Sublime autumn trout
  |  First Published: May 2012

It has been reasonably quiet around the southern highland lakes and lagoons in recent weeks, with some guides taking clients to the southern rivers to find good numbers of fish.

Lake King William

This under-rated water has been fishing well for some though, particularly for the trollers, with some very large numbers of fish being landed for a days relaxing trolling, not big fish, but great fun. Others have found some good sport at Lake King William with the fly; one Bradys local lucked onto a good dun hatch and landed eight good fish. A mate of mine has had some good days, fishing grasshopper flies on the lower Shannon River, taking some nice fish up to 1kg.

What can we expect for the month of May?

Well for a start, there are only three waters open in the region at this time of year which are Lake Meadowbank, Dee Lagoon and a bit further to the west, Lake Burbury.

By far the two best options are Burbury and the Dee. Lake Meadowbank, although a firm favourite of mine, has been a shadow of its former self for at least the last two seasons. It has really got me and close family and friends baffled, the fly hatches are still as good as ever but the fish don’t seem to respond.

The big advantage with Meadowbank though is its close proximity to the southern Tasmanian population centres, it’s a perfect destination for a couple of hours of trolling or shore or boat-based spinning on those beautiful mid-autumn afternoons, in a very pretty setting.

For those who are a bit keener, you can always find a rainbow or two feeding on chironomids at dawn after a cool calm night, arm yourself with a size 12 bead head Green Nymph and you will get some interest.

Dee Lagoon

Dee Lagoon can really turn it on in May, especially in the first half of the month if the weather remains mild and stable and there hasn’t been too many frosts, if so there will still be a spattering of gum beetles around and maybe even the odd jassid or two.

Those magnificent rainbows that call the Dee home will be patrolling the tree lined shores, some lucky anglers could have some very fine late season dry fly action. A good mate who has a lot of experience on the Dee has often told me of the good fishing to be had at the Mentmore end of the lagoon targeting the pre-spawn browns with slowly fished sunken snail patterns, could very well be worth a try!

Again for the trollers that just can’t stay away from the highlands, the Dee is a great destination, quality fish and great scenery.

Lake Burbury

This is by far the best and most reliable destination for productive fishing in May. The wind lane fishing is still good, in fine weather with the rainbows in peak condition. The downside in regards to Burbury is the distance, but if a patch of fine weather is forecast it’s a sure bet for an overnighter or even longer.

For the fly fisher targeting the midging fish, Green Damselfly type nymphs, Green Yeti style fur flies and the Gibson Wet Mudeye will have some of these fish trying to pull the rod out of your hand!

The fishing isn’t going to be as good as in the early autumn but if you are keen and the forecast looks good, there are opportunities in May to land a fish or three.

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