The fishing has been hot and cold in the southern highlands lakes and lagoons.
Bronte Lagoon has been frustrating, I believe due to the water manipulation. Quite frankly the water level has been up and down like the proverbial! The fish don’t like it and I believe they have no confidence with coming into the shallows when the level is so variable. One session you get a taste of what the fishing is supposed to be like in Bronte during the early spring, only to go back out for the evening or the next morning to find the level has fallen.
Pine Tier Lagoon has been different though, as the lagoon has been spilling for weeks. With the water well up into the marsh the fish have responded well with fish in close worming as well as plenty out wider.
In the main bay one party of regulars to the Lagoon landed over 30 nice fish drift spinning and trolling the deeper areas, wide of the marsh during a recent weekend.
Lake King William has also fished well with the good tailing sessions being experienced, and November should see better levels.
The angling in Lake Echo has also been variable with reports of some parties doing very well from the shore while others have blanked. Tungatinah saved the day late one windy cold afternoon though; with two visiting mainlanders landing three nice browns on MK 2 Woolly Buggers from the North Western corner near the dam.
November is great at Bronte, the frogs are still very much on the menu, as is just about every other form of shallow water life and the fish will be in close after it, it well worth cutting short a good night’s sleep! You can also experience some very good fishing to chironomid feeders.
I had a great session last November along the Red Rocks shore with some very nice browns being landed on a size 16 Iron Blue Dun, every fish was caught while on my knees, they were right in close.
To tell you the truth, I don’t know what to expect this season from Lake Meadowbank! The first hatches of caenids will happen somewhere around mid-month, I just don’t know how well the fish will respond and in what numbers. There needs to be some serious investigating into what is going on in what is my former favourite water .
Things aren’t going to get any better in the short term either, as the lake is going to be drawn down to extremely low levels in March for up to six weeks for dam maintenance. Always keep Meadowbank in mind at this time of the year though, even if it just launching the boat for a quick scout around for any midging rainbows or early afternoon red spinner feeders north of the bridge.
Cluny Lagoon, Lake Repulse, Lake Catagunya and Wayatinah are the next storages along from Meadowbank. They are very under-utilised fisheries and all hold some excellent fish and fishing. The most convenient way to fish these waters is by boat and lures but they do have some very good flyfishing as well, especially Cluny Lagoon and Wayatinah Lagoon.
Over the years there have been some absolute monstrous trout landed from these lakes and lagoons, mainly by bait fishers but I’m sure anglers skilled in the use of soft plastics, concentrating in the right areas such the area around the base of the Repulse Dam would stand a good chance. I’ve seen some very big fish in this area, well into double figures in the old scale.
Excellent, reliable fishing to morning and evening tailers and midging fish, you’ll see plenty of small fish but also those bigger fish approaching 1kg. The tailing fish will suck a Red Tag down like there is no tomorrow, for the midging trout a small Iron Blue or, Greg Beecroft’s Bronte Caddis will take fish.
The lake level should be falling by now, with plenty of fish in the shallows morning and evening making for some exceptional fishing. My favourite way to target these fish is with a small 007 or a stick caddis suspended under an indicator fly, something like a nice bushy Zulu, and all this in beautiful surrounds.
Another water that usually turns it on in November and the water should be low enough for easy access around the shores. This is another great water to find frog hunters and general shallow water feeders.
The ‘Jack’ is better known as a bait and trolling water and indeed some great fish are caught here by these methods but it also has some great flyfishing. Launch your boat and head up to the north end which is like another world compared to the southern ends rocks and otherwise barren appearance. The north shores are shallow and grassy with a great fish holding creek mouth. Laughing Jack’s beautiful browns tail well here before the hotter months when the lake is still high, they also rise well to the chironomid hatches.