Readers, break out your strongest lines and largest tackle. Literally buckets of rain have fallen in the Victorian alpine region recently, resulting in some of the best trout fishing conditions for quite a while.
Magnificent, full-flowing rivers and sparkling lakes at 100% capacity abound in every direction. A very early autumn that began around mid-February is the cause of it all, following weeks of very hot weather during which fishing became a challenging pastime for many anglers.
Rocky Valley and Pretty Valley reservoirs on the Bogong High Plains are both 100% full and continue to shine brightly as stellar trout fishing venues, with rainbow trout averaging 750g. They are falling for a variety of trolled lures during the day, although dry fly enthusiasts fishing around the edges are catching most of the fish at the moment.
To make things easier when fishing these waters, accommodation for anglers at Falls Creek Ski Resort has never been more affordable than it is this season. There are also excellent boat launching facilities at Rocky Valley Reservoir, so that anglers can take advantage of this largely undiscovered wild trout water.
The Pondage is at full capacity and producing rainbow trout to around 600g on lures and live baits, especially for anglers drifting grasshoppers and scrubworms. Flyfishers are also getting their share towards dusk, as trout rise to very small naturals. Imitations in sizes 20-22 are taking the most fish, which habitually ignore larger flies irrespective of how well they are presented. Some hatches of snowflake caddis observed in this and other waters during the late afternoon recently have apparently not attracted many trout for some reason.
The Kiewa River is running high and fast and is slightly coloured, the result of massive rainfalls and thunderstorms over recent weeks. Bait and lure fishing the better options to employ, as large brown trout respond to the excellent stream conditions and an improved food supply.
Fly anglers are also doing well fishing with size 12-14 wet flies and weighted nymphs cast into quieter waters adjacent to currents and food lines. The Kiewa should provide some very good fishing conditions the equal of, if not better than, those in the early part of this summer when it really fired.
The lower Mitta Mitta River from Mitta Mitta to Eskdale is flowing at 150 megalitres per day, which is perfect for all types of fishing. However, the river is currently subject to large and frequent storms, resulting in sudden rises in river levels and a deterioration of water clarity. It is advisable to get the latest information from Ted Barber at the Magorra Caravan Park in Mitta Mitta (02 6072 3568) before leaving home.
Large to medium-sized brown trout are a feature of this river as summer loses its sting, with lures and flyfishing the most popular methods used by regulars, who mostly fish in the afternoon.
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
Twelve-year-old Nathan Lind with his first trout caught on a fly. He caught it on a dry fly at Pretty Valley Reservoir on the Bogong High Plains near Falls Creek.Reads: 1435