Melbourne’s trout streams- A rough guide

Fishing stories

I had planned to pick my cousin up at six, however a late night and a few beers meant I was woken by my phone ringing and Brett wondering where the hell I was, “Bugger” I had to be back by one for a doctors appointment and had now lost two hours fishing. I eventually picked Brett up about 7:30 and we headed out to a small creek, a little less than an hour out of Melbourne hunting for trout.

What could be better

We arrived to an absolutely perfect little trout stream, bathed in soft spring sun, and while it was probably nowhere nearly as spectacular as the New Zealand trout streams Graz has been writing about, its an impressively beautiful piece of water given how close it is to our second largest city. On that day the trout were playing ball, half a dozen casts and Brett landed the first fish, a lovely little brown trout. Small trout from small waterways have to be some of the most gorgeous freshwater fish you are likely to come upon. As the morning progressed we landed another ten or more fish, the highlight being an absolute “monster” of 45cm. We left the fish biting and were back in Melbourne in time for my doctors appointment. Not bad for a morning that was cut two hours short.

A 45cm “monster” pulled out of a stream you could jump over :)

Since moving to Melbourne exploring the multitude of gorgeous little trout streams within a couple of hours drive has become a bit of an obsession. While I’ve had a few attempts at chasing the saltwater fish that inhabit the harbour and wharves around Melbourne, such as Docklands famous bream, its fishing these little streams that has really excited me. There are simply so many options! From the Rubicon, Acheron and other famous trout streams to the multitude of tiny streams that dot the hills, even the upper Yarra :) So far most of my exploring has been has mainly focussed on the tiny waterways. To be 100% honest, I have mainly been picking my fishing destinations not on how good the fishing is meant to be but on how pretty the places are. Preferring to fish Mountain Ash stands and the upper reaches of the creeks and rivers for bonsai trout, than farmland and more open forests chasing their larger cousins. The scenery and the number of little fish making up for their lack of size. Sometimes it pays to realize fishing can be about a little more than catching fish and to adjust accordingly. That said I do get a little grumpy if I fail to tempt at least half a dozen bonsai trout in a day, no matter how gorgeous the scenery, which I suppose is my inner fisherman coming out 😉 As Rache would say, catching is more fun than fishing.

“Bonsai” trout caught fishing a small stream in the middle of a Mountain Ash stand

A little trout being walked to the bank

During my explorations, I’ve mainly been using celtas, soft plastics and little minnows fished on my 2kg bream gear. By a fair margin I’ve had the most success on this gear, but thats mainly because its the gear I’m used to using and am comfortable with and well its really not fair on the fish. So, on all my trips I have made the conscious effort to get out the tenkara or the fly rod, even if its only for 15 minutes to give the fish a chance. As I have chronicled in this blog, I’m a VERY new convert to fly fishing and I will say this: small mountain streams with overhanging vegetation are probably not the best place to learn how to fly fish. So far my inept efforts haven’t resulted in a landed fish (three rises and two hookups is the best I’ve been able to do, a third if you count accidentally hooking a fish on the backcast and launching it 10ft into the air), but with persistence, my rapidly improving casting technique and a new found ability to not get caught in the trees on 50% of my casts, I’m confident my first fly caught trout isn’t too far off. Like starting out with most new fishing techniques all the frustration and time untangling my line from trees will pay dividends in the future. When starting something new it really pays to be persistent, even though that usually means catching less fish while your learning.

Getting to a little stream

The scenery

In any case the point of this blog was to encourage any Melbournian fishermen to properly explore the trout streams we have so close to us. The rewards will be well worth the effort. After moving from Canberra I was expecting to be forced to travel further afield to find pristine waterways packed full of voracious little fish. The pleasant surprise has been that Melbourne has an absolute plethora of great little streams on offer, relatively close to the city. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have these pristine little streams so close to Melbourne. While its not New Zealand I can head up for half a day and be back to do other things (like my washing, taking the GF out for afternoon beers, gardening etc) in the afternoon which is pretty special. The number of different little streams also means that there is constant exploring to do if you wish, which is one of the real joys of fishing as has been covered in the fish-walking post. So for any of you who live in Melbourne, hop in the car, head for the hills and get into the trout. Or at least spend a day hanging out by a gorgeous little stream far away from all the hispters in Collingwood while you learn how to fly fish :) And just remember fish responsibly, I now know a few of the trout “by name” in some of these little streams and it would be a shame if they disappeared.




