Steady as she goes
  |  First Published: December 2011

On the whole the southern highland lakes and lagoons have been fishing well with the Bradys Chain very popular with large stocked rainbows still drawing anglers in.

With one lucky Victorian angler landing a thumper of over 6kg, many browns are also being caught with some nice fish being landed from the shore with soft plastics.

Lake Echo has been awesome, with a couple of boat-based anglers fishing hardbodies around the trees and bay entrances of the north western shores having a fantastic day. If I told you how many they landed you wouldn’t believe me, let’s just say a few of our Aussie cricket team batsman wouldn’t mind a similar number in runs!

Saying that though the flyfishing in Large Bay and Broken Bay has slowed up, maybe because most of the worms have been cleaned up.

Bronte has been fishing well, with boat-based anglers having some good sessions wide of the Long Shore fishing wets deep down over the weed bed there. I had a great morning on the Red Rocks recently after a very cold frosty night, landing 6 good browns and missing and losing several more, first on a Muz Wilson’s Sticky Caddis and then as the light brightened on a size 16 Iron Blue Dun.

Bronte Lagoon

Bronte is always reliable in January and this year it could well be the last month that it will be worth fishing for the season as the lagoon will be drained for canal repairs from the first week of February to the second week of March. How the fishing and the fish react will be anyone’s guess.

In the meantime the road shore is always a reliable destination especially if there is a hint of an easterly breeze, as the fish love to mop up gum beetles along this shore. If a strong westerly wind is up and you want some shelter head towards the shacks, the shore immediately in front of the shack settlement and around to Fly Corner is nice and sheltered and a good spot to find rising fish all through the day, ending in a very reliable evening rise.

Lake Meadowbank

The caenid hatches are at their peak; on calm mornings the huge caenid hatches really are a sight to witness. Seeing good fish smutting with their heads coming out of the water 3 or 4 times in quick succession always gets the blood flowing. A size 14 or size 16 Iron Blue Dun will bring them undone. The early morning windlane feeding rainbows and browns are always worth getting up for and there is also a fairly reliable evening caddis fly hatch. Below the bridge can be a bit busy at this time of the year at Meadowbank as it is very popular with water skiers: not conductive to a peaceful bit of angling!

Cluny Lagoon

Cluny fishes well in January both for lure and fly and it does make for a change of scenery if you like to get away from the crowds. Fishing a grasshopper fly such as a Wee Creek Hopper or the good old favourite Noels Nobby from a boat along the more open western shores will certainly raise a few fish and often beetles create good risers here. For something different, why not head around to the Broad River, nice clear water and some very reasonable fishing to eager stream fish.

Lake Echo

Although Echo is getting increasingly popular every season, it is still vastly under-fished and with the new boat ramps on the western side of the lake it has been opened up immensely and is also much safer water for boating . In summer the polarising in and around the Large and Broken bays is tops as the fish are on the hunt for beetles, mayfly and any other life that is unlucky enough to land or get blown onto the water.

Don’t forget Brock’s Bay either, apart from great camping Brocks Bay offers some great fishing to cruisers and risers, it’s almost like a separate water when levels drop a bit. I’ve also had some great polarising on the eastern side of the dam around to Brocks Bay.

St. Clair Lagoon

Although St Clair Lagoon is full at the time of writing and movement around the shores is very difficult, you still can find pockets of fishable water. A mate landed 5 good fish amongst alcoves and old vehicle tracks amongst the tea trees on the western side of the lagoon, polarizing fish almost at his feet in thigh deep water.

By January the lagoon should be at more acceptable levels. The fishing can be remarkable, with spectacular polarising to cruisers and great spinner falls.

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