Best Season for 10 years
  |  First Published: March 2005

Well folks, it’s official. Graham Brown, my host at the Blue Duck Hotel at Anglers Rest, assures me that this is the best fishing season we’ve had in 10 years. And I believe him.

Rivers of the alpine high country benefited from the recent rain, which fell heavily over several days (although nowhere near as heavily as in Melbourne). Water from Dartmouth Dam is not being released at the moment and the lower Mitta Mitta River can be waded across in many locations as a result.


I’m now including Lake Mokoan, near Benalla, in my fishing reports as I feel that this lake rarely gets a regular mention in any fishing information available. Lake Mokoan is located a touch over two hours drive from Melbourne, via the Hume Freeway; 15 kilometres from Benalla and 20 kilometres from Wangaratta. I think it is well worth a visit.

This first report comes from Heather Williams at the Lake Mokoan Caravan Park, (03) 5765 2298.

Lake Mokoan is in excellent condition this week, although a bit cloudy from the recent rain which caused levels to rise by 34% and made boat launching possible only from ramps. Four anglers took 15 yellowbelly over five days last week - the average weight was 1.5kg. They were caught off Green Island and most were taken on yabbies with a few on worms. Another group of four people got eight yellowbelly, ranging in weight from 1-1.5kg. Yet another group took a number of nice yellowbelly and two Murray cod (2 and 2.5kg respectively) from the outlet channels.

The High Country

Rocky Valley Reservoir is completely full, in excellent condition and essentially unchanged from previous reports. Good sized rainbow trout are being taken by bait fishing from the bank; boat anglers trolling around the small bays and close inshore are also getting a few at the moment.

Pretty Valley Reservoir is completely full as well and is producing some good rainbows for bait and lure anglers fishing from mid morning to late afternoon. The best lures are rapalas and similar patterns. As always, wading can make a difference when fishing this water.

Lake Guy is okay for trolling from a boat - brown and rainbow trout weighing 1.5-2kg are regularly taken using this method. The best beat is the stretch under the trees on the far side. The inflow streams near the tennis courts are still producing small to medium sized rainbow trout for bait and fly fishers at the moment. These streams provide excellent fly fishing in summer and are ideal for beginners, however, wading is required to reach the best spots so bring your thigh waders.

Kiewa River is in perfect condition and fishing extremely well this week, although the area around Mongans Bridge and Hessian Lane have been a bit slow, according to reports. Lure anglers have been very successful around Tawonga of late, with small to medium sized rapalas the most productive lure used. Fly fishing has been good, with trout rising to caddis and Kosciusko tied dun flies in sizes 12-14.

West Kiewa River is in perfect condition and still producing nice rainbow trout for fly fishers, but watch out for snakes. This stream is really unsuitable for bait and lure fishing although a few people give it a go. Trout tend to be small, typical of mountain streams, and most fish should be released after capture. Access after the heavy rain may prove difficult (it’s certainly wet!) and felt-soled waders are recommended due to slippery conditions.

Upper Ovens River continues to be in fine condition with trout, mainly rainbows, being caught by all fishing methods. Excellent evening rises are occurring daily and this little stream is well worth a visit, although fish tend to be on the smallish side during high summer.

Ovens River continues to produce good trout with lure anglers having lots of success. Best lures this week have been rapalas and deep-diving lures. Excellent evening rises most nights also give fly fishing enthusiasts a chance to get out there.

Morse’s Creek is at summer level and flowing quite well at the moment. The best fishing is about 1km above Bright town-ship and even further upstream. Again, there are good evening rises most days and wading is required.

Upper Mitta Mitta River is producing excellent returns for anglers using all fishing methods. Best lure to use is a small to medium sized rainbow trout imitation rapala. Fly fishing is very good from late afternoon into evening. The best dry flies are size 12-14 Kosciusko duns and caddis imitations.

Bundarra River is running well and lure and fly anglers are cleaning up this week. Excellent evening rises continue from late afternoon into evening most days, although they may be quite short.

Cobungra River is also running well - nice rainbows are still rising to take natural beetles during the day. The best fishing is occurring well upstream and a guide may be needed for access. Phone Geoff Lacey on (03) 5754 1466 for details.

Lower Mitta Mitta River is hardly running and can be waded across in many places at the moment. However, the shallow water is not seriously affecting fishing results for anglers who know the area. There are lots of small trout about with better sized browns and rainbows being caught on rapalas, according to Ted at the Mitta Mitta caravan park. There are good rises by heavy trout towards dark on most evenings.

Snowy Creek is running well and is by far the best stream to fish at the moment with good-sized trout eing caught and a number of break-offs by larger specimens reported. Best locations at the moment are still around the LAC cabin area and Walsh’s bridge.

If you have any information on your latest trip, don’t hesitate to contact me at Angling Expeditions Victoria on (03) 5754 1446 or send me an email at --e-mail address hidden--

What better way to spend an autumn day than fishing a few baits around the trees at Lake Mokoan – a very underrated and underexposed fishery in Victoria.

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