Many apologies for the delay between reports…we’ve been busy with our young son, and our new fly shop www.flyshop1864.com.au . Now, onto the fishing:
February saw the arrival of the hoppers to the rivers of the Northern Midlands, in particular the South Esk, Lake, lower Macquarie and Meander rivers. The large yellow hoppers were a little low on numbers on all the rivers, other than the lower Macquarie, however the small brown and orange hoppers were great trout fodder on the remainder. Our imitation of these, the Mini WMD http://flyshop1864.com.au/shop/dry-flies/mini-wmd-hopper/ proved to be the best pattern. Other highlights have included black spinner falls later in the day, between 2pm and 4pm on the slower rivers.
The autumn mayfly also started last week, with dun hatches (black spinner duns, baetids and caenids) occuring on lower Brumbys Creek, Macquarie, North Esk and Meander. Our Possum Shaving Brush and Black Spinner have been the best patterns. http://flyshop1864.com.au/shop/trout-flies-tied-in-our-shop-in-tasmania/
Fish in general have been in excellent condition this year, with Brumbys Creek having the largest average size for years (2 1/2lbs). The Lower Macquarie has lots of fat and young fish presently, whilst the Lake and Meander rivers have some longer and older fish. Cormorant plagues have cleaned out a few runs of the South Esk and Meander, along with the odd lagoon in the Western Lakes, however these are only isolated occurances.
Up on the plateau and late season mayfly have been showing among the Nineteen Lagoons in the Western Lakes, as well as Woods Lake where they’ve been joined by tailing trout. A break from the heat last week also saw water temperatures drop and midge hatches start again. It shouldn’t be too long until the gum beetles and jassids make an appearance.
Looking towards the next three weeks and we’ll be stocking up on black and red spinner mayfly patterns, small mayfly emergers, and the odd ant pattern in readiness for the autumn mayflies and ants. In the meantime we’ll be focussing on the consistent and exciting hopper fishing to be found on most days; the only conditions to be wary of are those with south-easterly winds, which somewhat slow the hatches. Finding sheltered nooks and crannies on the streams are the keys to success during these periods.
Thanks, Daniel Hackett.