Surface action still on for April
  |  First Published: April 2011

The southern part of the Tassie highlands has really turned it on recent weeks with the majority of waters fishing well.

There have been good beetle falls, both gum beetles and tea tree beetles, good morning midge hatches, isolated mayfly hatches and the trout have still been zeroing in on the airborne damsel flies. Crane flies and orange caddis have also been getting some attention from fish.

The lure and plastic anglers haven’t missed out either. A good mate of mine landed four good browns in a short morning session at the White Water at Brady’s lake on plastics; one of these nudging 1.8kg. The Brady’s dam wall has also yielded good fish to lure casters.

What can we expect in April? ,  Well normally nice clear mild to even warm days with a hint of a chill early and late in the day; ideal condition for midge hatches and beetle falls. Maybe even the fabled Jassids might make an appearance as one landed on the leg of my waders in mid-February, so cross your fingers and toes!

The Lower Derwent Storages

Lake Meadowbank, Cluny Lagoon and Lake Repulse are good options for April and a bonus is that they are close to southern Tasmanian population centres. Meadowbank hasn’t come to the party this season as I’ve written in previous reports, but Cluny and Repulse are just up the track, ideal waters for trolling and good for the fly. If warm conditions prevail there should still be plenty of grasshoppers around so casting one of the many deer hair or foam imitations around the steeper banks will get a take or three.

The marsh half way along the western shore of Cluny will have a few late season tailers snooping around early and late in the day. A Fiery Brown Beetle fished inert is always my go-to fly here.

The Brady’s Chain

Fish will be active in all three waters but Bradys could very well be the pick of them. There have been some very nice fish rising along, and at either end of the dam lately on beetles and midges and also around the outlet canal. A large buoyant fly such as a Cubit Mudeye or even a Dunny Brush could get you hooked up to a very serious fish in the late afternoon or evening. The Whitewater is always a go to area for lure casters at anytime of the season.

Bronte Lagoon

Bronte has been great this season and I’m sure it will continue to be for April. The water has been a little murky because of the Laughing Jack Lagoon flowing into it, but this won’t affect the fishing around the shores. Early and late in the day will find you stalking the odd late season tailing fish on the sloping shores such as The Long Shore and Tailers Bay.

If they won’t take your favourite dry they will rarely refuse a small 007 Nymph or a Scintilla Stick Caddis. If we are lucky enough to find a few jassids on the water, a Bruce Gibson foam jassid is the fly to use. If you don’t have a jassid pattern in your fly box a Zulu will do the job.

Even if there are no jassids around (which is certainly more than likely) a jassid pattern is always a great late season fly for any rising fish.

Dee Lagoon

I recently witnessed a very good midge hatch on Dee Lagoon with a great highway of midge husks that turned the surface of the water into that green/yellow soup.  We were on the water too late but there were still pockets of fish mopping up in the larder. These hatches will continue into and after April.

I always start off with a small Iron Blue Dun for midge feeders but even a small size 14 normal type Possum Emerger will take a fish or two. April is a renowned month for the Dee Lagoon gum beetle feeders a sunny warmish day with a bit of a breeze will get the beetles on the wing.

These conditions will have Dee’s rainbows and browns cruising close into the banks under the over hanging trees. this is where a bow mounted electric motor is invaluable on your boat for sneaking around looking for cruisers.

Don’t be afraid to use two dries on your leader, with the point fly tied from a dropper attached directly to the bend of the previous fly.

Give the fish a choice; use a foam gum beetle in partnership with a Guides Tag or Glister Tag or any other beetle type of pattern you favour.

Clarence Lagoon

For something different, give Tasmania’s original brook trout fishery, Clarence Lagoon a go. Clarence Lagoon always fishes best early and late in the season, so April is a perfect time for a visit, it’s ideal water for lure casting and I’ve found that the eastern shore usually fishes the best.

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