Angling in the Ballarat district has slowed down considerably in the last month. With the cold, wet weather many anglers have gone into winter recess.
Those anglers that have ventured out have been rewarded for their efforts. The water levels of the district’s storages at last are starting to rise, though we still need extremely heavy spring rains to see the full storages of many years ago.
Tullaroop Reservoir has again proved to be the top water in the Ballarat district. Quality brown trout have been caught using a variety of angling methods from baitfishing to flyfishing. Rod McMaster continues to catch browns of around 2kg, fishing with gudgeon on the bottom. Patience seems to be the key to Rod’s success.
Brian Hughes, another Maryborough angler and flyfisherman, has also been catching quality trout on fly. The successful pattern has been a Tom Jones, fished in tandem with a green Woolly Bugger. Brian walks the shorelines at this time of the year targeting the smelters, which are easy to locate when in a feeding frenzy. The secret is to keep an eye out for smelt crashing through the surface of the water, work your fly or lure in the area you have located the smelt, and be ready – a trout could attack your fly or lure anytime.
Trout have been midging at Wombat Reservoir near Daylesford. They are proving to be very elusive, with flyfishers trying various fly patterns with no success. Bait and lure fishermen have also been trying there luck to no avail, but it is still good to see was plenty of fish moving. If you can work out the successful method there are plenty of fish to be caught.
Wartook has been fishing exceptionally well with flyfishers and other anglers being rewarded for braving the elements, catching quality brown and rainbow trout up to 2kg. The release of rainbow trout a few months ago has been a bonus for anglers. They have been hungry and on the bite since released and Wartook has proved to be a great winter fishery. The dam wall, as always, has been a very productive area to fish and with good rains the trout have been foraging around the lake edges for food.
Cairn Curran is one of my favourite fisheries during winter and spring and is well worth a look at the moment. With the rising water levels the trout will move into the shallows to feed on drowned out grubs and worms. The fly patterns I will be using will be Woolly Buggers, Tom Jones, Hamills Killer and Matukas.
The Ballarat and Bendigo flyfishers clubs recently met to fish for the Goldfields Trophy at the Eildon Pondage. About 20 flyfishers fished over two days to land approximately 50 trout ranging in size from 0.75–1.6kg. Ballarat Flyfishers Club member Jim Bainbridge was the winning flyfisher with a rainbow trout of 1.6kg caught on a black Woolly Bugger. Jim reported that nearly all members from both clubs caught trout on fly using a variety of fly patterns.Reads: 4955