  1. Posted by Stephen Hynes on December 16th, 2011, 08:42 [Reply]

    I live and work in Healesville which is about 60 kms northeast of Melbourne. I mostly fish the local small streams and creeks and have a heap of fun catching mostly brown trout. Some of the creeks are tiny but because of their size, they are very rarely fished as most people would think them not worth bothering with. Usually, I wade upstream with a fly rod and rarely have more than the leader out. I like using the fly rod as its length lets me, at times, just dap a fly into a tight spot and the soft action cushions the often savage takes at short range. Also, the fly outfit is great for drifting a single unweighted worm which I often do. There’s nothing ” wrong” with using a worm or “garden hackle” on a fly outfit. I used to be a keen coarse fisherman but I’m having a great time fishing small creeks with the fly outfit. It’s so nice to be able to travel light with just the fly gear and everything carried in my fly vest. Keep checking out the little waters not far from Melbourne –there’s some beautiful and relatively unfished spots.

  2. Posted by fishinginsoutheastaustralia on December 17th, 2011, 16:53 [Reply]

    Hi Steve

    There are some great streams around Healsville. Your definitely right about the tiny waterways. They hold loads of trout, yet you rarely see anybody else fishing them, which is one of the best bits… Sounds like your a little more competent with the fly rod than myself :) Although I’m getting better, mastering bow and arrow casts, roll casts and simply dapping the fly into the right spot. Its only a matter of time till it all starts coming together… I think in some of the smaller waterways, flyfishing will definitely be the way to go! Casting lures a meter or two in front of you doesn’t give the lure much time in the right areas (although it does work quite well)… Do you mainly fish dry flys or nymphs? What patterns work best?

    Thanks heaps for the feedback. The trout streams close to Melbourne are definitely pretty special places IMO.


  3. Posted by Stephen Hynes on December 17th, 2011, 18:47 [Reply]

    Hi Hamish,
    I have to agree that there are some fine little creeks and streams in and around Healesville. I used to travel over the Black’s Spur to Eildon and beyond but over the last few years I’m quite happy to fish virtually in my backyard, so to speak. One creek flows behind where I work and I’m seriously thinking of pitching a fly during my lunch break!
    So far as competence with the fly rod, I use whatever kind of cast suits the spot I’m in and my style is definitely not poetry in motion. Pendulum, bow and arrow, roll, dap, overhead (rarely use it in small creeks) and just drifting a fly downstream into a likely spot. I’ve even just chucked a soggy wet fly or worm into a tight spot and taken trout. Since I’ve thrown out the rigid and restrictive “10 o’clock–2o’clock, locked wrist, dry fly upstream and wet fly downstream ” “rules”, I’ve had alot more fun and success with the fly gear. There’s still a lot of mysticism that some still say applies to fly fishing but it is merely another method of catching trout or other fish. It’s legal and fun, that’s all that matters.
    I fish all sorts of things on the fly rod. Dry and wet flies, nymphs, worms( real and artificial), even light fly-spoons. These last ones are very light spinners with a streamer type fly that I just lob a couple of rod lengths upstream, then strip retrieve. Rainbows seem to like them. Like most fly fish people I probably carry too many flies but I find myself mostly using various nymphs, small wooly worms, Muddler Minnows( sunk and floating) and dry hopper patterns. When the grasshoppers become prolific, I’m looking forward to trying some rubber legged Moorish foam hoppers. They should float like a cork and land with a decent lifelike ” splat “.
    Keep fishing the little waters, they’re too much fun to ignore.

  4. Posted by fishinginsoutheastaustralia on December 17th, 2011, 19:12 [Reply]

    Thanks for the advice!!!


  5. Posted by Alan Bailey on December 25th, 2011, 19:03 [Reply]

    Hi Aussies.
    As an 80 year old partly disabled Kiwi fly fisherman who may shortly be a visitor to Melbourne I think you might just be the blokes to help me avoid shopping with my partner in that city. My disabilities prevent me from walking more than a flat 1 km or wading over any stones large enough to turn my ankle.I would like to receive advice about suitable possies an hour or so out of Melbourne and the names of any guides who could pick me up from a melbourne hotel and keep me clear of any of your local dangerous wild life like snakes, crocodiles or hard drinking Aussies. All suggestions welcome and I could bring a photo of a kiwi test cricketer.

  6. Posted by Josh on January 4th, 2012, 22:51 [Reply]

    Gidday mate, cheers for your efforts here.. it was a great read!!! I’m new to fishing, really keen and just got a rod for Christmas so I’m looking to test a few spots around Melbourne. Hit me up if you are ever looking for someone to accompany you fishing as I need someone that knows what they are doing to get me started and show me where to catch a fish… I actually just fished in Lake Hawea in New Zealands South island over the Christmas break and caught a few Salmon… it’s got me buzzing to catch trout!!

