A steady stream of trout
  |  First Published: October 2008

We could not have asked for a better day to welcome back the trout season. Just to be outside strolling a stream bank in the sunshine was enough reward for any trout angler. To land a fish was really a bonus, but certainly not difficult.

There were basically three ways trout anglers found success on opening day. The first was getting there early to bag a spot before others arrived. The second was going beyond where other anglers had been before (in other words, bush bashing on foot). The third key was staying out of the sunlight.

The finer details like what lure, soft plastic, fly or bait was working did not matter. The way the trout were attacking what you threw at them, it seemed like the trout hadn’t even eaten during the closed season. Yet these were some of the healthiest fish I’ve seen for a good 12 months.

Reports from around Noojee indicated trout were smashing hardbodied lures and soft plastics, taking worms and PowerBait drifted downstream, and taking a range of dry flies and beaded nymphs under a strike indicator.

Members of the Silvertop Angling Club were amongst the action, with Scott Emslie from Warragul fishing the Loch River to land five browns of 200-400g. These were caught by drifting garden worms downstream. As the river was understandably busy, he trekked through the dense bush and was rewarded for his efforts.

Fellow member Peter Crump from Crossover fished the Tanjil River West Branch, landing himself two browns of around 200g on home tied wet and dry flies.

The Tanjil is clear and flowing strongly, and will stay this way as the snow from Mt Baw Baw starts to melt through October. The Toorongo River is the same, and will create some exciting fishing through mid-late spring. These rivers are holding loads of small fish in the popular spots, but some bigger fish around 600g will be found off the beaten track. It won’t take long for the smaller fish to fatten up with all the feed in the system.

The Latrobe River is also fishing well with plenty of 100-400g fish swimming around. I’ve also heard a rumour that a whopping 50cm trout is swimming somewhere behind the timber mill at Noojee. A trout this size in the rivers around here is a large fish, but maybe someone is just pulling my leg. We’ll wait and see…

To stay away from the hustle and bustle of Noojee on the season opener, I fished the Tarago River around Drouin West and, while I had great difficulty not spooking the trout, I landed three browns of 700g and had a further dozen hits on the F5 Rapala. This was very exciting and a positive start to the season. Two of the three browns featured wounds, which I’m guessing they incurred during their migration upstream for spawning.

On a sad note, one angler came across an opera house yabby net in the Tanjil River at Fumina with a dead platypus inside it. These nets are highly illegal in all public inland waterways in Victoria for this exact reason. I urge anglers to phone 13FISH if they see any suspicious and illegal activity in our streams.

All in all, the trout season is looking fantastic. There are strong flows and clear water throughout West and South Gippsland, and an abundance of food in the system. All techniques are proving successful, so there is no excuse to not have a fish now that the footy is over.

Also a quick reminder that the blackfish season is closed until December 31.

Please feel free to email me any questions, reports or photos. Happy fishing!

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