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Rain is a double-edged sword
  |  First Published: June 2013



Over 300mm of rainfall drenched the top of the Ovens River catchment in February and March which extinguished the 30,000HA bushfire which had been burning in the Mt Feathertop/Mt Hotham area.

While the rain was great for putting out the fire, it sent a continuous flow of mud and sludge along the entire length of the Ovens River from Harrietville to Bundalong does not look like improving any time soon. At the time of writing this report the water has been filthy for over 4 weeks and is showing no sign of improvement.

So to say the Ovens River is pretty much off limits to lure anglers would be an understatement. The good news however is that the bait fishers have been catching plenty of Murray cod in the Ovens River on cheese and bardi grubs.

Straight after the water turned murky and the initial flush pushed through the fishing died right off, but gradually it has improved and catches of Murray cod have really bounced back. In June catching a cod anywhere along the Ovens River can be a pretty tough gig in any given year, so with the dirty water I am predicting some pretty tough Murray cod fishing in June.

The King River on the other hand was only slightly affected by the recent rainfall and experienced only a minor flush. Within two weeks of the rain the river was fishing well again and the water had cleared right up. I personally experienced some good fishing in the King River but by the second half of April the action had started to die down which is quite typical of both the Ovens and King Rivers at this time of year.

Provided we do not get too much rain in May, the King River will look absolutely sensational during June, however the water will be icy cold and the Murray cod will be playing very hard to catch. Ultra-large deep diving lures in fluoro colours might induce an aggressive strike from a territorial Murray cod, so might brightly coloured spinnerbaits and Mumblers. As always surface poppers will be worth a try during June, and it is worth holding your rod with a firm grip as June can be a great month to catch the bigger Murray cod that inhabit the bigger deeper holes.

Possibly the stand-out fishery in this area during June is Lake William Hovell which sees some great trout fishing each year around June. By June the water is icy cold in the lake and the trout are actively feeding. The mouth of the King River is a great place to head at this time of year as there is usually plenty of trout movement with trout coming and going from the lake as they migrate upstream to spawn.

By the end of June many of the brown trout have usually started moving back into the lake after spawning and are very hungry. This can be a great time to target the bigger trout in Lake William Hovell, although the condition of the trout may not always be great.

The redfin in Lake William Hovell are usually still a little bit active in June although they will have quietened down somewhat. In winter I find the best way to catch them is to fish with soft plastics such as a 3" curl tail grub in about 10m of water where the water temperature is usually slightly warmer than it is at the surface.

Don't forget that the current Victorian trout season ends at midnight on the Monday of the Queen's birthday long weekend. All of the rivers and creeks are closed to trout fishing, however the lakes remain open all year round.

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