The opening weeks of the season were a bit hit and miss in the region but, whatever the catch rate, or lack of it, it doesn’t matter as it was just good to be out on the water again.
One lucky angler was over the moon while lure casting off the Binney wall when she landed a magnificently conditioned 4.5kg rainbow. It was one of the fish that was released into the system this time last season. Unlike the releases of brood stock Atlantic salmon of previous years, the large stocked rainbows seem to adapt and feed well.
Several smaller browns have also been landed along the wall.
Lake Echo has yielded a few fish. While some have been of only ordinary condition others have been in top nick. Keen-as-mustard angler, Nathan Huizing and his mates have had a couple of trips to Echo so far this season, and fished the north eastern area of the lake landing some good fish. Nathan said the Rapala Spotted Dog CD05 and olive/pearl T-Tails fished with a very slow retrieve have been the stand out lures for them.
Bronte has, as usual, seen plenty of patronage with a few fish seen and caught tailing in Tailers Bay. The water levels have been frustrating. In the early weeks, when the lake is rising over new ground and things look set for finding a few foraging fish, the levels dropped out again.
Trolling has been good in Bronte also, with some very nice bags of well-conditioned fish, mostly browns; fish have been feeding on the shrimp beds, as their stomachs are full of shrimp.
October is really the first month of spring in the Tassie highlands. This is when the fishing really starts to hit a higher gear; it is far more reliable than the first two months of the season. The lake and lagoon levels are usually well up and stable, many of the smaller waters will be spilling after (hopefully) good rains and snow melt over the previous weeks.
October is the prime month for finding tailing browns, the shallows are warmer encouraging plenty of underwater life, such as Stick Caddis and various other nymphs. There will also be drowned worms and corby grubs to mop up, especially if lake levels are still on the rise, and then to top it off the spawning frogs. Certainly not lean pickings for the trout!
If you haven’t been getting up for the dawn patrol, now is the time to start. The Bronte browns will be in close on all of the shallow shores, the Long Shore, Woodwards Bay, Hut Bay, Rowallen Bay and Tailers Bay are all real hotspots; as is the shore from the Bull Rush Point down to the Red Rocks.
The Woodwards broadwater is prime water, probably my favourite. As always, early morning and evenings are the prime time for tailor, however, there are exceptions. I’ve often gone for a wander in the early afternoon, especially in the Red Rocks area, and have often found fish moving along this shore.
Tailors in Bronte at this time of the year are just as likely to take a dry as they are a larger wet or nymph, especially if they aren’t obviously targeting frogs.
If a cool night is forecast with light winds, then get up and out there as you are more than likely to find a Chironomid hatch happening. Best areas for a hatch are again the Red Rocks shore, Tailers Bay and just about anywhere on the lake if you’re boat-based.
Arm yourself with Mk 2 Woolly Buggers, Black Woolly Buggers, Sloane’s type Fur Flies, Montana Nymphs, 007, Scintilla Stick Caddis and dries, such as the ever-reliable Red Tag, Zulu and Possum Emerger and the Iron Blue Dun, especially if you strike a Chironomid hatch.
No fish in any southern highland lake or lagoon will be safe with a selection of these flies!
In mid-August, King William was less than 3m down with plenty of rain forecast – I’m getting excited! By October it could very well be a sure bet to find multitudes of tailing fish all over the shallow grassy bays in the northern areas of the lake.
Hang a size 14 or 16 007 nymph or a size 14 Stick Caddis pattern under a dry fly indicator and you are bound to have fun. On a nice morning the scenery is pretty damn good as well.
I doubt if we will see the high levels in Echo as we have in past few seasons. It is still quite a way down but that doesn’t matter, as long as the water rises enough to cover new ground. Plenty of worms and grubs and other terrestrials should be available and this will bring the fish in close.
Large Bay and Broken Bay are the prime spots, any of the Woolly Bugger variants in a size 8 or 10 will work.
October is the opening month of the rainbow waters, with the Dee being the most famous of them, and rightly so.
Although the best fishing in the Dee occurs in the later spring and through to the end of the season it still has much to offer with good Chironomid hatches and good trolling and drift spinning, maybe even a Gum Beetle fall towards the end of the month, especially if we get a patch or two of warmer weather.
The Northern Bay and shallows Pine Tier are very reliable from now until the levels drop later in the summer. Eearly morning and evening when the sun dips below the horizon you are likely to see dozens of fish feeding in this part of the lagoon.
Stick Caddis patterns, the Glister Tag or Bronte Caddis dry are great starters for the location.
Pine Tier really is a great water – not big fish, although there are exceptions, but they always put on a good show.
Flooded Red Rocks shore at Bronte is prime tailing water.
A well-conditioned Lake Echo brown. The water is still quite a way down but it wont matter as long as the water rises enough to cover new ground.
Early morning and evenings are the prime time for tailor at Bronte Lagoon.Reads: 1338