I’d love to have something to good to say about the trout fishing locally, but it’s pretty difficult. Being positive though, there are patches of good fishing and they are in some unlikely places.
With the coming of summer, the trout fishing has hit the wall. There are a couple of reasons for the dramatic slowing down of the fishing. The first is the rise in temperatures. Water temperatures increased dramatically over the first few weeks of December and when this was added to the dropping water levels, the trout just wanted to find a spot in the river that provided the most comfort for them. Then the big threat of bushfires came to the headwaters. This was like adding insult to injury as the headwater were burned of all their riparian vegetation and the water, which normally flows reasonably cool, was heated further.
But it’s not all doom and gloom and there are still some great spots to try and catch a trout.
I’d suggest you look for the bigger rivers. One that immediately springs to mind is the Mitta Mitta above Dartmouth Dam. The Mitta is a big river that hold splenty of water and plenty of trout. But the water is warm still and anglers will have to look in the rippled water for their fishing fix. This water has the most oxdygen and the trout seek out these areas. Warm water holds less oxygen in it than cool water and this gives you another clue on where to look for fish in the Mitta. Deep pools are another holding spot for the trout in the Mitta, although they fish in the deeper pools do tend to be a bit sluggish compared with those holding in the rippled water.
Another river to have a go at over January will be the Gibbo. The Gibbo has a lot of shade and this keeps the water temperature marginally cooler than other streams in the area. If you’re fishing the Gibbo, make sure your casts are hard up against the shad or under overhanging vegetation. The trout are almost all in these areas.
For fly fishers fishing in the Gibbo or Mitta, early morning is a great time to hit the water. If you’re not an early starter, leave your fishing until the cool of the evening. There have been some small caddis hatches and a few beetles falling into the rivers so dry fly is still an option.
If you’re lure fishing, use slower retrieve lures like floating minnows that can be drifted under the overhanging vegetation. Slower retrieves will produce better results in January and again morning and evening are the best times to be on the water.
Bait fishers probably have the best of it as they can catch fish all day. If you’re fishing with sinkers stick to the deeper pools and play a waiting game. If you’re baitdrifting collect some grasshoppers or crickets and drift them under the overhangs and through the rippled water. Trout rarely refuse these tasty treats even though the grasshoppers hadn’t really taken off by mid-December.
I’ve been doing a bit of travelling lately to check out some other rivers and one interesting water I’ve come across is the Snowy.
As many would know, water is being diverted from Dartmouth to the Snowy and it’s cold water. This cool water flows through a large and warm valley but it is remaining reasonably cool. The recent trout stocking in the Snowy, coupled with this cool water has seen trout rising on an evening and generally being pretty active. I’m not going to say it’s the best trout fishing you’ve ever seen, but if you’re travelling up the Barry Way and are looking for a fish, just take the time to check ou thte Snowy as you travel along it – you may be pleasantly surprised.Reads: 447