Rainfalls trigger trout bites
  |  First Published: December 2015

At some stage this month the upper Goulburn River would have suited most anglers. High, clear, cold water, low slow clear water to moderate, turbid slightly warmer water – at some time or another it all happened.

We had flows from over 9,000ML a day for irrigation purposes and to top up storages downstream, then dropping down to 3,000ML a day only, to then have some significant rainfalls of around 60mm over a couple of days. Yes, it has it all.

After the initial burst of activity for trout opening, things have settled into a bit more of a relaxed fishing period, (other than the Melbourne Cup weekend, of course).

Most anglers are tangling with some feisty little trout in the rivers around my area, and those willing to put in the time and a bit of knowledge are encountering some very decent sized fish.

As mentioned, November had it all for the Goulburn River, with the Acheron, Rubicon, Steavenson and smaller rivers and creeks much more settled other than after the great rainfalls we experienced.

Bait anglers have done well with scrub and garden worms, mudeyes and maggots, particularly after the rain in the slightly discoloured water when the feeding action was triggered.

This type of weather event will always provide much better fishing opportunities than the artificial flows that don’t often coincide with barometric changes and colouring of the water. Always take the opportunity to get out and chase a few fish after a natural weather event, particularly during the spring and summer period.

Anglers choosing to toss a few lures around are having great success with plenty of smaller fish, but some really high quality fish in the 40-50cm range have been found.

Just remember to be patient. When walking the rivers and streams, take your time, slow it all down a bit. When you find a spot that looks worthy of a cast or two, stop, wait, have a quiet look around before you have the first cast. It is hard to slow down sometimes, as we get a bit keen to get to the next spot or see what’s around the next bend. Many of the longer-lived trout have made it to their age for a reason. They become wily and easily spooked. If you approach, (always from downstream to upstream, as the fish will be facing upstream while hunting and waiting for food) in a slow steady manner as if ‘hunting’ the fish and give it a bit of time, the better quality of fish will be found.

Among some of the lures that are doing the job are the Berkley T-tails in black and gold, ZMan Grubz in bloodworm, gudgeon and motor oil colours and the old – faithfuls of bladed Celta lures (or similar) and the Rapala original floating or Count Downs in 5 or 7cm.

I am a long, long way from being even close to a fly fisher, but the reports I have been hearing and the amount of anglers in waders with very long rods is testament to the amount of fish being caught. Of an evening, the feeding activity around some major hatches is almost hard to believe. The amount of fish rising all over the rivers on last light is amazing.

All in all, the rivers are fishing extremely well with the Goulburn and the Rubicon being the standouts. Just be patient if you want to run into the bigger models. Bring on the warmer weather in December, more bugs, more tucker, more chances of catching a quality fish!

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