As a fly angler I look forward to this time of the year, the annual hopper season. I’ve spent hours at the vise perfecting my flies in anticipation of the challenge of targeting those big Goulburn fish as they head up the smaller rivers chasing down a free feed. I’ve talked it up in this column for what feels like twelve months, and now…nothing!
That’s right, the rivers are quiet, there are no hoards of ’hoppers diving into the water with the plash of a size 11 boot. There seems to be no brown trout, eyes up and waiting for the plop of a tasty morsel…it just seems quiet. Blame it on the weather, the grass, the climate, the geological forces pulling from the centre of Earth opposing the internal harmonics of the grasshopper. I have no answers, I just know I’m a little disappointed.
Redfin have made a welcome appearance in Lake Eildon, with several anglers landing good fish on scrubworms and yabbies. For the first time this year I have reports reddies caught on bobbers working well.
Trout are still being caught on small deep diving lures trolled close to rockwalls. A good hint for those chasing golden perch and cod with bigger lures: if you’re having hits but not hook-ups, try dropping the size of the lure because trout may be the culprit.
Despite the disappointing ’hopper season, let’s not dwell on it. Wipe your eyes and play on! The rain has kept the lake up and the river low. Lure casters are really taking advantage of the clear water and are nailing good fish throughout the system. Bait fishers have had success with scrubworms, especially after big downpours of rain. Fish the visible run-offs, even before the water clarity returns.
Flyfishers should try chasing down trout on bead head nymphs.
Local Alexandra angler, Mick, has done quite well casting winged lures. He has landed a few smaller fish over several sessions, but he also told me of a big one that got away. The increased tourist activity over the January long weekend ended with several fish of varying size landed on Powerbait and gents.Reads: 622