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Lake Fergus







"sorry about quality of photos  they were taken pre- digital cameras"

Photos: J. Scatchard

Lake Fergus is the only other water in the Western Lakes catchment of the Little Pine River outside the Nineteen Lagoons. It lies halfway between Lake Kay and Little Pine Lagoon. The lake lies in an attractive sheltered valley with flat moorlands and surrounded by eucalyptus trees. Lake Fergus is accessed via a four-wheel drive track which winds through the Skittleball Plains property. The track follows the Little Pine River Valley to Lake Fergus. Currently this track is closed to all vehicle access due to intense wear and tear to the track and theft and damage to the homestead on the plains. The walk from Little Pine Lagoon is around 8 klms and takes about 4 hours. Access is also obtained via a rough rocky road 1klm past the Little Pine Lagoon dam wall. Walking is also advisable from the gate to prevent further damage to the area. This walk takes around 50 minutes and has a steep incline going in and coming out. With a very long 'Pin Cushion' plain (Never-Ending Plain) in the middle of the walk. Lake Fergus is reserved for artificial lures only but is noted for its fly fishing, especially early in the season when fish tail and forage in the flooded margins chasing frogs. In the summer months Lake Fergus boasts some of the most extraordinary dun, black spinner and beetle hatches, known to rival Little Pine Lagoon. When the water levels are low the water is an excellent polaroiding water with lovely shallow sandy edges particularly in the Eastern corner along the Northern side of the lake, where trout can be seen tailing early morning or later in the evening. On the Western shore there are large areas of pin rushes where the fish lay in wait for the unsuspecting frog in the early part of the season and leap for damsel flies in the summer months. Good size fish can be found in this water with most trout averaging 2 - 3 lbs. The occasional Rainbow can also be found in the lake which have emigrated from the Nineteen Lagoons. The Lake Fergus has excellent camping areas and a small single roomed hut is available which sleeps up to six people on the South-Eastern shore, but as with most huts in this region is frequently used. It is vitally important to remember to always carry out any rubbish you may carry in.



On the 3rd November, 1998 Dale Herbert, Phil Blizzard, Graham and Dean Brooks and myself walked into Lake Fergus. As we walked down the hill towards the lake we were greeted with rising trout on the Western shore. We also noted that we were fortunate enough to get the lake to ourselves. We decided to walk the Western shore as that was the current lee shore. As we carefully made our way around the shore we polaroided heaps of trout cruising the gutters between the pin-rushes and the shore. We all placed a Mrs Simpson on our lines, but it took a little time to work out how to entice the trout to take. Graham had first success by slapping the fly down hard and leaving it submerged. We continued polaroiding the trout down the shore, but they where very spooky. Phil and Dean had gone ahead of the rest of us and by the time we met up with them, Phil had two nice Brownies in the bag. Dale, Dean and myself continued our walk around to the Northern shore. Dale hooked into a big fish but could not hold it and the fish took off with his fly in it's mouth. At this time I could not attract any trout to take my fly, so I changed to a Redtag. Why a dry you ask??, well I prefer dry fly fishing and I did see a couple rise earlier. Anyway I stalked this nice brownie down a gutter, placed the 'tag' in front of it and wammo, I had him on. It was hard work trying to stop him from running into the rushes, thankfully everything held together and I banked a beautiful two and three quarter pound brownie. When I caught up with Dale and Dean again, Dale had bagged one as well. We continued to walk around the lake, which I might add was not easy in neoprene waders and a temperature around the 25 degree mark. I decided to get into the water to cool off and float the fly around the sandy shore while trying to polaroid a trout or two. I never saw any until one slipped its nose up out of the water and took my 'Tag'. They are good fighting trout in here, this one went 2lbs. Thankfully we finally worked our way around the shore back to the camp. After everyone came back to base we compared notes and trout with the final tally for the day being 8 trout, Phil had 3, Graham 2, Dale 1, Dean Nil and myself 2. There was a varied selection of goodies in the stomachs of the trout ranging from Frogs, Damsel fly nymphs, Mudeyes, caddis grubs and a few beetles. Not a bad days fishing.