The first month of the main trout season is nearly over already and I hope you have managed a trip or two and hopefully managed to land some trout.
IFS have been busy in and around the Southern Highlands lakes and lagoons in recent times with Lake Meadowbank being stocked with Atlantic salmon in sizes up to 5kg. The policy of stocking the Bradys System is in full steam ahead also; by mid-winter there were around 4,000 browns from Great Lake and Arthurs Lake released into the system.
Although September is still very wintery in the highlands, Bronte always seem to turn it on as we move through the month, especially if the lake levels are rising, conditions loved by Bronte’s regular fly anglers.
The rising waters flush out a plethora of food for the trout, often causing the first dry fly fishing for the year with trout feeding on floating spiders and corby grubs as well as stoneflies, especially if there is an offshore breeze. As we get past the middle of September the frogs start to get into spawning mode, swimming about and laying eggs and there isn’t anything a patrolling brown trout likes more than coming across a nice juicy frog.
My favourite areas on Bronte for September, especially if the level is on the rise are the Long Shore in southerly and south west weather, Tailers Bay in northerly and north west weather, Woodwards Bay in southerly and south east weather.
Hut Bay can also be good when the levels are up; it’s nice and sheltered also. The Woodwards Broadwater is probably the most reliable area for frog feeders; it’s best when the water is up in the tussocks or at the least covering the mounds and ditches that are a feature of the south western corner of the Broadwater.
Reliable fly patterns for September are the natural coloured Sloanes Fur Fly, especially when frogs are about, the Mark 2 Woolly Bugger, Black Woolly Worm and the good old Mrs Simpson; the original style Yeti is also a good fall back.
If you find fish tailing and they are a bit shy, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, stick a small 007 or stick caddis pattern in front of them and look out! September is also a fantastic month for lure fishing in Bronte either trolling or boat based or shore based spinning.
The good thing about trolling in the early months in the lagoon is that weed growth isn’t a feature so trolling is pretty much trouble free. Some big bags of fish are landed in Bronte at this time every year, if you haven’t stuck the boat on Bronte give it a go, you might be surprised.
There are plenty of opportunities in September for Bradys, Binney and Tungatinah, the most popular method in all three water will be trolling, anywhere deep enough for the boat and to run a lure will be worth a look but pay particular attention to around the White Water and Dee Tunnel at Bradys, the dam wall at Binney and the entrances and exits to the interconnecting canals at all three waters.
For shore anglers, lure casting and fly, again the mouth of the White Water is a real fish magnet, around the Dee Tunnel and any rocky point. The grassy shore in front of the shacks at Brady’s is also worth a prospect with a fly if the water is advancing towards or up around the tussocks. Last season keen young anglers were landing some good fish casting various soft plastics in and around the canals.
Watch this space! At the moment King William is about 3.5m down and rising which is higher than what it usually is at this time of year, if the levels keep trending this way some of the best fly fishing for the season could very well be had at this lake in September. Last season the lake rose fast, and we had some great fishing before the marshes got too full. Believe me when I say the fishing to tailing fish can be mind-blowing on the shallow grassy shores early morning and evening at Lake King William, even during the middle of the day you are sure to see a tail or three.
For something different, how about Tasmania’s original brook trout only fishery. Clarence Lagoon traditionally fishes at its best in the early months of the season. It can be an adventure getting to the lake, either driving up the rocky 4WD track or parking just off the Lyell Highway just east of Derwent Bridge and walking up
Either way it’s worth it when you arrive at the lake, a great looking water with some real nice brookies. Every year anglers land 2.5kg fish and better from Clarence Lagoon. Any of the popular hardbodied and soft plastics lures are worth a go. As for flies, big wets such as Fuzzle buggers and Montana style nymphs will be a good start.Reads: 1616