Ballarat anglers are blessed with some magnificent waters to fish within an hour and a half’s drive down to the south in the Camperdown district or up to the west in the Grampians region.
This lake is such a diverse fishery. I recently fished the lake with the plan to fish a mudeye under a bubble float for a while, then fly fish.
The water level is around 40-50% full and crystal clear, a change from the last time I visited when the water was dirty.
After fishing mudeyes for about an hour from my boat with no luck I started flyfishing, setting up two rods; one with a intermediate tip fly line and a floating fly line on the other. Flies of choice were an orange coloured fly as an attractor and a brown Woolly Bugger on one rod and a green Woolly Bugger on the other.
Fishing a deep gutter running along the shore I caught and released a small rainbow around 500g.
Out further in the lake, trout where chasing minnows, often called smelting. Unpredictable and hard to catch, the best way to approach this type of fishing is just keep casting your flies in the general area of where the trout broke the water surface and hope he is still there. Stripping your flies quickly it works for me. Amongst all the action I managed to catch and release two small rainbows and a lost another four trout around 1.5kg.
While there I met a couple of local anglers from Stawell; Russel Waring and Mick Brueshert casting soft plastics for redfin perch. The boys had a lovely bag of redfin between 250-750g.
Their secret to success was to cover every inch of water, casting different coloured soft plastic. Once onto a school of redfin, an electric bow mounted motor was used to keep in touch with the fish.
Melbourne Jim Williams fly fisher and his partner Michelle Davis fished Fyans recently, with Michele landing a lovely brown trout of 1.5kg using a green Woolly Bugger. This was Michelle’s first trout caught on fly from the shore.
Lake Purrumbete is always included in my report, with local resident Bryan Nyygaard still catching redfin on minnows in around 15m of water. The minnows are suspended just off the bottom of the lake.
Geoff Cramer and Ross Goyne have also been getting a feed of redfin; their most successful method has been jigging Baltic Bobbers in around the same depth of water as Brian.
Lake Purrumbete the trout will start to cruise in around the shorelines particularly along the eastern side of lake at the Black Sands and Quarry to try and shore spawn.
Anglers will have a chance to catch some very large brown trout and as winter goes on the rainbow trout will try to do the same thing. Anglers casting flies and lures generally do very well at this time of the year.Reads: 1420