It’s a-trout time!
  |  First Published: October 2003

In our part of the world we’ve had terrific rainfall and the rivers throughout the region are running a banker. Just what the doctor ordered to put an end to the big dry that gave the trout streams a real battering. It will be interesting to get up into the streams and see just how much the recent bushfires have affected the trout stocks. Hopefully the recent heavy rain will have washed away the ash for good and the trout will still be there.

Lake Hume’s trout season has been very poor to date. Judging from most of the reports from regulars, you’re seriously looking at only one trout per boat per day. Hardly exciting stuff, but October will hopefully bring better results. The wall to Huon area up the Mitta Arm has, as usual, been the best producer. If want to get out and chase the trout, stick to your Cobra styled lures like the Lofty’s and get them moving. The lake’s trout really show a liking to fast trolled Cobras – not so fast that they spin, but close to that speed – and silver and fluoro pink are my colour choices. One fine example of what can be caught here was the 3.75kg brown caught by young Chas Sargeant in late August.

The end of the month is usually the time to target yellowbelly in the lake. The last two years have been a near non-event because of the low or receding water levels, but with luck this year will be a cracker. The lake level should be stable or rising by the time this magazine hits the shelves.

Bait anglers usually do well up the Murray arm around the Whyma ferry from the bank, but targeting the fish with lures by trolling or casting can be very rewarding. And there are a few rippers amongst them worthy of trophy status.

The best areas to work are really anywhere from the Bethanga bridge up the Murray arm to the Whyma ferry. Troll the hard clay bottoms or any rock or timbered sections, and really work those big points in any depth from 1.5 metres to four metres.

Stay shallow

One mistake I’m guilty of is trolling lures that run too deep. At this time of year the big goldens sometimes hang in really tight and shallow, so keep that in mind. Lures like the original 6cm Merlin, the standard McGrath, Knol’s 50mm Native and the 12-foot AC 50mm Invader are certainly all worth a swim.

Don’t forget the fly rod, either. We always take the fly rod along in October, and if all is quiet you can always rely on a big carp on the long wand to renew your enthusiasm. A pair of polarised glasses, a good cast and a simple wet fly twitched in a carp’s face is all that’s needed. Boy, do they fight!

Up around Dartmouth

The Dart pondage has been the pick of the bunch up in this neck of the woods. Wading the banks with a light spin outfit or stripping wet flies with the long wand has been good, as has bait. Power Bait and worms fished on the bottom have worked well, as have mudeyes suspended under a stick float.

The Mitta River anywhere from below the pondage to Tallandoon can fish well, particularly with lures, but this will really depend on the water levels throughout the month. I suspect that the water will be running very high, so lure casting will be most effective working around the current seams of the main flow and into the backwaters. If the water is high, a bunch of flat-tailed worms fished with as little lead as possible in these backwaters will do the trick.

Mudeye time at Khancoban

Khancoban pondage certainly got off to a very slow start this winter. Many of its spawners didn’t return to the lake until late August and up until then things were dead. Lures, particularly minnows, did the trick but mudeyes fished below a float also worked a treat.

I predict that this will be the month of the mudeye. Trout love these often hard-to-get critters and the river end of the pondage is generally the prime area. Keep an eye on the sounder for the gutter-like drop-offs between the weed beds and cast your floats back into these zones. During the day fish your mudeyes deep – say five to six feet – and in the evenings shorten the drop to about three feet.

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