Despite a very welcome 3 inches of rain at the end of January and a few sprinkles since, it’s been a dry summer up here in Victoria’s Central Highlands – we’ve missed most of the rain that’s kept eastern Victoria and the Snowys in great shape. But with the autumnal weather this week, I found myself thinking about the local lakes again, waters I haven’t visited since last year. Summer’s not over yet, but I thought the kind weather would be a good chance to see how some of my favourites are faring.
First stop was Cosgrave Reservoir. This small, deep lake was startlingly low, although two things surprised me. One was how far back up the main arm it still extends (all the way to the last bend) and how clear it was. I suspect the birds will have given it a hit, but otherwise the trout should be fine – so far.
Next was Hepburn Lagoon. I expected to Hepburn to be two lakes by now, but they’re still joined. Even so, there mustn’t be a lot of depth left in the main basin. I had a short fish in the deeper south-eastern section. The water here is surprisingly clear and I had a hit on a Magoo – from what, I can’t say.
Newlyn looked the best of the three. Although it too is low, there’s plenty of deep, fishable water available and I saw a nice brown leap clear of the water either chasing smelt or snatching a dragonfly. There is weed on most shores, but also plenty of spots where it’s only thin or absent altogether. I was reluctant to leave.
Overall, all three lakes are looking like becoming genuine autumn options, although I wouldn’t like to see the first two drop too much further. The weather may heat up briefly early next week; for now water temps are a very comfortable sub 20 C. While the lakes aren’t yet real competition for the phenomenal stream fishing north and east of Melbourne, I’ll be keeping them in the back of my mind…