Great early season options
  |  First Published: September 2008

After three months of slower angling action throughout the Yarra Valley, we can look forward to some great trout fishing ahead. Anglers are excited about the new season and will be out in force during September.

The fly anglers are generally the first to hit the local spots targeting trout. Best early season areas in previous years have been around Warburton and the Upper Yarra, while the Warrandyte region doesn’t usually come good for several weeks.

Ringwood staff member Wayne’s suggestions for flies for around Warburton in the early part of the season are bead head nymphs in olive or brown, with a Royal Wulff as an indicator.

The ideal conditions are late afternoon after a warm sunny day with an early insect rise. These conditions suit both the fly and spin angler. This is when you will get spectacular termite hatches, which results in frenzied feeding by the trout. Although it only happens a few times in a season, when it does the action is worth the wait.

The baitdrifting angler will have more success from Woori Yallock up to Warburton. The early parts of the season are very good for bait drifting because the fish are closer to the surface, looking for worms and bugs that have been washed off the banks. Use a soft tipped graphite rod of 7ft or longer, with a large scrubworm on a 6 Youvella Baitholder hook on 6lb or lighter line. Place one or two Dinsmore split shots approximately 10cm up the line. Use the smallest split shot possible to ensure that the scrubworm can easily drift close to the surface, while still allowing for a short to medium cast.

While wading in the river facing upstream, cast your bait drifting rig around small to medium structures along the river’s edge. Small wispy twigs are ideal. The scrubworm should at all times be drifting with the current while you maintain a lightly 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.


Roach fishing is fun and they are a great fish to catch because you are testing yourself against a fish on less than 4lb line. Best areas for targeting roach are Lilydale and Rowville lakes, the Yarra anywhere from Warburton through to Warrandyte, and Dandenong Creek around Jells Park and around the rear of the Dandenong basketball stadium.

The rig set up is very important and will determine your success. Knowing the distance between the water surface and the bottom is very important. This can be easily determined by placing a large split shot on the end of your line and positioning the Middy or Kamasan float in place using a soft Dinsmore split shot either side of your float at the level you believe is the distance. Then cast into the area. If the float is pulled under the water, move the split shot up the line or, if the float is horizontal and floating on the surface, then move the split shot down the line.

When you have placed the float correctly so that the top 10% of the float is above the water level, place a small split shot about half way down the line and another smaller one at the bottom of the line just above the hook. Using different weights of split shot will ensure that the line is held down under the float directly and securely.

Attach your size 14 Saiko Specialist worm hook or Saiko size 18 Extra Strength hook for maggots. Loose feeding maggots and Ultrabite pre-mixed berley will also add to your success ratio.

If you are not having success, try bringing the hooks off the floor bed by adjusting your float and split shots towards the hook. Remember that when adjusting the float you will also need to reposition the middle split shots. As the water temperature increases the fish will move from the floor bed into the middle water, so you will need to always check your rig length each time.

Lilydale Lake

Lilydale Lake has been fishing well for trout, redfin and Carp over the past few weeks and will continue to improve as the water temperature rises. Mudeyes and small yabbies fished under a float should prove to be a successful combination. The area around the weed beds at the boat ramp will prove to be the most successful for the trout and redfin, while off the rocks is a good spot for carp. Carp will go for small scrubworms on a Baitholder hook, with a corn kernel as a sweetener (see the August VFM for a diagram of the rig).

Had some success? Send the details to the email address above (you don’t need to give me all your secrets) and we will try to publish it a future issue.

For up to date Yarra Valley fishing information, call the boys at Compleat Angler Ringwood (03 9870 7792) or, better still, drop in at 92 Maroondah Highway, Ringwood or 29 Langhorne Street, Dandenong (03 9794 9397). Both stores are open 7 days a week and have plenty of top quality fresh bait and a great selection of freshwater gear.

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