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Reasonable flow despite hot weather
  |  First Published: April 2013



Despite the hot dry summer we experienced the Kiewa River maintained a reasonable flow of water meaning there were limited, or no known fish kills as were experienced in a few nearby streams.

The water did get quite warm during the peak of the heatwave, and the trout did shut right down.

By April the Kiewa River will be worth fishing as the cooler water temperatures should see these trout become quite active again as they try and regain some of their lost condition. In the Kiewa River itself I would try anywhere from Dederang upstream, with fluorescent coloured bladed spinners being a great lure to start with. If that does not bring results try using a natural coloured minnow. I have had a lot of success in the Kiewa River in autumn using a brown trout pattern minnow with large red spots on the side.

Across the valley in the Mitta Mitta River it should be a similar story. The Mitta Mitta River downstream from Lake Dartmouth is a wide river with very deep holes. Some of those holes are home to some of the biggest wild trout in the state and can be hard to fool. April and May are the best months of the year to try and tempt these big fish into a strike as the swim out of their deep holes and begin moving upstream in preparation for the upcoming spawning season.

As with the Kiewa River, try using a fluorescent coloured bladed spinner, or a natural coloured minnow. Don't be afraid to upsize your minnow to a longer minnow of around 8-9cm as the resident big trout will not be afraid to hit something so big and intrusive.

In fact, the bigger trout will be more likely to hit these big lures than they will be the small ones. Bait anglers should do well drifting black crickets through the runs and riffles. In the deep holes, suspending a black cricket underneath a quill float can be a successful and rewarding technique.

Don't be surprised if you manage to catch a redfin or carp while chasing trout in the Mitta Mitta River downstream from Lake Dartmouth, as they are both distributed throughout the entire stretch of river from Lake Dartmouth to Lake Hume.

Redfin

As with most other places it has been a pretty slow redfin season in this corner of the world. Low water levels have again contributed to this. I have caught redfin in a couple of small streams, but these spots are few and far between at the moment. In April, the best places to head chasing redfin are Lake Hume and Alans Flat waterhole.

There are also small redfin in both the Mitta Mitta and Kiewa rivers, but larger fish in these places are rare. If you are after bigger redfin, try Lake Hume in April. I would be looking for some deeper water of around 6-10m and provided it is not too windy, just slowly drift around gently bobbing soft plastics up and down off the bottom.

In Lake Hume, using this technique there is also a real possibility of catching a yellowbelly or a trout as a by-catch!

In Alans Flat Waterhole, the best technique would probably be to bait fish with worms off the bank, and maybe flick a bladed spinner around, preferably a metallic one like a Celta which will reflect light and attract redfin.

Murray cod

The only real option here is the Kiewa River from Gundowring down to the junction with the Murray River near Albury. There are Murray cod in the lower reaches of the Mitta Mitta river, however I hear very few reports from that area and am unsure how successful the stocking of them has been.

The Kiewa River from Gundowring downstream will be a good option during April, however by the second half of April frosty mornings will most likely be a common sight up there and the water temperature will drop like a stone leading to slower cod fishing.

Yellowbelly

There are a few yellowbelly in the lower Kiewa River, however I think the best spots to target them on April will be Lake Hume and Alans Flat Waterhole, similar to the redfin. Both of these places have good numbers of yellowbelly as they receive regular stockings of this species.

In Alans Flat Waterhole try using worms and small yabbies as bait, with late in the day and into the evening being the best times. The same technique will work well in Lake Hume also, but if you are in a boat try casting lipless crankbaits such as Jackalls around the base of the standing dead trees, and just bobbing them up and down, causing the rattle to attract a strike from a hungry yellowbelly.

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