With most of our brown trout waters now closed until the start of August, I’ve had a moment to catch my breath and reflect on the very interesting season that was.
It started off extremely cold. Some of the highland lakes that usually produce large numbers of trout early, were snow and ice bound for the first few weeks of the season. This put a bit more pressure on lowland lakes and apart from Tooms Lake (which was already terribly low) fortunately all produced good fishing.
The general lack of rain that the season would become known for, created a significant bonus: river levels were excellent right from the beginning of August and the fish were extremely obliging. This continued for the entire season. Sea trout fishing had its moments and when bait was present, so were the trout.
The heat and dryness of summer was something to behold. This changed our strategies a little through the season, and we had to adjust our techniques almost daily to make the most of the conditions. By doing this, we were able to enjoy successful fishing right through. At times, the dry fly fishing was disappointing but the number of trout caught and their quality, was first class.
As already touched on, the rivers were dynamite all season – the propensity for trout to rise in Tasmanian streams is second to none and this season was no exception. Mayflies hatched well and the caddis of summer were ever reliable.
Some big fish were caught throughout the season with Lake Crescent producing the most memorable fishing for trophy specimens. A couple of spring days produced nine and eleven fish respectively. Interestingly, of the first 33 fish our clients caught in Crescent, only three were over ten pounds but none were under seven and a half. Our biggest for the season was just under fifteen pounds.
With all the fine weather, polaroiding was great this year but the consistency of ‘shark fishing’ on Great Lake was frustrating compared to what we’d normally expect in hot weather. While low water also made some lakes hard to fish, on others it helped. For example, for those prepared to wade polaroid the shallow silt flats of Great Lake, the exceptionally low water opened up literally kilometres of previously unavailable shore.
The end of the season produced consistent fishing as always. April continued to be the easiest month to hang your hat on when it comes to river fishing. Meanwhile some jassids were present on the lakes for those fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time – I was not!
All in all, I will remember last season as one of our best simply because it was rewarding to adapt to unusual conditions and continue to catch good numbers of trout. The season gave us the opportunity to learn a lot more about our fishery and the behaviour of our trout. It proved to me that no matter what the water level is, the fish are still in there somewhere and still have to eat!
Having said all of that, it would be nice to have more water again, and as I write, it is teeming down and lake and river levels are rising. It looks as if season 2016/17 may be different again, but with the very good numbers of trout we know are present in the rivers and lakes, I can’t wait!