Lake Lyell with a Smile

After seeing a sign on the way up to Lake Windermere the other weekend we decided to do an exploratory weekend.  The sign was labelled “Lake Lyell”.  I had never heard of it, so asked a few friends who commented that you catch Bass and Trout there but no one as such ever raved about the fishing.

It only took 2-1/2 hours to drive to the dam from Wollongong.  Located at Lithgow, the dam is only 8km drive from the turn off.  We drove over the dam wall and were very excited at the site of water.

We were roughing it for the weekend in swags on an unpowered site – it is only a small dam so bookings do fill quite quickly.  We were lucky that another group cancelled that they allowed us in to the camping area.  There are only powered and unpowered sites folks, no cabins for those that want a bit of luxury.

When heading to a new area, if possible it is always good to ask the Manager for any information that may help produce fish.  The fishing didn’t sound red hot just yet, with one nice brown trout caught the week before and a tip to troll for trout in the middle when the sun is up.  No tips on the bass at all, trout were the prized trophies in this dam.

I expected it to be a little warmer but the wind chill was freezing.  Water temperature was 14 degrees up to approx 16 degrees and through the peak of the day the surface temp would rise up to 21 degrees in areas.  We sounded around for that warmer water change with the Lowrance HDS at the same time looking for schooling fish. We started picking fish on the structure scan around the trees.

We decided to stop and cast around some of the trees.  I threw my lure in a gap between two spindled trees and just as my lure swam past I hooked up.  I was using a Daiwa Generation Black Rod – “Pinster” rated light action, capable of handling 2-5kg line and a casting weight of 1–10grams coupled with a 2000 Freams Reel capable of handling 4kg of drag.  A relatively light combo – I was hoping for a trout or a smaller bass.  This fish wanted to drag me back to the tree.  I just managed to keep its head out of the tree and Scott landed it in the net for me.  I was shaking and my adrenalin was rushing – what a thrill!  It was a 47cm Bass and weighed approx 2kg.  I placed it in the live well and just couldn’t stop lifting the lid in awe of what I had just achieved.  This bass was like a football, rounded on all sides.

It wasn’t long before Scott then hooked up.  The hook up only lasted a few seconds; it was over before it began.  He got absolutely towelled up amongst the trees.  This fish won its battle.

I can’t think of anything more rewarding than exploring a new area and achieving a quality fish such as this.

 I will be honest; the fishing on this particular weekend wasn’t red hot.  We had approximately 6 missed hits, some of them trout.  We had hooked a trout and Bass and lost them both and achieved one quality Bass for the weekend.  The achievement of at least one great fish is a reward in itself.

We will be back to try again.  What a rush.

11 responses to “Lake Lyell with a Smile

  1. Those fish have put on some length in the past few years. I went there right on about 3 years ago and the Bass were only in the 33-35cm but just as fat and conditioned. We got about 20 of them right across from the boat ramp. Unfortunately in the 5 times I have been back I’ve never caught another one. Looks like I might have to give it another go

    • After looking at your photo’s Josh from up there we went up not expecting much. Happy to catch up for a fish up there.

  2. Great fish Vicki,
    I was told about the Bass in Lake Lyell by a friend and have travelled there a few times to hunt them down.
    It is true what you say that trout are the prize trophy in this dam and most people don’t give the Bass a thought, but as you experienced there is some crackers to be found.
    I would recommened going back for round two once the tempretures rise some more and give it another go.

    • Will definitely be giving it a go again once the water temp rises. I have since been given some advice for a great surface bite once the weather warms.

  3. nice fish vicki i was up there today but only managed a few trout,i used to fish it quiet regularly years ago before the bass went in its only an hour up the road from me.congrats on the new deal.

    • Thanks Phil, might have to grab you for a fish up there some day. Awesome little dam. Well done on the trout.

    • Hi Michael, great little video. It is such a great place you brought back the serenity whilst I sit here at work. I think you forgot to add eating to the equation of camping, drinking and fishing. Awesome work, can’t wait to go back.

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