Autumn is well and truly here with the days cooler and the nights having that chill about them. This reduces water temperatures in lakes and rivers to a comfortable level for trout to start actively feeding once again.
The Ballarat and district, like almost everywhere else in Victoria, is still reeling from the effects of yet another long and dry summer with below average rainfall and higher than average temperatures. Most waters are well below half their capacity, or empty, including some of our better known waters such as Burrumbete, Learmonth and Lake Wendouree.
Anglers should not give up hope because, with the autumn weather, the fishing will improve. The mayfly should start to hatch in the lakes, followed by the much awaited smelt feeding fish.
Smelters chase small baitfish that come in near the edges of lakes, either to feed on tiny micro-organisms or to spawn. Anglers will see small baitfish jumping out of the water, often chased aggressively by trout aiming to stun them before devouring them. This can happen all day long sometimes with trout chasing them up and down the shoreline. The most successful method to catch these smelting trout is casting lures and flies.
Newlyn has been the shining light in the district with local club members fishing there on Monday evenings. They’ve persevered for mixed results. Ballarat Angler’s Club member Noel Feltham landed a lovely 1.4kg brown trout on a mudeye fished below a bubble float.
Other reports suggest that flyfishermen have been landing the odd brown trout after dark on Muddler Minnows and cricket imitation patterns.
In the autumn months, we should expect to see mayfly hatches at Newlyn with brown nymphs, emergers and Shaving Brushes the most productive fly patterns to try.
Ralph Dorington reports that members of the Lakeside Anglers Club have been catching redfin at Pykes Creek Reservoir. The redfin have been ranging in size from 350g to 1kg and have been caught from boats on a variety of baits including yabbies, gudgeons and earthworms.
Len Walker reports that a few fish have been moving at Harcourt Reservoir. The trout have been chasing damsel flies and should in the coming month, turn their attention to the hatching mayflies.
Flyfishers will be eagerly awaiting the dunn hatches.
Keith Riddsdale reports that Talbot Reservoir, near Evansford, has been fishing slowly. With autumn upon us this lake usually fires up during the cooler months.
This relatively under-fished water produces some excellent brown and rainbow trout along with some good redfin. The best methods are mudeyes suspended under bubble floats, bunches of worms or PowerBait fished on the bottom. Flyfishers should try Woolly Buggers or black nymphs.Reads: 3795