The best time of year – trout opening
  |  First Published: September 2011

This could possibly be the best start to a trout season for many years due to the fact that there has been plenty of rain over the winter period

Trout season is again open and with a very wet and cold winter behind us, the rivers and streams have had a good flush out so there will be a lot of big deep gutters and holes for the fish to hold in.

So where to start? Firstly I would be bait drifting in the early part of the season, and large scrub worms are great for this as they can be very buoyant. Look for areas that have fast current and run into deeper pools, similar to those found at Dons Reserve. The fish will be closer to the surface looking for the worms and bugs that have been washed off the banks.

This technique is done by using a 7ft or longer soft-tipped graphite rod, with a large scrub worm on a 6 bait holder hook and using 4-6lb line. Place 1-2 Dinsmore split shots approximately 10-15cm up the line. Use the smallest split shots possible to ensure that the scrub worm can easily drift close to the surface but still allowing for a short to medium cast.

Wade in the river facing upstream and cast your bait-drifting rig in a ‘shot gun’ method. The shotgun method is multiple short casts around small to medium structures along the river’s edge. Small wispy twigs are ideal.

The scrub worm should at all times be drifting with the current whilst maintaining a light looped line. Ensure that you always keep the loop ahead of your rod tip. When the scrubworms gets within 60cm of your rod tip, retrieve and re-cast up stream.

To assist with this method, coat your line with a line floatant, such as Gink or Musilin, which gives the line buoyancy therefore providing greater drift and strike visibility. Always strike on every movement. While eight out of ten will be sticks, the other two will be fish!!

Around this time of the year you should also see some fantastic trout being caught on a combination of bait, lures and soft plastics. When bait fishing in the windy conditions, particularly at Lilydale Lake, position yourself so the wind is blowing onto your back. Fish mudeyes under a bubble float preferably early in the season, going through to small yabbies when the water temperature increases. Stimulate fine pre-mixed berley is also necessary to tempt and bring the fish to your zone.

When the weather is calm, use a berley cage with a fine mist type berley; tie on a swivel and a length of 6lb fluoro carbon leader a size 18-20 treble. The key with the treble hook is that the 3 hook points will secure the Powerbait, reducing the possibility of the smaller trout pinching your bait.

Fishing the shallower areas of the lake with this technique usually produces some good trout.

The fly anglers are generally the first to target trout in local areas. The best areas in previous years has been around the main stretches of the Yarra River in the Warburton and the Upper Yarra areas. Depending on the weather it can take up to two months for fly fishing conditions to improve around the Warrandyte area.

My suggestion for flies around Warburton in the early part of the season would be bead headed nymphs in Olive Green with a Royal Wulff as an indicator. The ideal conditions are late afternoon, after a warm sunny day with an early insect hatch.

These conditions suit both the fly and spinning angler. This is when you will get spectacular termite hatches which results in a frenzied feeding by the trout.

Although it only happens a few times in a season, when it does the action is worth the wait.

Had some success? Send me the details to; --e-mail address hidden-- Include a photo, anglers name, species, the area you were fishing.

Your photo will go into our draw for a chance to win you a $100.00 Tackle Voucher.

For up to date fishing information, both fresh and saltwater, contact the boys at Compleat Angler in Dandenong on 9794 9397 or drop in and see us at 209 Lonsdale Street, Dandenong, or at our Ringwood Store at 92 Maroondah Hwy, – both stores are open 7 days a week. We offer plenty of top quality fresh bait, lures and a great selection of freshwater and saltwater gear.

Young Riley with his first trout from a local lake.

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