April is one of the most prolific months in the highland fishing calendar.
It is also the most dreaded, as at the end of the month our beloved brown trout waters are closed for three months to allow for spawning.
Summer never really got going, but settled weather in March showed us some late glimpses of what we missed. Balmy days lead to some sublime surface sport, especially to small cinnamon jassids and sporadic ant falls. Gum beetles fell in numbers on the top reaches of Great Lake – we can only hope that we have an ‘Indian’ summer as we get those glorious blue sky days and the associated fishing.
Great Lake is a popular destination in April, as many trout are well along the path to spawning, meaning aggressive trout that will hit just about anything.
The main spawning areas are on the western side of the lake, such as Liawenee Canal and the creeks to the north of here. While brown trout will be accumulating around these areas waiting for the right conditions to run up to spawn, rainbow trout are still feeding as normal out in the lake proper, so don’t think you need to hug the creek mouths to find fish.
Windy and grey days will see the lure casters really come to the fore, with lures such as the popular Tassie Devils and Berkley black and gold T Tails the best options. Cast into the rough water where the wind is blowing onto for some aggressive strikes and fast action. The best shores are where the wind has been blowing for several days in a row, and it matters not where on the lake this is. It does require some careful boat operating skills; just make sure you don’t get blown up the bank!
My favourite destination in April, especially around the powerlines at the Cowpaddock and at Tumbledown Bay. Tumbledown has been very dirty of late, but this won’t worry the fish at all. If we get good rainfall then this area will clear rapidly and make fishing more pleasant.
Remember that the trout don’t all head to spawn at the same time, so the Morass and treed shores on the eastern side of the lake will still be worth targeting.
Arthurs has really fired this season, and we wait with eager anticipation for the summer of 2011/12.
Penstock’s big browns will be getting very toey in April, especially at the old canal mouths. There is no natural spawning here, so the big old browns just get very angry and swim around looking for bright wet flies to bash up!
Woolly Buggers with plenty of flash and colour do well here – fish them on a sink tip line for the best result.
Brendan Turriff with a classic Penstock Lagoon brown trout. Photo courtesy Brendan Turriff.Reads: 1306