Despite a north-east rivers trip of my own a little over a week ago, I have to admit that Max’s reports this week from the same area left me feeling like I was missing out. Too much north-east stream fishing in April, is quite possibly not enough.
In search of distraction closer to home, I grabbed Peter for another day chasing the smelters on the central highlands lakes. Good decision. As we walked down to the water, the trout were already cutting up the hapless baitfish, and the north-east streams were forgotten in the rush to get the fly in front of a feeding fish.
For the third time in three trips, I had trout to cast to for a decent part of the day, only this time, the fish were unusually cooperative… by smelter standards that is. We landed several between 2½ and 6lbs, browns and rainbows, and of course missed a few more.
Once again, I was struck by just how many smelt are around this autumn; there must be literally millions of them in the central highlands alone. Why the trout attack the smelt sometimes, and ignore them at other times, remains unclear, but the sheer biomass of minnows means that element at least is not in question.
I don’t know if (or when) I’ll get back to the streams before the season runs out, but I have no such doubts about the smelters and the lakes – there should be many more good months coming up for both.