Festive fishing ahead
  |  First Published: December 2015

With Christmas and the New Year just around the corner, it’s time to squeeze in an after work or sneaky weekend stream trout fishing or Blue Rock bass session before the festive season begins and another year slips away.

December will be an exciting time for stream trout anglers as there have been plenty of insect hatchings over the last 4-6 weeks. Hatchings make up the main food source for hungry trout, and the streams are flowing nice and clean. Anglers can spot and approach surface feeding fish carefully, which results in more strikes and ultimately more fish. If you haven’t sight fished for stream trout before, pick up a pair of brown Polaroids; these sunnies add a whole new dimension to stream trout fishing.

Most of the insect hatchings have been flying ants, various fly or midge species and small black beetles. When fishing the evening, ensure you have a collection of natural flies and beaded nymphs that will give you better luck in matching the hatch. Hatchings are best in the evenings where there is a thundery cool change expected after a hot day. Remember, matching the hatch increases those chances but don’t shy away from having some bright coloured larger flies in your fly box when the trout are less finicky.

The key rivers for fly anglers that wade are the Toorongo, Loch and Latrobe Rivers in the Noojee district. The whole stretch of the Toorongo River meanders through farmland and generally has bank vegetation on the far bank, which reduces the risks of annoying snags and tangles. There is great access to the river for the most part, and if you combine wading and walking the bank then you can cover some fair territory in a couple of hours. The Tarago River in the Neerim district has many sections that wind through farmland below Neerim South right through to Labertouche which, like the Toorongo, opens up a lot of potential fishing ground. You’ll need to pick the areas you can wade but you can also walk along the bank.

Lures such as spinner blades, hard bodies, and soft plastics are also productive methods for getting into the trout action this summer. Lure fishing for trout is a great way to kill a few hours on the weekend or for a sneaky fish after work. Spinner bladed lures, floating hardbodied lures, and soft plastics all offer unique movement in the water when retrieved which will inspire some excitement among the trout. The lures mimic the small fish and aquatic invertebrate species that dominate the trout diet. Using lighter lines (8lb or less), light rods (1-4kg) and smaller reels (1000 – 2500 class) intensifies the feeling when you hook into a stream trout.

Blue Rock bass action is firing up with plenty of bass caught on surface lures and flies. Bass are being picked up from the bank, which is great news for land-based anglers. Those with a kayak or boat are having a lot of fun flicking lures about in the coves and among the snags.

Redfin are also a lot of fun for lure anglers, who can use plastics, bibbed, or spinner-blade lures to catch them. Summer is a good time for targeting carp using corn or worms and is a terrific way to get kids into fishing.

The river blackfish season re-opens at the end of the month and offers another target species for the streams and rivers of West and South Gippsland. Feel free to send me a report or photo. Please email me any questions too.

Happy fishing!

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