April in the highlands is all about staying warm and trying to extract the last of the sight fishing before the season draws to a close.
This time last year we were blessed with some awesome weather that brought day after day of calm conditions and surface feeding fish, especially on Great Lake. Even though most of the browns were pretty well ready to spawn, they were very happy to seek out a few beetles!
Good old Arthurs. Maybe not as good as past years, but with some very reliable reports of jassids about in early autumn, we should be in for a great close to the season.
Calm days should see fly fishers heading to the slicks and windlanes in search of midge feeders. If the day has been warm, then beetles and jassids should be on the agenda.
water clarity has been a bit ordinary this year, but some improvement was noted during early March, so fingers crossed we see some substantial improvement for next season.
This might sound really silly, but I suspect we need about 1m less water in the lake to let things settle down a bit.
On rough days in April head to the bays surrounding the inflowing rivers, such as Cowpaddock, Hydro, Tumble Down and Jones. These bays will have aggressive browns stacked up looking for something to maul before they get down to breeding. Brighter colours are the go, and no matter if you are a fly or lure flicker, make sure there is a hint of fluoro orange in your selection.
The greatness of Great Lake continues unabated, and while we have seen one of the better seasons for numbers on Great Lake, the general condition of the fish can only be described as poor. My ill-informed opinion is that there are too many rainbow trout in the lake, which are outcompeting the browns – maybe IFS could take out 20,000 adults this winter and see what the result is – it couldn’t hurt, that is for sure.
There are plenty of waterways in which extra browns would be beneficial I’m sure.
This lake is another prime jassid water, with the benefit of no closed season, so if the jassids continue on into May, (which they normally do), then we will have a ball.
My favourite conditions at this time of year are a light to non existent breeze, preferably from the north. That will get any beetles or jassids in the trees to the north of the lake onto the water – the trout will do the rest!
Calm conditions in April and superb surface sport makes a happy angler.Reads: 851