Great Lake for the Brave
  |  First Published: June 2011

It is fair to say that Great Lake in June is pretty chilly.

The water is cold, the air is cold, the fish are a tad lethargic and burning firewood seems like a better option than chasing trout.

Yet there is some excellent fishing to be had in the depths of winter, and not just for deep fished baits and lures.

Quite often there are plenty of trout in shallow water looking for midges in the morning, stick caddis in the afternoon and galaxia of an evening.

Provided the mornings aren’t too crisp, action can be found for the die-hard.

Fly Fishing

Flyfishers should aim to visit when there is a big high pressure system over the state. If the cold southerly air can be avoided (which will drop temperatures down to anything past -5C), the midges will hatch in quite shallow water, as well as the open waters.

I well remember last winter flying up the lake in June and stopping at a foam line near the two islands off Tods Corner. The water was 2C, the air was around -7C, and yet there were fish sipping in the foam like it was December, not June.

The edges are the same, with one colleague catching some nice fish on dry flies cast to midging fish in 1m of water. It isn’t quite January polaroiding, but when it is another three months until the air hits something reasonable, then this is as good as it can get.

Spin Fishing

Spin fishers should make a beeline to Great Lake in winter, especially on the rough westerly days.

Many trout in Great Lake will have finished their spawning duties, and will be aggressive and hungry, two combinations trout fishers love.

Look for the shores where the wind is blowing onto the rocks, and cast into the wind. You won’t be able to pitch it very far, but you won’t need to.

Most of the fish are in very close to the rough water, and will hit lures with great gusto. Best lures are often the traditional Ashley spinners and Tassie Devils, and make sure there is a bit of colour in them. Yellow and black are always good, as is green, gold and red.

If you want to throw plastics, use a heavy jig head such as a 1/6th oz, and plastics like the Black and Gold Berkley T Tail and even the red version of this outstanding lure.

Bored bream angler should bring up their bream hardbodies such as the Daiwa Presso and Double Clutch, Ecogear MX and the Norries Laydowns. They are in fact trout lures in any case, so you may as well get your money’s worth!

The best shores are legion, but try the shore between the dam wall and McLanaghans Point towards Tods Corner in a north westerly, Boundary Bay and north shores in a southerly and the shores from Tods Corner to Elizabeth Bay in a due westerly or south westerly.

Rug up with plenty of layers and make sure if you need warming up to visit the Great Lake Hotel for a feed and a hot drink – you’ll need it.

Great Lake can be intriguing during June; you just have to be brave enough to try.

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