West is best
  |  First Published: November 2004

With trout season now fully underway in Victoria, our western area seems to be well placed to receive a bit more attention than other areas of the state. The rainfall in the region has been well above the average of recent years, with the result that local rivers have had a good flushing and local lakes are at the highest levels for some time.

The opening of Lake Purrumbete to boats at the start of September is always a big weekend – and this year was no exception. With 40 boats present and plenty of anglers around the banks, reports of good catches of brown trout to 3.75kg, salmon to 2kg and rainbow trout also to 2kg have local anglers talking up the season already.

Flyfishers have been landing brown trout to 4kg on flies in predominantly green colours. Damsel fly nymphs, Hamill’s, Tom Jones and BMS are all worth having in your box at this time of the year.

LAKE bullen merri

Bullen Merri has some very large brown trout for those anglers putting in the night shift. These trophy fish are usually taken on local bullheads fished under a float.

Atlantic salmon in the 600-900g range have been keeping bank anglers busy during the daytime, both on local minnow fished under floats and also for those trolling in boats. Lure choice is usually a Lofty’s or Tassie Devil, with many colours doing the trick. But make sure you have the standby colours of pink, purple, white and four X, just in case.

Lake Ellingamite

With higher water levels, Lake Ellingamite is well worth a look for boat anglers. This lake does not get the fishing pressure of Purrumbete and Bullen Merri but holds a good stock of trout and redfin that usually respond well to mudeyes fished under a float.

Flyfishing from the boat can also be rewarding in the evenings as the weather warms up.


Redfin anglers wondering about Lake Colac will be pleasantly surprised by its water level and as the weather warms in November will be rewarded with good bags of fish taken on local smelt and minnow.


Local rivers, the Gellibrand and Carlisle, are always popular for bait anglers and with the abundant food available due to flooding in the past months, the fish in these systems should be in excellent condition. The lower reaches of the Gellibrand will produce very large brown trout on lures and flies as the water clears in early November.

Yes, things are looking pretty good in the freshwater around Colac and Camperdown!


1. Zoran Pavic from Geelong with a 59cm brown trout from Lake Purrumbete taken on a mudeye on opening day.

2. Boats at Lake Purrumbete on opening day.

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