Rivers running hot in April
  |  First Published: April 2017

April is my favourite month. This month is where fishing dreams are made as we are blessed with the best fishing conditions of the year. What makes the fishing even better is the Easter long weekend - the perfect excuse to get out into the freshwater.

Murrumbidgee River

This mighty river is pure gold during the month of April, and the fishing action is nothing short of incredible! The water height will drop to expose more snags, water current will reduce and the water clarity will increase. Mix this with mid-20°C days, cool nights and perfect water temperatures around the 16°C mark and you have yourself the perfect recipe for hot fish sessions.

The Murrumbidgee River from the bottom of Burrinjuck all the way through the Balranald will be well worth a fish. We fish the water between Gundagai and Narrandera as it holds good quality populations of both Murray cod and golden perch.

The height can vary during April depending on regulation from Blowering and Burrinjuck Dam, the dam capacity and rainfall. The best heights to fish the river are between 2-1.4m (reading from Gundagai) and these details can be found on the Water Info NSW website or app.

Casting lures is by far the go-to technique, with spinnerbaits and hardbody lures being the stand out lures of choice. When you are fishing snags that are tight up against the bank, a spinnerbait is perfect because it can sink tight in against the snag and reach the strike zone of the fish. The hardbody is perfect for logs that run perpendicular to the bank and willow trees because you can run the lure along the length of the structure.

The Mud Guts 5/8oz spinnerbait in purple/chartreuse, white/purple, orange/white and white/black are the preferred colours. In a hardbody our preferred choice is the 80mm Strikeforce Cod Stalker in the social fishing blue colour, and also the 70mm AC Invader.

The river is so low that it’s even possible to target natives using fly! This is something we have been pursuing much more of late, and is proving to not only be successful but also super fun. If you’re keen to try flyfishing for natives, now is the time to give it a crack.

Early morning and late afternoon are the peak bite periods and this is when you want to be on the water fishing. But with the weather being perfect the fish will bite all day. Just target the shaded areas.

Tumut River

The Tumut River is also a hot spot at this time of year, with the low flows allowing us to access large amounts of the water and target the large resident trout that call the river home. The upper reaches from the Tumut township up to the dam wall hold the strongest numbers of quality fish.

Fly, lures and bait will all work during April. Spinning with small hardbody lures, spinners and soft plastics is one of the most preferred techniques. All you need to do is find a section of river (even the fishing in the township is great) and cast your lures into the willows or deeper section of river on the opposite side. A medium paced retrieve is all you need, and make sure you watch your lures as they come back across through the clear water. If you are going to do this style of fishing make sure you get yourself a good quality pair of polarised sunglasses as they will help you to spot the following fish.

If you are going to use fly, the evening will still have a hatch in April and can produce a very exciting session. The trout will feed on whatever is hatching in the section of river you are fishing and this can change, but the two most common hatches on the Tumut are mayflies and small white moths, so make sure you have these on hand.

Another fly technique that will catch you more fish is swinging nymphs through the rapids. A heavy bead-headed nymph like a Copper John is the best fly to use. You want to stand in the rapids and cast your fly at a 45° angle across the river. Your fly will swing around and you want to follow it with your rod tip as it swings around in the current. The trout will be all over the nymphs and you can have some great fun. Once you have finished your swing, take one step down the rapids and cast again.

One extra tip - get yourself some Czech Nymphs and tie them 30-40cm off the back of the bead-headed nymph because with two flies you have double the change of landing a fish.

Get out and take advantage of everything fishing in April has to offer. Even in the rain the fishing is action packed so don’t stay at home, get out on the water and enjoy one of the best fishing months on the calendar.

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