Trout buzz across Gippsland
  |  First Published: September 2015

Midnight Friday 4 September brings a big smile across many trout anglers’ faces as we see the season open for stream trout fishing across the West and South Gippsland regions.

Whether you’re a fly, lure or bait angler, you can’t not get excited by this year’s conditions and the prospects of hooking into some fantastic stream trout action. The streams are flowing well and are carrying an abundance of food for these hungry post-spawn trout. Some rivers hold small rainbow trout but brown trout are the predominant species and are in good numbers in all streams in the West and South Gippsland region.

Please remember these streams are not stocked with trout but instead rely only on trout naturally spawning in the winter months so it is good practice to catch and release trout to ensure we have this terrific fishery in the future; so close to Melbourne.

Typically stream trout average 100-300g but don’t let the size fool you when using light gear. They aggressively strike then put up a great fight against stream flow, darting in and out of snags as well as providing some intense aerial acrobatics. Landing one is a bonus!

Rivers to target early in the season are the Latrobe, Toorongo and Loch rivers in the Noojee district. The Latrobe is a big catchment, which includes the Toorongo and Loch, and so many trout will be returning back downstream to their haunts.

These three rivers provide plenty of fishing access from the bank and waders are definitely recommended to expand your fishing horizons.

The Tanjil River is fed by the spring waters and snow melt from Mt Baw Baw and offers some amazing fishing surrounded by forest with fast flowing rapids easing out to large deep pools. Tough comfortable waders are needed as you will be able to wade sections of the river and access other fishing spots as the river opens and deepens up. This river will be flowing hard now so is possibly best marked in the diary for later spring.

In September spring is in the air and we start to see insect hatchings with those warmer spring days and longer daylight hours. Fly anglers should have a range of fly options on hand to imitate September hatchings. A brass-beaded black nymph is always popular amongst fly anglers in the early stages of spring when the water flows are still quite strong.

Blue Rock is the only waterway stocked in this region. It receives healthy stockings of brown and rainbow trout and Australian bass. Bass are by far becoming the most popular target species on the lake with earlier stocked fish now exceeding lengths of 40cm.

There are some monster trout at Blue Rock cruising about. If you have the patience to troll day in and day out you can be pleasantly rewarded. The best thing now is that lake anglers have a few options; troll for trout in the morning and flick lures around the trees in the afternoon for bass and redfin.

Bass are also being caught on scrub worms, garden worms and crickets fished unweighted next to a dead tree. If fishing from the bank, either cast out an unweighted bait or drop a bait below a float cast close to the bank.

A reminder that the river blackfish season has closed now from 1 September and will re-open on 1 January 2013 so make sure and accidental bi-catch are released back immediately. This species is integral to the health of our freshwater rivers and streams.

Feel free to send me a report or photo particularly if you have any success stories early on the trout opening. Happy fishing!

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