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Windy and wet conditions fade as summer brightens the way
  |  First Published: December 2013



Two words can sum up the Southern Highlands since last report, windy and wet! Fish have been caught in the very testing conditions by those brave souls, others have just thought, nah I’ll stay inside and tie flies or read about fishing !

Most of the lakes and lagoons have been spilling or just about to, but as they say, trout anglers never complain about rain! With all of this water around and going by the great condition of the fish that have been caught, the planets are aligning for a great 2013 / 2014 season.

The Lower Derwent Storages

There should be a few Atlantic salmon left in Lake Meadowbank for the last month of the year, and the Inland Fisheries Service have just stocked a heap of rainbow fingerlings in the water. They’re not much use for this season but by next season they should provide some fishing. December is the prime month for caenid feeders in Lake Meadowbank, I’m not sure if much will eventuate after the big drawdown. There is surely has to be pockets of hatching caenid and trout smutting on them, especially in and around where the deep Derwent enters the broader waters north of Dunrobin Bridge.

Cluny Lagoon, Lake Repulse and Catagunya are great boat based destinations and ideal trolling water. Wayatinah Lagoon should have some good fishing to mayfly spinner feeders on those warm and calm December days.

The Brady’s Chain

Tungatinah Lagoon, Lake Binney and Bradys Lake are all good destinations for December, not just for the fishing but also the camping. The prime areas for lure fishing are the inlets and outlets from the canals and the Whitewater and Dee Tunnel inlet at Bradys. All three waters will have fish rising to chironomids in the early morning and evenings along with caddis flies. The Island shore of Lake Binney and the around the Island at Bradys are great spots to find some early morning caenid feeders, especially following a warm night with a calm morning. I had some great fishing right in front of the shack last December; I always use a size 16 or size 14 Iron Blue Dun for Caenid feeders, Laurie Matcham’s Caenid pattern is another great fly.

Bronte Lagoon

Hopefully the very high water levels should’ve dropped to more normal levels by December, allowing easier access to the better shallows. Tailing fish are still very much a feature at this time of the year and they love a dry. The usual favourites like the Possum Emerger, Zulu, Glister and Red Tags are all you need. The areas around the Red Rocks shore and Bull Rush Point is prime water. Dun and spinner feeders will feature in the day time hours along with the always frustrating damselfly leapers. I always like to see plenty of spinners around with the damsels, those leapers just seem a bit easier if there is a variety of fly life around.

Lake King William

The levels should be receding in Lake King William too by December, like last season the huge lake filled up very fast not giving us a chance at the best early spring Tailing action, when the levels start to drop though it should trigger some furious feeding with the aquatic life following the water out.

St Clair Lagoon

Beautiful St Clair Lagoon has been giving up a few frog feeders in mid spring, so by December the tadpoles should be on the menu. I’ve been tying a few of Muz Wilson Fuzzle Tadpoles of late so I’ll give them a run here. Blue sky days and St Clair Lagoon go together like strawberries and cream and add to the mix a few mayfly spinners that will be around towards the later part of the month, well just get up there and see for yourself !.

Have a safe and fantastic Christmas and a great new year of trout fishing.

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