Options in the wind
  |  First Published: August 2006

August traditionally is a windy month on the Central Tablelands, which tend to put off quite a few anglers. It shouldn’t, though, because August can be quite productive, especially when it comes to trout in Lakes such as Oberon Dam, Lake Lyell, and Thompson’s Creek Dam.

The wind tends to push what little food there is into bays and pockets and this is where you will find hungry trout, browns mostly, as they will have returned from spawning adventures at the top end of lakes to leave the rainbows to continue with their spawn run.

Fishing these dams while the wind is howling is not advisable. If you can plan your trip so it coincides with the first hours or first day after the blow, so much the better.

Low light periods are still important, even at this time of year. Try to keep back from the edge of the water where possible because these browns are very spooky in such shallow water.

I like to actively hunt these fish by trying to spot them first, although walking slowly and casting lightly weighted baits or small soft plastics as you go also works quite well.

Cast your bait or lure at a slight angle so it stays close to the shore, say 3m or 4m, then work it back slowly. Watch the line closely on any pauses you make during the retrieve.

A fly is also very good for this type of fishing because the fly and leader do not make a splashing entry which can sometimes spook fish in such shallow water.

The eastern ends or sides of the three dams mentioned are where you should concentrate efforts.

As far as lures go, small floating minnows from 5cm to 7cm are good. Soft plastics need to be around the same length but make sure the head weight is kept to a minimum.

I have found sometimes it pays to crimp split shot 30cm to 50cm up the line, especially if the bottom has a build up of algae. Flies can be even smaller and weighted so they sink very slowly off a floating leader. A black or brown nymphs or a Woolly Bugger are hard to go past.


The fishing in Carcoar Dam for big redfin at this time of year is not always easy. I have drawn a blank on many occasions so don’t get your hopes up too much.

Having said that, when you do get one it is usually of good size. Over the past few years with the low water level, casting around the banks has been good. Small willow-leaf 1/4oz spinnerbaits cast close to structure have worked well, along with various lipless crankbaits.

If you cannot get anything casting the banks, move out into deeper water and search out fish on the sounder. If you find some fish, try dropping down various jigs and soft plastics until you get some interest.

Vary your jigging action until you find out what works. Sometimes it’s heavy jigs and near-violent lifts; other times it’s a small plastic and a do-nothing approach – it just pays to experiment.


I recently purchased a baitcasting out fit for a trip up north chasing barra. Asking salesmen what I need is not usually the way I go about buying stuff. I’ve no big tickets on myself here, it’s just that when you specialise in a certain aspect of fishing for such a long time in freshwater around various parts of NSW, you don’t generally need to be told how to suck eggs when it comes to your gear.

Fishing for barra in Queensland impoundments, well, that’s just way out of my comfort zone. Enter Pulley from Canobolas Marine in Orange. He’s been there and knows what it’s all about and had me decked out in no time and even made a phone call a few days later to check if I was happy with the outfit.

In this day and age when it’s usually service with a smile until you have handed over the cash, I reckon this is worth a mention.

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