Yarra in great condition
  |  First Published: October 2012

It's not very often these days that you can say a river is in as good a shape as you've ever seen it. Well hold on to your corn pipe Farmer Brown because it’s true!

The Yarra is in fantastic condition at the moment and it’s mostly due to the fact that we’ve had so much rain and flow over the last 2 years.

Having lived a stone’s throw away from the river my whole life, I think I'm qualified to say it's in really good nick. High water flow, albeit dirty water, is high in nutrients and food, which is great for anything from plants to birds to fish. Let’s have a look at what's in store for the next month or two in the mighty Yarra.

As a little warmth comes to the waters of the city-side Yarra River, we will start to hear whispers of mulloway being caught. These are as illusive as the anglers that catch them, but well worth targeting.

You can catch them the same way anywhere in the country, so hit the books or the internet and learn what you can. Google is your best friend.

Bream will be a little while off yet as the dirty water needs to settle for the good angling to start, but don't forget the run of snapper in the Yarra. They should keep you happy until the bream come on.

The middle Yarra is still a little high and a little discoloured, but will start to fish well as it gets warmer. Grab some scrub worms and yabbies and a box of hard bodies and spinnerbaits and hit it hard from Kew to Yarra Glenn. That's a big piece of water so I don't want to here any whinging about not finding a place to fish!

The fish your likely to run into at the stage of the year are carp, trout, cod and golden perch. The cod and goldens will fire up more and more as the water temperature increases.

The upper Yarra River from Worri Yallock to Reefton is prime trout country and fishing well from the start of the season. All methods will work with lure casting being the pick. You'll need a range of lures if you’re going to fish it successfully starting with hardbodies. Rapala 5cm F, Berkley 3B Puppy Dog, Atomic Hardz and EcoGear SX40 are good lures to start with. The colour range needs to be broad to deal with the changing water death and quality.

Spinners are also on the cards with Rooster Tails and Celta's keeping most trout interested. These lures are best fished over the shallow, fast runs where a hardbody would get snagged. Always fish every inch of water; trout will turn up in the silliest of places and the big ones live where it looks to hard to cast.

Don't forget we still have a little rain to come and this part of the river will go up and down a little and get a tad dirty as it does. This means swapping from lures to bait. The best way to fish is to cast and retrieve scrub worms. Just get a medium sized scrubby on a size 6 bait holder hook, hooking it through the head. Add a very small split shot 15cm up the line and cast it upstream and retrieve it back with the current. You can also drift the rig downstream into pocket waters as well.

Hopefully this gives you a little enthusiasm to get out of the house and give the Yarra River a go this spring.

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