|  First Published: November 2006

The drought, or as somebody said to me the other day, the way it is now, has had an effect on our local fisheries. I don’t mean just the water level either.

Some of the regular food items that our local trout and native fish feed on have diminished, and these fish have had to adapt to survive. Other effects of the drought have been much clearer water in the bottom end of impoundments (in some cases). In saying that, with the low water levels and exposed banks that have very little in the way of growth on them the wind can chop up these banks and dirty up bays and arms very easily.

Nutrient levels in dams such as Thompsons Creek, and Lake Lyell are low due to very little inflow; ribbon weed beds are all but gone. Other types of weed have taken its place.

Windamere on the other hand seems to have a nutrient overload. With a thick coating of slime and algae on just about everything, it even gets a hold on new weed growth, and seems to inhibit the growth of the weed.

Fishing pressure has also increased. Less water, more anglers and with clearer water in some impoundments the fish are getting a good look at offerings made by anglers.


The good news is the trout seem to be much more active on top, due I think to less food being available under the water. Beetles, moths and just about anything else that lands on the surface of the water is fair game. This should have flyfishers salivating, as there is just nothing better than a good surface bite.

Low light levels will be very important when fishing Thompsons Creek Dam, Lake Lyell, and Oberon Dam this month. This will allow anglers to maximize their chances in the clearer water. Lighter lines and tippets and a leaning towards smaller flies and lures should have you back in the game.

The ability of soft plastics to look, smell and feel edible is also a good option in the clear waters of some of our dams. Soft plastics have been scoring some good fish in the clearer waters of Thompsons Creek Dam recently and I expect this trend to continue into the summer.


Wow! What a place to fish in November.

OK there might be algae in the water, there maybe a thick coating of slime on every piece of structure, some bays may be a bit on the nose, but I don’t think there is another dam in the state that could match it as far as fishing for golden perch on lures, flies and baits at the moment.

Early on lipless cranks were catching a lot of fish, and to be quite frank it was getting boring, I kid you not. After I’d had my fill so to speak, myself and quite a few others were trying to catch the perch on other offerings. After a few weeks and as the water started to warm up, spinnerbaits, soft plastics, and crankbaits started to catch a few more fish, which is good because it adds a bit more variety to the mix.

There has been and will continue to be quite a few cod caught in Windamere this month. Anglers are reminded that the closed season is in place until December 1.

Hope to see you on the water until then tight lines

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