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Big results in small streams
  |  First Published: February 2014



No matter what your target species is, the best fishing in February will be had at cooler times of the day – dawn, dusk and night. Avoiding the middle of the day in summer isn’t something that only humans do. Fish also feel uncomfortable in the middle of very hot days and will seek deep water or hide on the shady side of any structure, making them very hard to entice.

Redfin

There is one exception to this, with redfin not feeling the effects of hot days as much as our natives or trout do. Redfin can still be caught all day long on hot days and are your best target if you simply have to fish during the day. At this time of the year they can be found anywhere, from the surface all the way down to about 40ft, so it pays to have a good sounder. You’ll find it will make locating them that much easier.

The best techniques depend on the depth of the school, but if they’re holding deep and holding tight to the bottom I recommend jigging with ice jigs, blades or lipless crankbaits like Jackall Mask Vibes.

If the fish are in quite shallow water or holding mid-water, casting and retrieving or trolling with small lipless crankbaits and plastics will be your best bet.

Murray cod and golden perch

Your best chances of hooking into some of Blowering Dam’s resident natives will come after dark. As I mentioned earlier, the temperature drops at night to a more comfortable zone and it seems to make the natives feel much more at ease. Add to this the fact that night is a form of cover for the fish, and you can see why it pays to concentrate your efforts after dark.

When targeting Murray cod at Blowering Dam, trolling is by far the most popular technique, and the ever-reliable spinnerbaits have been the most consistent fish taker over the beginning of the season. There have been some nice fish caught trolling hardbodies as well but nowhere near as many as those caught with spinnerbaits. I suspect this is mainly due to the fact that most people use spinnerbaits there.

Trout streams

The real drawcard in the area at the moment is the insanely good small stream trout fishing. I have fished several small creeks over the last couple of months and all but one of them have been fishing well. Reports from other creeks have also been very positive, with good numbers finally back again after a fairly slow opening to the season.

I’ve been having all of my luck on the fly of late, with plenty of trout willing to rise for a dry. It seems the bigger the fly the better thanks to the plentiful cicadas and grasshoppers around this year.

Fish that haven’t been keen enough to stick their noses out for a dry have happily taken a weighted nymph suspended below the dry fly. My favourite nymphs are the red copper John gold bead nymphs, but natural blacks, browns and olives will also fool plenty of trout.

My other half has been doing quite a bit of trout fishing with me as well. Her preferred technique is lure fishing and she has been accounting for her fair share of trout. The trout in the creeks that have been low and clear have all responded well to small, naturally coloured hardbodies like Rapala CD3s, IMA Sukaris and Asari Matsutas.

The Tumut River has also fished well which is no surprise, as it is one of the most consistent trout fisheries in the country thanks to the super cold discharges from the bottom of Blowering Dam. The best techniques have been bait fishing with grubs or Powerbait, as the river has been super high all season so far and this makes it very difficult for lure and fly anglers.

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