  7. Posted by fishinginsoutheastaustralia on January 8th, 2012, 14:03 [Reply]

    Hi Alan

    Sorry for the delay, I’ve been on holidays and not checking the blog… Just fishing and doing family stuff… I’m not your man re guides. I’m sure there are plenty of good ones around Melbourne however, I’ve gone the other slower route of trying to figure things out myself. Good luck! The trout fishing around Melbourne might not be quite as good as you have at home, but its still pretty fun


  8. Posted by fishinginsoutheastaustralia on January 8th, 2012, 14:05 [Reply]

    Thanks Josh.

    Will do. Starting out, try the more well known streams, most of which are mentioned in the blog… Just use google earth to figure out places that are accessible and look good. However, all the little streams around also hold trout so once you work out the bigger streams, definitely start exploring a bit. To start, work your way from Healsville up pretty much, there are so many good streams


  9. Posted by Stephen Hynes on September 12th, 2012, 07:33 [Reply]

    Hi Hamish,
    Have you managed to wet a line since the trout season opened recently? A couple days ago I fished the Badger Creek near Healesville–a pretty, small stream and managed to pick up a few nice rainbow trout with an ultra light spinning rod and an orange fly-spinner.

    • Posted by fishinginsoutheastaustralia on September 12th, 2012, 07:40 [Reply]

      I managed to get out for a couple of hours on the trout opening and dropped one fish swinging wets but the high water made things difficult… Will be out this weekend for a more concerted effort :) I’ll let you know how I go


  10. Posted by Brian on October 12th, 2012, 20:01 [Reply]

    Hi Hamish,

    I am a 26-y.o. guy from Germany currently studying at Victoria Uni and have been in Melbourne for three months now. As I haven’t found any fishing friends yet, I searched the web for someone fishing around the city. There are a lot of clubs here, but as I am only staing another three months, joining a club is probably not worth it. I was wondering if you could give me some advice on fishing around Melbourne?

    Best regards,

    • Posted by fishinginsoutheastaustralia on October 15th, 2012, 17:56 [Reply]

      Hi Brian- heaps of fishing around Melbourne… If you have a car, any of the streams in the NE around Healsville etc hold plenty of trout. Haven’t been up for a while, but was all running pretty high and was pretty difficult a month ago, although would be better now… Further afield there are the Goulbourn and Runicon two of Victorias more “famous” trout waters… (depending on where you are in Melbourne roughly and hour and a halts drive)… To the west, there are the lakes near Ballarat, Daylseford etc- Newlynns, Hepburn, Wendouriee etc- they will start fishing well soon as the hatches get started (the fabled mudeye migration I’ve never fished will kick off soon if you want to do some night fishing)

      There are carp in all the creeks rivers in Melbourne- Merri, Gardiners, Yarra, Plenty, Darenins etc- I’ve been chasing them on fly recently which is a lot of fun if you don’t have much time…

      Then there is saltwater- bream at docklands and in the estuary sections of the Yarra etc… Salmon, squid, snapper off the piers on the Peninsula…

      So really depends on what you want to target and what methods you want to use…

      Good luck!


  11. Posted by Stephen on October 17th, 2012, 06:33 [Reply]

    Hello Brian,
    As Hamish has already written, there’s plenty of fishing in and around Melbourne. For trout fishing, Healesville is a good starting point with the Grace Burn, Watts River, Badger Creek and Donnelly’s Creek all holding trout. Dont be put off by the small size of these streams as there are some nice trout in them.If you would like to try your luck in a few lakes, then Lilydale Lake, Don Road Lake ( Healesville) and Marysville Dam are good places. Lilydale and Don Road lakes both contain trout, roach, redfin, eels, goldfish and carp. Marysville Dam is regularly stocked with rainbow trout. Marysville also has an excellent wood fired pizza shop that I thoroughly recommend for a post fishing trip meal! Hope these suggestions are helpful.
    Cheers and Tight Lines.

    Hamish– I fished Donnelly’s Creek about a week ago–a tiny little run but alot of fun to fish. Picked up and released a nice little 10 inch brown trout that took a bead head black nymph suspended under a hopper indicator. No casting involved, just flipped the rig into a likely table sized pool and he took the nymph. I might even dispense with the fly line next time when I fish this creek as most of the fly presentations only involved dapping.

