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Arthurs Lake

Arthurs Lake is 952 metres above sea level at full supply level and is situated 5 km north of the Lake Highway intersection and approximately 95 km from Launceston via the Poatina Highway. The lake is a large 6460 ha man made lake and a Hydro electric commission storage, damming the Upper Lake River created it. Water is received from natural catchment and is pumped via a pipeline into Great Lake. I love this water with its thick stands of dead trees and large weed beds and gin clear water. The lake levels have been know to drop 9 metres (shown in my photo of Jonah Bay), but very unseasonable hot summers and dry winters caused this.

The lake boasts two excellent camping grounds, which are controlled by the Department of Parks and Wildlife. The grounds can be found at Jonah Bay and Pump House Bay. No power is available but they both have good toilet facilities cooking areas and hot showers.

Arthurs Lake is without doubt the most popular water in the Highlands and offers the most realistic chance for the inexperienced angler the chance of landing a trout. It is estimated that over 10,000 anglers visit this water with an average catch rate of 2.5 trout per angler. The popularity of the water can be put down to the excellent boat fishing available with three major boat ramps servicing the water. They can be found at Pump House Bay, Arthurs Dam (which is most suited to larger craft) and Jonah Bay, which is the closest to the famous 'Cow Paddocks'. As with all large expanses of water it is important to take extreme care when venturing out and a good idea to keep an eye on the weather at all times.

Arthurs Lake as would be expected is an entirely natural recruitment Brown Trout Fishery. As previously stated this water is the most productive water in the State with trout sizes varying from 0.5 - 2.5 kg. A large number of smaller trout are usually caught, but over recent years the sizes have dramatically risen. The trout are hard fighting and without doubt are the nicest eating.

I have a number of favourite spots in the lake. I guess the area I always visit first is Tea-Tree Bay. This is a great little protected area, especially from the nasty southerly winds. A number of bait fishermen fish this area. Fly fishing at full water level is very hard casting with trees in the front and back of you. It has a number of weed beds and plenty of good size trout. When fishing from a boat, I prefer to fish the Jonah Bay area, especially in summer with good dun hatches to be had. From here you can access many areas like the famous Cow paddock Bay or fish around Hawk Island or around Rocky Point into Phantom bay. Jonah Bay itself is a shallow bay with good weed cover, and is protected from westerly winds.

For the fly fisherman the best times to fish Arthurs September to November for wet fly fishing for tailing trout on the grassy edges, but should be noted that wet fly fishing from a boat is most productive year round. Dry fly fishing generally commences two to three weeks earlier than Little Pine Lagoon with large dun hatches commencing in November through to February - March. Dun hatches have been known t commence at 10 am up to 4 pm; of course this is entirely dependent on the weather. As with the Pine I have found warm overcast days with a slight chop the best conditions. Arthurs also boast some of the largest beetle hatches in the highlands with the occasional Jassid's later in the season

My favourite wet flies are the Claret Woolly Worm, Black Bead Head Woolly Bugger , Woolly Bugger MkII . When it comes to Dry flies I only use a couple and they being Rob's Dry (would not go to Arthurs without this in my box), Red Tag, Shaving Brush and later in the season a Jassid Beetle.

Bag Limit for Arthurs Lake is 12 trout per angler