Hot to trout!
  |  First Published: March 2016

The fishing in the rivers around Eildon this month has been nothing short of amazing. I know ‘amazing fishing’ is a common theme in reports, but in our case, it is more a matter of quality over quantity.

The smaller creeks, streams and rivers are consistent, the flows have reduced due to the seasonal influences and the temperatures have risen. These smaller systems are best fished during the warmer periods at first light, or at least early in the day. Hopefully rains will continue and fire up the local fish. The usual baits of mudeyes and worms are very reliable. Small ‘spinner’ style lures and shallow running minnow lures do the job.

The stand out performer in the region is the mighty Goulburn River. The quality of fish is fantastic! As the irrigation flows have become more stable and consistent, the fish have become settled and reliable to target. Wary trout are best targeted later in the day – particularly the last half an hour of daylight by all techniques, (including fly during peak hatches). A quiet walk along the river during the middle part of the day to observe where the fish are and of what size is worth doing. Simply walk along a high bank, avoid casting a shadow on the water and slowly progress along the river. A good pair of polarized glasses will be a great help for this. The size and amount of trout you can view is, at times, stunning. You will quickly learn where to look (back eddies, lower flow) and where to place a cast or two later in the day when the fish spook less easily and are looking to feed before dark.

Eildon local Nick ‘The Fish Whisperer’ Taylor has had great results, fishing from the Eildon Pondage gates to Alexandra, both from his trusty kayak and from the bank. Nick recently reported his catch and release of five trout from his ‘yak. All fish were over 35cm with the best around 50cm, four browns and one rainbow that were all caught on soft plastics. Not bad for a quick session after work!

Lures that have proved reliable are the Berkley T-tails in black, gold and copper, and the ZMan Grubz in bloodworm or motor oil. The Rapala countdowns in 5-7cm and the Diawa double clutch are lures that work very well in this area.

The Eildon Pondage still performs well. Trout are regularly stocked with plenty more to come over late summer and early autumn. Although a lot of these fish are smaller, around 200–300g, there are plenty of the monster ex-Snobs Creek Hatchery brood fish cruising around, ready to give anglers a thrill of a lifetime. Local dough, Powerbait, scrub worms and ‘spider’ mudeyes are great pondage baits. Tassie Devils and Wonder Crocodile are among the huge amount of lures that can and do catch trout in the Eildon Pondage regularly.

Just remember to keep safe, enjoy the country and the fishing, fish the smaller trout waters early in the day and the bigger systems regulated by irrigation flows later in the day. Fill the middle of the day in on the beautiful Eildon Pondage. There you have it – day planned.

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