Following a few days dedicated to the various soccer tournaments my boys were playing in, I managed to squeeze in some fishing on the way home from Bendigo today. After washing the frost off the windscreen, first stop was Harcourt Reservoir.
I couldn’t believe how idyllic (and relatively full) this little lake looked. With the level only a bit below the new spillway and quite clear, the lake held plenty of promise and after only half an hour looking, I found a fish working a shallow bay. I thought I covered it perfectly with a small olive BMS but apparently the trout disagreed – that was the last I saw of it.
Next stop was Malmsbury. Although it had come up somewhat after the recent rain, at 21% it was fairly uninspiring both in appearance and trout activity (or lack of it) during my short visit.
Just up the road, Lauriston at 66% was a different matter. Although I couldn’t find anything breaking the surface, clear water and patches of sunlight allowed good visibility along the steeper shores and in a couple of hours I polaroided three nice browns. The first followed but refused both a fat Woolly Bugger (which I’d tied on in expectation of roach feeders) and then a Wet’s Zonker (a better match for the slim smelt I subsequently spotted along the edges nearby). A change to a Scintilla Stick Caddis about 70 cm beneath an indicator resulted in a much better response with the next two trout taking without hesitation.
After that, the cloud made spotting increasingly frustrating, so I headed to Upper Coliban. Although relatively low at 37%, this large lake has risen and the muddy margin is much reduced. Clarity is good by Upper Coliban standards – not clear enough for reliable polaroiding, but no worries for fish finding the fly. I spotted one large trout smelting in the middle distance, although by the time I got within casting range, the action had ceased.
There was just time after that for a quick look at Wombat, but by this stage the air temperature was down to 7 C and the wind had picked up. I left it to the lone flyfisher I could see to search out any midging fish and headed for home.