It’s the last full month to sneak in a stream trout fish in the West and South Gippsland region before the season closes.
All rivers and streams close on midnight on Monday June 10 which is at the end of the Queen’s Birthday long weekend. The season doesn’t re-open till Friday September 6 which will bring with it a much needed rest for stream trout in the region so that they can spawn and hopefully provide us anglers with a lot of fun in the new season.
This isn’t the end of the trout season though for all waters as May through to September is prime time to catch a lake trout in Blue Rock Lake, 15 minutes north of Trafalgar. Whether you have a boat, kayak or simply fish from the shoreline, put in enough hours at Blue Rock and you’ll find that it’s not quite the Lake Disappointment everyone calls it. This unfortunate tag is probably the result of frustrated anglers spending the odd day out on the water with little to show for it. I speak from personal experience and there is an abundance of trout to be caught this time of the year and some of those calm crisp winter days with the sun out are just magical and rewarding.
During the warmer months, October through to April, the water is quite warm and most the activity on the lake surface is carp feeding and the activity around the perimeter of the lake is often redfin chasing food. In winter however when the water temperature has dropped significantly, the lake activity is quite different. After a wild and woolly winters week, wind and currents create wind lines where surface tension traps insects.
This is where you find trout activity as they slurp beetles and flies off the lake surface, an exciting spectacle for any angler on a mirror calm day. A wind line is easy to find and can be spotted from some distance away. The wind line often has a lot of fine debris such as leaves, sticks, insects and other floating remains and is easily recognisable as the water has an oil slick appearance to it which is from all the natural oils from the nearby bush.
Having one of these wind lines near the shoreline is ideal for land-based anglers and it’s not hard to plan a worthwhile fishing trip to Blue Rock. Simply research the weather records for the past week and work out which way the wind was blowing then plan which part of the lake you are going to target with a wind line close to shore. Flyfishing, lure casting or bait fishing are all successful options, some more so than others. Flyfishing with a similar insect that is floating on the water surface is obviously going to be the best chance as these are what the trout are feeding on.
Second on the list would have to be lure fishing with a minnow-styled lure or soft plastic resembling a small fish that is also feeding in the area or a spinner/bladed lure as it attracts attention from the vibrations of the spinning blade. Bait fishing is also a great technique with most success coming from presenting a live bait such as garden worm, mudeye or maggots under a float.
Fishing from the boat opens up a whole lot of fishing possibilities on Blue Rock. The lake currently has a boat size limit and engine limit being up to 4.3m long and less than 10hp respectively. Flat-line trolling a lure that travels down to 50cm under the water surface along the wind lines is often rewarding. Lures that are typically used with success are bibbed minnow-style lures, winged plastic lures and spinner bladed lures or soft plastics. Drifting on the edge of a wind line and casting in to it with a fly or lure is great way to sneakily approach the feeding zone. Same goes for casting a floated live bait too.
Blue Rock has four main access points to the shoreline, majority being on the south-west shore. There are two boat ramps at either end of the lake and have terrific facilities with plenty of space to fish along. The other access points require a short walk to the lake, both with limited parking however. First spot is at the end of Blue Rock Road in the township of Willow Grove where a walking track leads you to two potential coves to fish. The second spot being off Hunts Road where there is a turn off and a track that leads you to an area to park the car and then set foot to the lake side.
Rivers worth a shot over the coming month would be the Bunyip River and lower Tarago River which have a history of good fishing this time of the year. The dry season from September last year through to April has put a lot of pressure on stream trout this year so it is ever so important to practice catch and release, now more so than ever as they prepare for their spawning season.
It would be nice to see these rivers re-stocked or at least topped up with a few more fish as they have been a little scarce and therefore harder to catch in recent months but I’m thinking that this isn’t on the cards.
Feel free to email me any reports, questions and photos, particularly if you have had any luck over winter at Blue Rock Lake. Happy fishing!
The author with a nice stream brown caught and released. The author had several strikes from the fish on a lure so swapped over the rig and found a couple of worms in the bush and got lucky when the bait was presented under a float in the slow moving water.Reads: 1127