The trout fishing has been very hit and miss in the Kiewa Valley this season, and I am expecting May to be much the same.
Just about everybody who has fished the Kiewa River this season has noticed a decline in trout numbers over the last few years. This is quite an unpleasant thought, however, the trade off is the average size of the trout that are still in the river. As with most waterways, lesser fish leads to larger fish and this season quite a few large brown trout over 60cm have been caught in the Kiewa River. So in a nutshell, numbers have been traded off for size.
During May, make sure you are persistent. Don’t give up if you do not catch a trout in the first 10 minutes. Just keep on walking upstream and persisting. Try using fluorescent coloured bladed spinners or large minnows.
If the Kiewa is not exciting you this May, then try crossing over the hill to the Mitta Mitta River. The water authorities have been letting large volumes of water out of Lake Dartmouth recently and as a result the trout fishing has been fantastic, the best it has been for years, in fact. Trout have been a common catch as far downstream as Eskdale with reports of 30 or more trout per day coming in. It’s amazing how these fish can bounce back when conditions are favourable.
Lake Dartmouth itself will certainly be worth fishing during May as the water surface temperature gets very cold and the trout start feeding off the surface, particularly later in the evening.
In Lake Dartmouth, try trolling minnow style lures during the day that get down that little bit deeper. Anything that can dive down to 5-6ft will pull fish during the brightest part of the day. Later in the afternoon as the shadows from the tall hills surrounding begin to cross the lake, try flatline trolling with winged lures such as Tassie Devils. These don’t dive as deep so tend to come into their own in the shadows, low light periods of the day or during overcast conditions. During bright sunshine they are not the best, however there are the dual depth Tassie devils, which can be rigged to dive down to 2m or so. These lures can catch trout in any lighting conditions, provided the water temperature is cold enough, which it will be in May.
Further across to Khancoban Pondage (which is in NSW) and the trout fishing can be very hit and miss during May. Many of the larger trout that reside in the lake will have most likely swam upstream to spawn so the fish numbers may be down a bit. There will still be trout in there ready to hit lures, however if you’re hunting the larger trophy trout then I suggest you hold off until later in June when the big breeders start returning to the lake after spawning.
As always, Allans Flat Waterhole will be a great place to take the kids fishing. I would imagine that the fishing will be quite slow though. Bait fishing around the edges of the lake with worms or small yabbies at sunset may see you catch a small redfin or late season yellowbelly, however the trout most likely will not be there as it does not get stocked until the end of the term 2 school holidays, which is usually around late June. Then it gets stocked with a few hundred yearling rainbow trout ready for the winter school holidays.Reads: 1042