Now that we are in the depths of winter and most fishing has slowed to a crawl it is an opportune moment to look back at the events of the season just passed, and ponder on what we can expect for the future.
We’ve had the second coldest autumn on record and certainly the coldest for the past 50 years. We had snowfalls from April through to present and some of them were pretty hefty. We are expecting more before winter is over, which will mean big runoff from snowmelt and continuing flows in rivers and lakes.
The trout are very happy with out winter conditions. They revel in cold night and weakly sunny days, and are often hungry. This means they are more than willing to swallow down a lure, bait or fly.
The is the opposite to the native fish – the cold weather slows them right done, they go off the bite and move to deep water to basically hibernate. We fish for them but don’t expect any amazing response.
Redfin are a good winter proposition. They feed well during winter and we often fish the thermoclines in Lake Blowering for spectacular catches of these tasty fish.
Another significant feature of the past season is that we’ve had a large influx of water. Some came as gentle rainfall, the rest as major flooding. The floods did plenty of damage to banks, crossings and other structures, and move fish around whether they liked it or not. For anglers it can be seen positively, with the flooding creating new structure and flushing the waters.
The new snags provide new cover, resting and feeding sites for native fish and in the trout lakes the fish consistently works the newly flooded shallows searching for food items washed out of the soil. The flooded shrubs sometimes made landing a fish a bit more challenging, but all in all the floods were great for our wonderful fishery.
Most of the brown trout have now moved to the spawning grounds and hopefully will provide a high level of recruitment for the coming year. It’s now the turn of the rainbows but because of the closed season in the streams, they have to be left to spawn in peace.
All in all it’s been a splendid year of fishing so far here. Catches have been above average in most areas and there has been a high level of satisfaction amongst lure, fly and bait anglers.
The great fishing can be partly attributed to the work done by state and territory fisheries authorities and rec. fishing groups to increase awareness amongst anglers of the value of conservation fishing – taking only what you need and coming back for more when you feel like it.Reads: 731