Mayfly Tapering Off
  |  First Published: December 2005

Fishing in the Ballarat area has slowed since November and December. For flyfishermen, it was the mayfly that had things rolling, but with the warmer weather these are tapering off. Bait anglers, however, continue to do well.

Newlyn Reservoir

Mayfly hatches have become sparse and this has been reflected in some slow fishing. Andrew Scott reports that on a recent trip he found that, in poor weather, Newlyn didn’t fish well at all with only one mayfly dun sighted and no trout rising.

Another angler mentioned that he’d recently fished through a black stonefly hatch at Newlyn. This had the trout rising everywhere. He managed two fish of around 1lb each. I’ve also seen some great stonefly hatches at Newlyn on occasion but they’re quite rare.

Bait fishermen on the other hand have reported good captures of trout to a pound. The best method has been mudeyes suspended beneath a float.

Hepburn Lagoon

Bait anglers are doing well at Hepburn, catching trout to 2lb with live minnows under floats and scrubworms on the bottom. Most reports indicate that the western shoreline has been the best location. Fly fisherman Gary Alterton reports that he caught a nice rainbow of 2lb on a damsel nymph fly worked slowly. He also mentioned that he caught a few very small trout, probably from a stocking late last year.

Deans Reservoir

Sporadic catches of small trout from half a pound to 1lb have been had on bait. Earthworms, scrubworms and maggots fished on the bottom have been the most productive methods. Some fly fishermen have reported the odd mayfly spinner hatch but, like other lakes, it’s been sparse and tapering off.

Bostock Reservoir

Due to its low water level and slightly turbid water the trout fishing at Bostock has been below par. Anglers after a good feed of redfin however should make the trip. Many small redfin have been caught over the holiday period with the odd bigger fish to 1lb. They’ve been taking earthworms and small bladed spinners, such as Celtas, in red and black, and black.

Black lures are an excellent lure colour in water with poor clarity because their silhouettes stand out more.

St Georges Lake

This lake is just a short distance from Creswick and is fishing well for trout to 1lb. The most successful method has been scrubworms and earthworms under a float although bladed spinners have also been productive. Some fly fishermen have been having a ball with midge hatches during calm weather.

The thick native vegetation and pine trees block out a lot of the wind at St George, which improves the midge hatches. A few fly anglers have taken trout to a 1lb using midge pupae and adult patterns in size 20.

Lauriston Reservoir

Most reports suggest that the trout fishing has slowed at Lauriston. However, like Bostock, bait fishermen have taken many redfin to 1lb on lures and wet flies with a touch of red on them. Recommended patterns are size 10/12 Hairy Dogs, Red and Black Matukas, Red Woolly Buggers and Zulus with a red tag.

Better results will come by using sinking fly lines to hug the bottom. Slowly retrieve them with a stop start motion.

Malmsbury Reservoir

With the lake slowly rising over new ground many bait fishermen have been catching trout from 1 to 2lb on earthworms fished on the bottom and live mudeyes fished under floats. The dam wall and the northern shoreline have been the most productive locations.

Smelting trout have been sighted in good numbers providing hope for fly fishermen. Trout from 1 to 2lb have been common but I heard about a much better fish; a 4lb specimen that took a grey B.M.S.

With January’s hot weather focus your trout fishing on the lakes to early morning and late evening.


January Ballarat Flies

Midgessize 20/18 Spackle midge, red midge, black midge, rabbit midge
Mudeyessize 10 olive green and brown Cruddlers, Hamills Killers & Mrs Simpsons
Nymphssize-14/12/10 gold bead head nymphs, weighted Flashback nymphs, Pheasant Tail nymphs, weighted black and brown Seals Fur nymphs
Damsel nymphsbead eyed damsel, mono-eyed damsel, olive green Woolly Bugger.
Adult stonefliessize 16/14 Wonder Winged stonefly
Smelting fliesB.M.S. in grey and silver, and Bag flies
Other wetssize 10/12 Hairy Dogs, Red and Black Matukas, Red Woolly Buggers and Zulus with a red tag

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