|  First Published: December 2010

Wow! All the rivers run, and how!

Like waters everywhere else, alpine region rivers are running high, wide and fast this month and all are actually bursting full of wild brown trout and rainbow trout, mostly the former.

Many fish are small, weighing around 350-400g on average. The lakes are fishing extremely well with brown trout to 750g being caught on drifted live bait and a variety of lures in recent weeks.

Bogong High Plains

Rocky Valley Lake is 100% full and anglers are taking good numbers of mostly brown trout and a few rainbows from around the shoreline on live bait presented under a half-filled bubble float and cast out as far as possible. Good results can be achieved during the day if the breeze is coming from behind the angler and the float is allowed to drift out into deep water.

Lures are also taking their share with Tassie Devils in various patterns the most popular being used.

Pretty Valley Lake is also 100% full although few anglers are bothering with it at the moment. This water holds good numbers of wild brown and rainbow trout that tend to be smaller than those in Rocky Valley but they fight just as hard when hooked.

The outflow stream, Pretty Valley Creek, is usually a great water for novice fly fishers to hone their skills in, fishing for small brown trout to 350g that are in abundance in summer. However, it has been flowing a bit too high and fast in recent weeks for any quality fishing time to be realised and conditions may not improve until well into summer.

Kiewa River

The Kiewa River at Tawonga was running very high and fast following days of yet more rain in early December. Actually, the river has risen and fallen several times in recent weeks which has been helpful for anglers who report taking many trout, mostly on lures during falling and steady river levels from the section between the Mt Beauty pondage outflow and Ryders Bridge in Tawonga.

Rising river levels have been accompanied by heavy rain, making fishing uncomfortable if not difficult. As usual, the Kiewa River is teeming with yearling wild brown trout so it should be a very productive summer for holidaying anglers this summer.

Ovens River

The Ovens River around Porepunkah is running high and local anglers report taking brown trout to 550g on drifted live bait from many of the runs and selected pools during the day. Bladed lures are also proving popular, with several recent reports of trout being caught on medium-sized spinners at Bright.

The upper reaches are producing numbers of brown trout averaging 550g, with some reaching 750g and more around Germantown.

Reports of salmon being caught above Harrietville have persisted over the last two seasons. The trout farm near Harrietville lost a number of these fish some years ago and they may be breeding in the headwaters of the Ovens. I understand that several yearling salmon escaped from the farm into the river during the recent floods as well.

Lower Mitta Mitta River

The Lower Mitta Mitta River from Mitta Mitta to Eskdale is flowing nicely and fishing well, being controlled by the outflow gates on Dartmouth Dam, located many kilometres upstream. Stream flows are proving a bit of a challenge for some anglers according to reports, as the rate is much faster than in recent years, returning to how it was before the big drought.

Despite this, mostly brown trout to 550-600g on average are falling for a variety of lures including Tassie Devils in various colours and patterns. Most fish are caught are in the long runs and in the ‘bumpy’ water below large pools, according to reports.

Snowy Creek

Snowy Creek at Granite Flat is running a bit harder than last season at this time and producing numbers of rainbow trout to around 450g on Tassie Devils and Rapalas. Some sections of the Snowy Creek, such as that around Sailors Creek are proving more difficult to access as easily as in previous seasons when flow levels were lower, but the effort involved to find a suitable spot to cross the stream and fish from the opposite bank is well worth the time taken.

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