Settled weather brings best fishing
  |  First Published: March 2012

The fishing has been great in the southern half of the Tassie highlands.

Lake King William’s levels have finally dropped with some nice fishing being landed on fly and lure. St Clair Lagoon and the Frankland Beaches of the main lake have offered up some great polaroiding to mayfly spinner feeders and damsel jumpers. Don’t forget that Bronte Lagoon will be drawn down to very low levels for at least a few weeks of March for canal maintenance The work won’t be completed until the second week of March, so if you are planning a big trip just keep this in mind.

Dee Lagoon

The Dee has been fishing steadily although the fish have been frustrating at times, with plenty of refusals to some seemingly perfect presentations.

The fishing will only get better at the Dee and March is a prime month for gum beetle feeders and early morning windlane midging fish.

The Bradys Chain

The Bradys chain of waters has had plenty of visitors and campers along the shores over the last month, although fish stocks are down a steady stream of fish are being landed. The interconnecting canals are the hot spots as are the White Water and the Dee Portal; the various soft plastics are always successful in these areas.

A quick walk around the flats that surround the Island at Bradys with fly rod and polaroids on a sunny day is always a good idea, some very good browns frequent this area, especially when a few beetles are around.

Pine Tier Lagoon

Pretty little Pine Tier Lagoon is always a pleasant water to visit, with some very consistent fishing in March, with good mayfly hatches over the weed beds of the northern bay and some nice quiet trolling along the shores of the deeper southern areas of the water.

For the dun feeders I’ve always found the basic Possum Emerger or a Claret Hopper (English dry fly) to be very effective. Landing the fish is a challenge though not because of the size of the fish but because of the dense weed beds that are close to the surface at the northern bay, you sometimes really have to bullock these fish after you hook them to get them to the net.

Lake King William

The ‘King’ can really turn it on in March with some of the best dry fly action in the region. Often all you need is a Red Tag or Glister Tag, fished either from a boat while drifting the shores or while fishing the deeper pockets and channels around the northern shallows. These fish aren’t big but they certainly make up for that with quantity of fish that you can rise to the fly.

St Clair lagoon

On blue sky days you are likely to polaroid dozens of fish in the lagoon and also just across the road at the main lakes, Frankland Beach: these fish are real suckers for a Parachute Black Spinner. I’ve also had plenty of success with a size 16 007 nymph fished under a more buoyant dry such as a Zulu. Although some of the wading can be hard work in the lagoon due to the soft bottom in places the effort is worth it, the fish really work around the strap weeds out in the lagoon.

Lake Burbury

All though Burbury isn’t really a southern highlands lake but more of a west coast lake, it isn’t that far from King William or St Clair and March is a prime month here. Burbury is the promised land for those who love to fish in the windlanes and slicks with the fly. A mate and his companion recently had a fantastic morning here, from dawn until they were back at camp at 11 o’clock they had landed 53 fish between them, all the fish were sight cast to and were taken on an elongated green nymph with googly green eyes.

If you enjoy fishing to multitudes of moving trout, this is the place to be in March. March is when the fish really target the mudeyes.

Even when the trout are gorging themselves with chironomids they will scoff a Cubits Mudeye like it’s their last breakfast!

Start with a size 6 Cubits at first light and then change to a size 8, as the light gets stronger.

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