My favourite time of the year is when the much-anticipated trout season opens.
Years ago we used to have a closed season for trout in all lakes and rivers in Victoria. Now only the rivers are closed to trout fishing during the winter. September starts the new trout season with many anglers from all over Victoria making their annual trips to their favourite angling destinations.
Spring is the best time to target trout after normally good spring rains fill our water storages and spill over new ground. Trout start to forage around the edges looking for worms, grubs and any other insects that have made the barren shorelines their homes.
Fishing in the Ballarat district has been very quiet with Tullaroop Reservoir being the top-producing water. Trout are consistently being caught and released using various forms of angling from flyfishing to baitfishing with early mornings and evenings providing the best results. Local flyfisher Brian Hughes has been catching quality brown trout using smelt patterns.
Local Ian Penberthy reports that the Gong Gong Reservoir has been fishing well. Trout have been feeding on smelt during the day out in the deeper water. In the shallows they are very often hard to catch but perseverance is the key to success.
Now is also a good time of year to fish the under-fished waters in our district. Reservoirs such as Cosgroves, near Creswick, fishe very well early spring with all forms of angling producing good catches of trout and redfin.
Another lake that I really like to fish in September is Cairn Curran. Even though the water level is under 10%, regular stocking of trout each year by Fisheries makes this lake a very popular fishery when the water is rising. Cairn Curran is a good place to walk along the shore prospecting for a trout feeding in the shallows on worms or grubs. I normally flyfish over at Cairn Curran; my favourite flies are the Hamill’s Killer, black Woolly Bugger and a red and black Matuka.
Talbot, also known as Evansford Reservoir, is another quality water that fishes well in early spring. Talbot doesn’t seem to get a lot of fishing pressure, evident in the quality of fish that are caught from the reservoir.
The Ballarat district is very lucky with the number of fisheries that we have close to our major city centre. Waters like Newlyn, Cosgroves, Dean, Gong Gong and Andersons Lagoon are quality fisheries in their own right.
My suggestion is try one of these waters using all forms of angling methods – you never know what the results will be.
Ballarat flyfisher Gary Pond fishing Cosgroves Reservoir.
Brian Hughes fished the Tullaroop recently and caught and released this 2kg brown trout. (Image courtesy Brian Hughes).
The Tullaroop Reservoir is at a very low level (image courtesy Brian Hughes).Reads: 1672