In north-east Victoria, it has been a fantastic start to our stream season. Bursts of warm, settled spring weather got the fishing going early. Then, following widespread heavy rain in early December, the rivers are running high and cool – which is great for this time of the year.
Meanwhile, it looks like it’s going to be a big grasshopper season. The grass around many streams is waist-high and there are huge numbers of small hoppers bouncing around. It looks like popcorn popping as you walk!
The small streams have been the highlight so far this season, with good numbers and nice-sized fish coming to the net. These trout are really looking up for large terrestrial dry flies such as size 12 Royal X Stimulators and Wee Creek Hoppers. It is still worth nymphing the deeper pools with a double nymph rig under a New Zealand strike indicator and include a size 16 Hares Ear nymph – this fly is getting lots of takes.
Of the freestone streams, the Steavenson , Rubicon, Delatite, Ovens and Mitta Mitta are among the best. For the tailwaters, try the Goulburn. As this river rises, it will be worth polaroiding the edges searching for fish feeding on hoppers. Choose a warm day with a gentle breeze that will push the hoppers onto the water.
Swinging caddis pupa imitations in the riffles between 8pm and 9pm is a great option on the Goulburn through January. And if you’re on the river right on dusk, make sure you have a few size 10 Kosciuszko Duns in your box in case the trout start eating these large mayfly off the surface.
The upcoming holidays look like providing more fine fishing, so I hope you all get some time on the water.
Scott splits his time between the shop floor at The Flyfisher and guiding on Victoria’s best trout waters. For more information, check out his website at www.wildernessflyfishing.com.au