Spring into Trout Season
  |  First Published: August 2009

Spring. Yep I love to hear those words, it means the unofficial start to our trout fishing season in our lakes, its also the official trout opening to Victorias rivers.

Angling the Ballarat district over the past month has been a little patchy with some good reports and others a bit on the slow side.

This winter has produced heavier rainfall than the last few but many of our fisheries are still well down and have small populations of trout in them. This shouldn’t stop anyone as in some of those waters the fish are of a very large size: rising water levels could produce that trophy fish.

In the Ballarat region there have only been a few waters over the last few years that have been stocked with trout due to low water levels.


Lake Purrumbete has again delivered good fishing as the lake has been continually stocked with trout and has good water levels even though a lot lower than normal. Vern Barby with son Luke and Jim Williams have been having a ball catching rainbow and brown trout flyfishing.

The boys have been fishing around the lake’s shore lines in about 10-20feet of water casting large Woolly Bugger style flies using sinking and intermediate fly line out of the drifting boat. The most successful coloured Woolly Buggers have been olive in colour and pink. The size of the trout have been from stocky rainbow trout around the 25-30cm mark to Vern catching and releasing a magnificent brown trout of around 6lb.

Purrumbete regular Bryan Nyygaard has been catching plenty of trout using mudeye suspended under a bubble float in varying depth to 7m landing some lovely browns trout to 4lbs.


Lake Wartook in the Grampians continues to produce the goods with catches of trout and redfin to those who brave the elements and wet a line.

The Ballarat Fly Fishers Club recently fished against the Horsham Fly Fishers and the South West Fly Fishers for the Wartook trophy. Around 30 anglers fished the weekend with the weather starting fine but deteriorating markedly over the weekend.

Jim Jackman won the trophy with the heaviest trout at 2lb: given the weather conditions any fish caught was a bonus. Wartook is an excellent fishery but the weather needs to be on your side. The lake will continue to fish very well over the next few months as it has been well stocked with trout by the fisheries and hold a very good population of fish.

Local waters

Fishing locally around the district will be a bit patchy mainly due to many waters not receiving stockings of trout over the last few years. But don’t let that stop you. I would suggest waters well worth a try would be Lake Fyans at Stawell and Tullaroop Reservoir over at Carisbrook. Excellent early season fisheries are also Newlyn, Dean and Cosgroves; only a short distance from Ballarat CDB.

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