Trout fishing reports from northeast alpine rivers have been mixed so far this year, with fishing ranging from excellent to challenging being experienced by local and visiting anglers.
Streams are becoming affected by excessive summer heat, with water temperatures reaching 23oC and more as a result of air temperatures close to 40oC on many days. Lakes are faring better, being 600m or more above sea level, which makes them virtually immune to the hot conditions.
Rocky Valley and Pretty Valley reservoirs at Falls Creek are the most popular fishing venues at the moment, as they provide anglers with a cooler climate than the rivers and are both at full capacity. Rainbow trout to 1.25kg are rising throughout the day to caddis moths and green beetles. For flyfishers, dry flies such as Green Beetles, Elk Hair Caddis, Yellow Humpies, Royal Wulff Hairwings and various hopper patterns in sizes 14-16 are taking most of the fish.
Lure specialists are doing well during the morning and into mid-afternoon using a variety of bladed metal lures and trout-patterned Tassie Devils. Bait anglers are also doing well with live grasshoppers either drifted on light line or presented under a bubble float.
Fiona Pond is fishing exceptionally well during the evening, with rainbow trout to around 750g falling for a variety of lures and drifted live ’hoppers. With the hot weather, most fish are found in the deeper sections during the day, the best spot being along the high bank near the ambulance station.
The Kiewa River from Mt Beauty to Mongans Bridge is in pristine condition as good early summer rains ensured excellent stream flows and kept the water cooler than many other rivers. Temperatures, however, are slowly rising and fishing is becoming more challenging. During the day, most trout are less than 300g, with larger specimens coming out only after dark. There are many small brown trout rising during the late afternoon. The fish are feeding exclusively on tiny black midges, usually refusing all other offerings.
The lower Mitta Mitta River from Mitta Mitta to Eskdale is flowing well at 200 megalitres, but it is getting warmer as hot days become more frequent. This results in challenging fishing conditions, with lower than usual catch rates reported. Insects are also scarce during the day, as the hot conditions force them to seek cool shade elsewhere. Better results are obtained well after dark.
The Snowy Creek from Granite Flat to Mitta Mitta is in beautiful condition and producing brown trout to around 450g on dry flies and small lures during the day, with larger specimens coming out to feed after dark. Many holidaying anglers are about but things should be less busy by the second week of February.
Alpine fishing conditions can change very quickly whatever the season, so for the latest update phone Geoff Lacey at Angling Expeditions Victoria on 03 5754 1466, or check out website www.anglingvic.com.au
Warm weather has made fishing challenging in the high country, but flyfishers have met with good success at times, especially just on dark.Reads: 724