Sneak away for a quiet stream fish
  |  First Published: December 2012

It’s that chaotic time of year again when all you need before Christmas and the New Year is some alone time.

A solo fish in one of the many beautiful peaceful streams of the Noojee Valley and Neerim District will do the job. Family barbecues, dinner with friends and workplace functions can fill up the December calendar pretty quickly and with the onset of another year almost over, you owe it to yourself to sneak away one evening for a quiet fish. The beauty of daylight savings is extended fishing time which just so happens to coincide with when stream trout are actively feeding.

Warm evenings bring out the insects which provide stream trout their staple diet. Flyfishing is certainly the best method when targeting these surface feeding fish in summer. Being able to cast a light weighted fly on the surface to mimic the local insects is an art and a rewarding sport but takes patience and practice.

Stream flows should start to slow down for the next few months and dry fly will be the preferred option for many fly anglers but you also can’t go wrong with a beaded nymph. A popular method is to combine your rig with both; a beaded nymph with a dry fly indicator.

Small natural looking soft plastics like wriggler grubs, small spinner bladed lures and drifting live scrub worms do well this time of the year for those anglers targeting stream trout with lure or bait. Hardbodied lures attract plenty of attention this time of the year yet get less strikes.

Wearing waders are a must for any angler venturing out over summer. My first encounter with a snake beside a stream this year was back in August, which is very early for the season. In October I had another close encounter with a copperhead fishing the Little Moe River and by close encounter, it was very close! Only wearing ankle high boots, I actually stepped on the snake and all it did was struggle and slither away. I’m sure if I stepped on a snake in summer, it would be a different story as they can be territorial and more aggressive.

Rivers to fish over the summer months are your usual suspects, being the Latrobe, Toorongo, Loch and Tarago rivers. These rivers have been flowing strongly over the last year but have still been fishable. The Bunyip and Tanjil rivers however have been flowing very strong and have probably had less angling pressure. If the stream flows do what they should do in summer and slow down, then these rivers will be stream trout hotspots. If we have a wet summer, then once again the Bunyip and Tanjil rivers may still be too hard to fish for another year.

Blue Rock Lake’s water temperature will be heating up over summer and so too will be the bass fishing. This species became the target species for most anglers this year fishing the lake and things can only get better and more exciting. Bass have been caught at Blue Rock on bladed lures, winged lures trolled and on worms under a float.

Big trout will be down deep, yet on the warm stormy evenings expect activity on the surface when there are insect hatches. Trolling, drifting out in the lake or tied up to a tree with baits under float and casting a fly either from boat or bank are the top techniques for hooking into a trout or bass.

Feel free to email me reports, photo or questions. Happy fishing!

Dave Haughton had some luck catching and releasing his first trout for the season on a soft plastic at a newly discovered spot on the Tarago River.

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