Autumn trout fatten up
  |  First Published: April 2012

So here we are April already; the last open month for the majority of Tassie’s brown trout fishery.

April can be iffy weather-wise, with the first decent snow fall for the year but more often than not we can also have the most magnificent autumn days, cool clear nights, calm sunny, warm midday hours and gum beetles falling out of the sky like confetti.

A couple of years ago three of us experienced a day such as this and boy did the fish perform! There is also the chance of the fly fishers dream, a good jassid year (black and red leafhoppers), fingers crossed a few lonely jassids have been spotted already.

Bronte Lagoon

Hopefully by April, water levels and conditions should have returned to normal in the premier water in the region. Sunny warm days will see gum beetles on the water especially along the road shore from Hut Bay through to the Bronte Canal. There should also be plenty of the black and orange caddis around especially on the tussocky areas such as Tailers Bay, Rowallan Bay and surrounds and the Red Rocks area. Greg Beecroft’s Bronte Caddis will tempt fish in these areas.

Dee Lagoon

Many believe April is the best month for the Dee, I hope to find out if this is true this year. There have been plenty of fish feeding around the main boat ramp so you don’t have to venture far on the lake to find feeding fish. If there is a light southerly breeze drifting the shores of Hill 24 and Station Bay on sunny days can be very rewarding as the fish love to cruise these areas often very tight in on the shore, looking for beetles and other surface food.

A good tactic in this situation is to use a two fly rig, with a Foam Beetle and a dropper of around 40-50cm or so tied directly off the hook to a smaller dry such as a Red Tag or even a Jassid pattern. Another alternative is to use a shorter dropper and hang a small 007 nymph below the dry: give the fish a choice!

Lake St Clair

Again Beetles will be on the menu but also the polarizing on the Frankland Beaches on blue sky days. St Clair is a beautiful place and very under fished, although some of the fish this season haven’t been great condition wise. Hopefully there will be a little water being held back in the lagoon by April, it’s being kept fairly low so far this season.

Lake Burbury

If you enjoy casting to plenty of sighted fish in superb scenery, (don’t we all), well this is the place to be. Study the weather if it looks good with a big high or a bit of easterly weather, get over there! There is good camping at the caravan park and it’s cheap as chips for $5 a night.

If you find the food in Burbury, you will find fish, no risk at all. The morning wind lanes are the stuff of dreams often so packed with chironomid; they have a yellowy green colour and will stain the hull of your boat. On the whole it’s not easy fishing, you must be a proficient fly caster to get good bags, but saying that you get plenty of shots at fish and even if you find it hard casting to the midging fish, sinking and slowly fishing a nymph or wet Mudeye pattern under the surface on the edge of a scum line or wind lane will get you tight to a fish, the trout travel these areas like a highway.

In low light a size 6 or 8 Cubit Mudeye cast in front and given a twitch or two in front of a midging fish will get eaten, if the fish are a bit erratic, a green thinly dressed seals fur or mohair nymph, drawn in front of, or twitched will get grabbed. Have a range of sizes; a size 6 nymph isn’t too big, some of the takes can nearly pull the rod out of your hand! And if you want a fish or two to eat they don’t come any better than the trout from Lake Burbury.

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