If only one thing can be said about September, it’s that some big events begin to occur this month – and I’m not talking about footy!
But now that I have purposely mentioned the topic I may as well elaborate and draw several comparisons; it could be said that this season has been far more predictable in terms of weather, than who is going to win the flag.
No matter how flooded the Macquarie River gets, Carlton will be dirtier. I have caught more fish already this season than GWS has scored goals and, wait for it.... This September, Launceston anglers will probably hook more lips than at a Collingwood football match (only just). Aside from the hype that footy creates there are some special reasons to get excited about fishing.
While it’s not a certainty, odds are that at some stage there will be some swollen rivers and lakes due to typical spring rains. This is a great time to slip on a rain jacket and other protective gear and get stuck into some fit fish by targeting them in a way that suits your style. My old mate Bobby up the road will likely be hurling some Celtas around rivers like North and South Esk rivers with some great results.
Another guy I know, Wally, will probably be casting finely detailed Japanese hardbodied lures into tight pockets of the St Patricks River and mixing it up with some appropriately weighted soft plastics in deeper runs on Brumbys Creek.
He’ll lose a few, but he will also catch his fair share.
I reckon I will be chasing some freshly flooded ground in search of tailing fish with Fur Flies on the Macquarie River and when that becomes so frustrating that I throw my skirt over my head, I will probably take my son to a river or Four Springs to drown a worm and show him how wonderful and captivating fishing can be: until he loses interest after five minutes and I find myself with my skirt back over my head. Whatever your choice, flood fishing has something for everyone and it’s a splendid way to pass the time on a wet Spring day while mad punters spend their time inside yelling at that ‘blasted TV’.
Cool, cold nights can often bring some amazing still-water midge hatches with it. Fish can sometimes be seen taking midge well before the sun gets up, but more often than not you can barely see them disturb the water as they pluck these tiny delicacies from the surface film. Feature fishing occurs as they sun starts to warm on a still mid-morning and swarms of midge hover around tussocks or shrubs on the edge.
Trout will patrol the edges looking for these insects when they become stuck in the sticky substance. Sometimes these hatches fade out pretty quickly or the wind blows in and shuts the event down, but can re-appear in the fading light of dusk where dimples once again disturb the surface. The fishing is tough and a subtle presentation with often very small imitative flies is the way to success. Small F-Flies and Dr Warks in the #16-18 are renowned for bringing some of the toughest customers undone but many other small flies will probably work if given the chance. Long, light leaders are the go.
It may seem a little early, but sea-run trout start to appear around now, especially as they make their way up massive waterways like the Tamar River. Where they hang out for most of the season is anyone’s guess but the really silver specimens come from fairly salty water and although many people find the Tamar too overwhelming to target such a fish, results around the Deviot to Hillwood region would apparently surprise (according to a couple of local gurus).
Whitebait themselves are a little way off yet and the smaller estuaries don’t fire until they appear but definitely give the Tamar a shot if silvery speedsters are your thing. Australian salmon are a good fall-back anyhow, and you can sometimes see the birds working anywhere from Garden Island to Rosevears but it seems the further you head up steam, the smaller the fish.
Even though there’s been some dry fly activity already and some seek them out right from day one, September kicks off consistent sport on the smaller rivers. There are no real significant insect hatches aside from midge and beetles, but rains can sometimes flush spiders and small moths into the water so fish start to look up for an opportunistic feed.
This is a good sign for the angler that enjoys prospecting with a single dry fly and working bubble lines and likely lies will yield results eventually. You could hedge your bets with a nymph dropper too – perhaps a black beetle or a bead-head glister nymph in deeper pools.
Spring is symbolic of many things including new beginnings and although I often see out of both eyes in black and white, much of my time will be spent mesmerised in brown and golden hues, with speckles of black and red.
Obsession begins again this month for many a fanatic fin-addict.Reads: 892