Wonderful opportunities
  |  First Published: October 2010

Trout fishing this spring is at its best after many years of low stream flows. At least that’s what local are reporting following a most unusual September.

Alpine Region Rivers remain at full flow following last month’s floods that reached massive levels, overflowing paddocks and changing the beds of some rivers, possibly forever, or at least until the next big event.

Concerning erosion, the banks of the Kiewa River from Mt Beauty to Mongans Bridge have lost as much as 15-20m of valuable pasture-land in places each side of the river, leaving the river much wider and shallower than before. Some locals believe that most of the soil erosion can be directly attributed to the removal of willow trees that lined the river.

To support this theory, they point out sections where willows still grow and show no significant soil erosion. As a result of the flood some 35km of the Kiewa River has become an absolutely ideal flyfishing water, containing many features to die for.

Bogong High Plains

Both Rocky Valley and Pretty Valley lakes on the Bogong High Plains are 100% full and accessible following the annual snowmelt. Rocky Valley in particular is currently providing anglers with some exciting opportunities to catch that ‘big one’, with several reports of people catching rainbow trout to 750g in weight from around the shoreline on drifted worms. Trout caught here during spring can reach weights of 3-4kg although only a few of these are caught each season.

Lake Guy

Lake Guy at Bogong Village is 100% full and well worth a visit this month as mostly brown trout to 1.25kg are for the taking by anglers of all ages with average skills, fishing from the shoreline or canoe. The best fishing is around the flow-in, just below where the two feeder creeks join to become one stream.

These inflow streams, the East Kiewa River and Pretty Valley Creek, also hold numbers of large trout at this time and are easily accessible along the edges. Because of the amount of soil erosion following the floods, big bunches of drifted (unweighted) red earthworms are the best bait to use in these waters this month.

Ovens River

The Ovens River around Bright and Porepunkah saw significant changes during last month’s floods with some sections of riverbed widened and/or redirected as a result. Many of the small access tracks have been washed away or are unstable and anglers are only now finding new ways to reach the best spots. Fishing is excellent throughout the river’s length, with worms proving the most effective bait to use.

Recent captures include a rainbow trout that weighed in at 1.5kg, caught on drifted worms early in the morning and a few smaller specimens that averaged 650-750g, also caught on worms.

Mt Beauty Pondage

Mt Beauty pondage is 100% full and the overflow (Kiewa River headwaters) is producing mostly brown trout to 3kg according to reliable reports, although the average size is around 750g-1kg. To date, almost all trout have been caught on bunches of earthworms, either drifted or on a running sinker rig. The pondage itself is also proving some excellent fishing action for anglers using medium-sized bladed lures and worms presented under a partially filled bubble float.

Kiewa River

The Kiewa River from Mt Beauty through Tawonga to Mongans Bridge is in full flow this month and offering lots of excellent prospects for anglers right through the season. Floodwaters last month changed many features of this river and it isn’t what it used to be, that’s for sure.

Massive soil erosion has created a wider and shallower stream for much of its length, making it an ideal flyfishing stream complete with classic features for holding feeding trout. Bait and lure anglers should also find the river better to fish as it provides excellent access and lots of magnificent pools and runs in place of where featureless or more barren water once ran.

As mentioned in the Mt Beauty pondage report, the headwaters are producing numbers of large brown trout and rainbow trout as completely changed stream conditions move these slower moving lunkers about as they seek a new home.

Lower Mitta Mitta River

The lower Mitta Mitta River from Mitta Mitta to Eskdale is running nicely this month, having escaped much of the devastation that other rivers experienced last month. Anglers stating at the Magorra Caravan Park in Mitta Mitta report taking mostly rainbow trout, a few browns to 750g on average on both drifted worms and under a running sinker rig. Lures such as Tassie Devils are also taking a few in the runs, according to reports.

Snowy Creek

Anglers fishing right on the junction of Snowy Creek and the lower Mitta Mitta River are taking some good sized trout at the moment. As well, the creek is slightly bottled up as it flows through the township of Mitta Mitta, especially behind the hotel and slightly upstream from there and some good catches of trout weighing around 1kg on average have been recorded in recent weeks. Reports indicate that all fish were taken on worms.

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