Despite sticky hot weather and swarms of bush flies trout are being caught in good numbers in most alpine rivers at the moment.
The only real concern one has is for the Victoria River on the Cobungra Plains, which has dropped to a very low level causing water to be in danger of becoming too warm for trout and consequently, fishing.
Both Rocky Valley and Pretty Valley lakes are immune to weather fluctuations as they sit at 1800 metres above sea level (making them, incidentally, the highest trout-bearing lakes in mainland Australia) where the mean air temperature is always at least 12C cooler in summer than around the nearby rivers. As well, they are always 100% full at the start of summer and currently stand at 95% full.
Mostly rainbow trout and a few browns to at least 4kg are caught regularly during summer by anglers fishing from low-powered boats and around the shoreline, with the latter taking most of the fish.
The inflow stream to Pretty Valley Lake is especially challenging to fish, having no natural cover at all to allow an angler to get within casting distance of easily spooked large rainbow trout rising throughout the day.
The outflow creek holds lots of small trout to 400g although many are smaller. The creek runs over large rocks, forming small rapids with excellent pools for about 1km before it disappears into a pipe that carries the water to Rocky Valley Lake.
It is fairly shallow and surrounded by huge rocks and no trees, making it ideal water for novice fly fishers to catch their first fish.
Another good water to fish is what I call “The Lake With No Name”. It is located along the Bogong High Plains Road about 1km upstream from the creek road crossing at Langford Gap and very few anglers even know about it.
This small impoundment holds brown trout to 500g on average that rise freely to almost any size 16 dry fly that is presented with a bit of skill. A word of warning: This water is actually a silt trap so watch where you wade and avoid being sucked down a metre or two by quicksand.
The two inflow streams to Lake Guy at Bogong Village are holding up well in the hot weather and are producing many rainbow trout and a few browns for anglers fishing with lures and dry flies. These streams have been recently ‘discovered’ by holidaying bathers and truck tube floaters of late, making fishing on some days somewhat challenging.
Lake Catani at Mt Buffalo is 100% full and fishing is excellent this month, with many rainbow trout to 600g, some larger, falling for a variety of medium sized lures and size 14 to 16 dry flies, with the most successful including Royal Wulff, Red Tag, Blue Dun and gum and tea-tree beetles, to name a few.
Canoes are available for hire, which allow anglers to reach the really big trout that frequent deeper and more difficult to reach areas.
The pondage at Mt Beauty is in excellent condition and fishing well, with rainbow trout to 700g on average falling for a variety of lures and live drifted bait from around the shoreline. Fly fishers will do well this month as large trout feed at dawn around the reeds at the south-western end, especially if the lake receives a sudden inflow just after midnight, as it often does.
As mentioned at the start, almost all rivers are flowing well and they are producing lots of both brown and rainbow trout this summer, although average sizes tend to be on the small side following an excellent spawning season last winter.
Alpine fishing conditions can change very quickly whatever the season, so for the latest update phone Geoff Lacey at Angling Expeditions Victoria on (03) 5754 1466 or check out website www.anglingvic.com.auReads: 2001