It's mid August and again trout season for the rivers and streams is fast approaching here in Victoria. While the rivers are still closed for a few weeks yet there's still plenty happening on the trout scene for anglers to get amongst! Emma from the Women In Recreational Fishing group recently went up to Eildon to fish the lake, and although it was foggy, overcast and freezing cold she did manage to get into some lovely brown trout. Many of the browns from the lake here spend their time in the open water and take on a very pale brown/silver appearance, with not as many spotted markings as their river cousins. For those fishing the lake, the ever reliable tassie devils have still been producing, especially when upgraded with ultra-sharp assist hooks.


Customer Paul also got into some open water brown trout, although down at Blue Rock Lake. Paul was fishing from his hobie kayak where he slow trolled tassies around the drop-offs and timbered edges of the lake to land some trout to around 45cm. Paul found all of the fish to be actively feeding in the open water, and have the same pale silvery appearance. The best tassie on the day was the no55 pink, fished on 'Dancing Jack' assist hooks.


On the bait fishing scene, there have still been some nice stockies coming from the pondage. Customer Simon came into the store to stock up on the essential ingredients for successful fishing around the Eildon area. Simon found a bag of nice rainbows from the lower pondage using the coarse method and specialist trout dough for bait.

Down at Karkarook Park there have been trout on offer for those fishing the same methods. Customer Sarah and her son Harry fished the lake recently where Harry managed some lovely rainbow trout. The best method was again the berley/feeder cage method and a powerbait/trout dough bait concoction.


A fair bit further south in Tasmania, Matt Sheriff reports that the Tassie trout season has started off well. Matt has been using his Hawk 'sniper' hardbodied lures with great effect on some solid lake trout. Many of the colours were working well but the standout have been the gold 'spawn belly' models, with some of the fish really hammering the lures on a 'stop-start' jerking retrieve.

 


While the stream ans river trout season has closed up for 2018 there have been some nice fish caught, and the lakes both local and out of town are producing trout. During his last session on the Goulburn before close customer Dennis had some excellent fishing. Dennis managed a few smaller trout while spinning bladed lures in the river but the cherry on top was a lovely big rainbow on fly that weighed 1.5kg. Dennis managed the rainbow on a small dry fly on the edge of a fast run just behind Thornton.

The Eildon pondage has been worth a fish for many anglers, with some large brood stock fish just recently released. Store owner Glenys was up along the pondage over the weekend with friend Greg where a few fish were caught. Greg and Glenys caught trout from the Bourke Street end of the pondage on both bait and lure. The smaller rainbows took a liking to only the 'chunky cheese' powerbait amongst all other flavours, and the Yakamito trout spoons also worked well when cast and worked back on a slow retrieve.


A bit closer to the suburbs the local stocked lakes have been fishing well for many. Customer Nathan was fishing Devilbend just recently where he caught a mixture of both brown and rainbow trout using Yakamito trout spoons. Nathan has been casting them long and wide from the first jetty, and letting them sink down a bit before starting a medium paced wind.


Customer Tommy has just recently gotten back into freshwater fishing, and has been super keen to get out there after purchasing a new light lure casting outfit. Tommy has been honing his lure skills at local lakes Devilbend and Karkarook with good results. From Devilbend Tommy has been catching some nice trout and redfin on soft plastics, with small paddletails like the Zman slim swim the most effective, while the redfin are in very good numbers at Karkarook. The same soft plastics along with small blades and vibes have been doing the job when very slowly moved along the bottom.

 

As we enter a more typical 'winter' stage of weather with rain and bitterly cold wind squalls the trout fishing really heats up. The cold conditions and increase in river flows push the fish to really ramp up and head upstream to spawn. In the smaller rivers the small fish seem to up their ante as they compete for food and territory against larger fish. Either way it's a good time to be trout fishing!


For us around Melbourne about the largest brown trout we'll see are usually from up in the Snowy Mountains of NSW's alpine high country. Rivers like the Eucumbene, Thredbo and snowy see large fish gather and run up in their annual spawning aggregations. While rainfall in this area has been very low late during autumn there still have been patches of fish moving up. Customers Daniel and Cam fished the region last week and while conditions were less than ideal they did manage to prick a couple of nice fish on fly. Fishing small nymphs and egg patterns is the go, but the ideal outfit and rig is quite technical and very specific if you're going to actually catch the fish you're hearing about. The boys in-store can fill you in on the specifics. Larger hardbodies have also been claiming a few fish as well, with low light conditions and certain 'staging' areas to key points to focus on. 


A bit closer to home, the Goulburn and tributaries have been fishing very well over the past week or so. The low river level of the Goulburn has made accessibility much easier for anglers, and much safer than trying to wade around the edges of a torrential flow. Customer Pat flyfished the river last week and found a bunch of fish willy to eat small weighted nymphs and also dry flies. For the lure angler, now is an ideal time to fish small 'bug' soft plastics or your favourite mid-running hardbodies.


Customer Sam fished the region recently to nail a few brook trout from the Rubi. Sam walked the mid section of the river and found that while there were quite a few fish seen, they had slowed down and were reasonably hard to tempt compared to around a month ago. The fish that did lash out found aggressive trout patterned and bright UV colours the hardest to leave alone. Lures that combine some bright flaired colour with an 'eat me' baitfish pattern will rarely get refused. Sam managed to land a good number of fish and more than the other anglers he spoke to. 


Staff members Don and Dylan flyfished some of the smaller streams around the EIldon region for a few hours last week, with a more 'on water' prac session rather than a hardcore fish. Greeted with high flows and more discolouration than normal in a few rivers the fishing was tough, but small rainbows around 100g were happy to eat small flashy nymphs fished on the edge of the main flow. At the present river height and water colour, hardbodied lures are a sure thing when fished along the same areas.


