Sneak away from the silly season and snare a fish
  |  First Published: December 2013

It’s that crazy time of year again when all you wish for before the school holidays, Christmas and the New Year is some alone time strolling a stream or lake flicking a lure.

A solo fish in one of the many beautiful peaceful streams of the Noojee Valley and Neerim District, walking the bank, kayaking or taking the tinnie out to Blue Rock Lake in Willow Grove could do the trick. Workplace functions, family and friend BBQs can fill up the December calendar pretty quickly and with the approaching New Year you owe it to yourself to sneak away one evening for a quiet fish. Daylight savings is allows for extended fishing time, which just so happens to coincide with when stream trout are actively feeding at this time of the year.

Strong spring stream flows are slowing down now and the water is clearing up. 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 dry fly or beaded nymph on to a slow flowing stream run is an art and a rewarding sport. 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 the fish tend to be a little more cautious.

Wearing waders are a must for any angler venturing out over summer due to the snake risk as the grass along many streams will be long. If it really heats up, wearing an old pair of runners or sandals is a great way to cool down instead of wearing full waders.

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 have been flowing very strong over the last few months and have probably had less angling pressure but may be still difficult to fish just yet.

Bass fishing on Blue Rock Lake will be heating up coinciding with the water temperature. Getting in to some surface trout action will be difficult during the heat of the day but early mornings and late evenings will be most productive. Big trout will be down deep. Redfin and carp fishing will also be popular over the summer months and are a great sport for the whole family.

The river blackfish season re-opens on January 1 2014 so make sure you release these back immediately unharmed to ensure its survival in our streams as they are an important species in our ecosystem.

Stream trout fishing is certainly feeling the pressure of the lack of/non-existent stocking programs in our streams so please practice catch and release. Feel free to send me a report or photo particularly if you have any success stories fishing the streams or Blue Rock.

An excited Josh Schuurman with an early morning trolled up trout on Blue Rock before releasing back to fight another day.

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