Beautiful Yarra Browns
  |  First Published: December 2005

It’s hard to believe that another year has gone and a new one is already underway. With the weather so unpredictable, the fishing has been challenging on some days and great on others. I suppose that’s just typical of Melbourne and keeps us all on our toes.

Doon’s Reserve has been fishing well for trout on fly, particularly on the warm balmy nights. Elk Hair Caddis, Red Tags and Royal Coachmans have been best. For the spin angler, this area fishes well with EcoGear SX35 minnows or spinners in the lighter colours such as copper and silver. Remember to give the rod a firm pull to get the blade spinning and then use a slow varying retrieve so the blade flutters and pulses. If you see a trout following your bladed lures but not striking, just stop for a second and start retrieving again.

There have been reports of good-sized Macquarie perch caught in the Yarra between Wonga Park and Kew. The best fishing has been around Warrandyte. I suggest a size 6 all-round Saiko hook on 35cm of 6lb leader with a small ball sinker, size 0 or 1, and a scrubworm using an open bail system. This allows the fish to swim away before you strike and set the hook. The best time is in middle to late afternoon, with a rising barometer. By dusk, the eels have taken over and the perch have gone quiet.

Macquarie perch are a native fish that’s doing particularly well in the Yarra, despite a general decline elsewhere in Australia’s southeast. Although there’s an annual closed season (from 1 October to 31 December), a legal minimum length (35cm) and a limited number of open waters in Victoria, we strongly encourage anglers to release them in the Yarra so this valuable population can flourish.

For those who have been targeting eels, the results have been good with most anglers getting a bag full. The best baits are scrubworms on a size 2 Youvella bait holder hook. We had a customer come recently who was smoking eels using Mallee root chips. They believe the flavour is fantastic and even better than Hickory.

Good carp have been taken from the Pump Hole behind the Gun Club off Victoria Road in Yarra Glen. Most have been taken on maggots under a Middy stick float.

We’ve had several customers who have been catching yabbies with the kids over the holidays. Get a small piece of meat, tie it directly to a line or pin it on a size 2 bait holder hook. Let it sit until you see the line move, then slowly draw the yabby in and scoop him up from behind with a small bait net. This will provide hours of good fun for all ages.

Had some success? Send the details to --e-mail address hidden-- and include the angler’s name, species, where caught (you don’t need to give me all your secrets) and what bait, lure or flies was used. For up to date Yarra Valley fishing information contact the boys at Compleat Angler in Ringwood on (03) 9870 7792 or better still drop in at 92 Maroondah Hwy– we’re open 7 days a week with plenty of top quality fresh bait and a great selection of gear.

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