Lake Fyans : Grampians Trout and Redfin Mecca!

File 14-02-2016, 8 52 49 PM

Local guide Trevor Holmes gives you the lowdown on a little gem of a system called Lake Fyans.

One of the best kept secrets of the Wimmera and Grampians regions is the inland oasis of Lake Fyans. Located just a 10 minute drive from the hub of the Grampians, Halls Gap, Fyans holds good numbers of both Brown and Rainbow trout as well as some of the best Redfin in Victoria. Known for its consistency as a fishery and breathtaking beauty it’s shadowed by the Grampians Ranges that provide a sensational backdrop. Sandy edges littered with assorted timber both standing and submerged provides ideal habitat for all species. Weed beds sub surface as well as standing reed clusters also hide many schools of smelt, gudgeon, minnows, mudeyes and all forms of aquatic life that make up the ecosystem. Clear areas adjacent to the weed and trees are ideal starting points for most anglers as these are where you will find fish cruising for a cheap feed.


From Melbourne a 2.5hr drive up the Western Highway bypassing all towns before Ararat where you can either continue through the township out to Moyston and Pomonal or to Stawell and turn left with well signposted directions.

File 14-02-2016, 8 55 06 PM


With many accommodation options available locally in Halls Gap, Stawell and surrounds the only public caravan park/campground at the lake itself is the beautiful Lake Fyans Holiday Park which hosts vans, campers and also has luxurious cabins and houses available for rent. Easter time is the busiest times of the year here and most accommodation is pre booked due to Australia’s richest foot race the Stawell Gift held nearby. Xmas and long weekends can also be hectic so book in advance.


Like most trout lakes it’s the early risers that have the best success here and ideally a pre-dawn start should produce some great fish trolling, casting or bait fishing. I personally like to flat line troll the emerging light conditions and then change up to deeper divers as the light grows. Mixing up the lures I normally run a couple of Tassie Devils and Stumpjumpers  at the same time to hedge the bets for a trout off the surface and a Redfin down deeper. As the water brightens I will always continue to run a tassie, usually gold or silver coloration but change the other to a Daiwa Doubleclutch, Presso minnow or other deeper running lure. Mixing up swimming depths is paramount here as these fish can be unpredictable. Late in the day and into the dark can also be very rewarding trolling using the same methods. Overcast conditions during the cooler months will produce fish most of the day trolling but I find the warmer times of year there’s a distinct “dead” patch that sends the fish deep and inactive.

File 14-02-2016, 8 54 27 PM


Mudeyes are the premium fare here and the trout find them very hard to resist. Fished under a bubble float edging onto the weed beds and trees is ideal. Other good options are live minnow and gudgeon as well as scrub worms and the favourite of the rainbow trout, power bait. For the Redfin it’s hard to go past the naturally occurring gudgeon rigged on a paternoster type rig and fished on or just above the bottom. This can either be done on a very slow drift to cover more areas or anchored up near structure.


Whilst this method can be a great way to cover ground and scan habitat, it can also be time-consuming negotiating your way to good areas. With probably 80% of the surface area here being open water, the shallow areas that show rushes and trees above the water line are the prime spots to flick lures and plastics. Usually if you work well away from the structure there is less chance of spooking the bigger, more cunning fish that make these places home. Sitting in ambush mode waiting for an opportune feed I prefer to lob the plastic or lure well past the fish/structure and retrieve back towards the boat. Rainbows especially can be very sensitive to any splash or intrusion in their zone and dart off to safety or shut down until they feel secure. The majority of times the take or strike will happen at distance where the fish has no idea of you or the boat being present. Tassie Devils, shallow running bibbed lures and plastics being amongst my favourites here. Colour wise I try to match what’s neutral or natural in the waterway.

File 14-02-2016, 8 51 39 PM


If targeting Redfin the method most used here apart from trolling and gudgeon fishing the bottom, some great results have gone to the hard workers who persist with blades and cranks over the weed beds. I personally rig with singles for this purpose as trebles will most times result in weed fouling which ruins lure actions and reduces your chances of a hook up. Sounding these fish up prior will also be an advantage, sitting off them and working to the marks. The colder months are the best time to run this method as the bigger girls will respond aggressively if they feel threatened or intimidated by the noisy intruder ! May to August are the best months to target the big fish and working deeper water and weed beds should see you connect to some of the 3kg monsters Fyans is known for.

File 14-02-2016, 8 52 04 PM


Many great fish are landed from the banks of Fyans but conditions have to be favourable, with winds anywhere from north east to north west providing tail winds that make the wall area a more than viable option. Access is via a made dirt road named Kelleys Beach road and stairways at intervals lead to the best spots. Late afternoon the bigger trout cruise the wall herding baitfish for an easy feed. Mudeyes, plastics, tassie Devils and celtas would be my choice here for best returns. Worms and power bait have also been successful at times on the rainbows but the bigger Browns can’t resist a well presented mudeye!


File 14-02-2016, 8 53 53 PM

Lake Bellfield:  Within a short 5 minute drive, south of Halls Gap there is also the well known Lake Bellfield that holds some lovely big Browns and rainbows as well as blackfish and Redfin but the surprise packet here down the track will be the emergence of Chinook salmon stocked over the last few years.

