The Yarra is in top condition
  |  First Published: October 2013

The Yarra hasn’t been in this good condition to fish for years at this time of year. The water remains relatively low for late winter and it has only been over the bank at Healesville a couple of times this year.

Speaking of Healesville, this is a tremendous part of the river to fish that sees very little pressure far from the Maroondah Highway Bridge. The thing about this part of the river is you get the best of all the river has to offer and is an area worth exploring both in the summer and winter!

The mix of water types is quite evident if you drive to Woori Yallock and look off the bridge. You’ll see a freestone trout stream but just a few kilometres down the road to Healesville, you’ll see what looks like a native fish fishery.

The distance between these two points sees the river flowing through an age old silt bed built up over millions of years of flooding. The river doesn't flood anymore due to in-stream dams but it still carries sediment from the banks. This waterway at the Healesville can carry fish type such as trout, golden perch, Murray cod, Macquarie perch, roach, carp, eel and redfin. It’s a smorgasbord!

Whether you’re a seasoned lure casting veteran or a weekend bait fishing legend, it doesn't really matter. You must keep this part of the world in mind when you want a quick fish after work or somewhere different to take the kids on the weekend.

As for right now, you’re better for fishing it with bait. The water has quite a bit of colour to it and is still very cold. Berley is the key here and a feeder cage on the line (using it as a sinker) is worth its weight in gold. Making a mix of berley for this river at this time of year is as simple as getting two boxes of bread crumbs and a tin of corn from the supermarket, rocking into the local tackle store and grabbing the right hooks, sinkers (berley cages), ledgers, some scrub worms or other worms and a berley additive such as Stimulate or Anise.

Mix it together so that it’s wet but not too wet (so you can crumble it apart) and feed it into your berley cage. You’ll need to cast the cage into the river more often than you would a normal sinker - try every five minutes for a start. You need to create a trail. Also you’ll need to cast it into the same section of river every time as well. The berley needs to come from the same place every time if the fish are to find it!

This said, the fishing has been ok in the river with the lack of good fishing reports coming from the lack of angling pressure.

That will no doubt change as the season rolls on and the weather picks up.

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