Scratching the trout itch
  |  First Published: September 2016

As many seasoned trout anglers will already know, the Victorian salmonid season opens up at midnight 2 September, and it looks like we’re in for another great season. Plenty of rain has fallen mid winter and we’ll most likely get a good amount in spring. This should keep freshwater species happy as we lead into our undoubtedly hot summer.

On the topic of rain, while it keeps the freshwater and saltwater environments alive, it can make rivers and lakes a bit trickier to fish. High water levels can limit land-based access and decreased water visibility puts many people off, but these two factors can often lead to successful fishing. Flooded banks are grounds for all fish to forage newly accessible food items, so don’t discount these areas! Slightly dirtier than normal water conditions also give the fish some cover, so they’re less likely to be spooked by your presence. Remember, stomping around the bank like an elephant won’t help your cause, regardless.

While the Yarra is moving along fairly hard at the moment, there have been some nice trout caught from the slower reaches, just above and below Warburton. Some of the deep corner pools in this area have accumulated a lot of debris like timber over the last few months. They’re good areas to pluck a brown trout or two if your casting accuracy is on point. Throwing a small flashy hardbody in this timber will normally result in an aggressive strike, from the resident trout. If you’d prefer to send a small bunch of scrub worms into the snags, the odd river blackfish can be caught as well, especially in late afternoon. Just remember that river blackfish found south of the Great Diving Range, in the Yarra River, are subject to a closed season, which runs from September 1 to December 31.

If the bigger water of the Yarra is a bit daunting and you’d prefer some small-water combat, then there are options in the immediate area. The Little Yarra River branches off its bigger and more popular brother, accessible from its confluence in Yarra Junction to its headwaters above Powelltown. The fish in this small water are generally of ‘yearling’ size, but there are always a few larger fish, or ‘spawners’, that pop up from time to time. The Little Yarra is a good stream to hone your bow and arrow style casting, popping small lures or unweighted baits into shady pockets, or under-vegetated banks. The added bonus of this small water is that most fish tend to be opportunistic, so persistent casting accuracy will definitely see you rewarded.


Small pocket-water browns are back on the list for anglers, in September.

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