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Good flow continues at Kiewa
  |  First Published: February 2014



The fishing in the Kiewa River has remained pretty consistent in recent months with the upper reaches from Mt Beauty to Dederang producing trout on a regularly basis, with a few bigger fish in the mix. The lower reaches from Dederang down to the Murray have produced Murray cod, which has also been consistent.

Neither species have really ‘boomed’ so to speak, but they have been ticking over nicely. Even the odd yellowbelly has been caught in the far lower reaches of the river near Wodonga.

Come February and everything will be stinking hot. The days will be hot, the grass will be brown and the Kiewa Valley will be at its most arid. Despite this the fishing should still be okay as the Kiewa River has one of the strongest, and most reliable flows in this area. In the upper headwaters above Falls Creek, a few of the tiny alpine tributaries are diverted via a series of aqueducts, diverting water that would usually flow into the far upper reaches of the Mitta Mitta River, and sending it down the Kiewa River instead. Because of this the Kiewa River is quite a drought-proof river, and in the severe drought of 2007 the Kiewa maintained a decent flow.

Trout

Anywhere upstream of Dederang is worth a try on the Kiewa River, but in the extreme heat the closer you get to Mt Beauty the cooler the water will be, and the better the fishing will be. Try fishing close to the spillway in Mt Beauty, where the Kiewa River runs out of the Mt Beauty pondage. This spillway acts as a barrier and the trout cannot swim any further upstream. As a result trout are often caught here regularly.

Bladed spinners should work well, so too should small soft plastics. Fly fishers usually do quite well in the Kiewa River in February, especially of an evening, and bait fishers should try floating a few grasshoppers.

The Kiewa River is not big on numbers so don't expect to catch 30 trout a day. It is however, a very well balanced trout fishery with a good combination of big and small trout. Ten trout per day is quite a good day on the Kiewa.

Across the hill to the Mitta Mitta River and it is a similar story anywhere upstream of Eskdale. There's not big numbers of trout in the Mitta Mitta, but there are some quite big fish. The water in the Mitta Mitta River is usually a bit warmer than that found in the Kiewa in February though, so the trout fishing could be a bit slow.

Concentrate your efforts on the low light periods of morning and evening, and don't be afraid to let your lure or bait sink to the very bottom of some of the deep Mitta Mitta holes. Should we get a decent rain event similar to the one we experienced in December, or even a decent thunderstorm, head out and fish the cooler freshwater as this can often trigger the trout feed vigorously.

Native fish

The Kiewa River and Lake Hume have been dominating in this area for native fish. The lower reaches of the Kiewa River have been producing quite a few Murray cod, including a few large fish. Spinnerbaits and surface poppers have been doing most of the damage.

My mate Brenton Richardson, who lives in the Kiewa Valley has been catching a few cod on Bassman Spinnerbaits and Koolabung Codwalker surface lures, while his mate Browny has been picking some nice fish up on a Kingfisher Mantis surface lure. Brenton says that the cicadas have been so noisy that it is deafening and he contributes this to one of the reasons the surface fishing has been so good.

In February I would expect that the fishing will remain the same and that not much will change. Enjoy the Kiewa River water as a way of escaping the February heat.

Downstream at Lake Hume and keen Wodonga angler Cliff Karnatz has been cleaning the table catching decent sized yellowbelly on a regular basis. Cliff has been trolling his yellowbelly on a wide body McGrath lure with the standout being the cobra colour.

Cliff has also been catching quite a few redfin, including a few decent fish. Once again I am expecting little change to this in February. As March and April get here and things start to cool down there will be a few changes in the fishing, but I will mention that in the coming issues. For now just enjoy the great February fishing this wonderful corner of the state has to offer.

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