Floods excite stream trout
  |  First Published: November 2016

The first two months of the stream trout season has seen some much needed solid falls of rain across the West and South Gippsland catchments. Many streams and rivers broke their banks or came close to and the steady rainfall in the last couple of months has meant that stream flows have remained steady. Blue Rock Lake is at 101% too and didn’t take long to fill up, thanks to the rain and snowmelt from Mt Baw Baw. All this water should mean plenty of food in the system, so our finned friends won’t go hungry.

If you’re hitting the streams, you should expect clear water flowing in the Toorongo, Loch and Tanjil rivers, and in the upper reaches of the Tarago River. The Latrobe River will have a nice tannin colour about it and as you get closer to farmland around the Labertouche area, the Tarago River and upstream of the Bunyip River will also display a nice dark tannin colour.

Strong stream flows make fishing difficult using lures, baits and beaded nymphs. When fishing a stream with strong flows, try to think like a trout. Trout won’t want to be sitting in fast flowing water as they’ll want to conserve energy. Instead they’ll be positioning themselves at the end of rapids where the flow slows down considerably or it eddies, allowing the trout to simply pick off food as it gets funnelled to them.

Trout will often be found behind large rocks blocking the stream flow, which gives them protection, or they’ll sit in the backwater close to the bank. Often the backwater along the bank has a cutting or a ledge, which in many cases has aquatic vegetation growing in the water giving protection. Often this cutting is where a trout will wait out flooding events.

Spotting trout will be difficult during this time, so it’s a matter of understanding trout feeding behaviour. Cast a lure or beaded nymph and let the strong flows push the lure into the backwater. This allows you to naturally enter the strike zone. Retrieve the lure slowly – give it enough action to entice a trout out of its comfort zone.

The signs are looking promising for the season ahead because of the spring rainfall. The streams throughout this region though aren’t stocked with trout, so it’s important to practice catch and release to ensure future populations of trout can spawn naturally. We should start to see plenty of insect hatchings as the daylight hours get longer and the temperature warms up.

Bass fishing on Blue Rock will heat up this month too, as the bass start to get more active on the surface. This is always a lot of fun for lure anglers, whether you’re out on a kayak or boat, or land-based. Feel free to send me a report or photo, particularly if you have any success stories from the start of trout season and email me any questions. Happy fishing!


There’s been some good healthy stream trout about, but they’re hard to find after the spring rain and strong stream flows.

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