Cool weather brings on great trout fishing
  |  First Published: July 2012

This time of year in the Wimmera and the Grampians lakes, it is trout and redfin time and when most of the bigger trout and redfin are often caught.

We are enjoying one of the best trout seasons in the Wimmera we have seen for several years. Our trout lakes are holding excellent water levels and excellent numbers of good size trout are now available and growing rapidly at many waters that were dry only a couple years ago.

Lake Toolondo

This lake is one of the many success stories of the drought recovery fish stocking program with rainbow trout that were only put in here last November are now already approaching 1kg. The browns are now averaging around the 800g size range as well and the occasional redfin is also being caught. The way the trout are growing has amazed everyone, they are sure going to be big in the next twelve months or so.

Local fly anglers have been having a lot of fun fishing along the west and north banks sight casting to cruising trout along the sand bars. I have been having most of my success here with flies such as Woolly Worms and Mrs Simpsons with the afternoons and evenings producing some great flyfishing. I am yet to try bait or lure fishing here as yet as the flyfishing has been so productive but I am sure all methods would work here.

Toolondo has always been my favourite trout water due to its sheer beauty, the very big fish it produces and its close proximity to Horsham.

Natimuk Lake

The excellent fishing continues here with good numbers of rainbow trout to 1kg being taken along with a few redfin. Trolling lures has been the most productive way of catching trout here lately with Tassie Devils working very well. Good colours have been pink, orange or white. The fish have been biting at any time of day and right across the whole lake but I have trolling out in the middle has produced the most fish for me.

Bait fishing with Powerbait, mudeye and worms along from the shore is also working well and flyfishing has also been very good. The best flies have been silver Matukas, Woolly Buggers and Hamils killers.

Rocklands reservoir

The redfin have been a bit patchy here with plenty of small fish about but the larger ones to 1kg or more have been hard to find. Drifting while bouncing vibes and soft plastics along the bottom has been the best way to find redfin here lately and the occasional Australian bass has also been caught this way as well.

The trout fishing has improved here with the onset of cooler weather and areas such as Brodies, Turkey Neck and the wall have been producing excellent brown and rainbow trout around 1-1.5kg, particularly in the mornings and evenings. Bait fishing from the shore particularly at the wall is doing the trick on the trout with minnow or mudeye under bubble floats working well.

Scrubworms and peeled yabby tail fished unweighted is also working well but carp can be a nuisance here. The trout tend to hang around the wall this time of year looking for spawning sites and there are some very big trout present at this water and now is the time to be targeting them.

Lake Fyans

This lake has been very popular lately with excellent numbers of brown and rainbow trout around 1kg being caught, along with the occasional bigger brown to 2kg. Bait fishing with bug or ‘couta mudeyes under bubble floats is working well but trolling Tassie Devils or small minnow lures has been producing the better fishing. Flyfishing around the shoreline particularly in the evenings and after dark is also working well. Good flies here during winter include Mrs Simpson, Woolly Bugger and Craigs Nightime.

This time of year some very large redfin are caught at this lake and the best way to get amongst them is to drift the deeper water and fish small yabbies or gudgeon on a paternoster rig or bounce soft plastics, vibes or ice jigs along the bottom. Once you find where the redfin are holding it is a simple matter to just keep going over the same spot until you get sick of catching them. If you are after a big redfin, this lake is the best bet of getting one around the magical 2kg mark at the moment.

Lake Wartook

The fishing here has been a little on and off but with a bit of hard work and persistence some very nice trout and redfin can be taken here this time of year. My son Curtis and I fished here recently with the Horsham Angling club over two days and everyone found the fishing a bit tough. The weather was absolutely freezing too: I am sure this is the coldest lake in the Wimmera.

Trolling lures such as Tassie Devils and Rapala minnows produced mostly small redfin and the odd trout. The larger redfin caught were up to the 500g mark but there wasn’t many of them. Casting soft plastics at the reeds and rocks also mostly only produced small redfin.

Bait fishing was the way to go with mudeye under bubble floats working well on the trout but the standout method was to fish fresh peeled yabby tail unweighted on the bottom out in front of the wall area. Brown and rainbow trout to about 1kg were taken this way with a few much larger trout lost also. The trout hang around the wall this time of year looking for somewhere to spawn and baits fished on the bottom will usually do the trick, although it was very slow going on the weekend we were there.

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