Trophy trout time
  |  First Published: December 2008

In the past month there has been some incredible fishing action. As usual, however, Ballarat anglers are having to travel over an hour from Ballarat to get a real taste of the reel screaming, line burning action we all crave.

Now that summer is here we need to start fishing at the right times. There’s no more going out in the middle of the day expecting to catch a trout cruising along the shoreline. The best time to catch trout and redfin in summer is at first light and in the evening, no matter whether you are casting a lure, flyfishing out a boat, or just drowning a worm on the bottom. To put the odds back in your favour, you need to go fishing when the fish are feeding.

In the last month there has been some exceptional trout caught. Gavin Whateley landed one of the best-conditioned brown trout you could wish to see, surely a trophy trout to remember. Gavin’s fish weighed in at 3.9kg and was caught Lake Purrumbete.

Gavin, from the Yarra Valley Flyfishers, fished with 66 other flyfishers for the Wastell Trophy, a flyfishing competition open to any members of a fishing club in Australia. The only requirement is that the fish must be caught on fly during designated hours of 12 noon Saturday to 12 noon Sunday. This year’s competition was held at lakes Purrumbete and Bullen Merri, with registration being at the Lake Purrumbete Caravan Park.

The Wastell Trophy has been competed since before World War Two, all around Ballarat and district waters. It has the aim of bringing all flyfishers together, not just for the fishing but also for the social interaction.

At this year’s competition, six fish were weighed in. Besides Gavin’s fish, other notable catches included Mark Cuthbert’s lovely 2.4kg brown trout and Andrew Scott’s 2.5kg version. All trout were caught from drifting boats in Lake Purrumbete, using sinking fly lines to strip in Woolly Buggers.

Brian and Barry Rogers have been fishing Lake Elingamite catching trout to 2.8kg and redfin on mudeyes suspended under bubble floats. The water is getting lower at Elingamite, so only small boats are recommended unless we get a late downpour of spring rain.

Back in local Ballarat waters there have been some small rainbow trout stocked into Cosgroves and St Georges lakes. John Monteduro, a Creswick local, has been out catching and releasing these fish on fly.

Jubilee Lake at Daylesford has seen most of the local action, with the word out about some Snobs Creek brood trout to 3.6kg being released there. John Monteduro has fished there also, with his best fish being a 3.4kg rainbow trout.

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