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!

 

The many trout lakes around the state and outer suburbs have been getting some attention over the Easter school holidays, and for anglers fishing the correct methods most have been producing. Many of the lakes get stocked before every school holidays so that the kids can have some fun.

The lure fishing been good for many anglers but the coarse method involving powerbait and formulated trout dough has been almost guaranteed success when fished correctly. 


Staff member Don has been away with family over the week along the banks of the Goulburn river, where he has been catching fish with his kids. Don and his boys have been catching most of their trout on a variety of lures to suit the conditions, with tassie devils and Yakamito spoons producing a lot of fish and the most foolproof lures were rigged with assist or single hooks.


The stocked trout spoon bite has been excellent a bit closer to home among the suburb systems at Lakeside Pakenham and also Karkarook Park in Moorabbin. With an abundance of recently stocked fish in these lakes, now is the perfect time to trial any lures you want some fish catching confidence in. Customer Morgan had a blast catching over a dozen rainbows just this morning on a variety of small spoons including the Yakamito 'Pink Mudeye' and Strike Tiger 'Perch' patterns. Single hooks ensured all but one came unhooked.


A bit further afield, customer Steve has had some success up at Lake Jindabyne. Steve has found the lake to be fishing as well as it has in recent times, with a nice bag of 5 trout to 5lb caught in one evening among some mates. All fish were caught in a 2 hour session and all on spider mudeyes.

 


While most trout fisheries go a bit quieter during the heat of Summer, Eildon stays pretty steady. The trout can still be caught in the weir if you're fishing down a bit deeper targeting thermoclines and focusing your efforts around low light conditions, but with other natives to catch like cod and yellowbelly the lake trout get overlooked a little during Summer.

Eildon pondage on the other hand is a more consistent fish producer year round - especially if you're using the correct methods. The pondage has been RED HOT lately, so if there were ever a time to go for a casual drive by yourself or wit the kids, now would be it. Customer Zoran fished the pondage with mates last week where some nice solid browns were caught. Using pellet berley, long light rods and a mixture of dough and powerbait, the boys cleaned up.


On the subject of getting to Eildon - Fisheries Victoria have only just pumped the Eildon pondage full with another stocking of solid trout, stocked on Monday just gone. 300 solid ex brood fish with rainbows to 4kg and browns to 3.5kg were stocked into the pondage, so make sure you stock up and get up there ASAP for your chance at these trophy trout.


Staff member George snuck up to the pondage earlier this week where he found that the trout were going nuts! George coarse fished the upper pondage and caught and released nearly 70 fish, with a few methods working the best for him. Open ended feeder cages let the correct amount of scent out to fire the fish up, while loose feeding sinking trout berley pellets also kept the fish active. George found that powerbait in pink and rainbow colours were dynamite when fished on a size 8 'mosquito' hook, along with a new specialist trout dough that is in the trial stages, and hopefully in store soon.

 

 


Melbourne's local freshwater fishing has been good over the past month, as we've finally gotten some rain! Many of the creeks have been running low, and the water storage dams have also been down on capacity. We have however started t o get some of our winter rain which has breathed a bit of life back into the system, and in the annual timeline of a trout - prompted them to start their spawn run. Many of the larger rivers around the region have seen congregations of fish pushing their way up to their spawning grounds. While these fish at times can be annoyingly frustrating to try and catch, they will swat a precisely placed lure on their way up river.


Many of the trout rivers within 2 hours drive from the CBD have been producing fish of late as well. The Goulburn river has been running at a low environmental level which if anything has concentrated the fish a bit more. Rainbows to around 800g have been the norm for bait, lure and fly anglers lately. The smaller streams such as Rubicon, Acheron and also the Yarra have been producing fish for all methods too. Straight after a solid downpour a small bunch of scrubbies or troutworms drifted down river is a pretty good way to go. For the lure angler, hardbodies in the 60mm size range are perfect, with high flash golds and aggressive colour schemes working well. Just a reminder that the 2016 trout season closes at midnight on Monday 13th June, up until midnight Friday 2nd September. Trout can still be taken in designated 'sea run' streams and lakes, with all details being found through the following link:

http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/fisheries/recreational-fishing/recreational-fishing-guide/catch-limits-and-closed-seasons/freshwater-scale-fish/rainbow-trout/trout-and-salmon-regulations




 

The Yea river has been producing some nice trout for customer Ben lately, with fish like this ripper brown trout of 52cm caught on a sinking bullet minnow in the spawning brown trout pattern. Ben also caught a few smaller fish in the same stretch of river on a Rapala CD3's in the brown trout colour.

The Yea river runs into the Goulburn and is accessible from a popular spot at Ghin Ghin Road, just north of Yea itself. The Yea holds some quality trout as shown by Ben's results, and some good redfin as well.

The water can often be a bit more coloured in this region so using more aggressive patterned lures can be beneficial, along with scent.