No Better Time Than Now
  |  First Published: April 2009

There is no better time than now to chase a Gippsland stream trout.

Over summer they have stacked on plenty of weight due to solid stream flows and an abundance of food in the system. Just remember we are only a few months away from the end to this year’s trout season as it closes from June 8 through to September 4, so don’t miss out on some great fishing fun for yourself or for the family!

An important note to kick things off is that the February fires affected the farmland and bushland surrounding the Tarago River above and below the reservoir. I recommend staying away from here for a little while so that things can get back to normal for the river and more importantly for the landholders affected by the Bunyip Ridge fire.

Having said this, the unfortunate circumstances present a great opportunity to venture elsewhere and discover some other terrific fishing holes that West and South Gippsland have to offer.

I’ve spent quite a bit of my spare time playing around the Tanjil River West Branch and I have to say that this is some of the best and most exciting stream fishing I’ve done in a while. There are a number of good access points for 2WD and 4WD vehicles so grab a map and start planning your next trip out there.

The stretch of river below Mt Baw Baw through to where it joins up with the East Branch before flowing into Blue Rock is a must for any flyfisher, but don’t let that put you off casting a lure, soft plastic or drifting baits. On two separate trips in the evening I caught and released well over 20 browns and rainbows ranging from 100-900g on a Crown Seal Lure and F5 Rapala in a redfin pattern. The biggest fish (just under a kilo) displayed spectacular colour and was a perfect stream brown. Waders are a must as there are no tracks along the river but you can trek far afield in the stream.

Mick Zagar from Got One Fountain Gate, Joe Kovacic and his son Karl took a trip down to the Latrobe River in Noojee on a Friday evening casting lures for an hour. Between them they caught and released 11 brown trout between 100-500g and one rainbow at around 250g. The biggest trout fell victim to Joe’s Pygmy Gold Strike-Pro minnow. The other trout were caught on Komachi Floating Minnows.

Marie Hammond from the Noojee General Store reports that there has been an abundance of trout caught and released around Noojee in the Loch, Latrobe and Toorongo rivers and upon checking these streams out for myself, they are flowing extremely well despite the lack of rain. It’s great to see the catch and release message getting out.

The catchments throughout West and South Gippsland rely heavily on the catch and release principle. There are currently no stocking programs in place, therefore we are relying heavily on the natural cycle of trout in our streams.

The Bunyip and Lang Lang rivers are my best bets for landing an above average sized trout over the coming months. These rivers are less visited than those around the Neerim and Noojee districts. Both rivers have steep banks in sections so waders are a necessity. Around the Princes Highway through to the township of Bunyip has good access to fish along the bank. All techniques will be productive, which also goes for all the streams around West and South Gippsland.

Please feel free to email me any reports, photos or questions. Happy fishing!

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