Seasons come and go. Autumns roll into winters and winters into springs. As fishers we sometimes see and seek the changes, depending on your experience the things you notice will vary. Modern distractions – life, as it were, can cloud or muddy the waters.
Most of us live in towns and cities, surrounded by concrete and tar, manicured lawns and gardens. Snippets of the seasons can still be observed out the kitchen window, but you really need to look hard and a lot depends on your setting.
I cannot recommend highly enough that you take time on your next trip to the Central Tablelands to concentrate on what is happening around you. It can start in the car en route. Take mental notes on if it’s dry or fresh and green –obvious things. How does this relate to where you are going fishing?
The spawning bed you fished last year on the river may be high and dry, the timbered gully in Wyangala that you did so well in this time last year fishing for cod may have 5m of water over it, so straight away you have to make adjustments and you haven’t even stepped out of the car.
The subtleties are much smaller pieces of the seasonal puzzle and can take some time to get your head around. Practise makes perfect. It’s all about immersing yourself in your fishing environment. I’m sure you will have noticed how much better you feel and fish for extended stays on the water, consecutive days, with limited distractions. Suddenly those cloudy, muddy waters that I mentioned earlier start to clear; you start to see and seek more changes, pointers and clues that in the end put more fish in the boat or on the bank.
Thompsons Creek Dam will be on every flyfisher’s hit list this month, especially when we start to move into the latter part of the month. The false spawn of rainbow trout on the clear shallow gravel beds is a drawcard. Seeing big fish that for the most part spend most of their time in deep cool water is spectacular.
Catching them is a challenge. The procession of frustrated anglers heading back to the car park always outnumbers the successful ones. More often than not I’m in the frustrated bracket. It’s tough. A few pointers I’ve picked up along the way from those that do much better than me is to fish mid-week, get there early, downsize everything, go when it’s cold and windy and make sure you dress for success. Quality outdoor clothing isn’t cheap, but when everyone else has had enough and is heading back to the car park because their back teeth are loose from chattering, you’ll be smiling.
Redfin and cod (like carp, bony bream and crucian carp) intertwine in waters where they cohabitate. You are going to hear more about this in the coming months and years as more anglers tune into what is happening. I’m not suggesting that the links have not been made before, but it’s the depth and lengths that we are now going to that is really pushing boundaries.
Technology is playing a major role in this, specifically sounder technology advancements. The visual displays that are now available to us on screens, not just under the boat but off to each side and in some cases all the way around, have given us a much bigger window into the underwater world that we fishers all crave to see.
The guesswork is being taken out of the equation. Every single cast made from the boat can be directed at fish. Seeing them and catching them are two very different things, but I’m sure you can appreciate the advantages of putting your lures in front of fish more often than not.
A school of crucian carp in open water is not always going to have two or three big cod tailing them around the dam on any given day. You wouldn’t put bigger cod in the same category as tuna or marlin, that’s for sure. They move a lot more than we realise, or more to the point, they move and position themselves on a regular basis at different feeding stations to take the best advantage of the topography and the food that surrounds them.
It’s very much a developing picture that in some ways will always remain a little foggy. That’s what I like about so much.Reads: 247