  12. Posted by Christopher Smith on December 16th, 2012, 18:14 [Reply]

    HI Folks,
    I am Canadian bloke and moved to Melbourne from Toronto about a year ago to start my first full-time lecturing job at a uni here. I’m 35, got my first fly-rod when I was 10, so I’ve been at it steadily for 25 years or so, mostly in ponds and lakes, but more recently rivers– and particularly small, (preferably inaccessible) streams have captured the entirety of my attentions enthusiasm and energy. The small stream action in and around Healesville sounds brilliant, but after an unfortunate mishap with a rental car in Tassie a couple months back, I’m more reluctant than ever to try driving on the left hand side of the road. Given my job, money isn’t an issue and I’d be more than happy to cover petrol and food costs for anyone who might be interested in doing some exploring up in that area, just so long as you have a car and don’t mind driving. I’ve got some time off from essentially the end of this coming week (say 20/21 Dec.) until about 10 Jan., and like I said, I’m essentially just looking for folks with wheels who might want a bit of company on whatever stream/creek/river we happen to stumble upon in the Healsville area. I’ve been tying my own flies for the past couple years, and due to a recent rteeasure chest of fly-fishing gear I tumbled upon on Gumtree, I now own at least threee complete fly-fying kits, so I’d be happy to teach anyone the basics of either fly-tying or casting. By all means send me a note if you have a car and are at all interested in doing a bit of river-tromping in the tributaries (big and small) in and around Healsville, which do sound absolutely beautiful and ideal. Ideally I’d love to find another displaced person like myself to take a trip during or immediately following the Christmas holidays, either down to Tassie, or even closer, up towards Healsville. Send me a note if you are interested in any of the above…
    Many thanks and best regards,

    • Posted by fishinginsoutheastaustralia on December 16th, 2012, 18:30 [Reply]

      Love to take you out Christopher… I am away/busy till the 7th of Jan, but would like to take you out after that… Send an email to the blog email and I’ll send you my personal details and we will try and organise something.


  13. Posted by Craig Irvine on January 9th, 2013, 21:56 [Reply]

    Hi Christopher and Hamish,

    I have been fishing some of the rivers between Neerim South and Noojee in the Latrobe forest. I have found some great spots but am also just getting into fishing. Could certainly use some tips and would be happy to drive and take people out fishing. Would love to learn to fly fish properly.


    • Posted by Christopher Smith on February 1st, 2013, 16:18 [Reply]

      Hamish and Crag,

      Apologies for not responding sooner– I w9uld have written you back the same day were it not for the hectic nature of my everyday life now that i’m a full-time academic; not an enviable role/position, and I must confess that the last 12+ months have felt like I’ve been digging myself out of one landslide only to have another bury me alive.

      Needless to say that I would absolutely *love* to get out with either or both of you, virtually anywhere, when I can steal away for a day or two, which is looking quite possible over the next month or so.

      Long story, but I currently have three fly-rods here in Melbourne (1 Orvis 5 weeight + 2 Sage 8-9 weights), and at least threee complete fly-tying sets including 3 vices, 4 bobbins, heaps of hooks in virtually every size and shape, and about 7 or 8 capess of hackle. Which is not to mention all the other little accountrements: 2 pairs of hackle pliers, more peacock hurl/feather than I know what to do with, coutless fly-boxes (including 2 mint Weatleys, although those I mailed back home to family in Canada), and virtually no one to share any of this with. I was recently thinking to put an ad on Gumtree re. tying lessons, but given your respective levels of experience I’d love to get out with the two of you first and foremost, whenever it might be most convenient. I’m frantically working to meet a deadline for Monday, but fter that things open up a great deal. I tend to work in my office at the uni Mon. / Tues. / Wed., then from home Thurs. / Fri., so my time is reasonsably flexible on the whole, and I *really* need 9in a theerapeutic sort of way) to get out on the river more often if for nothing else, my own mental health. I’ve been doing it so long that casting is one of those unconscious activities where I can turn my conscious brain off and just let my body move,, and regardless of who caught the most or the biggest fish, I’m mostly in it for the solitude and the rushing sounds of the river.

      By all means text or ring me on my mobile (0420 844 61), and/or shoot me an email (personal address:, and here’s hoping that we can get out sooner rather than later!

      Thanks again for your responses…

      Best regards,


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  15. Posted by Daniel Lin on January 31st, 2013, 23:59 [Reply]

    Good read, as an amateur fisherman myself, this article really helped me. Any extra tips for my friend and I, we’re planning on heading up to Healesville next Tuesday and being first time trout fisherman (we’re using glo-bugs 😀 ), not really knowing what to expect.


  16. Posted by fishinginsoutheastaustralia on February 1st, 2013, 09:00 [Reply]

    Hi Daniel. Good luck, I’m sure you will have fun.

