Still Great Fishing In Yarra Valley
  |  First Published: May 2010

With the closed season now upon us it's time to reflect on techniques that proved to be most fruitful.

Upper Yarra

Drifting unweighted baits under Biostrike or twist-on indicators has proved very effective. Using worms during times of high, discoloured flow, and mudeyes when the water was a little clearer was also very effective. Small baitholder style in size 8,10 and 12 for the worms and buzzer nymph hooks in sizes 10,12 or 14 to match the size of your mudeyes.

Hardbodied lures like Rapala trout patterns, SX40s and sneaky scorpions in the 35-50mm range and soft plastics such as Berkley Power Nymphs, or Squidgy Fish in the Rainbow Trout, Green Grunter or Gary Glitter patterns, fished on light jig heads took good numbers of fish.

Bladed lures like Celtas, insect spinners and the Blue Fox range were also well represented. Scenting the lures was an excellent way of coping with any dirty water, and helps the fish track the lure in clearer conditions also.

Flyfishing the upper Yarra this year was most productive very early in the mornings, hopper patterns being a standout. Getting on the water before the sun was too high, wading against the current and short casting to current seams and eddies was the best trick. Having a bet both ways with a nymph dropper under your dry fly is always a good idea.

Unweighted nymph and emerger patterns fished on a leader left ungreased for the last 15-20cm also account for many fish. This can be an exacting way to fish with timing the strike an art in itself. The Yarra, like most streams in Victoria this season, benefitted from the better rainfall this year.

Middle Yarra

With the middle Yarra fishing well for the lure caster over the previous months, the colder water experienced at this time sees bait fishing coming to the fore. Bardi grubs, yabbies and the old faithful worm all worth a try in the deeper pools this month. Rig bardies and yabbies using a baitholder hooks in size 4/0 on a running ball sinker rig. Rig the scrub worm on a red size 4 baitholder to match the colour and size of the bait.

For the persistent lure angler, try silver or white-skirted spinner baits in 1/2oz slow rolled along the bottom of deeper pools.

The most painfully slow retrieve you can manage is the best one for the cod. As always, think about the future and return these fish to the water in as good a condition as possible. Minimum handling is the best way to ensure there will be plenty of cod for everyone to catch.

Staff member Steve is testing a new range of Sumo hardbodied cod lures which look promising, using single light gauge jigging hooks to make them more snag proof. Remember to use plenty of gel or spray scent to increase your strike rate.

Redfin Perch

To find some redfin perch, try the area behind and downstream from the Warrandyte bakery. Spots at the head of pools where there is a concentration of food are prime locations to find these aggressive fish in numbers. Small trout-sized lures will catch plenty of fish, but to increase your chances with the bigger redfin, try upsizing your lures.

Larger 50-90mm vibes and lipless crank baits are a good option to search your chosen location for the larger fish. Using soft plastics in the same size are also very effective, as the large redfin will eat smaller redfin at times.

Lures and soft plastics to try are SX40 in colours 357, 354, and 351, and Squidgy Critters in grenade and Squidgy Bugs in gold.

Other species to target are the plentiful carp and eel populations. All you need is a simple running hook rig with small redworms.

Lilydale Lake

The recent successful stocking over the school holidays saw a large number of rainbows being caught on a mixture of Powerbait, maggots and worms. Target the area around the upper lake where the Olinda Creek runs in. The use of berley will increase your chances of success dramatically when bait fishing.

Seed an area regularly during a session or use a berley feeder cage near your bait. The lake is also a good place for the fly angler to hone his skills for the next open season on the streams, or better still, learn a few new ones.

Stripping small wet flies like Woolly Buggers or Tom Jones style patterns is a great way to practice the casting techniques, while having a better than even chance of hooking a fish to boot.

Darker colours such as black and olive with perhaps some of red flash as fish get into spawning mode.

Just remember that the trout season in Victorian streams and rivers is closed from Midnight June 8, until midnight on Friday September 4.

For up to date fishing information, both fresh and saltwater, contact the boys at Compleat Angler in Ringwood on 03 9870 7792 or better still drop in at 92 Maroondah Hwy– we’re open 7 days a week with plenty of top quality bait and a great selection of freshwater and saltwater gear.

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