Autumn has passed us by with above average rainfall in the Ballarat district. Like other anglers in Victoria, we’re hoping for a very wet winter to fill our reservoirs and lakes to levels not seen for sometime.
Fishing in the Ballarat district during autumn was disappointing with the much anticipated and expected mayfly hatches not eventuating.
Tullaroop Reservoir proved to be the shining light however, with anglers reaping the rewards from trout stockings by DPI Fisheries. Tullaroop, until a couple of years ago, was reliant on naturally recruiting brown trout. But the continuing drought devastated the upstream spawning habitat in the Birch’s Creek system and trout numbers were in decline.
Anglers voiced their concerns and the Department responded by stocking both rainbow and brown trout, some of which was achieved with local angling groups and some with licence fees. Anglers are now enjoying much improved fishing with trout up to 4kg caught over the past couple of seasons. The fishery is definitely back to its former glory!
Tullaroop fishes very well during the winter months. Trout can often be seen chasing smelt in both the shallow and deep water. The best method of fishing Tullaroop at this time of the year is to cast flies, such as smelt patterns – Woolly Buggers and Tom Jones – along its shoreline and bays. Casting lures and fishing baits on the bottom is also productive.
Ian Penberthy reports that trout have been rising on evening, taking caddis moths. The Gong is another good winter fishery with smelt playing a large part in the diet of the stocked fish. Trout can often be seen chasing smelt all over the reservoir during the day.
Bait fishermen do very well on both rainbow and brown trout using PowerBait fished on the bottom.
John Monteduro reports that bait anglers and flyfishers have been catching fish from the old road that’s currently exposed due to low water levels. The fishing along the main wall on the western side of the reservoir has been productive too.
Trout have been observed chasing smelt during the day, but persistence is required because they’re sometimes very frustrating to catch. You might need to change flies a few times before finding the right pattern. I’d suggest trying a Matuka, a BMS, a Hammills Killer or a Woolly Bugger.Reads: 3253