Better than ever!
  |  First Published: February 2007

“Better than it’s been for fifty years”. That’s how Rokeby-based flyfishing aficionado Wally Ronalds describes the trout fishing in the Latrobe River at the moment.

The run of rainbows in the Latrobe that I described last month is still going strong and its entirely possible to land 50 or 60 of these small trout in a few hours angling. Further investigation has revealed these rainbows are mostly concentrated around Noojee, from not far above town to below the Toorongo River junction.

Further downstream there is good fishing for brown trout, which is more typical for this water. The water near Hawthorn Bridge has probably been the pick of the spots, though the stretch of river accessible from Latrobe River Road has also been producing plenty of trout. Flyfishers will find success using grasshopper patterns in this the largest river in the region.

Nearby, the Toorongo is also giving up some small rainbows, while the Loch River has a very low flow but is producing small brown trout. A stealthy approach and accurate casting is even more important than usual in the low, clear water.

Further to the southeast, fishing in the usually productive twin Tanjils has been OK without being spectacular. Water flow in the both branches has been low, but in spite of this small brown and rainbow trout have been caught on both flies and small bladed spinners such as Celtas. Icy Creek is very low and probably not worth considering until the water level is restored.

Elsewhere in the region, Mark Bolger took a trip to the Bunyip River above the Princes Highway. He landed a brown trout that took a Rapala Vibrax bladed spinner, but reports finding more tiger snakes than trout. It’s a timely reminder that at this time of year trout streams are perfect places for snakes and anglers should keep a careful eye out.

Looking ahead and the trout fishing in this region should remain productive in the larger streams with adequate water flow. Terrestrials will be forming a large part of the trout’s diet during February, which gives a clue to flyfishers as to the types of flies to use.

West Gippsland has not been as severely affected by bushfires as much of the state’s other trout water, so its well worthwhile heading down this way for a trout fix. There’s plenty of small but voracious trout just waiting for a rumble!

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