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Summer – what Summer?
  |  First Published: March 2011



This summer would have to be one of the cloudiest we have had for many years.

While this is perfect for lure anglers and those addicted to mayfly hatches, it has been a drag for the lovers of blue skies and shallow water-cruising trout.

Great Lake has only seen a handful of ‘shark’ days, and most polaroiding addicts are slowly going crazy – we can only hope that March eases our pain.

Arthurs Lake

Arthurs Lake is fishing extremely well, however it is a vastly different proposition than normal. The water is still cloudy, even though this lake is as high as anyone can remember. The high water levels have brought some extremely good fish into the extreme shallows to feed, and not just early and late in the day.

When patches of sun poke through the clouds, observant anglers can spot plenty of fish cruising in the shallows. While there are fish in the 1-2m depths, the cloudy nature of the water makes it nigh on impossible to see them, and also makes your prospected dry fly hard for them to also see.

There have been some pleasing dun hatches, and while these have been in the less-visited areas of the lake, it does bode well for the next couple of seasons as long as the level stays at a reasonable level.

Little Pine Lagoon

The Pine was really firing before Christmas, but recent weeks have been difficult to say the least. It is almost as if the trout in Little Pine have had enough of the constant boat traffic on the dun-days and just stay deeper and feed on nymphs.

I fished it recently with a good friend and while the duns hatched in great numbers, only the odd splashy rise was the result. We didn’t even touch a fish, which while not remarkable in itself, plenty of other anglers of far greater skill than us also went either blank or with a single bite.

Woods Lake

While I detest the poor excuse for a road that leads to this picturesque water, I am increasingly becoming enamoured with Woods Lake.

The dun hatches have eased slightly which is to be expected, but there is always somewhere to find a feeding trout. The spinner falls here have generated some remarkable fishing, and while these events do require good casting skills and astute fly selection, success is all but guaranteed.

March is a good time for the last of the spinners and then some consistent beetle action – fingers crossed!

My favourite fly here is the Bruce Gibson parachute black spinner, on a large hook. Bruce tied me some on Tiemco 102Y #11 hooks when I was still guiding, and the larger size is perfect for Woods (and the western lakes too, just quietly).

Warm days with intermittent sun and cloud are best, and while I love an easterly here, any wind drawing offshore will serve you well.

Penstock Lagoon

Penstock has been less patronised this season, as many feel the fishing is inferior to past years. It is a mixed bag, every time I’ve been there the surface action has been terrific, however some colleagues are less than impressed. The fish are still fat and of good average size. March is a sweet time for Penstock.

The author with a fit Woods Lake brown trout – the bigger fish are often lean here, but this one breaks the trend. Photo courtesy Nick Jeans.

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