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Summer mayflies are the target in deeper water
  |  First Published: February 2013



Arthurs Lake continues to be the place for consistent sport for smaller browns, while dry conditions effects the shallower lakes.

Arthurs has come back to its previous personality – plenty of smaller fish around 600g and a smattering of bigger ones for the thinking angler. While some bemoan the high numbers of small fish, those who have fished this lake for several decades and level cycles will recognise that this is somewhat normal. I well remember the 80’s when small fish, but plenty of them was the norm.

The water is much clearer than the past 4-5 years, and the fish and insects are loving it. February is the time that small mayflies hatch in the deeper water over the original Sand Lake bed. Look for water around 4m deep and along the southern and eastern sides of Brazendale Island. When these deep water dun feeders get going they can be really easy to catch, especially if the wind is a good rolling westerly.

Bright and calm conditions, or light southerlies can be surprisingly good too – not so many duns, but the trout are still looking for them and can be polaroided lolling about on the surface looking for the next dun. Pop a dry fly in front of them and they should sip it down without too much trouble.

Great Lake

The greatness of Great Lake is never so apparent as in February. While dry summers can be a curse out in the shallower western lakes, Great Lake revels in bright, hot and breezy conditions. The boat-based fly fishers love the waves on bright days polaroiding feeding trout, but shore bound anglers are in for a feast as well, as plenty of good fish cruise the shallow water.

Wade the shores from Reynolds Neck all the way to Christmas Bay, with Canal Bay a personal favourite and slowly stalk along. These fish are never as easy to see as out in the western lakes, but there will be less anglers, (mostly none), so that for me is adequate compensation.

Woods Lake

I never used to like Woods Lake much, until I experienced the best black spinner fishing I’ve ever seen there a couple of seasons ago. The fish this year seem to have picked up a couple of pounds, and on my last visit there were plenty of 1.5kg browns in the extreme shallows picking off the spinners when the breeze lulled.

It is a great venue for mayfly hatches on cloudy days, but I prefer it on bright easterlies or south easterlies – no one there and masses of fish on the spinners – dry fly heaven.

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