With increased daylight hours and a warmer sun overhead, water temperatures continue to climb. Aquatic life is in full bloom – thick and luscious weed beds wave back and forth in water currents and waves, occasionally exposing shrimp and baitfish to the finned predators lurking nearby. All you see is a flash of silver or gold as another hapless shrimp or baitfish becomes dinner. Overhanging branches shade the water’s surface, dropping the occasional struggling insect, and the tell-tale rings on the water tell you nature is at work. It’s great to watch if you take the time to sit back and observe it.
November is one of the best months to walk the streams stalking and casting to trout. Flows should still be quite good with the occasional storm to top things up. These storms usually build up in the afternoon, and as they do the insect activity can go through the roof at the water’s edge. Trout take full advantage of this, rising freely to the melee above. For the most part a well-presented nondescript dry fly of similar size will grab their attention, although at times I have seen very selective behaviour when it comes to a termite hatch landing on the water. Be mindful of the approaching storm, and plan to be back at the car by the time it hits.
Lakes such as Thompsons Creek Dam (TCD) will see the same hatches, and to see a full-blown rise on these lakes is a real eye opener. I have seen it only a few times, and it’s amazing to see so many fish cruising about slurping down the insects. It can also be frustrating as hell as you watch your little fly floating out there amongst the millions of drowned trout lollies. It’s like a needle in a haystack.
After dark the rise can continue. This is the mop up stage when the fish wipe the table clean. The trout throw caution to the wind with the cover of darkness, moving into the shallows and tailing. Many a time I have had them between me and the bank as I have waded. Brown trout seem to dominate night time captures, especially at Lake Lyell, although it’s not always the case. Keep some deer hair poppers handy if it’s warm and humid and have a cast for a bass. You will know when you get one on.
Keep Oberon Dam in the back of your mind if you are heading up this way. It’s not the trout fishery of years gone by but it still offers some reasonable fishing.
To have two first-rate golden perch fisheries on our doorstep is something to behold. Burrendong and Windamere have really fired this spring and this should continue into summer although the fish may move a little deeper.
Burrendong differs a little from Windamere. Weed growth usually nowhere near as prevalent in Burrendong, and redfin pin fry can also dictate where fish will be in Burrendong. I am sure that these pin fry make up a large part of the Burrendong goldens’ diet when they are available.
Slow rolling plastics in the trees works well in both dams, although Burrendong has the biggest following with this tactic due to some tournament wins there using this method. The boys at Loomzys Fish & Fix in Forbes have really taken this style of fishing to a new level and do it better than anyone.
Windamere golden perch tend to relate more to the weed bed edges and broken rock that harbour firetail gudgeon and shrimp. As the waters warm in November, golden perch can be seen in the early morning chasing these gudgeon close to the surface, with the odd one taken right off the top, bass and barra style. I have yet to take one of these goldens on a surface lure, and I have vowed every year for the last decade to do so. Maybe this this year I will… it has been done!
It’s not long now until the cod season opens, so do yourself a favour and prep your gear. Sharpen those hooks, practice your leader knots, stock up your surface lures, do your research and practice your casting. It won’t be long before that first green mottled monster will be on the deck.Reads: 1093