Lake Wartook: From Halls Gap a 20 minute drive up through the winding and steep terrain Wartook emerges on your right nestled into a steep valley. Browns and rainbow trout dominate the catches here but it also holds a large population of Redfin with some around the 2 kg mark being taken of late.

Methods for these two lakes are as per the Lake Fyans details above with Bellfield being an electric motor only prospect for all boating. With most of the Wimmera being in a semi drought scenario and lakes being low and dropping extreme caution should be used due to stumps and submerged trees whilst motoring. Anyone visiting the region feel free to contact me for up to date reports on these lakes at:

Facebook: Victorian Inland Charters or give me a call on 0438132130.

Facebook: Victorian Inland Charters or give me a call on 0438132130.

Trevor Holmes

About Trevor Holmes

Trevor has a lifetime of experience with both freshwater and saltwater fishing. He offers you a relaxed attitude, great humour and willingness to pass on tips and techniques. Trevor is a fully accredited Coxwain and operates a fully compliant and insured craft.

Previous Don't be outsmarted by a fish
Next Procaster

You might also like

Fish Talk

Saratoga – Freshwater Kings of the Surface

When it comes to freshwater surface fishing in Queensland, the species which always rises to the forefront is the Saratoga.

Dan Kaggelis

About Dan Kaggelis

Born in Tully, North Queensland, Dan cut his fishing teeth in the region’s freshwater rivers chasing the tropical triumvirate of sooty grunter, jungle perch and barramundi. With fishing running thick in the Kaggelis family, Dan was fortunate to experience many extended trips to the Western Cape and Gulf of Carpentaria from a young age. This instilled a deep affection for the sport. Living so close to Great Barrier Reef, offshore fishing was also very much included in recreational activities as was free diving and spearfishing.

Fish Talk

Catching Pelagics on Spin Gear

Scott Bradley shares his experience with catching pelagic fish in the waters around Fraser Island off the Queensland coast. Chasing Pelagics is one of my favourite things to do. Charging across the

Scott Bradley

About Scott Bradley

Scott Bradley was born in Hastings Victoria and grew up fishing for King George whiting, snapper, sharks, Australian salmon and flathead. At 15 years of age his family moved to what he calls ‘God’s own country’ for the fishing and lifestyle that Queensland’s Hervey Bay is famous for. At 19 he bought his first boat and started to properly explore the fish-rich waters adjacent to world-renowned Fraser Island. “I carved my teeth chasing pelagics and to this day find it hard to go past a boiling bait school without firing a slug or popper into the action,” said Scott. “Longtails and spotted mackerel were all I chased until age 20 when I caught my first marlin trolling in 10 meters of water, 500 meters off Fraser Island and I was hooked.” From then on Scott has spent years chasing marlin inside Fraser Island. On the good days he says 5 to 10 shots at marlin are not uncommon. Now 37-years-old, Scott maintains that game fishing is his passion. “But I'd also fish in a bucket of water,” he said. “September to March is when I chase Marlin leaving the rest of the year to stalk the flats for flathead and bream. I also hit the reefs for snapper, reds, cod and coralies plus also throw the net for a feed of prawns or shoot up a creek if the wind is up.”

Fish Talk

Fluorocarbon – All you need to know

Last month Queensland-based Kaydo Fishing World contributor Ben Weston took a close look at the huge variety of lines and leaders available to the fishing enthusiast. Narrowing the topic down

Ben Weston

About Ben Weston

Ben Weston has had a long fishing journey till now starting at the age of 3, fishing with his father in some of fish rich waters around the Townsville. take it away Ben ... "I cut my teeth fishing under the Australian National Sportfishing Association (ANSA) pushing myself to consistently raise the ‘angling ability’ bar and learning my craft fishing ultra-light mono. "Over the years I have fished for both impoundment, estuary and blue water species throughout from Victoria to North Queensland, Northern Territory, Christmas Island and Fiji. I am just as thrilled to be walking a wild freshwater stream flicking for jungle perch as I am bouncing the bottom for nannygai or trolling a spread for marlin. I just love it all! "Fishing out of a 175 Scout and now residing in Central Queensland my ability has been pushed further than ever as I strive to unlocked the code of CQ barra in the mighty Fitzroy river or popping for GT’s around the majestic Keppel Isles. In the last 3 years ‘a late bloomer some would say’, I have developed somewhat of an addiction for flicking soft plastics or hard bodied lures for some of Australia's toughest tropical species. With fish like mangrove jacks, fingermark, salmon and the iconic barramundi at my doorstep I’m in luring paradise. "Photography has become somewhat of a side hobby of mine, always trying to get that perfect pic for the world to view what I do through the lens. I love sharing my experiences through social media while continuously developing and honing my article writing skills through written media. I have been fortunate enough to have contributed to some of the North’s finest publications like NQ Fish and Boat, About Fishing NQ and now regularly contribute to the Daiwa Australia website blog."


No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Leave a Reply

Prove you are human * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.