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Signs good for Toolondo
  |  First Published: October 2016



Fishing in the region has been very quiet, mainly due to a wetter than average winter. The cold and wet weather has kept anglers inside rather than outside chasing fish.

Still, all the extra rainfall augurs well for a really good spring. There have been good inflows into lakes such as Rocklands Reservoir, Lake Bellfield, and Lake Fyans, and other waters such as Wartook Reservoir and Taylors Lake are full.

With the good flows into Rocklands, and more wet weather forecast for spring, we’re all hoping that levels will reach the trigger point at Rocklands to allow transfer to Toolondo Reservoir. Toolondo is the premier trout lake in Western Victoria, but it has suffered in recent years, which have been some of the driest on record. There is a complex set of rules involved in water transfers, involving different departments including catchment management authorities and GWM water, the operators of the system. If the water level trigger point of Rocklands isn’t met, the transfer can only be approved by either the water minister or the premier. Things are looking positive for Toolondo though; the trigger point is 116 000 megalitres and rising, and weather forecasts indicate this will be reached.

There’s also been good natural flooding of the Wimmera River, which will create a very healthy fishery come late spring and early summer. These are the first natural flows this river has received since the floods in 2011.

FISHING FORECAST

As far as the fishing goes, as spring progresses we should see a resurgence in the trout fishery. Lakes such as Toolondo, Fyans, Wartook and Rocklands Reservoir all good options, particularly if you have a regular supply of mudeye. Fishing them under a bubble float is the best way to go.

Flyfishing also a very good option, given the good inflows and recently flooded shorelines. Any pattern that resembles a mudeye or a minnow works well at this time of year in these conditions.

Redfin are another key species that anglers are very much looking forward to catching. Rocklands Reservoir, Lake Wartook and Lake Fyans are all prime redfin fisheries. Fishing livebaits such as gudgeon, minnows and small yabbies amongst the timbered parts of the lake will give you the best chance of catching some redfin. Rocklands in particular is always a serious option come October for these tasty fish.

Traditionally, golden perch start to become active at this time of year. It’s difficult to predict exactly how the fishing will be though, given the amount of rain we’ve had. These fish will be enjoying the flows of freshwater, but the problem for anglers will be the dirty water, which makes fishing a bit more difficult. Fishing worms or peeled yabby tail in a calmer part of the river may persuade a golden to bite.

Taylors Lake is also very popular golden fishery, and fishing yabby baits around the shorelines and bases of submerged trees usually results in a nice fish. There’s also the chance of a solid Murray cod.

That’s the wrap-up for this month; I hope you all get a chance to hit the water this month and catch some quality fish.

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The author caught this 2.3kg brown trout at Lake Fyans on a 5cm rainbow trout pattern Rapala.

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