It doesn’t happen all that often, but it seems that we are in a classic jassid season.
That isn’t much help to those brown trout aficionados who hang up the rods at the end of the brown trout season, as the trout will be feeding on jassids totally unmolested.
However if presented with the perfect late autumn day of blue sky, warm air and light winds then proceed with all due haste to Great Lake or Dee Lagoon, as the most sublime dry fly fishing of the season could well be on the door step of winter.
Jassids are a leafhopper – some ‘old timers’ call them jassid beetles, but they are a leafhopper. The other misconception is that they are termed a jassid ‘hatch’. It is in reality a jassid fall, as the insects we are talking about here are full grown adults.
Jassids have a great relationship with ants – my understanding is that they feed on the sugary excreta from ants in eucalypt trees – sweet ant poo in other words!
Masses of jassids accumulate according to the season, most years we don’t see any, but every seven years or so the population explodes and the fish go silly!
A steady breeze is the most important thing, it needs to be strong enough to carry the jassids out onto the water but not so strong that they don’t take flight.
Look a long way out into the lake, don’t be fooled into thinking all the insects will be close to shore. More often than not the greatest concentration of jassids will be 100-500m out from the shore. Foam lines and slicks are the obvious places to search the open water for jassids and feeding trout.
Best flies have plenty of red in them to mimic the vivid red underbelly that the jassid has – my favourite is the Bruce Gibson foam jassid, but the Red Tag still catches plenty of fish – maybe use one with a black hackle rather than brown.
Spinning Great Lake is probably the best option for trout fishers in May, and while many browns will be getting ready to spawn, or indeed already spawning, many will still be feeding as normal.
With a return to a somewhat ‘normal’ weather pattern, most brown trout will be working their way towards the main spawning areas, but like me on a long road trip, they get something to eat along the way.
Rough weather will see plenty of aggressive browns hard in along the shores looking for anything that moves, so cast your lures in as close as possible to the rocky shores. The best shores will have the wind on them for at least two days, and often the better shores have deeper holes along them.
Best lures are legion, but the most reliable colours are black and gold in plastics and hardbodied lures. My favourites are the black and gold Berley T Tail, the black and gold Ecogear MW and the ever-reliable Tassie Devil.
Windswept shores are the best bet for spin fishing in MayReads: 958