The fishing has been excellent, particularly on Lake Eildon and the Goulburn River.
The weather has been a big contributing factor, especially on the Goulburn. Good rain bands have swept the state keeping the thirsty irrigators at bay until the weather heats up. The flows will increase to the point that the fishing will slow. Then we’ll get another shot of rain and down will go the flow again.
The upside is that Lake Eildon is filling and nearing 50%, which hasn’t been seen in many years. The feeder streams have kicked on too with the grasshoppers infiltrating the bankside grass.
The fishing has been good, particularly around the Peppin Point area at Bonnie Doon. Graeme Morrow of the Peppin Point Holiday Park reports good Murray cod and yellowbelly taken by lure anglers. The most successful lures have been StumpJumpers, Tasmanian Devils, wobblers and spinnerbaits fished out of boats and along the shore.
Redfin remain the most abundant fish to catch with any exposed tree or timber structure a good target. Earthworms have been the best bait.
Rod Grotaers from the Totally Trout Fishing Centre in Alexandra reports that everything’s golden on the lake; golden perch that is. His shop has weighed in six golden perch over 10lb, including a 13lb fish taken by Rod’s wife Heidi that was caught on yabbies at Bonnie Doon.
Good fishing continues with rainbow trout to 6lb taken on PowerBait and mudeyes under a float. Lure fishermen have also had success with excellent catches taken on Crocodile lures and Rapalas.
Geoff Pope fished the pondage recently and has had most success at first light. He managed brown trout from 800g to 2kg using mudeyes. The action ceased at around 9am. Geoff also mentioned that flyfishermen would have had a ball with plenty of fish rising in close on midges.
The Goulburn River is around 12 degrees. The increased flow hasn’t affected the fishing to a large degree. Reports indicate that bait fishermen are taking trout to a pound on earthworms, scrubbies, and PowerBait with the best location up and downstream of Gilmores Bridge. Fishermen using lures have done well upstream of the Thornton township with Rapalas in the brown trout pattern the best.
On the flyfishing scene I’ve done well on browns to 1lb fishing weighted nymph patterns fished blindly. The evening rise has been dependent on the weather. Weekday hatches were small and consisted of caddis. The best dry fly patterns for me was a size 14 Elk Hair Caddis and Creel Caddis.
Flyfisher Peter Emilan fished the river with the aid of polarised sunglasses recently and sighted a couple of trout feeding along the edge. He drifted his latest creation, a Wombat Beetle, within inches of the target and hooked, landed and released a 35cm rainbow. Peter caught a further 2 trout and a big carp.
The Goulburn Valley Fly Fishing Centre reports that evening rises have been weak in places, especially at the higher levels. There have been mostly caddis on dusk and not a lot seemed to be emerging up around Thornton. Better hatches have been going down in the Breakaway but they’ve been sporadic. Raft trips have given the most insight into this because you cover a lot of water through the evening period. The boys have been running into and out of the hatch as they’re drifting. Geoff Hall reports some great rises down that way on the nights when southerlies don’t tear through.
The big news is the super Caenis hatches we’re getting most mornings. By 6.45am there have been zillions of these tiny mayfly in the dun stage drifting on the water. Within an hour there were none left but the spinners were back out and over the river in massive numbers, rising in columns that stretched high and wide. The whole dun to spinner stage of this particular mayfly is very short.
Backwaters have been the mainstay of the fishing recently. Most of the fish during guide jobs were taken in close on a variety of patterns. Some old time favourites and some new patterns have been working well. One day the boys walked past a good 25 fish in the 2km of river.
I mentioned the capture of a tagged brown trout from the Goulburn River a while back. DPI Fisheries tells me that the fish, caught in the Breakaway area, was a stoked fished from the pondage that had migrated downstream.
The flow has dropped a great deal and the fishing is starting to come on in a small way. This will get better as the weeks progress. Flyfishers have taken the odd brown trout to 1lb on weighted nymph patterns and dry flies on evening.
Bait fishermen have also taken the odd trout on earthworms and maggots.
Grasshopper fishing should peak in mid January. Recommended patterns include size 12 Latex Hoppers, Banjo Hoppers, Nobby Hoppers, and Rubber Legged Hoppers.
The Acheron River has been flowing hard and fast but it’s slowing and should drop to a good fishing level in the New Year. Bait fishermen are taking small trout to half a pound in the upper section and slightly larger trout in the lower reaches.
Craig Baker and son Luther caught a few rainbows on earthworms fished on the bottom in the Buxton area in December.
Flyfishing is only producing the odd trout. It would be better to wait a while, even though I’ve sighted good numbers of mayfly spinners and duns on the water of late.
Tallarook General Store reports that the King Parrot Creek has been fishing well for trout to 1lb in the upper section of the creek. There have also been some small Macquarie Perch to 500g that were released. The most successful approach has been earthworms fished on the bottom.
Local guide Ray Butterworth has had success using weighted nymph patterns fished blind. The gold bead head nymph has been the stand out, with the upper section of the river most productive.Reads: 3908