By Callum Ludwig
The majestic Birrarung or Yarra River running through Warburton is a premier fishing destination for visitors to the Upper Yarra and Yarra Ranges, and there are plenty of great fishing opportunities in winter.
Tommy Finn’s Trout Farm at 3175 Warburton Highway, Warburton also provides an ideal spot for beginner, intermediate or more advanced fishing enthusiasts and is a great day out for families.
Manager Lucien Tran said the cold winter weather is the best time of the year for trout fishing.
“Because they are cold-water fish, winter is best suited for them and the cooler and cloudier weather makes it a little bit easier to catch the fish,” he said.
“At the moment we are stocked with rainbow trout, and you can pay the entry fee and we provide all the equipment that you need, from fishing rods to bait and buckets.”
There are three fishing areas at Tommy Finn’s Trout Farm, ranging from a 4000 square metre pond that is full of trout, to an 8000 square metre one that provides more of a challenge.
Mr Tran said the larger pond feels like you are in the outdoors rather than at a farm, and the smaller pond provides an easier experience for kids.
“Most people tend to go to the harder section first to play around as they don’t want to catch too much straight away, and because our pond is so big, it gives them a more realistic experience of fishing, because you actually miss a lot of fish,” he said.
“The fish will bite and then you’ll miss it before you might catch it on your third or fourth go, So it’s not like you’re going to chuck a line down and hit a fish in the face you know.”
For those who prefer to check out the wonderful natural waterways of the Warburton Valley, the Victorian Fishing Authority recommends Armstrong Creek from the Upper Yarra Dam, Big Pats Creek and Starvation Creek in Warburton, McMahons Creek, in East Warburton, Don River and Little Yarra River in Launching Place and Cockatoo Creek, Macclesfield Creek, Sheepstation Creek and Woori Yallock Creek in Woori Yallock.
Mr Tran said he knows of a few popular spots for line and fly fishing nearby.
“McMahon’s Creek, a lot of people tend to go there and a lot of hunters who go down our way towards Warburton but the water is a bit faster with a lot of rocks so is a bit tricker,” he said.
“It’s just a nice part of town and when you go fishing you don’t really have to catch something but when you do, it’s a bonus. People also go fly fishing where the water is shallow enough near Warburton and of course, everyone has their secret spots that sometimes you’ve got to go for a drive and find.”
There are a range of different fish to be found in the Upper Yarra’s rivers, creeks and streams including trout, blackfish, lamprey and short-finned eels, spiny crayfish, perch, mountain galaxias, carp, goldfish, smelt and even freshwater mussels.
Mr Tran said the Upper Yarra has a world-class landscape for fishing.
It’s just like any Canadian tourist spot with Warburton and Mt Donna Buang with a crisp cool mountain air feel, you don’t have to travel halfway across the world and our farm has an amazing view of the mountain,” he said.
“Our visitors can come to catch their fish, then weigh and pay for it and we gut and clean it all for you before you can cook it on our barbecues and enjoy.”