchy in January, due in no doubt to cooler water and a lack of food on the surface. Fly fishers who managed to find patches of active trout were well rewarded, but miss the food and it will end up being a hard day’s fishing.
February usually sees the weather settle and the number of blue sky days on offer should increase. I like to get on the lake early and search some of the likely shores before the north wind gets up and creates the perfect polaroiding conditions. Many of the points and slicks are prime spots to look early in the day, and then the foam lines that come off these areas when it gets windy will be where the majority of fish will congregate looking for wind-blown food.
The trout in Arthurs Lake are in great condition this year – better than for some time.Reads: 1213