Trout head for the surface
  |  First Published: December 2011

It’s been a very typical late spring for Tasmania’s southern highlands, plenty of rain and wind and some snow, but mixed in with this lot have been some glorious days.

The fish have turned it on in all areas, especially on the good days but also with plenty of good fish caught in the rougher weather.

The better days on Bronte have also been good with fish rising well to chironomids along the Red Rocks shore; a mate has landed some good browns and a very nicely conditioned rainbow on the dry and nymphs.

One negative has been the October frog feeders which have been subdued due to unusually lower water levels in Bronte; it is starting to creep back up though.

Lake Echo has been producing fish consistently for both the Flyfishers and on plastics, especially around and in the northern bays. The Bradys Chain has also produced good fishing, with the stocked rainbows filtering right through the system. Many of the Great Lake origin browns stocked during winter are a bit lean but they will gain condition over summer.

Wayatinah Lagoon has also been fishing well for its devotees, good bags have been landed by trolling and one old timer landed two good fish from the shore on a brown Woolly Worm, one of the browns was nudging 2kg.

December is a great time to be fishing anywhere in trout country, everything seems to be happening, early in the month morning and evening tailers are still common, midging fish, the mayfly have started to hatch in the elevated waters of the Southern Highlands and the beetles are starting to get more numerous, as are the caddis, damsels and dragonflies, with the caenid mayfly hatches really swinging into gear.

Bronte Lagoon

Bronte quite simply can be sensational in December.

At this time of the year Bronte tailers will rarely refuse a Zulu or a Possum Emerger, morning or evening, and if they do a 007 Nymph suspended under the floater will usually bring them undone. I really like the Bull Rush Point area at this time of year; there is a lot of undulation in the shallows around the point with slightly deeper water mixed in and plenty of structure with old stumps and a few larger rocks as well as little grassy flats, I think this all combines to harbour a concentration of food and plus a bit more security for the fish in case of danger, the fish seem to like the area anyway!

I also love the Rowallan Bay area around to the point of the Long Arm for general cruisers, dun and spinner feeders.

Again the Possum Emerger or a Shaving Brush if the fish are picking off duns or a Bruce Gibson type parachute Black Spinner for the Spinner feeders later on in the day.

The Brady’s Chain

Brady’s, Binney and Tungatinah, are always very popular in the last month of the year both for the camping and of course the fishing. Fisheries have no plans to stock these waters with Atlantic salmon this season but there will still be plenty of the stocked farmed rainbows on offer.

The hot spots in Bradys for the rainbows are the areas of moving water, especially around the white-water, either fishing from the shore or if boat-based out in front of the mouth and the deep holes either side.

Don’t think this fishing is only for lure anglers, I’ve had good success with a sink tip or full sinking fly line and a large black Fuzzle Bugger. The Dee Portal and the entrance to the canal from Bradys to Binney are also great spots as are all three of the connecting canals in the system.

Lake Binney will have good black spinner hatches and beetle falls; my favourite area on Binney is the Island Shore, a magnificent area for polarizing on a bright day. The grassy bottom with plenty of logs and stumps for the Brownies to cruise and mooch around really makes them stand out. They love a Glister Tag here as well as a parachute Black Spinner.

Be aware there are major ongoing works on both the Binney wall and the Brady’s spillway from November right through to the end of the season. The work will be alternating though, so if one entrance to Binney/Brady’s is closed the other will be open.

Lake King William

King William is chokers at the time of writing, by December it should be starting to draw down, at the moment it’s way too full for the brilliant tailing action that it can produce.

Once it starts to draw down to -1m and less, the early morning and evening fishing will be spectacular for those who love to see tails and fins waving in the shallows.

Don’t despair though, as drifting the shores from a boat casting dries into all the likely spots will give up plenty of exciting fishing. Low floating patterns such as Claret Hoppers, Bibio Hoppers, Possum Emergers and Carrots will be sucked down without hesitation.

Interested anglers can pass on any info or photos for the Southern Highlands report forward it to me at --e-mail address hidden--

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