Drought? What drought, one may ask. We’ve enjoyed some truly big rainfalls here in the upper Kiewa Valley and surrounding regions during the latter part of October and right through November. This has resulted in a falling barometer and trout in some waters going off the bite for a while. Now everything is perfect!
All alpine region rivers and streams are running crystal clear and icy cold, and are flowing at normal summer levels. The lakes are all at full capacity. As well, the weather is fine and sunny every day, so I can confidentially predict that we’re in for some really great trout fishing this summer. To add to the excitement, the air is currently abuzz with insect life, and trout of all sizes are rising to them throughout the day and into the evening.
Rocky Valley and Pretty Valley reservoirs are both at full capacity and providing some excellent fishing. The water is very cold and deep around the edges, so wading is restricted to selected areas. Anglers are taking rainbow trout to 1.25kg (average 600g), on scrubworms and medium-sized bladed lures, as well as on a selection of size 14 emerger flies during the day and size 14–16 dry flies in the late afternoon. Rocky Valley Reservoir is ideal for boat fishing, and it is possible to target monster trout to 4kg by trolling, although only a few boat anglers take advantage of this excellent water each summer.
Lake Guy is also ideal for trolling, but again only a few anglers take advantage of it. Brown trout averaging 750g are being caught by shore-based anglers using baits of scrubworm. Water levels tend to fluctuate during summer due to hydroelectric requirements and a new power station that is being built next to Lake Guy.
The inflowing feeder streams, the east Kiewa River and Rocky Valley Creek, are flowing well and producing brown trout of 300–450g, on bait, lures and flies. Best results are achieved in summer in these small streams by flyfishing with a 4 or 5 weight rod. A suitable selection of size 16–18 dry flies need to be presented on a long 6X (or finer) tippet that is delicately cast upstream into likely feeding runs.
The pondage was restocked with 2000 yearling rainbow trout in November and fishing has been good right through the year, with shore-based anglers being the most successful. The bi-annual National Fly Fishing Championships were held in this water in late November, but I don’t have any results on hand at this time.
Fiona Pond is the only water in the region that is artificially stocked each year, and it holds many heavy rainbow trout in summer. This is because the lake also holds a high number of stick caddis, plus dragonfly and stonefly nymphs (mudeyes), which the fish feed upon almost exclusively throughout the year.
The Kiewa River from Mt Beauty and Tawonga to Mongans Bridge is running crystal clear and icy cold, and is flowing at normal summer levels. It is producing brown trout weighing 750–1025g during the day, with larger specimens to 2kg more commonly taken after dark. Best baits are drifted scrubworms and mudeyes, presented under a bubble float. Trout are rising in many places during the late morning and into the afternoon. They are taking a selection of size 14–16 dry flies, although a double rig, with a size 12 or 14 unweighted nymph dropper, is finding most of the fish.
The Mitta Mitta River from Mitta Mitta to Eskdale is running at 2000 megalitres a day, making it ideal for all types of trout fishing. Brown trout to 1.5kg have been taken on drifted scrubworms and a variety of bladed lures. Flyfishers are beginning to record catches on dry flies during the day, especially in the afternoon and towards evening in the runs.
The Snowy Creek around Granite Flat and downstream is flowing well, and brown trout to 400g are being taken on drifted scrubworms and small to medium sized lures at the moment. A falling barometer affected fishing last month, but flyfishers should also do well in this stream from now on.
Dartmouth continues to refill at a painfully slow rate although the fishing is very good, with brown trout to 1.5kg being taken by trolling around the trees and in the arms. I have no recent reports on hand, but am assured that fishing is very productive at the moment and will continue to be very good right through summer. The pondage (Lake Banimboola) is full and firing well, with lots of trout falling for live drifted baits and lures.
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
Granya resident, Bruce Giddings, with a rainbow trout of a little over 2kg that he caught on a weighted nymph in an alpine stream. The coming summer should provide some great trout fishing.Reads: 1866