More daylight to stalk stream trout
  |  First Published: October 2011

It’s great to finally have some warmer weather about us and the stream fishing is just heating up too.

Warmer weather influences hatchings of insects which many eventually end up in the mouths of hungry stream trout. Daylight savings also kicks in on 2 October, the longer daylight hours in the evening means we can get back into after-work fishing adventures.

The stream levels are still nice and high, but are very clean. The Latrobe River displays tannin coloured water compared to the crystal clean flows of the Toorongo, Loch and Tanjil rivers in the Noojee district. Around the Neerim and Labertouche districts, both the Tarago and Bunyip rivers are also flowing with tannin coloured water.

The tannins in the water is linked to all the floodwaters in the past 18 months and from the wash of decaying vegetative litter. The darker waters are terrific for fishing in as the trout aren’t as ‘on edge’ as they are in clear waters. Lure and fly choice may also vary to the gear you would use in crystal clear water.

Beaded nymphs with gold beads and maybe a hint of red or pink in the feathers work well in darker water and the same would go for a spinner, hardbodied lure or soft plastic selection. Golds, pinks and reds tend to be favourable for anglers in this darker water as it presents naturally.

Tannin in the water is different to dirty flowing water which has a lot of sediment in it, which changes the clarity. Often in dirty water, you are fishing brighter coloured flies and lures with hints of bright pinks, yellows and greens.

A good example of a dirty water stream in West Gippsland is the Moe River. Stream bank erosion, frequent flooding and a high carp population that stir up the streambed whilst feeding, are all contributing factors of the dirty water.

The Latrobe, Loch, Toorongo and Tarago rivers are the places to fish this early in the season. The Tanjil is flowing strong with snow melt from Mt Baw Baw making it very difficult to fish as there are not many stretches of river without whitewash. The Bunyip River is also still flowing strong from all the flooding as the flats around Labertouche, Longwarry and Bunyip are still draining into the river.

Artificial scent attractant baits and livebaits like garden worms are working a treat at this time of the year. The spawning season was nice and early this year around March and April, so many of the trout should now be back in their haunts and eager for a feed. Therefore anything you cast in the water is probably going to end up in a strike from a hungry post-spawn trout. Even canned corn is now on the menu and something that has been quite successful at Blue Rock Lake.

Blue Rock Lake just out of Willow Grove is a body of water I don’t usually write about, as I leave that to fellow V&TFM Gippsland writer Will Thompson. But it is a great local lake that I often head to with the boat in the winter months when the trout season is closed.

Only 30 minutes from the Neerim and Noojee districts, this lake is predominately fed by the Tanjil River and is currently at 100% without the snowmelt from Mt Baw Baw. Blue Rock has great land-based access at both boat ramps at either end of the lake.

To increase your chances of catching a Blue Rock trout, choosing which end of the lake to fish at should depend on the wind direction. Any recent insect hatchings will ultimately lead to a lot of insects ending up in the drink and the wind direction will push those insects towards the banks which should be fished with fly, lure or live baits under a float.

If fishing from the boat, focus your attention on these wind lines in the lake and either troll through or drift and cast a fly or lure into the action. On a calm day, you’ll see plenty of activity on the surface as trout are feeding.

The year ahead is set to be one of the best stream trout seasons in a long time, with high water levels and an abundance of food about.

Feel free to send me a report or photo particularly if you have any success stories from the opening of the trout season. Please email me any questions too. Happy fishing!

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