Wild weather brings out wild trout
  |  First Published: December 2007

November was a perfect example of just how erratic West Gippsland’s weather can be. Snow fell on Mt Baw Baw early in the month, closely followed by heavy rains, spectacular lightening storms and hot dry days. Despite going from one extreme to the other, the fish were always on the bite and the wild weather just added to the excitement.

Due to continued dumpings of snow on Mt Baw Baw (I’m sure the last of it now), the Toorongo River is still flowing strongly, with crystal clear water creating perfect fishing conditions for fly, spinners, lures, drifting baits and plastics.

The Latrobe, Loch and Bunyip rivers have received a number of heavy rainfalls in the catchments, leading to rapid fluctuations in the water levels. The dirty water might not scare the fish, but it has certainly scared away the anglers. All methods are working well when the water is clean and running normally, so it is a matter of picking your weekends.

The Tarago River is also running well with clear water, re-instating itself as a productive trout river in this region. Once again all methods are worth trying.

Nick Iwanov from Vermont fished the Toorongo and the Latrobe rivers around Boys Camp Road, releasing four browns between 500-800g and a nice 1kg rainbow, all caught on a green 5g Gillies Spinna. His mate Rob Embury from Hawthorn released a further three browns between 400-700g, caught on a yellow-green 5g Gillies Hopper. They also had a number of cray lines baited with liver along the Latrobe River, and released five crays between 7-10cm (carapace length) and kept another of 11cm.

Tom Lloyd from Warragul reports the Latrobe River downstream of Noojee is fishing well. He landed a 1.3kg brown and dropped a further five on a Red Celta.

The reports are proving that red and green spinner-blades are doing very well. It’s also worth casting out a CD3 original or floating Rapala, as they have also been attracting some good-sized browns.

Carp as big as 6kg have been caught at the mouth of the Tarago River, where it runs into the Bunyip River. Although a worry for the future of fishing for other species in the local rivers, carp can provide a good sport on light gear. Corn, maggots, worms or even bread are good baits fished on the bottom, or under a float, and even the keen fly angler should have a go using light coloured dry flies.

As we head into summer, the water levels of the rivers and their tributaries are looking terrific compared to this time last year. There is plenty of food in the system too so the fish are aggressive, attacking almost anything you throw at them. Remember that the blackfish season has re-opened. Also, feel free to email me any fishing reports or photos.

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