    Probably don’t expect to slay them on your first outing :)

    There are plenty of streams near Healsville that hold trout as well as well renowned trout streams such as the Rubicon, Goulbourn an hour or so from Healsville up the Maroondah highway (as well as plenty of smaller streams in-between that have trout)… Check out the DPI website and look at the Goulbourn and Yarra catchments to get an idea of all the streams etc in the area… There are lots of options, so just pick one and stick to that to start with… Exploring them has become a bit of an addiction of mine :) Depending on what sort of water you want to fish (tiny little creek, or bigger more open river) will determine your choice of stream a little bit… I personally love a bit of tiny creek fishing, but its not everyones cup of tea.

    I’d probably suggest brining a few more flies with you. A couple of nymphs (copper johns and simply black nymphs to start) and a few more dry flies (no need to get crazy, attractor patters like royal wullfs and humpies are a great place to start on the small streams where the trout are a little less picky)…

    If you don’t catch any fish, don’t worry too much, the scenery is gorgeous and after a couple of trips you will get the hang of it. If you blank on some of the more pristine rivers, there is always Watts creek in the middle of Healsville. We often stop off there on the way home and have a cast, its surprising how often we land a fish or two right in the center of Healsville.

    Good luck, hope you catch a few and have a great time :)


  17. Posted by woz on March 5th, 2013, 09:04 [Reply]

    i want to know the exact stream that you pulled that monster brown from!

  18. Posted by Stephen Hynes on March 5th, 2013, 15:40 [Reply]

    Hello WOZ,

    I doubt that Hamish will tell you the exact location where he caught that superb brown trout. Part of the fun of fishing small streams is exploring and coming across places that most people would not even dream of trying. There are many small streams around Healesville and by small I mean some that are only a few feet deep or wide but they hold some beautiful trout as well as native blackfish or “slipperies”. I regularly come across a blackfish in a small stream that I estimate would be 14 to 16 inches. He/she has probably got to this size because it lives in a very hard to get to snaggy pool. I’m tempted to try to dunk a worm in between the snags in an attempt to catch and release it. However, do I really need to catch this fish? I am pleased just to know that there are fish like this in this stream.

  19. Posted by fishinginsoutheastaustralia on March 5th, 2013, 15:58 [Reply]

    Hi Woz

    Steve is right, no exact locations- the joy of small stream fishing, for me at least, is exploring more than anything else. Rest assured though, put in a bit of effort exploring streams around Healsville and further afield and you will find some really nice trout… Over the weekend we saw a few really nice fish that would have easily over 40cm exploring some small streams that are very close to Melbourne. We failed to actually catch any of the bigger ones, but its nice to know they are there… The reason they are still there despite being within an hour of Melbourne is that you have to put in a fair bit of effort to get there- walking, bush bashing and then dealing with overhanging vegetation and all the rest of it and not many people bother tbh… The effort is worth it though :)


  20. Posted by Stephen Hynes on March 5th, 2013, 17:57 [Reply]

    Hello Hamish,
    Last Thursday I fished the Acheron River near Marysville and caught and released four nice brown trout. All were taken on a Partridge and Orange North Country Spider or soft hackle fished upstream on a short line. I like this style of fishing with only a rods length of fly line out plus the leader. Very close range fishing! Missed out on Marysville wood fired pizza, might have to eat before I fish!

    • Posted by fishinginsoutheastaustralia on March 5th, 2013, 18:31 [Reply]

      Love that area. I’ve been doing a fair bit of fishing out that way over the last few weeks… Mainly focussing on some tiny creeks where wading involves a lot climbing over fallen logs… It’s difficult fishing, bow and arrow casts are the order of the day but its so much fun. Land almost any searching dry (Wulffs, humpys, elk hair caddis, parachute Adams etc) in a likely lie and you are almost guaranteed a
      little fish will smash it. Better yet, its easy enough to sight fish most of the time. Addictive stuff!

      While most of the fish are small, in the 15-30cm range, there are a few bigger ones amongst them… It’s definitely a good way to spend an afternoon :)


      • Posted by Stephen Hynes on March 5th, 2013, 18:55 [Reply]

        There’s some very nice waters in and around Marysville. Have you tried the Taggerty River that’s only a short drive from the town? Before the Feb 2009 bushfires, I used to fish this river quite often, wading and casting small Celtas and fly spoons and catching mostly scrappy fighting little rainbows. But since the fires, the fishing is alot harder as there’s many more fallen trees in the river and the undergrowth makes it difficult when you need to get in and out of the river. The last time I tried to fish it I was buggered after fishing a few hundred yards upstream as I had to climb over a heap of fallen trees. Still, it’s nice water.

