February is the month that all keen flyfishers look forward to.
It is in February that we get the most consistent weather patterns that open up the water for sight fishing action. The warmer and more stable weather patterns also means that the terrestrial insects that cause the best sight fishing are flying around all over the place. Beetles and hoppers on hot days, ants on muggy days and some of those whopping big stoneflies on Arthurs Lake as well.
The mayfly action does tend to slow during the warmest part of February, but this should be compensated by the increase in other insects.
Great Lake has fished superbly through January, with many blue sky days giving the boat-based sight fisher excellent sport. A steady trickle of gum beetles in the top end of the lake kept trout, mostly browns, up in the surface layers of the water, which makes them quite easy to see.
February sees a continuation of this activity, and while late February will see the light get a little harder due to the lower sun, the action will still be very good.
Calm mornings also give rise to excellent windlane fishing, as the midges really love a calm night. These windlanes are found all over the lake, but some beauties form in the stretch from Brandums Bay across to Cramps Bay. Evening windlanes are excellent in th southern part of the lake too, so keep an eye out in Swan Bay as any north wind eases in the afternoon, as there is often a good lane formed up in front of the shacks opposite the Great Lake Hotel.
Arthurs has been quite good lately, with the spin and trollers doing better than flyfishers. The shallows have been very good on occasions, however they can be hit and miss. I watched a flyfisher catch 5 or 6 fish in quick succession recently, and have also had some good sessions myself.
The Arthurs fish can start to colour up at Februarys end as they start to think about spawning. These fish do tend to head to the 3m depths looking for shrimp and so on, which can lead to a slowing of surface action here.
Windlanes can be the saviour on Arthurs; this year has been particularly good for fish feeding high in frothy slicks. Even when there is little or no food in the slicks, fish have been cruising looking for a feed.
This season has seen some reasonable falls of rain in the western lakes, keeping levels up a bit from previous years. Those anglers prepared to put in a full days walking have found some wonderful fishing, and very few people around. The 19 Lagoon region has been busy with visitors and locals alike, however the usual haunts have been good.
Early mornings in February are very good on the Augusta lakes, especially if you have a small boat. Apart from that, polaroiding on sunny days is very good in Botsford, Howes Bay and the Carter Lakes.Reads: 646