Up in the Victorian High Country, the trout fishing is really starting to take off. Alpine rivers have adjusted to their regular early summer levels and the trout are responding well, with top prospects in November for all types of fishing.
Rocky Valley reservoir is at 75% of capacity and fishing has been excellent from anywhere around the shoreline. Best baits are unweighted earthworms (not tiger worms) or mudeyes presented on a size 12 bait hook under a half-filled bubble float.
The most successful lures are Rapalas, especially in imitation trout patterns and any medium to large bladed spinners. There have been a very few limited hatches of caddis so far, but they’ve been nothing to write home about.
Pretty Valley reservoir is a bit down on previous seasons but fishing well. The outflow, Pretty Valley Creek, is almost at a standstill. I don’t think the creek with be very productive for the rest of the season.
It’s not often I would advise this, but forget Lake Guy at Bogong Village this season; it’s not going to fire. However, the inflow streams, Rocky Valley Creek and the east Kiewa River, are different propositions altogether, and offer excellent fishing for brown trout.
The Ovens River around Bright has settled down and is flowing well. Several brown trout have been caught on worms in the deeper pools, with smaller fish taken from the runs on lures. Fly fishers are having some success with nymphs fished near the bottom.
Lake Catani at Mt Buffalo is full and holds lots of brown trout to 500g, with some a bit larger. At the moment they are chasing emergers, as indicated by the many near-surface swirls seen when the breeze dies down for several minutes.
Bait anglers do well fishing live bait under a bubble float, with a very short line below the bubble float. Lures take many trout when fished at mid-depth or shallower.
Rainbow trout in the Mt Beauty Pondage are plentiful this season and are taking emergers at the moment, with several good snowflake caddis hatches reported from around the reeds at the southeast corner. Trout caught in the Pondage are usually around, making it popular with visiting anglers. Bait and lure anglers do well fishing off the high bank on the northern side.
The Kiewa River from Mt Beauty through Tawonga to Mongans Bridge is in excellent condition this season and fishing is also excellent. Many brown and rainbow trout have been caught over the last few weeks by anglers using every angling method.
Bait anglers have probably taken the most and best fish so far, by drifting worms down the current. Lures can also be used with great effect by casting well upstream then letting the current sweep them around and retrieving them back up the current. Trout will usually strike on the change of direction.
The lower Mitta Mitta River from Mitta Mitta to Eskdale is flowing at 200 megalitres, which is ideal for every type of fishing. Snowflake caddis hatches have been reported over the last two weeks, with several around the airport area.
Bait anglers have done especially well recently, probably because they have been the most numerous. Lures should also do well this month when fished at mid-depth in the longer runs and pools. Flyfishers often achieve success at this time of season when fishing a two fly rig, using a size 12 unweighted nymph on the bottom and a size 14-16 Royal Wulff dry fly as a bite indicator, set about 1m up from the nymph.
Snowy Creek around Granite Flat is flowing nicely and providing some excellent fishing right now, with brown trout to 500g being taken on drifted worms. There have also been some very good hatches of snowflake caddis near Walshs Bridge. The trout tend to hang around these hatches, which can last for 45 minutes at times, and fishing a small snowflake caddis dry fly along the grassy edges can bring surprising results.
Dartmouth Dam is holding steady at 21% capacity with brown trout coming on the bite over the last three weeks.
Marc Ainsworth, his dad Murray and Tony Hiam fished Lake Dartmouth in October for numerous brown trout to 1.6kg. All fish were taken trolling winged lures, like Tasmanian Devils, using paravanes to get them down deep. The most productive parts of the lake were the dam wall area near the boat ramp, the Eight Mile Arm and the Mitta Arm. The lake is rising fast with spring snow melt and flooding new ground, which could also make bait fishing from the bank productive in the months to come.
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
Tony Hiam with a brown trout caught trolling in Lake Dartmouth, using paravanes to get the winged lures down deep (photo: Marc Ainsworth).Reads: 850