Just get out there!
  |  First Published: July 2014

The rains are here, the river is dirty and cold, and the closed season for trout is well underway. So what's left to do in the Yarra River?

Most people would say nothing until the water clears a little and the level drops down to something resembling good fishing water. I've fished the Yarra my whole life and have always managed to find a fish or two to tangle with - even in the worst of conditions! It's not easy for sure, but if you can catch them this time of year you can catch them anytime.

Persistence and being on the water is what catches fish. Not sitting at home looking out the window saying, “I'm glad I didn't go today!”

What I like to do at this time of the year is investigate new water. Take a couple or rods and some bait, nothing too bulky or heavy and start walking. There's so much of the river to explore and so much of it that never gets fished at all. Imagine fishing a stretch of river that doesn't ever get fished? Sounds good doesn't it.

So grab a backpack and some lunch, your mates or the kids and get into it. Most phones have a GPS in them these days and this is just the thing to let you know where you are in relation to where you started. If you’re really keen, you'll download a GPS app that will allow you to pin waypoints on the map for later reference and to call a particular spot a name so you can recall it.

Some of the best angling to be had in the river at any time of the year can happen just centimetres off the bank. The river is a medium flow river that over time develops quite deep holes where the water scours the bank away. In doing this it topples trees in, which in turn become snag structure for fish to live and feed in. One of the best ways to fish these areas is also one of the easiest. You need very simple tackle and only worms for bait. This is how it goes:

Slide a small ball sinker (size 1) onto your line and tie on a size 6 bait holder hook. Load the hook with worms and the rig is done. The sinker should sit on top of the hook. Then wonder along the river until you get to a corner that has steep banks and looks like it is deep. It should also have a little bit of flow and some type of tree structure in it. Then simply unhook your worm rig and drop in straight off the rod tip – no casting – just open bait and drop!Leave the worms there for a minute or so, then wind up and move a couple of metres. Do this all around the snag and right through the corner. If the fish are home you'll know about it straight away. The more times you drop the more chance you have of catching something.

Keep in mind that you'll loose quite a bit of tackle this way but it's only a hook and sinker, so no big deal!

At the end of the day you would have got out for a great walk, seen places you haven't before and have a list of new destination to go to when the weather warms up again. Oh, and you might have caught a fish or two as well!

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