Bring on the big brown trout
  |  First Published: March 2010

Of all the months outside of summer, April would be my favourite.

The sun is on a lower angle, meaning a wonderful soft golden light on sunny days, and ferocious cold winds, rain and snow on the other days. I love a rough day in April, especially if the wind is from the south.

This tends to make the pre-spawn buck browns go a little silly as they get all fired up for the spawning season.

My two favourite lakes in April are Arthurs Lake and Great Lake. This is principally due to two reasons. 1, they are within 20-minutes drive from home, and 2, they have huge amounts of trout getting ready to spawn.

Great Lake

Great Lake is the place for some very sublime late season dry fly fishing, especially on those calm, cool and clear days we get in late autumn. The top end of the lake usually sees a nice sprinkling of gum beetles, which brings out some feeding fish, particularly on the edges of wind lanes and slicks.

While these fish aren’t a table proposition (they get pretty slimy in April), they are terrific sports fish, especially the bucks. They tend to feed voraciously, making presentations easy and fishing even easier. Best dry flies tend to have a little flash in them somewhere – my favourite is the Glister Tag, followed by a Bibio Hopper and an Orange Carrot.

When they are on the beetles the Bruce Gibson Foam Gum Beetle is un-beatable.

On the really dirty days, big wet flies and sinking lines are the go for the fly flickers, which for the lure casters the Black and Gold Berkley T Tail is pretty much the only plastic you will need. For the hardbodied lure user, the Tassie Devils in the green, gold and red colours seem to be the best bet, while the Ecogear MW62 is tops as well.

Try the areas around the outside of Canal Bay, inside Tods Corner and along the western shore between Boundary Bay and Breona.

Arthurs Lake

Poor old Arthurs has had another ordinary season, however April will see the fat fish start to move towards the creeks. As for Great Lake, big bulky wet flies are the best, and make sure there is plenty of colour in them. My favourite is a Muz Wilson Fuzzle Bugger, but ordinary bead-headed Woolly Buggers are fine. Make sure you have some orange in the tail.

As always the best spots on Arthurs are adjacent to the main spawning streams, however the rocky areas are always worth a shot as well. Concentrate on Hydro Bay, Cowpaddock Bay, Jones Bay and Tumbledown Bay. Southerly weather is best; a low barometer is even better.

Western Lakes

The western lakes tends to get forgotten once the spawning urge hits the fish, but rest assured these waters are brilliant in the final weeks of the season. Lakes that have a good inflow such as Ada, Double, Augusta and Kay are always worth heading to. Lake Augusta Dam is a favourite destination – the fish here are always fat and fit and ready to put on a show.

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