If the start of the 2011-12 season is anything to go by, September will be awesome.
While the water in August was very cold by virtue of the large amounts of snowmelt, the fish totally ignored that and fed very well in shallow water.
With so many lakes higher than we’ve seen for many years, the fish took the opportunity to get into the shallows and feed heavily on anything flooded out. This caused one of the great dreams to appear – rising trout on opening day!
Arthurs Lake is at record levels – it has never reached this height since the dam was built in the late 1960’s. The water is still quite turbid/murky, but this certainly isn’t worrying the fish or effecting the fishing. Shores such as the Pumphouse Bay shore towards Hydro Creek and south in front of the shacks are perhaps the best bet, and apart from featuring plenty of shallow water feeding trout, are also easy to get at.
We can expect the lake to stay high for some time, as normal spring rains mean the pump to Great Lake can beat the inflows. By November the lake will start to draw down and by December the water should have dropped 50cm or so, which will make life easier for launching boats!
Given some warmer weather and the absence of too much snow, I suspect the fish this year will hit these shallows hard – after three seasons of above average heights there are plenty of aquatic insects established in close.
Don’t be scared to show swirling fish in shallow a dry fly – they are well used to grubs and spiders floating on the surface.
Little Pine Lagoon
August saw this wonderful wild fishery live up to it’s reputation at Tasmania’s best wet fly water – even yours truly managed to get six on opening day, which means they must have been easy!
The Pine had tailing fish in evidence right from the start of the season, and September sees this activity peak to a crescendo in October and November.
Early mornings are best, and look for the shores with a light breeze blowing off the shore – they will be a tad easier to see.
Great Lake will start to drop once the maintenance works on Poatina power station are completed – although I am not sure when that will be. It was planned to be finished in August, and by early October there will be some irrigators needing water around Cressy.
The amount of food being flushed out of the flooded ground is immense, and warmer water will increase shore based activity in September.
Tods Corner is a sure bet, as is Christmas Bay, Haddens Bay and Elizabeth Bay. For the adventurous, have a look on the Grassy Shore in Little Lake Bay – often there are plenty of good fish when the level comes up a bit.
The road out to the Nineteen Lagoons traditionally opens in September, but this depends upon the condition of the road past the Augusta Dam. Given that we have had plenty of snow and deep frosts, I suspect Parks and Wildlife will keep it shut for as long as possible to preserve the road condition as much as practicable.
If you do manage to get out there either with the gate open or by foot or pedal power, the marshes of the flooded lakes and lagoons will be awesome.
Bright days are good, as you will often polaroid plenty of cruising trout that will readily accept a floating fly.Reads: 897