Well here we go, August already and a new trout season begins. That didn’t take long did it!
Hopefully you’ve been busy tying flies, buying lures, maintaining the boat and getting the warm clothes ready for the start of the 2013/2014 season. Although the last month of winter isn’t exactly what you’d call one of the prime fishing months, anglers are always chomping at the bit to get back out on the water after the majority of waters have been closed for three months, even if it’s just more of a social occasion for the first weekend.
Many think an August opening is to early believing there will be no fish in the shallows, that’s debatable as in recent years there have been tailing fish working the shallows at Little Pine Lagoon right from daybreak on opening morning. The waters in the southern highlands are mostly at a lower elevation that the Pine, and on the whole conditions can be more favourable.
Lake Meadowbank, Cluny Lagoon, Lake Repulse, Lake Catugunya and Wayatinah Lagoon, traditionally fish well in the opening month. Lake Meadowbank will be the exception though trout-wise for this season and a few to come, because of the prolonged draw down during autumn but in recent years the water has been stocked with large Atlantic salmon in the weeks before the August, so if big Atlantics float your boat this will be the water for you.
The rest of the waters above Meadowbank though are well worth visiting. Trolling and shore and boat-based lure casting will be the most effective methods. These waters are also very traditional bait fishing lakes, over the years some real monsters have been landed from them.
Bradys, Binney and Tungatinah are hugely popular all through August. The three interconnected waters have suffered in recent seasons due to low trout stocks, and the IFS have committed to stocking the system with five 5,000 Great Lake browns annually. This has been achieved easily over this autumn and early winter with 5,000 very nice browns of a kilo or more: great news for those who are planning to fish the system over the opening weeks.
Trolling and lure casting will be the most effective method but mates and I have had good fishing in past opening weeks by fishing with sink tip and full sinking lines fly lines around the White Water area of Bradys with large black Fuzzle Buggers
This great backwater, if the levels are at reasonable level in Bronte is usually the first spot I visit for the season and hopefully spot my first moving fish in the shallows, both sides of the canal are productive and its very fishy water.
Bronte is hugely popular and rightly so. If Bronte fishes as well in the early season as it did all through last season, we will be in for a treat. Again lure fishing accounts for some great catches early on. There is little weed growth at this time so just about any area where it’s deep enough to troll or cast a lure will be worth a go. For flyfishing head straight to the grassy shallow areas, such as the Long Shore, Fly Corner, Tailers Bay, Bronte Bay, Rowallan Bay and Bull Rush Point down into Woodwards Bay.
Early and late in the day will see fish poking around these shores, if nothing is evident in the shallows you can do a lot worse than wading out deeper or drifting out wider adjacent to these areas and fishing a larger fly with plenty of movement such as a bead headed Shrek, Humungous or a Mark II Woolly Bugger on an intermediate sinker or sink tip line.
Beautiful Pine Tier Lagoon really has its devotees and I certainly count myself as one of them. The fish aren’t big but there are plenty of them and they are very eager feeders, either in close or out in the deeper water. The whole of the storage apart from the shallows in the northern bay is prime lure territory but the best flyfishing is in the shallows.
As a rule the better sized fish are in this part of the lagoon. Some very big catches were landed here early last year by a family of regulars using hardbodied lures and soft plastics mainly fishing out wide of the shallows around the northern basin.
Pine Tier is usually the first water in the area to flood so it’s always worth a look as you could very well get the first taste of our great flood water fishing here.
The King doesn’t usually get to a good height for the prime tailing fishing until later on in the spring months but the boat based fishing can be exceptional: really the only obstacle in August can be the weather. This huge lake fished very well last season and don’t think it only has small fish a good percentage of fish caught are 500-700g and bigger: nothing to sneeze at all.
Another Lake that doesn’t get to a good fishing height for that great shallow water fishing that we all love until later on, one Bradys Lake local though has great success using lead lines at Echo in the early months, definitely worth investigating.Reads: 1331