That One day in September
  |  First Published: August 2009

The trout season is just beginning, and is set to be a beauty for the streams and rivers around West and South Gippsland.

The season opens midnight on Friday the 4th of September and as I stressed in last month’s article, get to your favourite spots early in the month as their will be an abundance of eager anglers trying their luck on a healthy stream brown or rainbow trout. Please remember to practice catch and release as the trout populations in this region solely rely on natural recruitment.

The lack of winter rains is still a concern for the long-term future of these streams, but fingers crossed that the rain gods will give us plenty over spring and summer.

There are a number of fantastic larger rivers with great fishing access in and around the Noojee and Neerim districts. You have the Tanjil, Latrobe, Toorongo, Loch and Tarago Rivers, which all produce great stream trout and offer a variety of backdrops to complement the fishing. Suited to a diverse range of techniques, these rivers cater for any trout angler.

Then there are the smaller tributaries of these larger rivers plus the streams moving south around Warragul through to over the Strzelecki Ranges which offer a challenge to those after a bit of an adventure. Shady Creek, Moe, Lang Lang, Bunyip, upper Franklin, upper Tarwin, upper Powlett and upper Bass rivers hold trout but require a little more stealth and finesse along with the technique and tackle to match.

The techniques and tackle vary incredibly and there is really no one method that catches more fish than another. The main thing is to not spook the trout! Flyfishing is an art which can be rewarding and equally exciting. It’s important to pack a variety of flies so you can ‘match the hatch’. Minnow styled lures like the Rapala CD3 or F3 work well in the smaller streams while the Rapala CD5 or F5 are suited to the larger streams. Spinner bladed lures like the Crown Seal lure work wonders in the larger streams whereas a smaller lure like the Celta are productive in the smaller streams.

Soft plastics are undoubtedly a hit with the trout and it doesn’t matter what style or colour, it’s how the soft plastic is worked up or down the stream. The most popular and bullet proof technique is drifting live baits or floating an artificial bait. You just can’t beat garden worms, scrub worms, maggots, small yabbies or any other beetle or grub that you can get on a hook. There are a number of artificial baits like the Powerbait range which are great under a float.

Enjoy the start of the season and please email me any reports, photos or questions. I also have to wish the Saints all the best heading into the finals! Happy fishing!

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