        • Posted by fishinginsoutheastaustralia on March 5th, 2013, 18:59 [Reply]

          Haven’t fished it since last season… Had a similar experience and haven’t yet gone back… Will have to check it out again soon :)


          • Posted by Stephen on March 8th, 2013, 16:25 [Reply]

            I dropped my son off at a cafe in Warburton, where he attends a writers group every month. As I had about two hours to kill, I thought I’d try the Yarra River just upstream of the town. Being a warm evening, there were many swimmers cooling off in the slower sections of the river. Tried a few different presentations—nymph under a Humpy; two wet flies–swung, up and across and directly upstream on a short line and just a dry fly flipped into pockets in the stream. Some very nice looking water but sadly, no joy. Quite different to the tiny creeks that I’m accustomed to fishing around Healesville and I think it has confirmed that I prefer small water trout fishing or bluelining as it is sometimes called. I like wading upstream and being able to easily cover the whole width of a run or pool and often seeing the fish before I cast. When this spell of hot weather finally ends, I’ll give the Grace Burn another try. I often use old US made automatic fly reels when I fish little creeks. With these I can cast, adjust the length with the lever, then fish through a spot one handed. Some can be a little heavy when compared to a modern light fly reel but I find they are great for small creek fishing. The last one I bought recently (that makes four that I own) only weighs just under 7 ounces and is a great , practical “toy”.

  21. Posted by Stephen on March 27th, 2013, 08:28 [Reply]

    On Tuesday afternoon I fished the Grace Burn in Healesville. A very overgrown little water that needed unconventional casts to get a fly into the water. Caught and released a nice brown trout that took a green soft hackle fly slung under an orange foam beetle. This was a buzz as both of these flies were tied and sent to me by a good friend in the US. Catch and release is the only way to go in these small waters. I have fished another local Healesville small stream that runs by a caravan park and this beautiful stream gets hammered during any holiday time. Consequently, it is almost devoid of fish in that section.
    I came across a number of set bait lines in some of the deeper pools in the Burn. This irresponsibility and thoughtlessness angers me greatly. Fortunately, none of them had hooked fish, terrapins or platypus. All the ones I found I wound up and threw in my bin. The idiots who indulge in this type of plundering are the same ones that would complain that there aren’t any fish left to catch.
    A difficult but enjoyable few hours fishing close to home.

  22. Posted by Steve on May 1st, 2013, 08:39 [Reply]

    Hi Hamish,
    The week leading up to the Anzac “weekend” saw me battling a really bad cold and as a result I didn’t wet a line in any of the local Healesville creeks. By the 26th, which incidentally was my birthday, I was going through withdrawal symptoms so I headed over to the Watts River. There hasn’t been much rain lately , so the Watts is relatively low and clear. I saw a few trout moving but they were very skittish, as they often are there. Caught and released a couple of small browns, taken on a black bead head nymph slung under a Red Humpy. This is the rig that I usually fish in the local creeks. Sometimes I change the Humpy to a Stimulator or largish white caddis. Basically any fly that floats well and I can see it without too much eye strain. The Watts near Healesville is a nice section of water. Have you seen the part of the Watts at Fernshaw Reserve on the Black’s Spur? You aren’t allowed to fish there but it is a lovely, trouty looking freestone type water.
    PS Any thoughts on a “Fishing In South East Australia” field trip/ get together some time in the future?

  23. Posted by mick on June 15th, 2013, 13:42 [Reply]

    Man last time i stopped at the Watts (couple months ago) it was a series of stagnant pools with a trickle running between them> Got one nice brown drifting a worm, then just upstream i saw a good 40cm fish swimming around on its side, netted him and put him in some more oxygenated water. i think that may have been a bad release tho, seemed to have hand marks on his side. I think the lack of flow is them not letting water out of the dam.

    And yes all these small streams are heaps of fun, but very vulnerabe, so catch and release should always be practised. And also think about what details you are putting on the internet, some people that read your posts, may have never picked up a fly or spin rod in their life and don’t intend to. But they may be experts in dragging nets and setting lines to take whatever they find. Good read, thanks for posting

    • Posted by fishinginsoutheastaustralia on June 16th, 2013, 05:25 [Reply]

      Thanks for the reply Mick. Sounds like the Watts was struggling… At the peak of summer a few streams I fish regularly close to Melbourne were pretty warm and the fish weren’t in the best condition and were struggling with the higher temps… I prefer not to fish them when they are like that, reviving fish can be an issue so I just leave them alone and fish other areas (tailraces, streams higher up that don’t heat up as much etc)…

      We do our best with keeping sensitive information back in our published posts… The general rule the blog has adopted is not naming exact locations, especially small streams etc and sticking to just naming general areas and more well know locations (Rubicon, Goulbourn etc)… Fact is though, the internet has made finding most locations only a few google searches or a bit of a play with google earth away… We do our best not to contribute to over-popularising more vulnerable locations.


