December was a great month in the alpine region and one expects fishing to improve from there. Excellent caddis hatches and lots of rain in recent times are resulting in some of the best fishing for quite a while. Many trout are on the smaller side, with fish of 450-500g being common. Oddly, very few snakes have been encountered along the rivers so far this season.
Rocky Valley Reservoir is 100% full and the fishing is excellent, with many rainbow trout being caught by shore-based anglers fishing with drifted bait and lures. Many fish caught recently close to the shoreline have been around 500g, although larger specimens are plentiful if trolling.
There will be a Victorian Fly Fishing Championship event held here soon, and in past competitions trout to 4kg have been caught and released.
Pretty Valley Reservoir is also full and offering excellent fishing conditions for summer. The outflow creek is in full flow and producing many brown trout to around 350-400g on a variety of size 16-18 dry flies. Sadly, the stream is too small and demanding for any meaningful bait or lure fishing.
Lake Guy is about half full and providing limited opportunities for trolling, with brown trout to 1.25kg on offer. The shoreline is steep and muddy at the moment, making fishing from there an uninviting prospect. The inflow streams, East Kiewa River and Rocky Valley Creek, have seen some massive caddis hatches recently and are producing lots of brown trout to 500g, with some larger fish being caught around dusk.
The Ovens River from Bright to Porepunkah is flowing well this month and producing mostly pan-sized rainbow trout and a few browns on drifted bait and small to medium-sized lures. Good rises are occurring in the pools from about 5pm to dusk.
The upper section from Harrietville to Germantown is providing some excellent Polaroid fishing just now, with lots of rainbow trout rising to tea tree beetles and mayflies throughout the day.
Lake Catani at Mt Buffalo is full and ready for some memorable fishing for those fortunate enough to get there. The lake holds many trout to 600g, with some big sods always lurking around the eastern and deepest end. They can be caught by determined anglers fishing from a canoe or belly boat.
The pondage is 110% full, with the reeds at the shallow end well submerged, making nymph fishing around them a joy from late afternoon into darkness on many days. Nymphs need to be unweighted in size 16, and green rabbit fur is popular at the moment.
Bait and lure fishers are catching rainbow trout to 600g in deeper water around the high bank area, with Tassie Devils the most popular lure used.
The Kiewa River is still responding to recent rains and excellent caddis hatches, with many brown and rainbow trout in equal numbers being caught by all fishing methods at the moment. Many fish caught during the main part of the day are around 400g, although larger fish begin feeding in earnest just before dark.
The lower Mitta Mitta River from Glen Wills to Anglers Rest and on to Taylors Crossing is running a bit higher than last season, with many trout to 450g being taken by all fishing methods.
The section of river around the Hinnomunjie Bridge is doing particularly well at the moment. Larger fish are being caught in the runs during the day, but they are down around mid-level and deeper, and a large drifted bait, lure or weighted wet fly is needed to reach them.
The Snowy Creek at Granite Flat has settled down following good rains in recent weeks and is producing many brow trout to 500g by all fishing methods.
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.au
The author and clients setting up prior to a great morning’s flyfishing.Reads: 1901