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Quality rises to the top
  |  First Published: November 2011



November is all about surface feeding trout, and plenty of them.

With water levels stabilising in all the major fisheries, trout are becoming very accustomed to feeding off the surface. While we are perhaps a tad early for good and consistent mayfly hatches, there should be enough beetles of the gum variety around to get some snouts up.

Woods Lake

Woods Lake has become a firm favourite of mine after being my least favourite – flyfishers are nothing if not fickle! While the best hatches in other waters are a December event, Woods Lake sees good numbers of duns and fish by the third week in November – in act the last two weeks of November can be awesome, especially if accompanied by cloudy days and warmish winds.

This lake has been spilling all winter, and while fish numbers are high, the size and condition is a tad ordinary, however a few weeks feeding on mayflies will fatten them up a bit.

Arthurs Lake

Anything could happen here, as we are basically in uncharted waters with such a high level in spring. Many of the best shores are deep underwater now, and with the water still murkier than we’d like, sight fishing might be harder than we’d like.

The best we can hope for are good beetle falls when the wind turns to the north and gets warm, as it often does in November.

For those anglers who love to prospect Arthurs Lake, then the sky is the limit. A point worth remembering is that the fish have been in extremely close – more often that not anglers have been fishing too deep as the water has warmed – those sneaky trout have pulled another trick!

Cowpaddock Bay usually sees mayflies trickling off in late November, but this is not a usual year and ‘normal’ doesn’t mean much anymore here.

Little Pine Lagoon

The Pine is pretty much as it always is – hard one day, difficult the next. Tailing trout have always been the big drawcard, and the clear blue skies have seen quite a few anglers ‘in the know’ doing very well polaroiding, especially in the shores on either side of the river.

Duns might start in late November; or they might not – but a day on the Pine rarely disappoints, even though the creel might be the same weight at the end of the day as it was at the start!

Great Lake

The Great Lake has been the greatest of all recently, although to quote one of my mates, the trout are all “a bit povo”.

There is a great number of fish on the shore at the moment, but they are predominantly skinny. I guess there are multiple reasons for this, but not all shore locations in Great Lake are the same.

Tods Corner is perhaps the exception to this rule, as the close proximity to some substantial wed beds means pretty much all the fish in Tods are in good nick.

With the advent of some gum beetles and blue sky days, the boat-based polaroiding in the top half of the lake should be well underway by the time spring draws to a close.

Leigh McKenzie lets a fat Arthurs Lake fish back after a tussle on light spin gear.

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