A great start to the season
  |  First Published: October 2007

The opening weekend brought perfect fishing weather to Central Gippsland, and this coupled with good river flows led to one of the best trout opening weekends in a long time.

In my neck of the woods, Traralgon Creek was absolutely firing. I made three trips during the opening week, one fishing the lower section of the creek and two above Koornalla. The lower section seemed slow, and I didn’t see a lot of fish except for a few redfin. Some of the specimens were quite large, pushing 35cm. The next two trips that I made proved extremely successful and indicated that there were still a lot of fish upstream.

Young Lochie and myself must have released about 30 small brown trout, the biggest being 35cm. The fish were still very skinny after spawning, but they are trying to put on condition fast and are certainly hungry and aggressive. Berkley Power Minnows worked an absolute treat, but the fish are so aggressive at the moment that you could probably chuck any small plastic at them catch as many as you want.

If plastics aren’t for you, Celtas, Vibrax and Rapalas will get hammered as well. For the flyfishers, small bead-head hares ear nymphs are the go at the moment, and so are small Tom Jones. With some of the warm days we are having, there should be the first termite falls soon. This should make the dry fly anglers happy!

The floods have given us a brand new Traralgon Creek. There are heaps of new snags and runs, so it’s like we have a new river to fish. Other keen local anglers like Wayne and Rowan Burge have been releasing up to 40-50 trout a session, and they have also found that most of the trout are still up fairly high. This will change in the next few weeks as the trout make their way back downstream to gorge themselves on whatever food is available.

The Morwell River has been fishing extremely well also, and has been producing some large post spawning trout. Chris McInnis caught a stonking big brownie of 50cm on a Squidgie Wriggler in the rainbow trout colour. He was fishing fairly high up Morwell River. It was one of the biggest browns I’ve seen from that section of Morwell River.

Steve Wright and Matt Reid had a good trip up the Morwell as well on the opening weekend, releasing at least 20 brown trout using Berkley Power Minnows. They tell me the fish are in a little bit better condition than the fish in Traralgon Creek.

Tim Hoppin caught another large brown trout from Merrimans Creek. The fish measured 46cm and was in beautiful condition. It fell to a Rapala CD3 in the brown trout pattern. Tim’s also been hitting the Macalister River below Licola and has been dong quite well. I’m sure that would interest Fisheries and a lot of anglers as well. He showed me a photo the other day of three nice brown trout he caught on Tassie Devils. One of the fish was 40cm. Due to how exceptionally good the Macalister looks after the floods, Fisheries have decided to stock it this year. This is a great move as the river is certainly ready for it. Senior Fisheries Officer Errol Parmigiami tells me that they will not stock as many as they usually do, but it will be at least 2000 trout. There is no set date for stocking, but it will be before the Heyfield Fishing Club’s annual Licola Fishing Competition, which is great to hear. This comp is great for the community and it also gives Fisheries valuable information about trout recruitment in the Macalister River.

The following small waters including Hyland, Heyfield, Guyatt and Kunai lakes have been just stocked with 1000, 200, 250 and 750 trout respectively for the school holidays. I hope to have some more great tales next month. Until then, good luck!

For more information about fishing in Central Gippsland, contact Will at Allways Angling in Traralgon on 51748544.

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