Head to the Dart
  |  First Published: July 2011

The streams are now all fully closed to trout fishing, however there are a number of lakes to fish in this area during the closed season.

Starting in Mt Beauty, and the Mt Beauty Pondage itself will be well worth a look during July. The Pondage gets stocked several times each year with both brown and rainbow trout, and is quite a popular angling water.

Further down the road, closer to Yackandandah is the Alans Flat water hole at Alans Flat, which is about half way between Yackandandah and Wodonga. This great little waterhole gets stocked at the 2nd and 3rd term school holidays each year as part of the Victorian DPI family fishing program. The fish stocked are usually advanced rainbow trout, which are between 25-30cm in length and are big enough to be caught straight away.

I strongly encourage any parents wanting to get their kids involved in this fantastic past time to take there kids to these family friendly lakes.

Alans flat water hole is a beautiful little lake, with very easy access, and cars can be driven almost right to the waters edge. It’s safe and easy for the kids to get to the edge of the water and fish, and in July, it should be freshly stocked with rainbow trout.

It’s just a great relaxing place, nice, quiet and peaceful. The only thing likely to shatter the piece at Alans flat water hole in July is the exciting screams of joy that will echo across the whole lake when your kids hook up onto a rainbow trout!

There are also yellowbelly stocked into the waterhole, as well as the resident redfin and a few tench. Alans Flat water hole is definitely my first pick if your planning on taking the kids fishing!!

For the more experienced, or able bodied angler, head to lake Dartmouth. Dartmouth Dam is absolutely massive, and is Victoria’s largest water storage. Dartmouth Dam holds around 3,850,000ML when full, as opposed to lake Eildon 3,330,000ML, and Lake Hume 3,000,000ML.

Dartmouth Dam is situated on the Mitta Mitta river about half an hour up the road from the Mitta Mitta township, and a bit over an hour from Wodonga.

It has crystal clear water, is very deep, and most importantly has very healthy numbers of trout. Dartmouth Dam is a very popular angling water during the winter months, and it’s not uncommon to see long rows of cars lined up on the side of the road near the boat ramp.

Don’t let this deter you though, because the lake is so large, it can handle that fishing pressure, and more with ease.

You can troll all day around Dartmouth Dam and not see another boat, even when it’s busy!

By far the most popular method in Dartmouth dam is trolling winged lures, such as Tassie Devils and Lofty’s Cobras. These winged lures have accounted for many trout in Dartmouth dam over the years.

During the winter months, most anglers simply flat-line troll. In other words, they tie the lure to the line, cast out and troll. In the warmer months, many anglers will often use downriggers and paravanes to get lures down to cooler water.

Over the years, I have fished Dartmouth Dam quite a lot, and have found the best results just flat line trolling with Tassie Devils in mid winter, and the best conditions have been during dull days, and foggy days. On bright sunny days, the trout will sometimes sit a little deeper in the water column, and this is when the dual depth Tassie Devils come into their own.

Dartmouth Dam is situated quite high in the mountains, and can be very cold, so if you’re heading up there, make sure you’re prepared for that. Also, the lake really is enormous, and can become quite dangerous if the wind picks up, so make sure your prepared for that also, and don’t take any risks, because when you’re a long way away from help, you really can’t afford things to go wrong.

Reports of anglers trolling upwards of 20 trout in a single day are not uncommon on Dartmouth Dam during winter, however trout over 3lb are quite rare. It is more of a numbers lake, not a size lake.

Anglers searching for monster trout would be better off heading over to Khancoban Pondage, where the numbers are not as great, but the average size is much bigger.

I’m hoping to go more into Khancoban Pondage in the August edition.

So in July, take the kids to Alans Flat water hole 20 minutes out of Wodonga, and serious trout anglers with boats should head to Dartmouth Dam.

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