The Latrobe River is one of those special rivers that offers some top shelf fishing for all ages and experience, using a wide variety of techniques including bait, lure and fly.
Generally the main target is trout, brown and rainbow. A 1kg fish in this river is considered a big one with the average fish around 500g or so. But don't be surprised if you hook that one ‘river monster’ as fish to 3.5kg+ have been recorded in recent years.
The Latrobe River can be fished all year round except during the closed season. February and March is prime time, when the local population of grasshoppers are about in full force. With daylight savings in full swing, with the days lasting longer, getting on the water late afternoon can see some incredible dry fly fishing.
For lure fishers a light graphite 1-3kg spin rod matched up with a quality 1000-2000 spin reel is ideal for tackling these small stream trout. Light fluorocarbon leader is a must as the water can be crystal clear and will avoid spooking fish and entice them into eating your luring with more aggression.
For fly fishers, anything up to a 5wt outfit is best suited with light 4lb tippet. If you want to have some fun then use a 3wt outfit fishing dries. It's hard to find anything more enjoyable than this.
When fly fishing, it always pays to run a dry fly with a nymph trailing about 6-8” behind. The dry fly (generally something buoyant) like an elk hair caddis moth or a royal humpy acts as a strike indicator but also catches its fair share of fish, so keep your eye on the fly. If you see it disappear and get pulled under most of the time a fish has eaten the nymph that is trailing behind it.
Go-to lures for casting are small streamline floating lures. Ecogear MX48s and Yo Zuri pins minnows are ideal as they can be worked in fast flowing pools, and when paused in the deeper water will slowly float up and avoid snagging.
Fly anglers find it hard to go past favourite patterns such as Royal Wulff, Elk Hair Caddis and Hoppers patterns.
The best way to fish this river, and any Victorian trout stream, is to always work your way up river and cast up stream, working your fly or lure back towards you. Your presentation looks at its most natural and trout at the best of times can be picky. If they sense something is wrong with your lure, chances are you will not catch that fish.
In the peak of summer always keep your eyes open for snakes. They can be seen basking in the sun close to the riverbank or hiding in the long grass. It doesn't hurt to make a bit of noise when walking, but once your down on the water be as quiet as possible.
Don't forget to pack your waders. Waders are crucial in your success as you can really get down in the water and work areas a whole lot better than what you could do standing on the riverbank. You are also lower making it harder for the fish in crystal clear waters to spot you.
Lastly you may be required to cross the river or get lures out of snags. Without waders this would be very hard and very, very cold.Reads: 3566