Alpine rivers and streams are winding down both in flow and catch rates as winter approaches. Happily, keen anglers will still find pan-sized brown trout and rainbow trout on offer in all waters.
Rocky Valley and Pretty Valley reservoirs are both down to 40% of capacity as water is released to meet hydro-electricity cold weather requirements. Nevertheless fishing remains good to excellent during the day. Good spots to try are towards the dam wall in Rocky Valley, and the flow-in end above the walkway in Pretty Valley, where rainbow trout to 2kg are rising during the afternoon on still days.
Good News! The Bogong High Plains Road, which is bitumen from Mt Beauty to Falls Creek, is to be sealed completely to the Omeo Highway by mid-2009. Rock base material is currently being spread prior to sealing. Sealing this road from end to end will make the upper Mitta Mitta, Bundarra and Cobungra rivers more readily accessible to anglers.
The Pondage has dropped to just 25% of capacity as water is released to meet hydroelectric and river flow requirements, and the low level has affected fishing conditions. However, good fishing is still available along the northern bank where the water is deepest, with live baits such as grasshoppers and crickets the best baits to use if you can find any. Alternatively, good old earthworms and mudeyes will still prove effective, with rainbow trout to 1.2kg on offer.
The Kiewa River is low and will remain that way until the spring snowmelt in September. Fishing for trout is becoming somewhat challenging, with larger specimens become scarce as the spawning season approaches. Most river and some lake trout enter into their spawning routine by late May, and their digestive system will close down as they cease feeding altogether until their spawning cycle is completed around mid to late August. However, brown and rainbow trout to around 1.25kg are still on offer in the Kiewa River until the last week of May at least.
The lower Mitta Mitta River from Glen Wills and Anglers Rest through to Taylors Crossing is at low flow and fishing is becoming less productive, but some good-sized brown trout are still being caught on lures such as trout-patterned Rapalas, Tassie Devils and silver Wonder Wobblers. Flyfishers are also getting a few during the day on size 14 black or brown nymphs fished at mid-depth.
Dartmouth Dam remains steady at 17% of capacity and is fishing moderately well, with boat anglers finding brown trout to around 1.5kg using deep trolling methods during the day. Best action is around the 8-Mile Arm. Lake Banimboola (the pondage) is also low, with only a few trout taken from this water recently, mostly on live drifted bait and lures.
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.auReads: 1957