Invite a Gippy trout to dinner
  |  First Published: November 2007

With the Spring Racing Carnival and the cricket just about to start up again for another year, there is no excuse now to not wet a line. I have just spent a week’s fishing around the smaller rivers and creeks near Omeo, and while I had an absolute ball, the size of the fish I was catching are no different to what is available in the tributaries around West and South Gippsland.

September had over 50mm of rainfall in the mountains and has increased the water levels significantly in the Latrobe and Loch Rivers, leaving fast flowing dirty water. Brightly coloured lures like the Rapala CD-3 Originals are catching good fish. Live baits like worms or maggots are also proving successful, as well as the brightly coloured Powerbaits.

The Toorongo River is also much higher due to the rainfall and snowmelt, yet is much cleaner and creating some very good runs for fishing.

The Latrobe River has also been a very popular family fishing and picnic spot over the September school holidays. There are a number of spots along the river where you can pull up the car, set up a few rods (one for yourself of course), put bells on the rod tips, chuck in a cray line and enjoy a picnic or barbeque lunch with the family.

There is a picnic ground in Noojee with a barbeque rotunda with tables and chairs, playground and toilet block alongside the river making it the perfect place to have a fish while spending time with the family. In fact, Sunday family outings along waterways are exactly how my Dad got me into fishing.

Anglers are catching plenty of pan-sized browns and rainbows around 300–900g, making very nice table fish. What makes the fishing so successful and rewarding is that all techniques are working (although rain will make it difficult to find slow moving water or still pools suitable for bait and float fishing).

Good-sized freshwater crays and freshwater yabbies have been reported all over the place from farm drains to rivers. This has been a very popular activity over the school holidays for kids, and for those still young at heart.

The Tarago River upstream is also flowing well due to decent rains, which has also allowed good flow below the reservoir. Darren Bishop from Bishos Bait and Tackle in Warragul reports that customer Ray Throup landed four browns of 900g–1.3kg on dry flies, and missed another two beauties.

The welcome spring rain means a lot of insects and other feed will be available for the trout in the coming months, setting up what should be an exciting late spring and summer season.

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