Yarra Still Firing for Trout
  |  First Published: April 2005

The Yarra River has been fishing very well considering the amount of water that has been flushed through in the past month.

In the upper reaches of the Yarra River, between Woori Yallock and the Upper Yarra Dam, bait drifting scrub worms has been the preferred method to claim a trout or two when the river is either rising over new ground or discoloured. When bait drifting, remember that little or no weight is preferable to give a more natural presentation of your bait. Wade up stream and cast ahead of yourself. As your bait flows back downstream towards you, keep your line tight so you don’t miss any hits.

When the river clears, rising trout have been a hit and miss affair for flyfishers. Those that persist, however, are usually rewarded with a brown trout,, or the less abundant rainbow trout. Elk Hair Caddis and the good old Red Tag in a size 14 have drawn many trout. You might also be surprised how effective a size 14 bead head nymph suspended 50cm below beneath a dry fly can be.

Hatches will slow over the next month as the weather starts to cool off a little, although trout will still take a dry fly if it floats their way.

Baits such as scrub worms and maggots will still produce fish when cast into backwaters or in amongst snags. Likely catches will be trout, blackfish, redfin and eels.

Many Macquarie perch have been caught around Wonga Park and Warrandyte. Popular spots are at the end of Homestead Road and Pound Bend. The best bait has been worms. Early evening has been the best time to target the Macquarie perch because eels become a nuisance after dark.

A whopper Murray cod was recently caught further downstream towards Eltham. It measured a staggering 96cm and weighed 14kg. Although Murray cod captures in the Yarra are not rare, fish this size are few and far between. It just goes to show that there is still a population of cod in this waterway!

Photo caption – The author cradles an average sized Yarra River rainbow trout taken on an Elk Hair Caddis.

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