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Astounding Run of Rainbows in the Latrobe
  |  First Published: December 2006



I know I’ve been banging on about the Latrobe River for a while now, but I’m going there again in this report. Quite simply, the fishing in the upper Latrobe has been remarkable. In fact I’m hesitant to report it because I can’t explain it, and I fear no one will believe me – but here goes anyway!

Keen Kyabram-based flyfisher Bill Wales and I fished three pools in the Latrobe near Noojee on two consecutive Sunday evenings. On the first night we found trout rising everywhere and landed 30 on dry flies such as Royal Wulffs and elks hair caddis. They were only small fish with the biggest around 30 cm, but it was awesome fun nevertheless. The next week they were biting even more voraciously. We landed 46 between us, again mostly small fish taken on flies we tied up using some sambar deer hair: clearly the trout would have taken anything!

The sheer number of trout we found was strange enough but even more bewildering was the fact that they were almost all rainbows. In fact on the second night, only one fish out of 46 was a brown. To check that I wasn’t dreaming, I spoke with local flyfishing guru Wally Ronalds. He recently landed 98 trout on his own in four hours of fishing – from the very same pools that Bill and I had fished. He also confirmed they are almost all rainbows.

I don’t know what is going on. I can say that these rainbows can be found from above the Loch River junction in Noojee to well below the Toorongo River junction. Light coloured flies work best if only because they are easy to see in the fading light. If you want to take a beginner out to catch their first trout on fly, this is a great opportunity.

Elsewhere in the region, Will Toll has been landing some fine trout to 1kg+ from the Tarago River on small Rapala hard-bodies. The reservoir is still holding plenty of water so there’s good levels in the river downstream for those seeking a better class of fish. The East Branch of the Tanjil is also fishing well, with Dave Pyke recently landing nine trout there to 750g.

It might not last, but right now there’s never been a better time to get out amongst some West Gippy trout. Don’t say I didn’t tell you.

Kyabram-based flyfisher Bill Wales with a better than average fish from the mind-blowing run of rainbows in the Latrobe River.

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