The Victorian stream trout fishing season opening weekend began quietly amid perfect spring weather on the first Saturday in September.
Anglers camped on the Kiewa River took some nice brown trout before lunch on live worms and metal lures. Rainbows were well represented in keep bags too. At least two anglers I interviewed reached their legal bag limit within the first two hours, despite rivers running high and fast. Anglers who consistently caught fish throughout the day were those who sought out locations sheltered from the swift flow. Average fish sizes were up on previous years, with trout of 1.5kg recorded, and fish of 750 to 950g common.
The Kiewa River at Tawonga dropped considerably overnight prior to the opening but even so, stream flows were unsuitable for flyfishing. Enthusiasts I encountered experienced frustration at not being able to find much good water on Saturday with river levels holding steady all day. Sunday was not much better although several trout fell to a variety of wet flies, fished along the glides and in suitably quiet locations that were sussed out earlier.
I just missed witnessing a young bloke of about 15 summers losing a very good brown at the net on Saturday morning; he said that the line just broke.
Fishing at Lake Mokoan has been a bit of a fizzer with water temperatures still too cold for natives. There was almost nobody at the caravan park and only about 14 cars at the boat ramp. But watch this space; the best is yet to come. Bendigo Fishing Club will host the annual Bendigo Classic at Lake Mokoan during the weekend of October 14 to 16, targeting yellowbelly (callop). It’s open to all-comers and proceeds go to the Royal Children’s Hospital. The entry fee is $15 and there are lots of good prizes to be won. Most people fish from boats but bank anglers shouldn’t be discouraged. The contact person is Greg Hicks on 0419 872 054.
The upper Mitta Mitta River at Anglers Rest was running very high over the weekend and few anglers were about with no fish captures reported. For those familiar with the area, the Cobungra River reached the pump house at the Blue Duck Hotel, which is very high, but now steadily falling. The Bundarra River was also running very high and is also dropping.
The lower Mitta Mitta River from the township of Mitta Mitta to Eskdale was running low and fairly dirty. Despite this, good numbers of trout were caught on live worms rigged under a running sinker. The Snowy Creek was running high and dirty as well. There were no flyfishers about and most locals were put off by the force of the water coming down the river.
Lake Dartmouth is just over 50% capacity at the moment. Many anglers fished the pondage below over the weekend and had much success with the biggest trout weighing in at a whopping 2.3kg. It was taken on scrubworms. All fish were caught on livebait and lures, given an absence of flyfishers.
October is gearing up to provide some memorable fishing in the high country as streams drop to their mid-spring level and trout really come on the bite. I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat it: this is going to be the best season in a long time and if you’re not fishing this spring, you’re going to miss out on something very special.
For the latest fishing information on the alpine high country contact Geoff Lacey at Angling Expeditions Victoria on (03) 5754 1466 or check out the website at www.anglingvic.com.au.Reads: 593