Now that winter is here, the many lakes of the alpine region come into play. Fishing in all lakes is very good to excellent this month, with brown trout and rainbow trout to 750g being caught by all conventional methods.
Lake Catani at Mt Buffalo is full and holds many wild brown trout to around 2kg. The lake should provide some really exciting winter fishing this month, especially before any snow begins to fall below 800m and makes things somewhat uncomfortable for anglers.
A feature of these lake trout is that they fight like crazy when hooked, so expect a good fight with some losses at the net. The lake was originally built around 1910 for Mt Buffalo Chalet guests to use as a skating pond in winter. There are several photos at the Chalet showing huge numbers of skaters on the lake, all dating from before the Great War to the 1930s and 1940s. Unfortunately for skaters, Lake Catani no longer freezes over, but it provides fantastic wild trout fishing for anglers throughout the year.
The lakes on the High Plains, Rocky Valley and Pretty Valley, are both at around 25% of capacity and falling rapidly as water is used for winter hydroelectric generating needs. However, despite the low water, rainbow trout to 600g are being taken on lures by intrepid anglers who brave the cold (0 to 5oC) during the day.
Rocky Valley Reservoir is the best location, with most anglers fishing from around noon to mid-afternoon, which is the warmest part of the day. Fishing will be interrupted sometime this month as large snowfalls and skiing priorities see access to both lakes denied until the spring thaw in September.
The Mt Beauty Pondage is currently at full capacity, although only a few anglers are about as the cold days of winter begin to bite. The Pondage holds many large rainbow trout, because it is stocked annually with yearlings. It is the only water in the region that is artificially stocked: all other waters contain wild bred trout, and little else. As well, the Pondage provides an excellent natural food supply for trout, with mudeyes and stick caddis present in abundance.
The Kiewa River is flowing nicely and fishing was reasonable late in the season, with brown trout to around 400g rising, on rare occasions, to heaven knows what. Most fish have now ceased feeding and are about to head upstream to their spawning grounds, if they haven’t already done so. Trout fishing in Victorian rivers ends at midnight on the Monday, June 9.
Conditions on the lower Mitta Mitta River from Mitta Mitta to Eskdale are similar to the Kiewa River, with good flows but few anglers about as the trout fishing season comes to an end.
Dartmouth Dam is currently holding steady at 17% of capacity and good sized brown trout are being caught on top, as opposed to down deep. Boat fishing is king and best lures include Crick Hoppers, as well as large trout pattern Tassie Devils and Rapalas.
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 website www.anglingvic.com.au
Anglers have only a few days to fish for trout in Victoria’s streams and rivers. After the season closes, the many alpine lakes will become the focus for trout fishers.Reads: 1217