Ripper Summer Stream Trout
  |  First Published: January 2010

It’s great to see the young anglers taking advantage of the school holidays, choosing a fishing rod over bedroom boredom.

The beauty about West and South Gippsland is that there are some fantastic, safe streams for young anglers to explore. Over the last month, some absolute ripper trout have been caught and released around Noojee from a few keen young anglers.

The Latrobe River has been the main culprit for big fish over the silly season and the methods used to catch these fish have been on the trusty spinner-bladed lure and minnow styled hard body lures.

Jaymie Deboucherville from Got One Fountain Gate gave me a terrific report after a recent trip to Noojee with his brother Jake and dad Guy. They put a few solid hours in on the Latrobe River starting at the picnic grounds and BBQ rotunda in Noojee working their way downstream using an assortment of shallow diving minnow styled hardbodied lures. In the three hours that they fished before dark, they caught and released 36 trout!

Jaymie reports that they caught a good mixture of both brown and rainbow trout. The biggest fish was a brown trout caught by Jake weighing 1.5kg, whilst Jaymie got two browns both weighing 1.2kg.

Amongst the catch were a number of rainbow trout that were 600-900g. This was an outstanding three hours of fishing and a clear indication of what a great season the streams of Noojee are having.

Now I expect some readers may think this could have something to do with the recent re-opening of the Alpine Trout Farm in Noojee along the banks of the Latrobe River, but studying the photos that Jaymie sent in to me I have to say that these fish are in fact river fish which have strikingly different markings to their stock-bred cousins.

Another recent report from young local Joel Fullarton angler who also fished the Latrobe River around Noojee. He fished with a spinner-bladed lure in a red and gold pattern and had a lot of success with both brown and rainbow trout.

Whilst he was only able to catch and release 3 browns he did drop and spook a heap more as it approached dark. But to Joel it didn’t matter because 2 of his 3 fish were 900g and the other he reports was a monster 2kg brown trout!

Generally to catch big fish around the West and South Gippsland region requires you to go where no man (or woman) has been before.

Another report for the popular Latrobe River was from Tina Lincoln from Pakenham who fished around Noojee and caught 3 pan sized rainbow trout and 2 similar sized browns on spinner-bladed lures and on worms fished off the bottom using a small round sinker to a swivel with a 50cm leader to a size 4 baitholder hook.

Another amazing story to come out from her fishing trip was that she caught a big spiny freshwater crayfish on a spinner. Now I had to question whether or not she had caught it or somehow jagged it, but she assured me that the cray took the spinner as went past. I’m not sure what is happening to the crays of West Gippsland but now I’ve heard it all.

Only a few months ago I witnessed an angler catching crays on worms fished off the bottom using a fishing rod.

So it doesn’t matter if you are young or old, new to fishing or experienced, there is some great fishing to be had over the next couple of months while we still have longer daylight hours, storm events and insect hatches.

Fishing just before dark seems to be the most productive time of day. The Latrobe, Toorongo, Loch and Tanjil Rivers around Noojee and the foothills of Mt Baw Baw, the Bunyip River and lower stretch of the Tarago River around Labertouche are still fishing extremely well as too above the Tarago Reservoir.

Just below the reservoir is still poor due to reduced regulated flows. Lures, soft plastics, live baits and artificial baits are very successful and fly anglers will enjoy the next couple of months using dry flies as the stream flows slow down. Please feel free to email me any reports, photos or questions. Happy fishing!

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