It‘s that time of year when I begin wondering what’s in store for the next several months of local lake fishing. Not that the stream fishing is over – far from it, as my last post discussed. Still, with a few cool to mild days this week, and a few more forecast this coming week (bar the single ‘spike’ hot day tomorrow) it’s beginning to look a lot like autumn. So today, I jumped in the car for an investigation of stillwater options. This tour has become almost an annual tradition. It’s more of a reconnaissance than a serious fishing day, although I usually can’t help but have a cast or two if tempted!
First stop was Newlyn Reservoir. At 71.3% and falling slowly, it’s well below the heady heights of spring and early summer, but still ahead of a typical level for this time of year. While the water is tinged with algae, there’s a good half metre plus of visibility; easily enough to fish a fly with confidence. Among the many runt redfin dimpling here and there, I noticed the occasional substantial swirl. Mostly these were too far out to reach, and then one moved within range. A few casts in the area, and a nice brown grabbed my Olive BMS. A positive start!
I disciplined myself to continue on and check out the next stop, Hepburn Lagoon. At 66%, the water level is respectable, although Hepburn is much greener than Newlyn and visibility is marginal at best. I wasn’t tempted to cast a fly.
On to Cosgrave, and it looked much better: a good 1.5m of visibility, and down just enough (maybe a vertical metre?) for comfortable bank access on the forested shores. As soon as I got to the water, I spotted a couple of rises. However, by the time I changed the BMS for a foam beetle, the wind abruptly gusted through, and the ripple killed the action. Either the fish followed the food to somewhere I couldn’t see, or they just lost interest as it was dispersed. Still, an encouraging few minutes, and I’ll be back.
Next stop was Dean Reservoir, which I hadn’t fished since spring storms turned it as muddy as I’ve ever seen it. Despite CHW signs still advertising this fact, the water is much clearer, and the lake is still almost full. I’d have liked to stay for a fish, but as I’ve mentioned, this was a reccy, and the clock was ticking towards my next unavoidable appointment.
Just enough time for a quick look at Moorabool. This lake remains the jewel – in terms of appearance anyway. It’s only half a metre or so from full, and nice and clear. Recent reports of at least modest action make perfect sense.
Arguably, I made my first lake check a tad early, but even so, there’s enough to like for a return visit in the next week or two – and when I do, I’ll make more time for actual fishing.