  24. Posted by julian on August 9th, 2013, 17:06 [Reply]

    ive been up to the healesville marysville area for a fish last season and had a great time just throwing out celtas and the odd hardbody pulling in a few and releasing all of them….. gotta say i love fishing the smaller steams rather than the rivers… less people (usually) more interesting scenery wise and you never know whats just around the corner… cant wait for the season to open … let me know if you want to partner up for a fish one weekend when the season opens as unfortunately for them ( my friends ) they have no interest in fishing bababababa the fools…. how could you not like fishing for trout…

  25. Posted by Steve on September 6th, 2013, 08:02 [Reply]

    Trout opening minus one. May not get a chance to go fishing on opening day, Saturday but maybe a few hours after work on Sunday. My local creeks are looking fine, even seen a few trout when I did a few pre-season checks. Looking forward to trying out a short 4wt fly rod that I recently purchased–should be the bees knees in the overgrown little creeks. I might try the Goulburn in a few weeks time after the early season mad rush subsides.
    Good luck to everyone.

  26. Posted by Anonymous on May 19th, 2014, 14:29 [Reply]

    Do many of your guys on the forum catch up for a fish. I find that there are times when I enjoy fishing alone and others when I can share the experience with another. Since my missus is not into fishing, that leaves her out. Do any of you get out on week day evenings. Would be great to catch up at a spot?
    I am part of a flyfishing club and only have some still water experience and am hanging to get out onto a stream or river. Any other flyfisherman interesteted?

  27. Posted by Steve H on June 8th, 2014, 18:03 [Reply]

    The Victorian stream trout season ends tomorrow at midnight on the Queens Birthday holiday. I’ll most likely wet a line in one of the local creeks at Healesville.
    Maybe for a bit of a lark the forum could organize a “Cane and Tweed Fly Fishing Day” for next years Queens Birthday. In the meantime, I’d be keen to have a day on a stream or river when the season reopens in September with other forum people. Any others interested?

    • Posted by on June 9th, 2014, 18:17 [Reply]

      Definitely interested :)

      Any luck over the weekend? I didn’t get out fishing myself. Had a nice weekend doing domestic chores and the like. If your keen to hit up the lakes this winter shoots us an email.


      • Posted by Steve H on June 9th, 2014, 21:52 [Reply]

        I also didn’t get a chance to wet a line before the season ended today. I’m a baker and the last two days have been long and exhausting. By the time I got home today is was too late even to cast a line in one of the local Healesville creeks.
        I’m intending to fish Eildon Pondage, Sugarloaf Reservoir and the little lake at Marysville later this month when they restock it. The last mentioned spot can be a lot of fun to fly fish. Maybe it could be a possible close to Melbourne “Tweed Day” destination? I’d be keen to join you for some lake fishing over winter.

  28. Posted by Ryan Mcgunnigle on July 9th, 2014, 12:00 [Reply]

    Hey guys. I’m currently living in Queenstown,NZ. I’ll be heading to Melbourne early next year and I’ll be looking for a fishing partner while I’m there to show me the hidden Gems around Mebourne. My names Ryan Mcgunnigle. Get me on Facebook if anyone’s interested in showing me the ropes when I get over there. Or if anyone wants to join me fishing around QT. Thanks

    • Posted by on July 9th, 2014, 19:55 [Reply]

      Hi Ryan

      I’d love to take you out :) Just send an email to the blog when you get here and I’ll pass on my contact details etc :)


      • Posted by Ryan on July 12th, 2014, 08:12 [Reply]

        Hey Hamish. That’s great mate, I will defo be in touch when I arrive mate. Probs not till the end of the year but will be defo up for regular fishing trips when I do get there.

  29. Posted by nadine on November 28th, 2014, 09:26 [Reply]


    I am living in Melbourne but originally from Montreal, Quebec. I have fished for salmon in Canada years ago, but on a dingy in the ocean. I really wanted to get into fresh water fishing, and check out all the spots around Victoria, problem is i have no car, so it makes it extremely difficult for me to get anywhere. Do any of you know a good spot that’s near a train station or bus? or if not, are any of you thinking of going out for a day trip soon? I would love to get out next Tuesday or Wednesday if possible. I am not looking for a professional guide or anything like that, just someone who wouldn’t mind a little day adventure and have someone chip in on their petrol bill out there!
    I am a novice but i’m easily amused so Ill just be happy to get out somewhere and try things out.

