Summer has seen some fantastic fishing in the Kiewa and surrounding rivers.
The Kiewa river itself has been producing some quite nice brown and rainbow trout around Mt Beauty and Tawonga, with quite a few trout even turning up further downstream at Dederang.
I had some success in the Kiewa River in Mt Beauty in summer with a 5cm JD suspending minnow just behind the old timber mill. There use to be a track that ran along the river behind the old timber mill and you could drive quite a fair way down the river, but the September 2010 floods washed half the bank away and access was limited.
The fences have been moved back and the track now goes all the way to the end again as it did prior to the floods, the only difference is that it is all foot or bike access. There is a locked gate at the start of the track, but at least we can get back in to one of my favourite parts of the Kiewa River.
By the second half of March night time temperatures around the Mt Beauty area will be quite cool and the water temperature will drop quite quickly. As this happens the trout should start to become very active with their movements and feeding to gain condition in preparation for spawning.
Lure anglers should try using bright coloured lures, either bladed spinners or small hardbodied lures anywhere in the Kiewa river from Dederang upstream.
The Mitta Mitta River around Eskdale should start to pick up as the water begins to cool and the trout begin to get more active. The same lures and techniques as mentioned for the Kiewa River should work well. Last year in March I had some good success in the Mitta Mitta river on soft plastics, catching brown trout up to 1kg not far out of Eskdale. I also caught quite a few trout on soft plastics in the Snowy Creek the same weekend, so don’t be scared to tie on a small soft plastic like a Damiki M grub or a Strike Tiger with a small jighead in the Mitta Mitta catchment in March.
The upper Mitta Mitta river has been fishing well all summer around Anglers Rest, and I would imagine that pattern will continue heading into March. This remote area is a popular fishing and camping destination, and gets fished quite heavily, however there are still plenty of fish in the rivers up there and a natural presentation is usually productive, such as a floated cricked, or well presented dry fly or nymph.
Lake Hume was a bit slow to fire this summer, but after Christmas I started hearing some decent reports of redfin getting caught, and the odd yellowbelly. I did hear one report of an elderly gentleman landing over 60 redfin near the old railway pylons in the sandy creek bay using soft plastics just casting from his boat.
My good friend Brett Lane took his kids up there early one morning just wading around the edges casting soft plastics and small lures and they managed to catch quite a few redfin as well, mainly small stuff though.
In March this great redfin fishing should continue, and towards the end of the month as the surface temperature begins to cool a little, head out to some deeper water. Don’t be afraid to fish in 10m of water for redfin, especially in autumn. Small yabbies and soft plastics should work well, so to should the ever so popular ice jigs.
I have heard some very good reports of Murray cod being caught in the Kiewa River downstream of Gundowring. I did hear one report of a 107cm Murray cod being landed, hopefully it was released. Remember the maximum size limit on Murray cod in Victoria is 100cm. Any cod over this length must be returned unharmed.
Heading into March the Kiewa should continue to produce some decent cod fishing in the lower reaches. I would try casting large hardbodied lures around the logs in the deeper holes to try and intimidate a Murray cod into a strike. Of an evening, don’t be afraid to tie on a surface popper, I know people that have had some great success in the lower Kiewa river on surface poppers in the autumn months. Surface poppers work best fished during the low light periods of the day and throughout the night, and the best thing about surface poppers is that they don’t get snagged as often!Reads: 1949