Grasshoppers on the menu
  |  First Published: February 2011

The popular Latrobe River in Noojee offers a fantastic and picturesque stretch of river offering plenty of trout feeding zones suitable for fly and lure casting, bait drifting and fishing bait either off the bottom or under a float.

So if you’re up for a lazy day sitting by a river or keen on stretching the legs and wading or walking the banks, then the Latrobe River is the perfect spot to kick start a stream trout fishing adventure. Noojee offers BBQ facilities, rotunda, picnic tables and amenities so it’s perfect for the family too.

The Latrobe River is also the heart of stream trout fishing in Noojee. The Loch River flows into the Latrobe River at McCarthy Spur Road only metres from the main picnic area in town. This is a terrific stream offering kilometres of fishable water which in parts is surrounded by farmland as well as thick bush which when explored offers some exciting fishing.

Many sections can be waded and a typical brown or rainbow trout is around 300-400g. The other river flowing into the Latrobe is the Toorongo River which enters near the timber mill just out of town on the Mt Baw Baw Tourist Road.

The Toorongo is a spectacular trout stream meandering mostly through farmland and offers both wading and bank fishing. Renowned as a flyfishing river, it is ideal for any technique and certainly worth adding to your next fishing trip to Noojee with fish averaging 400g.

Regular correspondent Jakov Vucak recently caught and released his first Latrobe River trout on a fly behind the Noojee Hotel. Having a few non-successful attempts late last year he ascended on the river with mate Anthony Joy. Anthony used a size 2 Celta, catching and releasing four small brown trout within an hour. Jakov ended up with two small brown trout caught and released using a dry fly indicator matching the hatch of white ants with a 30cm black bead headed nymph below. Although the fish weren’t big, using light gear and the challenge of fighting a fish against stream flow and amongst snags and structure is thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding.

The Tarago River has also been fishing extremely well over the summer due to the frequent flooding last year of the system below the reservoir. The Tarago holds some bigger specimens up to 1.2kg and can be caught on a range of techniques such as nymphing, lure and soft plastics.

The river meanders through open farmland with many pockets of thick willow lining the bank which does make fishing difficult at times but certainly favourable to dropping a baited line in amongst the deep pools amongst the willow roots.

I’ve witnessed some big dark-coloured stream trout hiding in these pools, so it’s important when fishing this river to have some differing tackle on hand. Take along your favourite lures whether it be hardbodied floating minnow style lures, spinner bladed lures or soft plastics but also carry hooks, split shot, a float and a few worms.

February is a big month for stream trout fishing in West and South Gippsland. Not only are the insect hatches more frequent with the humid weather but grasshoppers also emerge, providing steady feed for stream trout. Grasshoppers catching can be a sport within itself and to save the embarrassment of onlookers watching you running around the paddock chasing grasshoppers with your bare hands, use your landing net to scoop them up.

The yellow-winged locust is the trickiest to catch but makes a good meal for a stream trout. They are the biggest of the grasshoppers and have the distinguishable yellow wings when they fly. Having a fly pattern on hand to match this locust is a must during the coming months.

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!

This brown trout caught and released by Jakov Vucak and is his first ever Latrobe River fish caught on a black head beaded nymph. A nice way to spend an evening after work!

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