River Fish Ready for Xmas Action
  |  First Published: December 2006

Despite a serious lack of rain anywhere in the area, the alpine region’s rivers are providing some good fishing, which should continue through December and well into the new year.

Bait anglers have been doing exceptionally well since the opening in September with no respite in sight. Flyfishers are also hitting their straps now, after mixed results earlier on. Snakes have been quiet to date along the rivers but will become more visible now that summer’s here. All Victorian snakes are poisonous but they usually leave you alone, if you leave them alone. People are usually bitten when they try to illegally kill snakes.

lake catani

Lake Catani at Mt Buffalo is fishing exceptionally well this season, with lots of brown trout to 975g falling for size 14 Royal Wulff and blue dun dry flies. A variety of other beetle patterns, including tea tree beetle and brown beetle, fished from knee deep water during the day are also working well.

Close to shore, the lake is quite deep which when combined with its small surface area (4-5 hectares) makes it ideal for belly boat fishing. Bring warm clothing even in summer, as the lake sits 13,000m above sea level. There’s also a toll gate and it costs $9.90 per car to enter the national park where the lake is. The toll is a small price to pay as you’ll probably have the whole lake to yourself.

Rocky valley and pretty valley reservoirs

Rocky Valley and Pretty Valley reservoirs at Falls Creek are looking good but only a few anglers have fished the lakes so far. At 18,000m above sea level the air temperature around the lakes can be quite cool, but things are very pleasant now that summer’s here.

Boating enthusiasts should consider coming here for family holidays as the reservoir holds lots of deep cold water and has good boat launching/recovery sites scattered around the shoreline. Brown trout to 4kg were caught and released during the lake’s most recent national flyfishing championship. Accommodation providers in the area are also offering good deals in the wake of a less than perfect ski season.

Pretty Valley Creek is providing some fast action and producing lots of small brown trout to 250g on average for flyfishers using a variety of size 14 dry flies.

Lake Guy

Lake Guy at Bogong Village is producing brown trout to 800g for anglers deep trolling large and flashy lures. The best area is along the far bank during the afternoon. The east Kiewa River is also producing brown trout to 700g, average 400g, on worms and lures.

Mt Beauty

Mt Beauty Pondage is in fine form with anglers taking rainbow trout to 450g during the day on worms and mudeyes under a bubble float. Lures, including soft plastics, when fished deep along the northern shore of the pondage are also working well.

Kiewa River

The Kiewa River from Mt Beauty to Coral Bank is producing brown trout to 1kg, average 700g, on drifted worms and mudeyes and small to medium sized bladed lures. The best browns are falling in the morning for size 12 weighted brown nymphs fished very near the bottom with one or two smaller wet flies trailing on separate tippets. In the early to mid-afternoon, size 14 dry flies such as Royal Wulff and Royal Coachman are doing well as trout rise to them. The west Kiewa River is plugging along well as usual, with anglers catching and releasing brown trout to 450 on size 14-16 dry flies.

The ovens river

The Ovens River from Porepunkah to Germantown is low and producing small to medium sized brown trout on worms, mudeyes and lures. Most fish are being found in the long pools where they can find some cover from natural predators. The upper Ovens River at Freeburgh is fishing moderately well with 350-400g brown trout being caught on live drifted baits and small Celta type lures. The best fishing is at the tail of pools before the day warms up.

Mitta mitta river

The lower Mitta Mitta River from Mitta Mitta to Eskdale continues to run high, fast and cold this month. The water from Lake Dartmouth is being released into the river at the rate of 10,000 megalitres a day, which makes the river difficult to fish.

The Little Snowy Creek at Eskdale is producing small brown trout on drifted worms and mudeyes under a bubble float.

Lake Dartmouth

Lake Dartmouth continues to steadily fall as water is released into the lower Mitta Mitta River for irrigation farming further downstream. It may drop to as little as 9% later on but the lake will continue to fish well right through summer, according to John Scales of the Dartmouth Hotel. I have received many reports of brown trout that were caught around the eight mile arm, with deep trolled cowbells and similar lures having the most success. Local angler John Brighton took nine large browns with a Lofty 100 lure. Bob Deretic caught and released several more when drifting Rapala lures through submerged trees during the late afternoon.

Lake Banimboola (the pondage) is very high as a result of the water being released into the river and good sized redfin and brown trout are being caught on live bait presented under a bubble float and lures, including soft plastics.

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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