I hope everyone has some time off over November; it’s a great month to be out and about fishing and camping.
Weather patterns generally stabilise, which means you don’t get the four seasons in one day as much as you do in early Spring.
Afternoon thunderstorms can be a feature, though, so be careful, especially if you are out on the water.
My advice is to act early – don’t leave it to the last minute. Wyangala, Burrendong or Windamere are not places you want to be on the water when it’s too late.
If you do get caught out, take shelter on the bank and just sit it out; storms are usually only short-lived.
Water temperatures in the district should be still rising with comfortable temperatures for trout and native species.
Cod are still off the agenda so leave your big gear at home.
Early mudeye hatches can be a factor for trout fishers in November so keep this in mind. The dark nights after the full moon seem to bring them on but a lot can depend on local conditions.
Thompsons Creek Dam had some good hatches last year and, true to form, the trout were not far behind them.
Fly-fishing is far and away the best way to get among them. The early fish will start to rise out wide and then, as light levels drop, they move into shallow water.
Casting to rising fish more often than not leads to frustration. Have faith in your fly and keep working away methodically.
Good mudeye imitations are not hard to find, with Craig’s Nighttime, Hamill’s Killer and Mrs Simpson three of the most popular.
A lot of guys tend to tie their own creations, which can add to the experience.
There’s nothing quite like catching a trout on something you made yourself from bits of the family dog, cat or bird…
I had a few early attempts at catching bass in Lake Lyell a month or so back.
We had a good warming trend come through and surface water temps jumped quickly and there had been quite a few caught over the Hunter Valley way on surface lures.
I was forgetting a few things, though: altitude, a longer Winter and fewer bass per hectare of water.
The good news is by now they should be well and truly on the job.
I reckon that apart from the finicky weather and the ski boats, small crucian carp play a major factor in when and how the bass feed in Lake Lyell.
Early mornings when the crucian carp are really active seem to be when they bite best, especially on surface lures.
The bite period can be short and related to light levels and boat traffic. If it’s cloudy and humid with little or no boat traffic, they can be on the job for that little bit longer.
Having said all that, good mate Alex Hickson had one of his best sessions on surface there one afternoon in bright sunshine with water skiers flying past him everywhere, so go figure.
There are not many places where you can target bass and trout in the same water.
As the water warms and the trout go deeper, you tend to lose that ability to target both species in the same depth of water but November and early December gives you that option.
By the end of November I have usually had my fill of Lake Windamere.
It’s not that it doesn’t fish well; it’s just that I have fished it hard since late August and it’s time to move on.
If you do choose to fish on at Windamere, early mornings and late afternoons/evenings will become more productive.
As the day warms up and light levels increase you will find the golden perch moving deeper, especially if cover is light.
Quite often if you look and listen carefully in the early mornings at this time, especially later in the month, you will see and hear golden perch taking fire-tail gudgeons off the surface.
I have yet to take a yella on a surface lure but it has been a loose goal of mine for some time. So maybe I may have to fish on and take advantage of the situation.
Over the past few years we have seen an influx of small surface lures aimed at the bream market and I reckon a few of these might be just the ticket.
Fishing the streams with dry fly is possibly at its best this month.
The water is still cool enough for trout to be comfortable in shallow water and insect activity is very high, especially on those warm, sultry afternoons.
Little black spinners are dipping and hovering and later termites hatch and landing on the water. The trout take full advantage of them and you should, too.
I don’t mean to put any one off but do be mindful of snakes. I have never had any real dramas and it would never put me off going anywhere, but just keep them in mind as you are walking through knee-high tussocks and stepping over logs where you cannot see the ground in front of you.
To finish off, I’d like to thank Roderick and Yolanda Walmsley for giving me the opportunity to be part of their Fish Tec Solutions pro staff team. To be involved with such a quality company is a real thrill I am looking forward to using and testing what they have to offer.Reads: 901