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Hatches hit a high
  |  First Published: November 2013



Ideal conditions greeted us for trout opening at the start of spring, but unfortunately the great conditions did not deliver. Anglers found it hard to tempt the trout into taking either bait or lure in the high water.

As the weather warmed the trout fishing improved slowly, but the real surprise was the early arrival of the decent yellowbelly fishing in Lake Hume.

In November the trout fishing in the far north east corner of Victoria should be at its peak. The last of the snow melt will have little effect on water flows as the streams slow down to their summer levels, the insect hatches hit a high and the trout feed like mad before the water gets too warm.

The Kiewa River itself should fish really well throughout November. Anywhere from Dederang upstream to Mt Beauty will be worth fishing. Just about all proven trout techniques should work, with bladed spinners being a great starting point.

Just bear in mind that in high traffic areas like the Kiewa the fish can become educated and reluctant to strike at your lure. Instead they will just follow the lure to your feet then turn around and swim away, which can be very frustrating. If this happens, try switching to something that looks more natural, like a tiny soft plastic, which may tempt a hungry fish to strike for a feed rather than striking out of curiosity or frustration.

Across in the Mitta Mitta River the trout fishing should tick over nicely throughout November, with the best area being from Eskdale upstream to Mitta Mitta. There are some very large trout in this area, as well as some resident redfin and carp. If you're targeting the trout don't be afraid to tie on a larger minnow type lure than you would normally use. A minnow that is 8-9cm long will easily tempt a strike from a larger, more wary trout that is on the hunt for something that will fill its stomach.

The small streams in the area should all fish very well, and the more open waterways should provide some exciting flyfishing as the grasshoppers start to turn up on the river banks. My favourite dry fly is the royal stimulator, and my favourite way to rig it is with a black bead headed nymph suspended underneath it. During November I find that I get more trout on the nymph than I do the stimulator, especially early in the month when conditions are still just a little bit cooler and wetter. Towards the end of the month when things start to warm up and more grasshoppers start to turn up, I start catching more on the stimulator.

Lake Dartmouth will still be well worth fishing in November, with the twilight periods of the day being the best times to pick up a fish while flatline trolling. During the day, especially on sunny days, the trout will move down deeper into darker and cooler water, but at the end of the day they should come to the surface to pick off a few insects. Trolling a winged lure such as a Tassie Devil is a very popular technique in Dartmouth, and trolling small minnows also accounts for a lot of fish each year.

If the early spring yellowbelly fishing in Lake Hume is anything to go by, this November should be completely nuts! A lot of very large yellowbelly turned up in September while conditions were still quite cold, so hopefully November will really turn it on. Try using lipless crankbait lures around the rocky points and outcrops, or try trolling small to medium sized hardbodied lures that can dive to a reasonable depth.

For the bait angler, small yabbies are my favourite yellowbelly bait, fished very closely to the snags. Tie up to a tree and drop your yabby right next to the base of the tree. It won't hurt to lift your rod tip up and down a fair bit, as yellowbelly are suckers for a moving bait.

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