Trout fishing comes to life with spring flush
  |  First Published: October 2013

This wonderful north east corner of Victoria really comes to life in October.

The predominant species of fish to target is trout, however there are a few redfin and yellowbelly to be caught if you know where to look. There is usually still a bit of snow on the mountain tops, particularly early in the month which helps keeps the streams icy cold and flowing well. If you are looking for lush green grass, mild days and crystal clear water, then this far north east corner is the place to head in October.

One of my favourite places to fish in October is the Snowy Creek that runs into the Mitta Mitta River at Mitta Mitta township. The Omeo highway follows the Snowy Creek for quite a long time, before leaving the creek to climb the hills just after the Lightning Creek picnic area. Unfortunately the lower section of the Snowy Creek has quite a lot of European carp, despite the water being so icy cold.

There are still plenty of trout in this section of creek keeping the carp company though. There is a healthy population of both brown and rainbow trout in Snowy Creek, including the odd big trout of around 50cm. Be very careful while wading though, especially if there is still a lot of water flowing down, which there most likely will be during October as the clear water can make the depth deceiving and the fast current can be very strong.

The Mitta Mitta River should also fish very well for trout from Dartmouth Pondage downstream to Eskdale. Downstream of Eskdale the trout numbers start to thin out a bit though. It is hard to speculate what the water will be like in the Mitta Mitta River in October as Lake Dartmouth is currently at over 97%. If I was a betting man I would say the water will be quite high.

Across to the Kiewa River and conditions should be quite good for drifting worms. Unless this wet winter comes to a sudden stop and our 9C maximums turn to 30C maximums, the Kiewa should be running quite hard during October, especially early in the month. Although it may be clear, if the river is flowing high try drifting lightly-weighted worms into the backwaters, and close to the banks out of the current.

If the water is clear which it usually is in October, try casting shiny bladed spinners like the Super Vibrax with a gold or copper blade. The trusty old Celta is also a worthwhile lure with its shiny blade reflecting shimmers of light through the water column.

Alans Flat Water Hole will be well worth fishing during October as the water begins to warm up. There should still be plenty of yearling rainbow trout in the lake remanent of the September school holiday stocking, and with the warming water the resident redfin and yellowbelly should be starting to move, especially towards the end of the month as the weather and water start to really warm up and the days become longer.

Lake Hume will be another spot worth heading to during October. This massive body of water has been fishing quite well for trout all winter, with some massive brown trout to 4.5kg being picked up on the odd occasion. The trout fishing should continue to be good during October, especially early in the month.

During the second half of the month the yellowbelly should start to fire. Lake Hume is known for its massive yellowbelly, some of which have been known to reach over 9kg and 70cm in length. Try fishing close to rocky outcrops as the rocks tend to hold heat from the sun, warming the water around them slightly. Although the difference in water temperature is not noticeable to us, the fish can certainly notice it and that might be just enough to trigger then to school up and feed in those areas.

The most popular yellowbelly lure is the Jackall TN60 and TN70, although some of the Fishooka lures available in nearby Albury have been accounting for a lot of yellowbelly in recent years. Then there is always my favourite yellowbelly technique, which is to rig your line with a running sinker, allowing the sinker to run all the way to the hook. Then fish with a small yabby just bobbing it up and down along the bottom. Or, a similarly sized crustacean shaped soft plastic will work just as well. The yellowbelly just can not resist a moving bait!

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