It’s hard to believe the middle month of summer has arrived!
January is my favourite time of year to fish the fantastic Kiewa River. Leading up to Christmas the Kiewa has been fishing pretty well, with several reports coming in of some good fish being taken. I haven’t had a proper Kiewa River fix for a couple of years due to persistent high water levels, hopefully in January it will be a different story.
The Kiewa River is one of Victoria’s best trout fishing rivers as far as I am concerned. The area from Redbank upstream to Mt Beauty is an amazing piece of water, with numerous deep holes and runs broken up with intermittent rapids. The Kiewa River is a very well balanced stream, with good numbers of trout, with a few very large fish amongst them.
A couple of years ago while fishing the Kiewa River I almost had a heart attack as I watched a brown trout that I estimated to be around 4kg follow my lure to my feet and then casually turn around and swim back into the depths never to be seen again.
I have had great success in the Kiewa River over the years on my favourite Super Vibrax bladed spinners as well as the Wardens Rooster Tail which has also brought me good results. They are both excellent spinners and both proven fish takers.
Small hardbodied lures such as Rapalas, JD 5cm suspending minnows, Pontoon21 Crackjacks and Eddys Lip Rippas have all worked well for me in the Kiewa River in the hottest part of the summer. I am also planning on doing more flyfishing this January than I have in previous summers, and will be giving my 4wt rod a decent workout. I am by no means a gun fly fisher, however after a few tips and pointers by Rex Hunt last season on some North East Victorian streams steered me in the right direction to the point where I regularly catch a few trout on both dry flies and nymphs.
Last season I was having a lot of success with the Royal Stimulator dry flies in #12, so no doubt they will be my ‘go to’ fly this January.
Another stream in this corner of the world that I have had great success on during the heat of summer is the Snowy Creek above Mitta Mitta township. This gem of a stream usually has cooler water than many of the surrounding rivers and creeks and can really turn it on all summer for trout anglers.
For best results try heading upstream past granite flat to where the water will be at its coolest.
The Mitta Mitta River itself will be worth a fish, particularly around Mitta Mitta township just downstream from its junction with the Snowy creek.
Further downstream around Eskdale the water in the Mitta Mitta River will a bit warmer, however there are still some nice brown trout down there which can be tempted with a dry fly of an evening and into the night.
Downstream between Eskdale and Tallandoon is a bit like a buffer zone, with a few trout and a few Murray cod present, and downstream from Tallandoon to Lake Hume is predominately a Murray cod fishery, which should be fishing very well in January. Kayaks and canoes are the best way to fish the Mitta Mitta River for Murray cod in this area, giving the angler greater access to the many deep holes, and anglers should be reasonably competent with their paddling skills before attempting to paddle down the faster sections of river.
Closer to Lake Hume a few yellowbelly are caught from time which have most likely made their way upstream from the lake. Redfin are also caught throughout the entire stretch of river from Lake Dartmouth to Lake Hume and are mainly small.
In the Kiewa River the cod should also be biting, especially from Gundowring Bridge downstream to its junction with the Murray River near Albury. As with the Mitta Mitta River, the Kiewa is best suited to kayak and canoe anglers. The water is really clear around Gundowring, but the clarity tapers off somewhat as the river gets closer to Kiewa. Having said that it is certainly clear enough for any lure, and still clearer than many of the other rivers in this area.Reads: 5140