Timing is Everything
  |  First Published: May 2006

The good news from Gippsland is that the local trout streams are still producing some nice fish. The bad news is that sporadic downpours of rain in early April have caused the water levels in most rivers to rise and fall, so you’ll have to be in the right spot to get amongst them.

Anglers who have visited the fishable rivers in between periods of wet weather have reported some better than average fishing from the usual haunts. Icy Creek has been yielding plenty of brown trout to 500g downstream of the Mt Baw Baw Tourist Road Bridge.

The Toorongo and Loch rivers have also been fishing well for trout at all of the easy access points along the adjacent roads, while the larger Latrobe River continues to offer a better class of fish, albeit it in lower numbers.

The Tarago River has been producing brown trout to 1kg. I haven’t heard any reports of XOS specimens from the reservoir migrating upstream but the big trout should be around in May.

In contrast, some anglers have been reporting hard fishing in difficult conditions. Some have even been skunked, an unusual occurrence in these parts except during bad weather. Your chances of success during the twilight of the season are highly influenced by the weather, so it’s essential to keep an eye on the skies.

The best time to go trout fishing is about three days after the rain stops. This gives the water time to drop and clear. If high water is encountered, baitfishing is often the most successful technique. Running a small dark spinner through the deeper pools can also produce results.

Don’t forget the blackfish either – the season for these cute little natives is open for business right through until the trout season reopens at midnight on September 1.

As I type this report with the wood fire raging, the cold wind whistling outside and the rain hammering on the window, the TV weatherman is predicting some nasty cold weather for Gippsland (thanks for the tip, mate). A recent encounter with tropical cyclone Glenda in the west has left me low on optimism, so my advice this month remains the same: if the weather allows it, get out while you can to take advantage of the great trout fishing still on offer. I fear the end of the season is nigh.

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