Shores come alive
  |  First Published: November 2011

The fishing though has been great in the Southern Highlands.

The trout have mostly been in great condition and of good size, with the odd thumper being landed. Mostly the lake and lagoon levels are up or still filling. This will set things up nicely for the late spring and summer.

The lower Derwent storages, notably Lake Repulse and Lake Catagunya have produced some good fish to trolling anglers. One local from Ouse has been having some good fishing in Lake Repulse, landing a beautiful conditioned 2.8kg brownie. When gutted it contained a 25cm blackfish in it’s gut. Glenn caught the fish on a JD Lures 40mm Eddy Lip Ripper in galaxia pattern.

Lake King William is steadily filling, producing a few well-conditioned hard fighting tailers to fly fishers. The lake could actually fill too much this year, as if it gets too high up into the tussocks it’s too deep to spot the tailers.

Bronte Lagoon has been reliable as it always is at the start of spring, producing good fishing to worming trout that have been flushed out by the high water. It was disappointing to see the lagoon drawn down in mid-September though; it did put a lid on the shallow water foragers for a while. It won’t last though as the fish will move back into the shallows as they feel confident again.

Lake Meadowbank

By the start of November the orange spinners hatches are very consistent. Many people don’t realise how good the hatch can be at Meadowbank but the trout sure do! Any of the better-known spinner patterns such as the Macquarie Red or the Onion Bag work well. We have had a lot of success with Parachute style Red/Orange spinners though, with Bruce Gibson’s pattern very effective.

Around mid-month on calm mornings the caenids appear, although the caenid feeders are far more reliable in December, I have always used nothing but a size 16 or size 14 Iron Blue Dun, only very occasionally switching to a Matcham’s Caenid.

The early morning midge feeders are also very worthwhile. It can be a huge days though, especially in settled weather, chasing midge feeders, the smutting caenid feeders and then having a go at the afternoon spinner feeders.

The Brady’s Chain

Hopefully by November there will still be a few of the hatchery-bred rainbows left, if not the Great Lake fish that were stocked into the system earlier in the year will provide good sport.

Lately a mate and I have been using full sinking and sink tip fly lines around the White Water and the Dee Portal with large bead head Black Fuzzle Buggers, landing some good rainbows and browns. The browns have been in OK condition at around 1kg, but as always fish stocked from the Great Lake don’t gain a lot of condition until about Christmas time so please consider taking a rainbow or two if you want a feed and let the brownies go.

At the time of writing the hatchery-bred rainbows haven’t started to feed and I’m not sure if they will even learn to, so take a couple before they lose too much condition. Other hot spots in Brady’s are always the dam wall, shore based at the White Water and either end of the canal between Brady’s and Lake Binney and of course the Binney wall is always a reliable area.

All areas mentioned are dynamite for the soft plastic brigade especially where there is moving water. Some of the rainbows are up to 7kg, that’s a great incentive to fish long and hard.

Bronte Lagoon

Bronte is always reliable in November, with a wealth of options and opportunities for some great fishing. There will be plenty of tailing action to have on any of the shallow grassy shores for the angler that likes the dawn patrol, The Long Shore, Woodwards Bay, Bull Rush Point and the shallows either side of it, Tailers and Rowallan bays around to the point of the long Arm are all hot spots.

My first option for these fish is always a dry such as a Red Tag, Glister Tag, Possum Emerger or a Zulu. It’s rare that a tailing trout in Bronte will refuse a dry in November.

There will be plenty of fish feeding on chironomids, a boat is always an advantage but there are heaps of fish within reach of wading anglers.

I remember 2-3 years ago in the later half of November fishing to midge feeders three mornings in a row, many times crouching on the bank on my knees, setting a hook into a good fish and having the kilo plus fish jump straight out onto the bank.

My favourites for these fish are again dries such as a small Iron Blue Dun, the Bronte Caddis, Zulu and a small size 14 Possum Emerger.

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