High flows and high hopes
  |  First Published: November 2004

Welcome to all readers of VFM. My reports will endeavour to not only inform you of the latest fishing prospects, but also to the conditions of our waterways, news, latest fishing developments and other relevant information. It’s my hope to always lead you to great fishing, so let’s get on with it!

As everyone is aware, Victoria has received a substantial amount of rain over winter and the Lake Eildon area is no exception. At the time of writing, Lake Eildon was at 38 percent capacity with an inflow of 11,000 megalitres. Most captures in the lake have come to lure anglers trolling the Big River Arm and Jews Creek Arm with dark-coloured Tasmanian Devils. Downriggers have produced better results with all captures being brown trout from 400g to 1.2kg. Baitfishing the shoreline of Jews Creek Arm has also produced the odd small rainbow trout to 300g with earthworms and scrubbies the best baits.

The next month should see the warm weather start and the lake’s native fish will also start to hit trolled lures. Bank fishing for all methods should also improve, especially if the lake’s water level continues to rise.


Eildon Pondage is clearing from being dirty due to high rainfall. Most captures have been rainbow trout from 700g to 1.5kg taken on Tasmanian Devils, earthworms, scrubbies and mudeyes fished under a float. Flyfishers have had best results with large, dark flies like black Woolly Buggers (size 8-6). The best locations have been Nursery Corner and the Cemetery area.


The Goulburn River has recently been flowing at 500 megalitres with a water temperature of 12.4C degrees, dissolved oxygen content of 9.1, and has been very dirty.

The fishing hasn’t been good, with just the odd pan-size trout taken on earthworms and scrubbies. The best areas on the river have been along the slower edges or where any backwaters are formed.

A few flyfishers have been fishing the river with all reporting no insect hatches and little to no catches.

By the time anglers read this report the weather should have improved and the need for water irrigation may have started. This could lead to a flow increase of 1000-5000 megalitres. Depending on the level, all methods of fishing will produce good trout captures with insect hatches also well under way.


The Rubicon is running cold, hard and fast and is fishing fair for keen anglers that are bait, lure and flyfishing the many backwaters within the first few hours of light. The evening rise is basically not happening apart from the odd report of small hatches of midge and small Caenis mayfly, but even then not many trout are rising to them.

The month ahead will see the river flowing at a more fishable level with bait anglers having good opportunities and insect hatches like beetles, mayfly, stonefly and midges providing good fishing for fly anglers.


The Acheron is almost a carbon copy of the Rubicon by way of cold, fast flowing water. The lower section of the river from Taggerty to the Breakaway is the only recommended area to fish with bait anglers taking the odd pan-size trout on earthworms and scrubbies.

Flyfishers working the slower sections of the river with wet flies have had a little success with size 10 black, black and red Matukas, and olive green damsel nymphs. Like the Rubicon the next month will see river conditions improved and insect hatches producing many rising trout, particularly within the evening.


Reports indicate that mostly small trout and redfin have been taken on earthworms within the lower section of the river, which is also flowing cold and dirty. The Flowerdale section of the river has limited opportunities because of the hard flow with backwaters the only real chance for anglers. These backwaters are best fished with earthworms and scrubbies, while dark wet flies also worth a try.


Nymphs: gold bead-head nymphs; weighted Flashback Nymphs; Pheasant Tail Nymphs; weighted black Seals Fur Nymphs: and brown Seals Fur Nymphs – size 12-10.

Mayfly: rusty brown Para Duns; Pale Morning Duns; Iron Blue Duns; Red Spinners; Black Spinners – size 18-16.

Wet flies: Clouser Minnows – size 10-l; Matukas, Woolly Buggers and Damsel Nymphs – size 10-8.


Earthworms; scrubbies; mudeyes; Powerbait


Tasmanian Devils: 49, 22, 44; Celtas and Laser Lures.

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