Across the ditch there have been some MEGA trout caught. Viva Fishing Australia representative and Megabass Australia agent Nick fished the hydro canals around Twizel on the South Island. Nick found some chunky rainbow trout and chinook salmon fishing the canal systems, and also found that they loved soft plastics. Megabass 'Hazedong' plastics were the most effective, with an ultra realistic minnow profile and tail beat in the water luring the fish in.


Customers Goran and John have also just returned from a New Zealand trip, and they also caught some stonker trout. When rainbows over 15lb aren't the 'big' fish, you have to wonder how big the trout here get!

 


As we draw into the final few remaining weeks of the trout season there have been some ripper fish caught around the place. A top up of rain for most of the main basins and catchments has kicked the fish into an aggressive spawning mode, turning them into spotted hunting machines. While some of the smaller rivers had increased to swollen capacity the high and discoloured water gives any angler the upper hand. The smaller streams around the Eildon region have been fishing well, as has the larger rivers such as the Goulburn.

Jacko from Mornington recently caught some absolutely ripping fish from the Rubicon, with a proper spawn coloured brown best the pick of the bunch. Celtas were the go for him.


The Gouburn river itself is worth a fish at the moment, as it is running at around 400Mgl which really concentrates a lot of fish into deeper runs and pools, and gives plenty more access to the river. Being slightly discoloured, brighter 'aggressive' coloured lures are getting a reaction bit from the fish.


After stocking up on some newly received lures, customer Anel and mates had a look around the Goulburn and found plenty of hungry trout willing to hit the lures. Megabass X70 were excellent when ripped through the larger runs, while the flatside 48's were perfect for slow twitching through backwaters and splits in the river. Smaller, lighter weight lures are working better as the river level stays low.


Back closer to the suburbs the local reservoirs and stocked lakes have been fishing well for trout as the weather has cooled off. Devilbend res has seen some quality trout caught mainly on lures, with the very occasional fish taken on a bait.


Customer Jake has caught some ripper trout from Devilbend recently, with a session earlier this week yielding 2 nice size fish around 1kg each. Heavily weighted spoons such as the 'Gurkha spoon' are perfect for places like this, as they caught be cast a mile out into deeper water and worked through the feeding zone rather than straight in the weed.

 


Trout activity in the lakes and rivers around the state is starting to heat up, as many of the larger resident fish prepare for their winter spawn. What does this mean for anglers? Well, the chance at some larger than average fish and from some pretty small water at times. These big fish can either be spooky, super aggressive or completely not interested depending on which day you get them on, but the main thing that they all seem to be driving by is the rain.

The next couple of big rain bands we're due for around the region will get the fish fired up and pushing up river. If the water in your local river rises and discolours slightly then these fish are worth a shot to catch. If you normal trout offerings aren't doing the job, try either a larger more aggressive style of lure - either soft plastic or hardbody, or drifting some egg pattern flies and nymphs past them. If you're not quite sure how to set up for this speak to the guys in store and they will explain the technique to you and show you what you'll need.


Up around the Eildon region customer Zoran has had some good trout fishing in mild Autumn conditions. Zoran has well and truly adopted the 'pre-spawn' techniques for catching solid trout - both on lures and flies. Recently Zoran has seen some nice brook trout from the Rubicon River along with some nice browns from the Goulburn. With the Goulburn running at around 2000Mgl at present, it will only get easier for anglers to fish from now until the season close. Larger, bright coloured hardbodies work in the river when the spawning fish are moving and can trigger a real 'crunching' response from some super solid fish.


Customer Anel has been for a trip up into the NSW Snowy Mountains with some of his trout fishing mates, where the brown trout have just started to trickle through on their upstream spawning movements. Anel and the boys have had some good fishing with fish to around 5lb hitting the lures. With water levels still relatively low in the rivers in the region the fish have been spooky and sporadic in numbers, but some heavy wet weather due over the next few days should get them fired up. Anel has been trying out some specialist trout lures new to the shop, and so far they have been working excellent!

 


Many trout anglers have been reveling at the start of the cooler weather that is coming through, as it means crisp Winter mornings wading the rivers in search of trout. Well at the moment we haven't quite seen the cold weather but the trout fishing has been good none the less. All of the rivers in the Eildon region have been fishing well, with the level of the Goulburn back down to a more fishable height. While the Goulburn has been popular and producing fish, it has been the Rubicon that has really stolen the limelight. The Rubicon river has had an influx of 'escapees' from a nearby farm - Brook Trout. These brook trout aren't native to Australia and can only be caught in a handful of rivers up towards the snowy mountains, or the Rubicon.

Now is the time to try your luck on these fish, as word has well and truly gotten out and the river will only get busier and busier the closer we get towards the season close. Talk to the guys in store if you're interested in chasing them as they can be very aggressive towards certain lure offerings.


Customer Anel has been catching a heap of brookies on some new lures he just purchased. Anel has been liking the Duo Ryuki minnows with brighter colours like pink doing the job for him. Anel said that many of these brook trout were holed up in deeper pools and keeping the lure down on them was as important as lure colour selection.


Customer Zoran stopped by the river after doing his usual Eildon run, and he had some fun on the brookies as well. Zoran fished the middle reaches of the river and found that heavy bladed spinners worked wonders on these fish, especially when fished slow and held through the school.


Not to be outdone, customer Mohd also fished the river but with fly rod in hand in search of a brook trout or two. Mohd has been fishing similar sections of river but searching the head of the pools and edges of current seams using small nymphs. Small tungsten head nymphs are excellent to use here as they get down faster to where the fish will eat them, with many rock gardens and current lines dotting the mid and upper sections of river.