If I had a 20c for every time I heard the word ‘mayfly’ at this time of year, I would be off the streets and in a fast boat.
The novelty would soon wear off and I’d be back on the streets hoping to instead to be on a river – and that’s only from the amount of times I mutter the word myself. With good reason, the term gets thrown around regularly and action has been pretty consistent on our rivers of late. But the hatches don’t stop there.
The upper and middle sections of the Macquarie River and waters close by have been fishing very well during patches of red and black spinner hatches and action will continue throughout December. Fish around 1kg have been plump and taking naturals with confidence. I even spoke with a guy who landed a 3-3.5kg fish on spin gear not far away!
You are really spoilt for choice when you arrive early on the river to find spent mayfly (caenids) with feeding fish on them, take break for smoko to resume fishing during a dun hatch and then end up chasing spinner feeders all afternoon. If we had stayed longer we may have just experienced some evening caddis activity! As we head into December and beyond, dragonflies, damselflies and terrestrials like gum and tea-tree beetles will become more common and the trout will be expecting their arrival in certain areas.
Be there for the fare and don’t stare but shade the glare.
There are a few around when you go looking and they are an absolute delight to fish at any time of year, but even more so when shaded by the blistering heat. Beetles and snowflake caddis can be found regularly and the fish will know before you do!
In fact, there’s not much you won’t see on the menu at this time of year except grasshoppers – you will have to wait a few more weeks for that. Try fishing places like upper St Patricks, upper North Esk and upper Liffey and then tell me it ain’t grand to be alive and kicking.
Each water is different and varies from polaroiding small browns over pale river sand to blind-fishing bubble-lines in bouldery runs. Add the challenge of casting and a lively companion and you are set for a ripping time.
November has been grand at the ‘Skins, especially in regard to duns. The beginning of December probably sees the peak of prime mayfly action and although picking the right day or time of day can be challenging, it pays to have fly rods rigged and at the ready should that particular time fire up.
I know I’ve seen spin anglers back-handing themselves trying to get noticed amongst the activity and short of tying on a very small unweighted soft plastic nymph, you’re in for a tough time. It pays the match the hatch when the duns are concerned and Four Springs fish don’t get big by being silly.
There are plenty of options for a beginner to have a crack on the fly, and with loads of advice on local forums and the Internet in general you are not alone. It may look daunting but it’s really not that difficult, addictive but not difficult! In circumstances like mentioned above the fly will dominate, and it pays to be a diverse angler if you want results and a grand ole time. I’m no guru but happy to help if someone has a question.
Regardless of what you’re throwing, how you’re throwing it and who you’re throwing it with it is irrelevant - action is hot all over the place in December and you need to be amongst it in some manner.
It’s a very busy time of year with family, friends and social activities but be sure to include some fishing on that hectic schedule.Reads: 606