Sun shines for season opener
  |  First Published: October 2007

The sun was out for the first day of the trout open season, as were the anglers and the fish!

In July we had good rainfalls, which increased the water levels and flow in all the rivers and streams, yet in August the rainfall was well below average. The result has been crystal clear water at a good level and nice flow – perfect for spotting trout.

The September sunshine, along with the clear waters, has made stalking trout rewarding. Approach the water carefully so you don’t spook the fish. As silly as it sounds, it can be productive to commando crawl to open banks or at least hide behind any available vegetation.

I headed down to Noojee for the first day of the open season to try my luck and chat with a few of the anglers eager to wet their lines after a few months off.

Dennis Janevski of Mulgrave started fishing at sunrise using a number of baits fished off the bottom. After hooking into a few nice rainbows of just under 1kg in the Toorongo, he moved on to the Latrobe River. There he landed a mixed bag of rainbows and browns that weighed 400–900g. Garden worms proved to be the bait of choice, as Powerbait and other artificial baits didn’t appear to attract the fish this early in the season.

Chris Bibby from Richmond caught and released a number of nice 400–600g browns in the Latrobe. He was flyfishing using Royal Wulff dry flies and black nymphs, and had an enjoyable day’s fishing in the sunshine.

It was also great to see plenty of families with kids having a fish too. Young fisherman-in-the-making, Joseph Keats from Melbourne, landed his first brown trout of nearly 1kg when fishing worms off the bottom.

A mate and I fished the Latrobe River upstream of Noojee, drifting worms and flicking plastics. We were surprised to hook into a lot more rainbows than browns. This is still quite a novelty, as prior to last season, browns were the predominant species over the past couple of years.

The water levels in the Tarago River upstream of the reservoir are still quite low, making it hard to fish. The levels below the reservoir, however, are perfect, with a number of nice brown trout of around 1kg being landed on dry flies and live baits.

There is an abundance of browns and rainbows weighing between 300g and 1.2kg in all the rivers and streams. Reports indicate the most productive time of the day is very early in the morning, with most methods successful. Casting lures and spinners is a bit difficult at the moment because the flow is pretty fast, but larger pools can be found along the Toorongo and Latrobe rivers, and will undoubtedly produce some nice fish.

October should see levels increase in Icy Creek and the Toorongo, Tanjil and Latrobe rivers as the snow melts off Mt Baw Baw. This should send the trout into a feeding frenzy so all methods will produce the goods.

Also a quick note to remind you the river blackfish season south of the Divide has closed until December 31.

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