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Glad to see Winter gone
  |  First Published: September 2011



When I look out the window at the show coming down, it’s just hard to imagine a nice warm September sun on my back.

It’s been a long, cold Winter, possibly the coldest in 10 years or more.

I recall fishing the wall at Thompsons Creek Dam one Sunday afternoon in July with my nephew Dean and son Murray.

They had hounded me for most of the morning about going for a fish up there. I told them straight: “The wind up there will be enough to blow a dog off its chain; the waves will be big enough to surf.”

“Man, we gotta see that,” was the reply.

So off we went, rods in hand. We lasted 15 minutes.

My first full-blown cast with a metal blade landed about 3m out, Murray’s lure ended up on the rocks beside me. Dean kept looking at me; I could tell what he was thinking.

But I did warn them.

On the way back, the boys took great pleasure in standing, or should I say leaning, against the wind. At one stage Murray just about got blown off his feat.

LITTLE GEMS

Little gems I call them, those days in September when the sun is that little bit warmer, when the birds are just that little bit louder, when the grass seems that little bit greener.

It’s great to be outdoors and on the water.

Lake Windamere comes to mind almost straight away, although after the Winter we had, the Spring season could be a few weeks behind normal.

I would look to bait and soft plastics early on, fished from sunny, north-facing banks.

Lipless crankbaits worked slowly close to the bottom will also be worth a try.

Soft plastics will need to be super-soft and pliable, because water temperatures will be in low double figures. Work them slowly with lots of pauses; don’t be afraid to let the plastic sit for half a minute or so.

Bottom composition and what’s growing on the bottom will determine where and how you fish the plastics.

Ice jigs work well at Windamere all year round, but they are kept very handy at this time of year.

Any time I find myself drifting over deeper water, I will keep my eyes glued to the sounder. Any arches close to the bottom, even single arches, will have me dropping one over the side.

Don’t over work the ice jig, though. Use a long, soft rod and light line and make small lifts and drops. Sometimes a ‘do-nothing’ drop, where just the rocking of the boat will be enough, can do the trick.

TROUT FEEDING

A cold Winter enduring the rigours of spawning is drawing to a close for the trout of the Central Tablelands.

A slight rise in water temperature kicks the food chain into gear in the water and on the land.

Life starts off slowly at first, with small nymphs, shrimps and the like moving about. The trout are hungry and move around quite a bit themselves.

Walking around and sitting and watching at lakes such as Thompsons Creek Dam will be well worth the effort. Pick a high vantage point away from the water’s edge and wait for the fish to come to you.

Have your fly or lure at the ready because the fish, especially the rainbows, can be quick.

Good quality polarised sunglasses, a hat, and some sunshine will help no end.

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