    feel free to text me


  30. Posted by Stephen Hynes on November 30th, 2014, 21:38 [Reply]

    Hello Nadine,
    Welcome to The Flick and Fly Journal. Not having your own transport does limit your choices somewhat. Some places can be reached by bus and train, such as the Yarra River at Warburton or even Eildon Pondage but it is a bit of a long day travelling. I’m fortunate that I live and work in Healesville where I can go trout fishing in the local small streams. . If you can make your way to Healesville by train and bus, I’d be happy to take you out fishing. My son catches trains and buses to and from Melbourne regularly and has no problems with it. Fishing gear isn’t a problem as I have plenty of spare rods and reels.
    My wife, son and I are probably three of the dozen people in the world that dont have mobile phones so we might have to exchange an email. Let me know if you are interested and we can work out a day. I dont work Tuesdays or Fridays but cannot make it this Tuesday.
    PS My email is-

  31. Posted by Dean on June 29th, 2015, 12:56 [Reply]

    Do you know any good spots around Healesville were you know I would catch a fish, because I am a bit sick of catching the stocked trout. Is there trout in the Watts River behind Coles?

    • Posted by on July 2nd, 2015, 22:07 [Reply]

      Yep. All the streams around Healseville hold trout. Bit of exploring in the area and you’ll find some good spots. Just remember, its closed season at the moment

      • Posted by Steve. on July 3rd, 2015, 07:46 [Reply]

        Hello Dean,
        As said in the previous post, all the creeks and streams in and around Healesville contain wild , not stocked, trout as well as native fish such as blackfish. May I suggest you practice catch and release on any of these waters. This isn’t for some wacky Zen experience. It’s just that taking and killing a fish from these little places has a big impact. If you want a feed of trout, take the stocked trout, that’s what they are for. Good luck in and around Healesville when the stream season reopens in September. Also consider any streams near Marysville. Any cool flowing water has the potential to hold trout.

  32. Posted by Dean on July 5th, 2015, 22:07 [Reply]

    Thanks I will try that!

  33. Posted by Bob on August 22nd, 2015, 20:24 [Reply]

    Since moving to Melbourne 6 years ago, I have mostly fished the reservoirs/lakes, until a few years ago I started fishing the streams around Noojee and up towards the snowfields. Beautiful scenery & lots of nice little trout. Great stress relief!

  34. Posted by Flymon on September 9th, 2015, 14:59 [Reply]

    Hi guys, just moved to Melbourne very recently. Does anyone know how I can get to Healesville via public transport from the Melbourne CBD?

    • Posted by on September 9th, 2015, 16:18 [Reply]

      Not sure- I know there is a train to Lillydale, but not any further than that… You may be able to catch a bus…

      Goog luck finding out.


    • Posted by Steve. on September 9th, 2015, 16:54 [Reply]

      Hello Flymon,
      My son commutes to Melbourne from Healesville regularly. It involves a train to Lilydale then a McKenzie’s Route 685 bus to Healesville. You’ll find good trout fishing in and around Healesville. Just ignore the “There’s no fish in there.” comments or looks! Hope this helps.

  35. Posted by Steve on November 10th, 2015, 09:09 [Reply]

    I recently fished a tiny creek that runs into the Yarra River. Lovely little water that contains wild, not stocked, trout. I drifted a wet Black Woolly Worm and caught and released a nice ten inch brown trout. I later hooked another trout but lost it after a brief tussle. There is a unique charm in fishing tiny waters.
    PSHamish–Is it possible to upload photos with a comment?

    • Posted by on November 11th, 2015, 08:19 [Reply]

      Thats such a great little stream.

      Sorry, I have no idea about uploading photos in comments. Will look into it


  36. Posted by Des on January 28th, 2016, 14:54 [Reply]

    I’ve been fishing these streams since 1981. The first time as a 16 year old I rode my bike from the eastern suburbs and after a long day exploring had two trout, one 10 incher from the Badger below Don Rd and one 14inch or more from the Graceburn above Don Rd. After that I rode out many a summer autumn spring Saturday for the next three years. I got so fit I could’ve gone into professional cycling but it never occurred to me, I just loved those little trout. All the trout were browns, I’ve never seen a rainbow near Healesville. The most memorable day I caught two each close to 2 pounds, one a skinny buck in the Badger and the other a spectacular fit silvery brown just below Don road on the Graceburn. Sometimes got among the blackfish when they were looking up on the Celta. Still the best is the Celta no 1 green & black on bronze colour, why bother with any other spinner? since the first five years I’ve mainly used the fly on suitable sections and at times it can be quite good. Now 35 years later still go back for the occasional try and to be among the foothills and the big trees; and the fish are there, which after so long is nice to know. Also over the years checked out every other stream from Hoddles to McMahons, Armstrogs to Dixons, and caught fish in most.

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