Shaky start but now settling
  |  First Published: December 2013

The river is relatively stable at present, which is allowing a lot of people to take their pick of the fishing opportunities that this river presents. Looking back at it now it was a pretty shaky start to the season overall with rain on/off rain and the water temp doing some funny things!

Luckily things have calmed down a little (maybe) and we can put this good water to some successful use. At this time of the year the whole river, from the top to the bottom, is fishing at its best. So starting at the top, let’s look at some access points and work our way down stream.

East Warburton is just north of the old gold settlement, you'll find Cement Creek Road from where you can walk upstream for some of the rivers greatest trout angling. Not big fish but plenty of them!

Coming back down to Warburton township, you will find the fishing right in the middle of town (no kidding) to be excellent. If this is a little disturbing for you to fish with on-lookers then the last bridge out of town where the caravan park is can be quite good, but I would wait to fish this stretch until after the holidays are over.

Downstream of the town you can access the river in a couple of places as it runs close enough to the road to select a spot and park the car. This area is strewn with rock and reef and is incredibly slippery but worth a shot.

Milgrove is the next on the list traveling downstream, and is a little more unforgiving. However, the river here opens a little and deepens considerably so the fish on average are a little larger. This is a good spot for flyfishing, spinning and bait fishing.

Down the line a little is Launching Place and this is where you'll see the transition from closed river to open river. The country slips into grazing land and the willows become more prevalent. This is such beautiful water for all types of trout fishing, but it's also where you can fly fish for a year and never see the same thing twice. Totally the spot to stop if you cast the long wand!

After Woori Yallock (which is just as good Launch) you'll find a large inaccessible section of river, which is where the river gains much of its coloration from as it runs through cattle country and muddy paddocks.

The next connection is the bridge just before you arrive into Healsville from Melbourne and at this junction, you'll find the river to hold all the freshwater fish species the river has to offer. Trout to carp to golden perch can be caught at this place but the river plays the weather game very well and if there has been any rain at all, it will slow down the fishing. So keep an eye out! This is quality bait fishing territory and the sort of place you would take the kids to drown a worm or three.

Another big gap divides this and the next access point at Yarra Glenn. The old river starts to really slow up at this point and native fish start to become the dominant fish. Carp are also on the menu and with a great breading season over the last three years, they are very prevalent and must be dispatched once caught.

A good bunch of scrub worms is a winner in these parts as is a yabby or a piece of cheese...yes I said cheese! Nothing special, just a chunk of Tasty will do it.

Past Warrandyte the river is much the same all the way to Dights Falls and the fishing follows suit. Bait fishing and lure casting will produce the best results with native fish plus you can also catch the odd large trout that make their way down this part of the river to feed or small roach and carp fry and can be quite big (up to 2kg).

This is the time to go forth and catch them all...if you can!

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