Here comes the sunshine
  |  First Published: October 2011

It’s hard to believe spring is here, as in early late August and early September it was still quite cold and absolutely bucketing down rain. But by October the warm weather will be just around the corner.

In late August and early September there were some pretty consistent catches of trout in lake Dartmouth and Khancoban Pondage. My best mate Sandy Hector from Wodonga fished Dartmouth with very good results, reporting catching around a dozen or so trout, two of which were around 3lb.

Most of Sandy’s trout were caught trolling worms behind Ford Fenders, and a few were caught close to the banks in some of the steeper valleys using worms under a bubble float.

Heading into October fishing in the giant Lake Dartmouth should continue to fire. Anglers trolling winged lures, such as Tassie Devils, just flat lining behind the boat should have good success, particularly around the low light periods of the day.

During the day, especially on bright days, the trout may be down a little deeper, and using leadline or paravanes might be beneficial to getting your lure down into the strike zone.

Khancoban Pondage fired consistently for trout during the cooler months and should also continue to fish well. As the weather warms in October, anglers might find themselves hooking onto a few redfin as well.

My favourite Khancoban technique is to fish with mudeyes underneath a bubble float, especially during the low light periods of the day.

I drove past Allans Flat Waterhole near Yackandandah last week, and there were quite a few people fishing there; it’s excellent to see people getting the best out of this great little lake.

I spoke to a few people fishing; they had caught a few rainbow trout, and to my surprise had already started to pick up a few small redfin, which was a pleasant surprise for them.

Heading into October Allans Flat Waterhole should begin to come alive as the water starts to warm. There should still be plenty of yearling rainbow trout available, as well as increasing numbers of redfin and yellowbelly.

The best times to catch the yellowbelly are usually the lowlight periods of the day, sunrise and sunset. I prefer the evening better this time of year, as that gives the water the whole day to warm up a bit.

Another lake not to be forgotten in October is the Mt Beauty Pondage, which should have a few rainbow trout left in it from the school holiday family friendly fish stocking program.

The rivers will no be open again for 2011-2012 trout season, but about all I can predict for October is that the rivers will be high! Even if it was to suddenly stop raining now, there will still be a lot of water in the rivers by October.

Unfortunately I think the days of spring fishing in subtle streams have been replaced by high, fast, icy cold water, the way it use to be.

I hope to fish the Kiewa River around Mt Beauty in October, however if the river is too high and fast, the smaller, but more manageable Yackandandah Creek is a good alternative. This area has some fantastic camping spots, decent pools, a healthy population of brown trout and even a few rainbows.

Yackandandah Creek is a typical small, overgrown creek, so be prepared for blackberry scratches, but the rewards are there. If the Kiewa River is flooded, or too high, Yackandandah might just be a good plan B to have up your sleeve. The Mitta Mitta River downstream of Lake Dartmouth is another local spot that might be worth a visit.

Lake Dartmouth is one of the few lakes in Victoria that is not yet full, and it’s unlikely it will be full by October, therefore the Mitta Mitta River directly below the lake should have decent water levels this month.

It doesn’t matter which stream you fish, one thing is certain: the good old scrub worm will be dynamite bait this spring. My favourite method is to use a size 10 or size 8 hook, weighted with a couple of split shot sinkers to help the worm sink, and drift it into the pool you are fishing. The amount of water coming down the stream will dictate just how much split shot you will need.

Towards the end of the month, if water levels start to settle down a bit and the streams become easier to wade in, lures will be the gun bait.

All lure types should work, however I like to start with a bladed spinner and then select my lures according to how the fish are reacting. If the bladed spinners are getting follows, but no hook-ups, I will swap over to something a little more natural like a small hardbodied lure or a soft plastic. If that still doesn’t work, I will throw my tackle box into the river and let the bloody fish choose for themselves!

I can almost feel the warmth of the October sunshine, which will be embraced with open arms like never before this year.

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