Now that winter is here, angling opportunities in the Wimmera and Grampians are largely confined to trout and redfin. The Wimmera was once one of the top trout areas of Victoria. We had lakes such as Toolondo, Natimuk, Dock, Greenhill and Wallace to name but a few of our now drought devastated waters. We are very lucky to still have water in Lake Fyans and Wartook, although we are now in desperate need of rain to keep these storages up.
Some good fish continue to be taken at Fyans and July is well known for producing trophy trout and redfin. The fishing hasn’t been as easy as it was a month or so ago, but it definitely isn’t going too badly if you put in the time. The water level at Fyans has dropped so low that on a calm, sunny day with no wind you can see the bottom of the lake everywhere you fish. This situation has meant that the trout and redfin are spending a lot of time hiding in the weed cover. At times, this has made the trout fishing rather difficult. The days of wet, windy weather have been producing much better fishing because the trout are more comfortable feeding actively when they can’t be seen so easily from above. There are heaps of cormorants at Fyans and they’re always looking out for an easily spotted meal in shallow water.
We’ve had some good success recently using mudeyes and glassies fished about a metre below our bubble floats. We are taking mostly rainbow trout to 1.6kg with a few brown trout to 1.5kg. The best fishing has definitely been from sunrise until about 10am, however the evenings and after dark are well worth a try as well.
The redfin have been a little quiet at the time of writing, but I have taken a couple around the 600g mark while fishing for trout with mudeyes. There’s a lot of weed in the lake at present so the best redfin fishing methods, such as drifting with gudgeon and trolling with lures, have been very frustrating and not really worth the effort. We need to get a rise in the water level!
Despite the low water level at Fyans, it’s still easy to launch small boats on the south bank beach in front of the Stawell Angling Club campground.
I have been spending a lot of time fishing Wartook recently and the brown trout fishing has, at times, been very good, particularly off the wall. The average size of these trout has been around the 1kg mark but some good fish to 1.9kg have been taken. The best method has been to fish unweighted baits of freshly peeled yabby or prawn tails. Cast them a short distance off the wall. Scrubworms and freshwater mussels have also taken some nice trout. Although my favourite method of trout fishing is with a mudeye suspended beneath a bubble float, I’ve only started to get amongst the trout when I’ve switched to yabby tails.
The flyfishing has been very good, particularly on a calm morning, casting at rising trout mopping up drowned insects in the windlanes. The best flies have been small Mrs Simpsons, Woolly Worm types and the Bloody Mary. The most productive flyfishing areas seem to be up the north end of the lake and the east side of the island in the shallows.
For anglers who prefer to troll lures, some nice trout and redfin have been taken. The best lures have been brown or gold Tasmania Devils, brown trout pattern Rapala CD5s and gold StumpJumpers.
The fishing here hasn’t been as good as it was last month but a few brown trout around 1kg have been taken along with the occasional good redfin. Large numbers of small redfin have, at times, been a nuisance lately. Baitfishing from the bank has been most productive with scrubworms, mudeyes and minnows the best baits. Flyfishing is also well worth a try. Good flies include the Mrs Simpson, Hammils Killer and Woolly Worm. The early mornings and late afternoons have been the best times to fish here.
Some good catches of redfin have been taken at Fulhams Reserve. These redfin are averaging around the 500g mark. The fish seem to be biting at most times of the day but most anglers have been fishing the afternoons. Baitfishing with gudgeon and minnow has been best but a few redfin have also been taken on Ondex spinners and Rapala minnows.Reads: 2009