Lakes are looking good
  |  First Published: November 2004

The lakes in the Ballarat region have received plenty of rain over winter and things are looking pretty good for the months ahead.

Newlyn’s water level just keeps getting better with it now 100 percent full and flowing over the spillway. The good fishing continues with a report from flyfisher Chris Smith witnessing a few bait anglers taking trout on worms and flyfishers using wet flies. John Guljas has been having a wonderful couple of weeks with another brown trout of 1kg taken, which can be added to his 2kg fish taken a week before. John’s successful fly has been a size 10 grey Matuka.

This good fishing should continue with the amount of insects being washed into the lake and due to good schools of smelt. For the month ahead, flyfishers will have some great sport with the expected mayfly hatches, which can be spectacular on Newlyn’s. If flyfishing is your method, make sure you’re armed with size 14-12 weighted brown nymphs, brown Emerging Nymphs, and dry fly dun patterns like a size 14 Highland Dun.


For the past 10 months Hepburn Lagoon has been low and heavily weeded making it almost impossible to fish all methods, but with the great rainfall things have dramatically changed.

I recently fished Hepburn Lagoon and found the lake’s water level now excellent for all fishing methods. Fishing the northern shoreline I didn’t see any surface feeding activity or any trout movement and after fishing for two hours didn’t receive a touch. The water was clear and looked great, so it will be just a matter of continued perseverance until the fish switch on. The following month will hopefully see some great mayfly hatches and for the bait anglers some good fishing with mudeyes under a bubble float.


Good rainfall has increased Malmsbury Reservoir’s water level and the dam wall is still the best area to fish. Bait anglers using earthworms, scrubbies and mudeyes are taking the odd trout from 500g to around 1kg in weight. From the dam wall to the start of the northern shoreline a few trout have been seen smelting with flyfishers having success using size 12-10 Tom Jones flies.

The season ahead will see good fishing opportunities for the bait anglers presenting baits close in along the bank, with flyfishers needing to hit the lake on last light to avail themselves to the expected evening rise as the trout feed off the surface.


Only a short distance from Malmsbury, Lauriston Reservoir is fishing fair for bait anglers using earthworms and scrubbies. The dam wall and the adjacent bays have been the favourite areas and this lake, like the others of the district, has increased in water level due to the excellent rainfall.

Mayfly hatches will prevail within the next month, so flyfishers will require fly patterns to represent the life cycle stages of these insects.


Earthworms; scrubbies; whitebait; mudeyes.


Tasmanian Devils; small soft plastic grubs.


Dry fly: midge adult patterns in lime, black, and olive green; Sparkle Midge.

Wet fly: Clouser Minnows; Tom Jones; Matukas; Fuzzy Wuzzy; Woolly Worms; Woolly Buggers; Craig’s Nighttime; Blue Rock Specials; Bag Fly; Damsel Nymphs.


Flyfisher John Guljas caught this 2kg brown trout after sighting it surface feeding on beetles.

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