Grey low-level clouds sweep across the towering Grampians as we silently drift and cast bladed spinners along the edges of the lake’s thick weedbeds.
I sight a fish in between a weedbed and flick the spinner into flight, it lands just centimetres from the weedbed and my heart rate increases. The spinner hits the water and I instantly begin to retrieve the lure, making sure the weed does not come in contact with the trebles. After just two turns of the reel handle the water behind the spinner erupts… I’m on!
The trout springs from the water as I tussle with the fish to coax it away from the weedbed. Again, it leaps from the water, this time I get a good look at it – a dark olive-coloured brown trout.
Trout in Fyans are very aerobatic due to the low water level, as they have nowhere else to go but up. I’ve had fish jump from the water more than a dozen times on occasions before safely being landed. The aerobatic trout of Fyans make for some very exciting trout fishing.
If there is a more picturesque lake in Victoria than Lake Fyans, I am yet to fish it. Lake Fyans is a clear, shallow, circular, weedy lake surrounded by a sandy shoreline located on the foothills of the magnificent Grampians.
I have been fishing the lake regularly for many years now and it is at the top of my trout and redfin destinations. Lake Fyans is about 15 minutes’ drive from Stawell at the gateway of Victoria’s Wimmera Country.
Annual stocking of brown trout and rainbow trout has made the fishery into what it is today. A common factor with many Wimmera lakes is the fish grow rate. The growth rate of trout in Fyans is phenomenal and it has everything to do with the amount of food in the lake. Thick weedbeds rich in all sots of aquatic life blanket many of the shallower margins of the lake and the lake’s bottom is also covered with strap weed that provides trout with cover. These weedbeds act as food factories and support a smorgasbord of mudeyes, snails and smelt.
Redfin (English perch) are also prevalent in this lake and grow in excess of 2.5kg.
Casting spinners from the bank or from a boat is a very productive angling method at Fyans. In times of low-light both trout and redfin move into the shallower areas of the lake. Casting spinners and shallow diving minnow lures is really worthwhile.
Wading the sallower areas from the shoreline and finding gaps in the weedbeds to cast and work lures through allows you get your lure into the areas in where trout are feeding. Using an electric motor allows you to silently position your boat in the best casting position to really work lures into the strike zone.
Lightweight spinners are best as they don’t sink too fast and it is relatively easy to keep your spinner above and free from the weed. Increasing the retrieval rate of the spinner is also a way to keep your spinner above the weed. I have found some of the best spinners to be Jensen Insects, Vibrax and medium-sized Celtas.
When choosing lures to use at Fyans the diving depth of the lure is the number one factor. Shallow running lures that sit just under the water surface such as McGrath Minnows (with the shallow bib), Yo-Zuri Pins Minnow, Lofty’s winged lures rigged backwards and Floating Jointed Rapalas all work well. When working lures in shallow weedy areas it always pays to hold your rod tip high to keep your lure from diving to deep into the weed.
Trolling in shallow, weedy water can be a nightmare for some anglers. The weed is the biggest problem as even the smallest piece of weed on the hook of a lure can spook fish.
In lakes like Fyans, trolling on some days may be impossible as the floating surface weed can create huge problems. I have found that trolling the lake in windy rough conditions has proven best with fish more inclined to hit trolled lures with vigour.
I tend to troll lures 20-30m behind the boat when using my outboard motor to troll as the water is so shallow it is easy to spook fish with the boat. I also troll with the rod tips high in the rod holder endeavouring to keep lures above the weed. Keeping to a zig-zag trolling pattern can also increase catch rates because lures work areas where the boat has not travelled over.
Fishing mudeyes suspended under a bubble float is always a very productive method in most trout water and Fyans is no exception.
Lake Fyans has some truly amazing mudeye runs during late spring and early summer. The mudeye in the lake are in huge numbers with the thick weedbeds providing the perfect conditions for them to hatch and develop into the adult dragonfly.
PowerBait also accounts for a fair amount of trout in the lake and at times is irresistible to trout. Using local gudgeon is also popular with many anglers that frequent the water and is particularly when targeting redfin.
Flyfishing the mudeye runs in late spring and early summer, and again in late summer, can be sensational. Keen flyfishers cast from the shore from dusk often late into the night when the mudeye feeders are at their most active.
Recommended flies are Muddler Minnows, Fuzzy Wuzzys and other mudeye patterns.
I have had some unforgettable trips to Lake Fyans over the years and it is a destination that I will continue to spend my holidays for many years to come. It’s a great place to take the family or a group of mates away for a fish, so make sure you check it out sometime soon.
WHERE TO STAY
Lake Fyans Holiday Beach Park on Lake Fyans Tourist Rd is the only place to stay on the lake, as bush camping is prohibited.
The caravan park has ample accommodation available to suit all anglers’ budgets from deluxe lakeside cabins (complete with spa) to un-powered bush sites. The park has a family atmosphere with a games room playground and pool.
I can highly recommend the Sunday morning Big Breakfast at the park’s Corrella Café – it is the best hot breakfast I have ever had! Hot, country-style dinners are also available on certain nights.
For more information contact the Lake Fyans Holiday Park, 1800 631 856 or via email at --e-mail address hidden--
1. The author with a 2.7kg Lake Fyans brown trout.
2. Mick Lane scored this 2.5kg+ rainbow trout casting a Jensen Insect around timber.
3. Lake Fyans, with the Grampians backdrop, is a magical place to be on sunset – and the fishing pretty good, too!
4. The rainbow trout in this lake are solid, aggressive fish that put on a great fight.Reads: 5547