Autumn brings angling abundance
  |  First Published: March 2010

Autumn in Khancoban is one of the most beautiful seasons.

With an abundance of deciduous oaks, elms, and ash, the colours are spectacular and the fishing even better.

After nearly 200mm (eight inches) of rain during February, the water has taken a while to clear and settle. Some huge redfin (six around the 2kg in one week), were caught, along with up to a dozen trout to 2kg, which were released.

The recent southerly has quietened it down, but as soon as the hatches and hoppers build in numbers, the fishing will be awesome.

Best trolling with the dirty water has been vibes, spinnerbaits and rattlers: with visibility limited a little noise is needed. The redfin still seem best on soft plastics or scrub worms.

With the volume of water flowing into the pondage, the Lower Swampy has been running extremely hard, making it difficult to fish. Leadfish, or heavily weighted worms has been the only method close to the spillway, however some nice trout have been taken at Bringenbrong just below the confluence of the Swampy and The Murray.

Once the water settles down and the insects and moths reappear, the fishing should be excellent.

I’ve had many comments from anglers about the weed regrowth in Khancoban Pondage. We complain about it fouling our lines when the pondage is at a low level. Remember that the weed is the secret to the trophy trout over ten pounds or 4.4kgs that Khancoban is famed for!

The weed died back as a result of the drought and 2003 bushfires. With recent rain and better flow from The Snowy Hydro, the heavy regrowth has been noticeable over the past couple of years.

When the insects are absent during winter and particularly before they run to spawn, the trout swim through the weed, shaking the fronds with their tails, to knock the snails off, then hoover them from the bottom. By the end of winter you can play maracas with them, they are so full of snails.

The flesh darkens through winter because of this diet. This essential facet of their diet is as a result of the weed and I guarantee that as long as we have healthy weed beds in the pondage, the trophy trout will continue to be caught at Khancoban.

Another subject I’d like to raise is Murray cod. Although we are known for our trout, the next valley over is The Murray. My question is: we provide protection for our trout with designated breeding streams and blue ribbon trout waters, yet apart from size and bag limits our most iconic native and potential saviour from the European carp invasion has no such protection – Why is this? Just a thought to leave you with!

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