Category Archives: Mike Cline, Bozeman MT

Day Trip – Penstock Lagoon

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman MT

Called the Jewel of the Highlands by Australian angler Malcolm Crosse, Penstock Lagoon is one of those idyllic angling spots that will stay etched in your memory. Our hosts in Tasmania, Peter and Karen Brooks of Driftwater chose a perfect day for the journey and fishing on Penstock Lagoon. Nestled in a gum forest high on the Tasmanian Central Plateau, Penstock, at 900 acres is not a large lake. There is very little development along the shoreline. Maybe a dozen or more small fishing shacks, most of which have been along the eastern shore hidden among the gums for decades. The lagoon was formed in the 1950s as part of a Tasmanian Hydro scheme by damming a small tributary of the Shannon river. Average depth might be 10 feet, but there is a lot of shallow, wadable water along the shorelines. more…


Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

Although it takes many forms in different parts of the country, in our western states, particularly the rocky mountain states, runoff is a time of great anxiety and anticipation. Like the earth revolving around the sun, runoff is predictable. It is going to happen every year. The anxiety associated with runoff has much to do with taking advantage of usually excellent pre-runoff fishing in our larger rivers. Pre-runoff is that agonizingly unpredictable time between too cold and nasty and just warm enough to turn things on. As our rivers begin to come out of their winter doldrums, they are low, they are cold and the weather can be nasty, wet and windy. Yet in early March through April things do change. As the days lengthen, the temperatures slowly rise. A few warm days and any remaining lowland snow melts away muddying up the river for a few days, but adding little to the overall flows. As the river clears and warms, the fishing is good if you can find yourself on the river with decently calm weather. By the time late April comes around, the rivers have crept up from their lethargic winter flows to more normal levels. Hatches of midges, caddis and mayflies become more regular. At home, the grass is greening, the perennials sprouting and the fruit trees are budding. Spring is here and runoff can’t be far away. more…

Kiewa Wangaratta Under the Manna Gums

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman MT

The Manna Gum is a rather large and impressive Eucalyptus that dominates the high mountains of north eastern Victoria. One-hundred-foot high trees with massive straight trunks cover the steep slopes of the Great Dividing Ranges southeast of Wangaratta. As you leave the lowland scrub near Wangaratta, Victoria the mountains appear distant and unimposing. It is deceptive. As my guide, Cameron McGregor drove us deeper into the mountains along a rugged 4-wheel drive track, the mountains became steeper, the Manna gums larger and the brambles thicker. We dropped down a very steep ridge and the west branch of the Kiewa river came into view. By the time we reached the river, we were deep in the mountains and the ridges on both sides topped out at 1500 meters, at least 3000 feet above our location—damned near straight up. more…