Ballarat Browns Bountiful
  |  First Published: August 2005

There have been some good trout landed from the lakes around Ballarat lately although there are a few newly released stocked fish amongst the bigger, wiser fish.

Hepburn Lagoon

Hepburn has been up and down. Some days it produces trout and other days there’s not a sign of one about. Successful anglers are taking rainbows and the odd brown trout to 3lb with bait anglers having all their success on live minnow suspended under a float.

Fly fishermen continue to do well using Tom Jones, BMS flies and Dirty Harrys, especially along the northern shoreline of the lake.

The coming month will more than likely stay the same, but if you arrive at the lake on a calm and windless day then look out for midge hatches in both the emerging and adult stages.

Newlyn Reservoir

Fisheries Victoria has just stocked the lake with half-pound brown trout, which has been the main catch of all anglers targeting this water lately. Bait fishermen are having the most success with earthworms and whitebait fished on the bottom. Live minnows fished under bubble floats have also been productive.

Peter Browne and his son Travis fished the lake during the week and caught a few small brown trout using no.3 green Celtas cast a short distance from the shore.

Fly fishermen are also taking these newly released trout on smelt pattern flies with some bigger trout to a kilo taken at the back end of the lake.

The coming month should see the smelting activity increase, especially on those very cold, ‘wind-chill factor’ days.

Talbot Reservoir

This lake, near the township of Clunes, is producing small trout and redfin for bait anglers fishing with worms and scrubbies on the bottom. A running sinker rig is ideal. First and last light have been the best times with the dam wall area the most productive location.

The coming month will also see the smelting activity increase with some still-weather midge fishing days to be expected.

St Georges Lake

This lake, near the township of Creswick, has been most productive for bait fishermen. They’ve been taking small trout to half a pound on earthworms, scrubbies and PowerBait. When calm and windless days are about, trout have been rising to midges, affording some rare dry flyfishing in winter. The best midge patterns include size 18 Rabbit Quill Midges, Sparkle Midges and Griffith’s Gnats. The backend of the lake is recommended.

Lake Eppalock

Redfin are the main fish to be taken at Lake Eppalock by bait fishermen using earthworms on the bottom with either a running sinker or paternoster rig.

The odd yellowbelly to a kilo has been taken on yabbies and earthworms from both the shoreline and from boats. The best time has been during the warmer middle parts of the day.

Tullaroop Reservoir

A blue green algae that isn’t severe has discoloured the lake but this isn’t stopping the trout from feeding. Anglers are taking home some nice trout between 2 and 3lb. Success is coming to bait fishermen using earthworms, scrubbies and bullheaded minnows fished under a bubble float.

Fly fishermen are also taking trout on smelt patterns that include size 10/8 Tom Jones, Mrs Simpsons and BMS flies. The dam wall has been the most productive area.

Dean Reservoir

The odd trout to a pound has been caught recently with trout smelting in many areas. Reports indicate that trout are showing themselves from first light, but only for a couple of hours. Flyfishing and lure casting are the preferred methods with small Tassie Devils the best lures and black Matukas the best flies.

Lauriston Reservoir

The latest reports have bait anglers taking the odd trout to a pound and many small redfin on earthworms, maggots and pink PowerBait.

Flyfishing can be productive when anglers are prepared to persevere a bit and blind fish the most likely looking areas. Good searching flies have been Fuzzy Wuzzys, Hairy Dogs, and small size 10 Zulus.

Local shrimp trapped in amongst the wooden debris along the shallow shoreline should produce some excellent results for the bait anglers.

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