Golden moments
  |  First Published: October 2015

For me Windamere in October is hard to get away from. It’s a social thing just as much as a fishing thing, as most people know the boat and are happy to chat. It’s great to catch up with people you haven’t seen for months, swapping stories and techniques.

In October at Windamere the fish spread through a relatively shallow band of water from 1.5-6m give or take. Most banks will have fish on them, and trees will as well. There are features to look for on both pieces of structure, and sounders can take the majority of the guesswork out of it. Obviously there are other factors such as boat noise, your approach, and what you throw.

Something that has always been a big help to me is taking in your surrounds above the water. That big yellow box tree up on the hill is the same style of tree that you’re fishing. It might not mirror it exactly, but in combination with your sounder picture it gives you a much better understanding of what’s down there. Where do the majority of the limbs start on the trunk? Does it have three or four main branches? Little things that all help.

It’s the same with banks above the water. What’s the composition of the soil? Is it able to support weed growth underwater? What size are the rocks? Is there a reef running down into the water? Are there blackberries, and woody weeds above the water line that might extend underneath? These are just some of the factors I take into account before even throwing a lure.

A Windamere golden perch may not pull drag every time like a bass; they might not zip and zag like a silver perch; they might not always hit like a Murray cod – but in October for me it’s the place to be.


Hopefully with some good spring rains the opening of the trout season on the long weekend in October will be a cracker. The last opening was a bit of a letdown for us. The section of creek we fished was virtually devoid of trout, and I’m not sure why. A bit more scouting this year could make all the difference.

There is definitely something special about chasing a trout on a warm spring day. It’s a feast for the senses, with the deep green of grass and willow against a bright blue sky, the smell of pollen on the breeze, the gurgling water in the rapids as you sit, and of course the sight of that wild cagy brown trout sipping mayflies in the pool above. After sitting and watching for a short while, it’s time to hatch a plan. If I keep low and make a cast from behind that bush, you think to yourself, maybe we might be having trout for tea.

You just have to remember that you rarely get a chance with these fish so you have to make it count. No pressure!

Early season fish in the Duckmaloi, Campbells, and Fish River are great fun. They’re small for the most part but the numbers can add up, and on the right day you can fish all day with fly or spin. The mid-morning sun will generate insect hatches, with small trout throwing caution to the wind and sipping down everything that lands on the water. Bigger fish are a little bit more cautious, so watching and waiting is the key for them.

Walking and lure casting with a small spin rod is a great way to investigate new water. If you and a mate make two or three casts each run and pool and move on, you’ll soon cover heaps of water. An assorted collection of spinners and hardbodies with maybe the odd soft plastic thrown in is all you need.


Don’t discount a visit to one of the dams at this time of year either. Lake Lyell, Thompsons Creek Dam (TCD), and Lake Wallace (Wang Dam) all produce great fish at this time of year. Poloroiding fish from the bank as you walk, especially in Lyell and TCD, you’ll see mostly brown trout and just the odd fast moving rainbow, disappearing as quickly as they showed. Small soft plastics and hand-tied mini-lead head jigs work a treat.

Hope to see you on the water soon.

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