Summer hatches excite trout
  |  First Published: December 2010

Stream trout fishing is sure to heat up over January as insect hatches provide entertainment for fly, bait and lure anglers alike.

Fly fishing will certainly have its advantages over the coming months as anglers will be keen to ‘match the hatch’ allowing them a sure chance to catch a few fish during an afternoon hatch.

Fly anglers should pack with them a range of flies to maximise their chances at imitating local insect activity. Dry flies are a good option during summer as the stream flows slow right down, although this season the beaded nymph with a dry fly indicator will still be the top option, as stream flows are still quite high thanks to regular rainfall. The Tarago, Toorongo, Latrobe and Tanjil Rivers are beautiful fly streams with good access, can be waded upstream for long distances and are naturally well-stocked with brown and rainbow trout.

Anglers keen to drift live baits will do well providing they sneak up to a trout zone making sure their shadow isn’t cast over the stream. Garden worms, scrub worms, red wrigglers and maggots fished on a size 4-6 baitholder hook with a split shot above the eye of the hook and cast into the stream flow works a treat and will tempt any legal-sized stream trout.

Make sure the hook is well hidden by the live bait as trout will be a little more curious rather than aggressive on a bright day so present the bait as natural as possible.

All streams throughout West and South Gippsland are ideal for drifting baits and pack some small pencil or ball floats in the tackle box to use if you stumble across a deeper pool.

Lure anglers will need to fish early mornings or late afternoons, as trout are a little more finicky at this time of the year. Like bait fishing, they are more curious than aggressive so don’t expect the sudden strikes you would if you were fishing other cooler times of the year.

Instead stream trout will follow the lure in as you retrieve it without striking which can be somewhat frustrating. Varying the method on how you retrieve the lure, winding the line in quickly then slowing it right down, can often excite the fish into striking. Hardbodied floating minnow lures, spinner bladed lures and soft plastics all work well over the summer.

January is a great time of the year to take the kids for a fish around some of the terrific streams that West Gippsland has to offer. The first to mention is Picnic Point on the Tarago River on the Old Princes Highway just before the Robin Hood Hotel in Drouin West. There is terrific access to the river, sheltered rotunda, toilets and picnic tables.

The second to mention is again around the corner from the Robin Hood Hotel off Fisher Road, suitably named Fisher Road Reserve. Once again this reserve boasts great access to the river with a recently added fish ladder and picnic tables.

The other well reported family friendly reserve is on the Latrobe River in Noojee which has a number of accessible points to the river, free BBQs, rotunda, playground, toilets and picnic tables. If you feel like venturing a little further out of Noojee, make a turn at the Toorongo Falls Road and head right to the end under the falls. Not only is this a great spot for a family outing but there is good fishing access to the Toorongo River running along the campgrounds.

Feel free to send me a report or photo particularly if you have any success stories over the summer holidays with the family and please email me any questions. Happy fishing!

Noojee local Aniko introducing her daughter Skye to fishing at a tender age. Aniko fishes the Latrobe River regularly often catching pan-sized brown trout on worms under a split shot.

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