Had an enjoyable day on the central Victorian lakes today with longtime fishing mate Raymond. First stop was Tullaroop Reservoir. This lake looks as good as I’ve seen it in recent years – very clear with lots of weed around the edges and also plenty of open water to fish. Initially the conditions seemed okay too; a little windier than I’d like, but when the biting southerly eased and the sun came out, a fish rose off the lee shore and I caught it first cast on a Scintilla Stick Caddis – a 2 pound brown. After that promising start and with so much great looking water, we expected things would only get better. However it wasn’t to be. The wind picked up, the sky clouded over again and before long the 13 C water felt warmer than the air. Ray and I fished a couple more hours for nothing more than a possible bump on the fly.
If Tullaroop is a lake I prefer in fair weather, Hepburn Lagoon a half hour drive south-east is usually best when the weather is a bit bleak, so after a late lunch, that was the logical next stop. With a steady southerly blowing and full cloud, Hepburn looked about right and so it proved. The fishing was on and while only a couple of trout showed, I ended up with 3 landed and another dropped (all 2 pound browns except for the bigger fish I dropped – wouldn’t you know it!) . I fished a Sticky Caddis dropper with a Damsel Nymph (Fulling Mill) on the point, retrieved slow and steady. Every trout took the damsel so I thought about taking off the Sticky, which was a bit of a liability when fighting fish near plenty of weed. In the end though, I wasn’t willing to break up the winning combination. In the slightly discoloured water, who knows if, say, the yellow dot of the Sticky was pulling fish in, only for them to then eat the damsel?
It would have been good to stay on until true dark – there were progressively more and more smelt dimpling in close (some daytime smelter action can’t be far away). But a combination of legs freezing up in the 9 C water and family commitments, saw us on the road home before the witching hour.