Today was supposed to be a stream fishing day, but the forecast for an inch of rain and cold temperatures meant the rivers weren’t going to be a sensible option. Instead, I settled on a trip to a couple of local lakes – Newlyn and Moorabool reservoirs. By the second week of December I’m usually drifting away from the Central Highlands lakes as a daytime option, however there’s nothing usual about this season. It still looks and feels like October, with bright green grass and brimming lakes.
I arrived at Moorabool in torrential rain with the radar showing no likely let up. I was briefly tempted to sit in the car and listen to the Aussies clean up the English tail in Adelaide, but this was a fishing trip after all. So I donned my boots and waterproof, and walked off into the downpour. After about half an hour of nothing, a single trout swirled about 20 metres off the western shore. My claret nymph was there three seconds later, and in double that time I had a nice brownie on the end of about 1½ pounds. Encouraged, I fished on for another hour or so until a lack of further action and my failing jacket (should’ve brought the good one) sent me back to the car.
I hoped the rain would ease on the drive over to Newlyn, but it didn’t. With the 2nd Test secured, there was nothing more to listen to on the radio, so I parked near the wall, draped my sopping jacket on my back and headed off into the rain once again. By the time I reached the western shore the noise on my hood had reduced from a roar to a murmur. The swallows were working a steady trickle of duns that weren’t having much luck getting off the water in the saturated conditions. Two really good fish moved just a few metres beyond my willow-restricted back cast. I gave the area half an hour for one decent pull.
The lake looked and felt good so with a few misgivings about leaving the scene of significant action, I headed further south. It was the right decision. Off the last point before the creek, there was a substantial calm slick, and in it at least three trout rose. The duns seemed to have faded, but there were plenty of big midge coming off and caddis in the air. I changed to a single Scintilla Stick caddis, and third cast hooked and eventually landed a gorgeous 4 pounder. (If Newlyn has any less than perfect trout, I haven’t been able to catch one in 30 years.) A little later, I covered another semi-consistent riser closer to the point, and ended up with another beauty of about the same weight. Yet another nice fish was rising back where I caught the first one, but several seemingly perfect presentations went untouched. I guess you can’t have everything. By then I was soaked through and as you can see, whenever I went to take a photo there was nothing dry left on me to wipe the lens. It was time head home for a hot shower and dry clothes.
As I write this in the late afternoon, the sun is finally out. Hmmm, wonder if there will be an evening rise?