Trout and anglers looking to the surface
  |  First Published: October 2013

What can we expect in October? The answer is heaps, especially if you love hunting around in the shallows at dawn and dusk.

The conditions are easier on us and for the fish, and the shallows are a touch warmer with more aquatic life and amphibious life out and about. October is the prime month for finding shallow water feeders, the famed Tasmanian tailing browns and frog feeders, not to mention the odd surface feature.

Bronte Lagoon

Bronte boasts an ideal environment for finding tailing trout; the shallow bays and sloping shores just scream fish, even more so if the water levels are high which creates perfect conditions for foraging trout. Calm frosty nights can also create some great early morning chironomid, or midge hatches. It’s far better to approach a shallow shore or bay and just stand and look for 10 minutes. Most times at this time of the year at dawn until the sun comes up or just as the sun dips as the day heads towards evening trout aren’t far away from the shallows.

In fact they were most likely feeding all night or sitting under the cover offered by flooded tussocks waiting for the light to start to fade before feeling confident enough to venture out into the more open exposed water to feed. These fish are more than likely to rise to a dry; a Zulu, Red Tag or Possum Emerger brings a lot of tailing fish undone in Bronte at this time of year. If the fish are switched onto frogs, the ever-reliable Sloanes Fur Fly or a black or MK 2 Woolly Bugger in about a size 10 is the go, otherwise a stick Caddis or 007 nymph under an indicator is never a poor option.

Lake King William

King William is filling up as fast and as high as it did last spring, when we got a taste of the fabulous fishing to tailing browns that are a feature of the northern bays and shores. The big problem is the when the water rises fast and too high, with a result of the best areas for seeing tails being under too much water.

The best height is between 1-3m below full supply level, the sight fishing can be simply awesome. I’ll never forget one late afternoon last spring on one of the shallow northern shores, we had had a good dump of snow the previous night and morning, the day cleared up to a magic afternoon, what a beautiful experience it was to be fishing to the dozen or so tailers parading in front of me, under a red evening sky, beautiful calm water and being surrounded by snow on the hills and mountains. Trout fishing in Tasmania doesn’t get any better than it did on that evening!

St Clair lagoon

St Clair Lagoon is another wonderful water and a great fly fishery, when the levels are up the water backs up, in and around the rushes and tea trees. Sneaking around the nooks and crannies created by the high water looking for a swirl of a feeding fish or if you get a blue sky day polarising the flooded shallows is a great way to spend a day. King William and St Clair Lagoon are only a stone’s throw from each other, you could do a lot worse than spending a whole days fishing between these two great fisheries.

Laughing Jack Lagoon

Laughing Jack is a great springtime destination and it has its very faithful devotees. It’s very popular bait and trolling water. Most of the storage is surrounded by barren rocky shores, but the northern end is like another world when it’s at its normal early season levels. Sloping grassy banks with a few marshy pockets and gutters are great areas to find the well-conditioned and some of the best eating fish in the whole of Tasmania.

I’ve had great fishing here with the Fiery Brown Beetle and 007 nymph under a dry fly indicator. If no fish are evident you can do a lot worse than blind casting with a MK 2 Woolly Bugger in and around the mouth of the creek that is a feature of this northern shore.

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