Trout time in the hills
  |  First Published: April 2008

Magnificent autumn weather, as only the alpine regions of northeast Victoria can provide, is contributing to some great trout fishing this month ­– and it should continue for quite some time.

The rivers are all flowing clear and cold at around normal levels for this time of year. All are absolutely brimming with pan-sized brown and rainbow trout, which are the result of last winter’s excellent spawning season. To emphasise the point, I recently took my two-year-old grandson fishing to Rocky Valley Creek at Bogong Village, and in just 30 minutes we caught and released eight browns of 200-250g on a size 14 Yellow Humpy. I say ‘we’ because my grandson, despite his tender years, landed several without much help from anyone.

Bogong High Plains

Rocky Valley and Pretty Valley reservoirs at Falls Creek are both at 100% capacity and fishing is excellent throughout the day. Rainbow trout to 4kg are falling for slowly-trolled lures in the deeper sections, and feisty, pink-flanked rainbows averaging 1.25kg are being taken by bait, lure and flyfishers from around the shoreline. The better-sized specimens are being taken on lures and flies. The fish are constantly on the move and not hanging around in any one place for long. If trolling in these lakes, boats are limited to small fishing vessels and powerboats are not allowed.

Bogong Village

Lake Guy has been producing brown trout to 2kg, with many smaller fish of 750g falling for a variety of lures and drifted live baits during the day. Rocky Valley Creek and the east Kiewa River flow into the lake, and both are providing excellent fishing this month, with many pan-sized browns falling for all fishing methods. As both these waters are typical mountain streams, fast-flowing and strewn with large rocks, one needs to wade at times to reach the better locations – but it is well worth the effort.

Mt Beauty Pondage

The Pondage is up one day and down the next, but fishing is usually very good, with anglers getting rainbow trout to 1.25kg on bait and lures during the day. Belly boats, small rowboats and canoes are permitted on the Pondage, and in one of these an angler can cover the areas where really big rainbows hide during the day.

Kiewa River

The Kiewa River from Mt Beauty through Tawonga to Mongans Bridge is flowing high, cold and crystal clear. Many brown trout have been captured, with sizes ranging from 3.5kg down to 150g. Many of these fish were released, I’m pleased to say. Fishing conditions are excellent and trout are falling for all methods, although many fish taken during the day tend to be smaller. Anglers fishing the Kiewa well after dark are latching on to the best brown trout.

Lower Mitta Mitta River

The lower Mitta Mitta River is in excellent condition and running at 200 megalitres (which is low). It is producing good numbers of brown trout, according to Ted Barber of the Magorra Caravan Park at Mitta Mitta.

One keen young angler recently landed a couple of brown trout that topped 1.5kg each. Black crickets are again plentiful this season and bait enthusiasts are getting lots of action by drifting them down the runs on a number 10 light wire hook, on line of no more than 4lb breaking strain.

Snowy Creek

Snowy Creek is running a bit low this month. It is producing many brown trout to 400g, with a few larger specimens being grassed after sundown. The long stretch of open water above Walsh’s near Granite Flat is providing some exciting action for the cautious angler, as trout are easily spooked in the clear low waters of the Snowy Creek. Likewise, the deeper sections of the creek above the Mitta Mitta swimming pool hold some truly monster browns at times. Because of thick scrub along the banks, wading is necessary. It’s usually best to wade in just sneakers and shorts, as the water becomes too deep at times for thigh waders and the weather is still too warm for chest waders.

Dartmouth Dam

In Dartmouth Dam there has been a steady rise in the water level this month. Black crickets are on the go in good numbers, although reports from the Dartmouth Pub indicate that fishing conditions have been challenging, with only a few fish are being taken.

One angler took only two brown trout in three days of fishing, with the largest going just 800g. He caught them on Loftys 100 lures trolled behind cowbells set at 30-35m. Several other fish had a go at the rig but failed to hook up. Another angler took a 1.25kg brown trout on a black cricket drifted from along the shoreline.

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 www.anglingvic.com.au

The author’s two-year-old grandson, Cody, with brown trout caught in Rocky Valley Creek at Bogong Village recently. The fish shown was one of eight caught and released in just 30 minutes of flyfishing with a size 14 Yellow Humpy.

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