Hot fishing in the icy alps
  |  First Published: June 2007

The weather and waters in the alpine region have been working together all season to make the whole area an angler’s paradise. There have been perfect fishing conditions and sunny skies almost every day, and this now looks like continuing well into winter.

Rocky Valley and Pretty Valley reservoirs at Falls Creek are continuing to fish extremely well, especially during the late afternoon and into dusk. Rainbow trout to 1.25kg are rising to a variety of size 14-16 dry flies, despite an intermittent surface chop as gusting winds dance across the surface.

During the afternoon, from about three hours before dusk until well after dark, you might see or hear as many as 60 rises occurring simultaneously in your immediate vicinity. If you’re wading, be aware of the icy cold water, which can leave legs and feet numb in minutes, causing you to lose control and fall over. Pretty Valley Creek is fishing moderately well but is affected by gusty winds that make conditions unpleasant.

Lake Guy at Bogong Village is at a low level and the fishing is fair to good. Anglers can access deeper water than usual because of a large drop in the water level as engineers build a new power station at the head of the lake. Most fish being taken are rainbow trout but a few browns are also evident. The east Kiewa River at Bogong is also fishing reasonably well with trout up to 450g caught on size 14 dry flies, although lures such as Rapalas and medium-sized Celtas will probably work even better.

Mt Beauty Pondage is currently half full and continues to produce rainbow trout to 1.25kg on a variety of lures and any live bait presented under a bubble float. The pondage is available for fishing right through winter when anglers can, and often do, catch really big specimens, especially around the reeds at the northeast end.

The Kiewa River from Mt Beauty to Coral Bank is running at a nice level although fishing has become more challenging this month as the spawning instincts of the brown trout that proliferate in this river come into force, rendering them almost impossible to catch as their digestive system closes down and they cease feeding. The west Kiewa River is also running nicely with catches also occurring less frequently, but things will improve with the new season in September.

The Ovens River from Porepunkah to Germantown is quite low and not fishing well as the drought and domestic and farming water needs take their toll on this water and its tributaries. The upper Ovens River at Freeburgh is fishing moderately well with brown trout to 350g falling for a variety of size 16 dry flies and small lures, especially when fished through the deeper runs and pools.

The lower Mitta Mitta River from Mitta Mitta to Eskdale is running at 200ML per day, which is perfect for all types of fishing. The stretch of river adjacent to the airfield is providing some excellent flyfishing from late afternoon to dusk, as are the long and swift flowing runs upstream of the camping area at Bowlers Lane. Snowy Creek is also providing excellent prospects immediately upstream from the swimming hole at Mitta Mitta. Flyfishing is excellent with rainbows being taken on a variety of flies, including woolly buggers.

Lake Dartmouth is at 11% capacity which is still a lot of water, and the new boat ramp provides easy access for boat launching. The fish are moving on top, with good catches reported using flat lines and Tassie Devils. Father Colin Stone, from the Shepparton Diocese, took seven good browns in three days with Tassie Devils, the heaviest weighing in at 1.30g. Jack Jackonan also bagged six trout recently while lead-lining with four colours out and using a Loftys 100 lure and a mauve coloured Wingston lure.

The annual Dart Cup will be conducted over the weekend of June 8th and 9th, with about 500 entrants expected to participate for the first prize of a boat and motor valued at $10,000. Full details are available from Lorrae on (02) 6072 4263.

Lake Banimboola (the pondage) is also fishing well, with Rhys Miller of Charleroi recently catching a brown trout of 2.65kg on worms presented under a bubble float.

Alpine fishing conditions can change very quickly whatever the season, so for the latest update phone Geoff Lacey at Angling Expeditions Victoria on (03) 5754 1466 or check out website [url=http://www.anglingvic.com.au/].

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