Well another season’s over, and as with all seasons the 2009/10 had its highs and lows.
One of the highs for me was the early season floodwater fishing and the tailers that I love to fish to. Thankfully we had plenty of it in the southern highland waters this season due to the excellent winter and early spring rains.
Bronte and the Woodward's Broadwater really turned it on with the fish hard up in the tussocks and shallows. It was great to see and even better to experience again after the previous dry years.
Other waters also turned it on, especially Lake Echo, which had been very low but with the rising waters covering land that had been dry for years, the fish soon followed. It was great to see this under fished lake get the attention that it deserves from anglers. The new boat ramps were also a great help in accessing the northern bays. Lake King William actually was too full in the early season for the shore-based flyfisher but trollers had some great fishing. Flyfishers had better action when the lake started to drop in the late spring and early summer
While flyfishers were enjoying themselves, the lure anglers were also having plenty of action in the Bradys chain, with regular stockings of Atlantic salmon and trout. You didn’t need a boat either with plenty of fish being caught from the dams, walls and boat ramps.
Early summer was also good although the rain was long gone and the lakes started to drop. My favourite caenid hatches weren’t the best but that was compensated for with some good windlane fishing for midges and some good fishing for mayfly feeders; duns and spinners. Some good polaroiding was also on offer, with Lake St Clair being a standout for some but also a dud for others, it was just a case of being there at the right time.
Dee Lagoon also had some great boat based dry fly fishing with great quality browns and rainbows being landed. There were some good gum beetle falls in the early part of summer but they seemed to fizzle out late in the season but of course this was compensated for with the much-appreciated appearance of some jassid falls from mid February onwards.
Lake Meadowbank is the only water open all year in the southern highlands, and being close to the major population areas of Hobart and New Norfolk it will get plenty of attention by anglers over the winter period, especially if a Collingwood game is being broadcast on TV!
Being at a low elevation the weather won’t be as extreme as it will be further up so it is a good option for those who just can’t hang their rods up for the closed season. By far the best option will be a spot of trolling.
Meadowbank has been well stocked several times during the year with Atlantics of around the 3-3.5kg range and of course you have the resident brown and rainbow trout. The lake has always had good browns in residence, over the last few years plenty of rainbows have also been released and some of these fish are real crackers, up to around 2.5kg.
The best areas for trolling are above the Dunrobin Bridge are the old Derwent River bed and the faster moving water above the marshes. Casting around the steep shore amongst the willows and log jams north of the toilet block is also a good option.
Below the bridge is good anywhere really, right down towards the Meadowbank Dam and especially around the mouths of the Jones and the Clyde Rivers. There are also areas of shore where there is good land-based lure fishing below the bridge but the easiest access for land-based is from the causeway before the bridge itself.
Flyfishers might be lucky to find a windlanes with midging rainbows and a few browns after a cool calm night, otherwise blind casting around the marshes above the bridge is the best option.
If you happen to come across the lake slightly down with a green grassy strip showing around the shore of the northern basin, slowly walk and look. Meadowbank is one the few lakes that fishes best for tailers when it’s low, as water life follows the receding water away from the thick tussock and reed edges creating a smorgasbord for the fish. You just might see a tail or two pop up or an exciting bow-wave.Reads: 1476