Worms undoing Alpine trout
  |  First Published: October 2007

The trout season began last month and anglers have reported excellent results from local rivers. There has been some handy rain for farmers on many days, which with some melting snow has caused a slight, but noticeable, surge in flow.

As a result, the most successful fishing method during October is to drift big bunches of earthworms, or two scrubworms, on a size 8 bait hook, attached to a light line of around 3kg breaking strain. The rivers will continue to be relatively swift flowing until mid-November, or even a bit later. Until then, trout will be found close to the bottom where they are protected from fast currents by large submerged rocks or tree branches. To prove my point, several local anglers have reported taking a number of brown trout weighing in excess of 1.5kg from behind such features, with scrubworms, over the last few weeks.

Rocky Valley and Pretty Valley reservoirs at Falls Creek are now fully accessible to anglers, and good catches of rainbow trout have been made by bait and lure anglers fishing the eastern shoreline of Rocky Valley. Access for boats is also excellent, with trolling a good prospect at this time of year. Some anglers prefer to fish Pretty Valley Reservoir because it is quite shallow in the middle, making wading to the best locations feasible. The flow-in stream, Pretty Valley Creek, often holds very large rainbow trout at this time of year. During spring this creek will test the best angler’s skills, as the whole area is totally devoid of trees or shrubs, or any natural feature that could hide an angler. This makes it very challenging to approach the water to within casting range without spooking the trout, which are always on the lookout for danger.

Lake Guy at Bogong Village is full to capacity. Anglers fishing from boats are getting a few brown trout to 950g or more on very slowly trolled scrubworms attached to heavy downrigs. The two flow-in streams, the East Kiewa River and Rocky Valley Creek, are flowing high and moderately fast, and contain brown trout to around 700g. They are falling for drifted earthworms and scrubworms at the moment, but the risk of anglers losing bottom rigs in the turbulent water is quite high.

Mt Beauty Pondage is full at the moment and the fishing is very good along the deepest water shoreline, near the ambulance station. Rainbow trout to 650g, and some larger, are being taken on worms under a bubble float or medium-sized lures worked near the bottom during the day. Some good-sized fish are also being taken by flyfishers using size 12 brown or black weighted nymphs, worked close to the bottom. There are excellent opportunities for taking rainbow trout weighing in excess of 1.5kg on livebaits from the pondage after dark as well.

The Kiewa River at Tawonga is in top condition and the fishing is excellent, with bait and lure fishers getting all the fish at the moment. The river is well up compared to this time last year, so the expectation is for a good summer as well. Brown trout predominate here and fish of 1.5–2kg are a feature at the moment, all falling for drifted scrubworms during the day. A good many fish are being caught from behind submerged obstructions such as large rocks and drowned trees trunks. Cast your drifted bait into the current to flow over or close to the obstruction, and any large trout hiding there will take it with the force of an express train. The West Kiewa River is also flowing well and producing nice brown trout to 450g on drifted baits and light lures cast across the small pools. If wading, wear chest high waders and felt-soled boots to avoid a possible ducking.

The lower Mitta Mitta River at Eskdale is flowing at 200 megalitres per day at the moment, making conditions perfect for all types of fishing. Good numbers of brown trout are always a feature in this water, from the township of Mitta Mitta to well beyond Eskdale, some 30km downstream. The best fishing is with drifted earthworms and scrubworms, plus medium-sized bladed lures, with wet flies worked in the runs during the day are also successful.

Dartmouth Dam is slowly refilling and fishing continues to be good to excellent, with brown trout a feature right now. Best rigs are medium depth trolled scrubworms behind a cowbell lure or something similar. Boat launching facilities are also excellent, with a newly lengthened concrete ramp making getting a boat of any size into the water and out again a relatively easy exercise. The pondage (Lake Banimboola) is full and providing some exciting fishing opportunities for bait and lure anglers at the moment. Anglers fishing this water have caught brown trout to 1.5kg over the last few weeks, which should continue over the coming months.

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 www.anglingvic.com.au

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