LuckyFil

PB Rainbow trout and first Yellowbelly

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Just back from a few weeks in the Victorian high country around Bright. Broke the trip with a few days at Tumut both on the way there and coming home. The trip wasn't all fishing as we were travelling with friends and did some hiking and cycling on the rail trails in these areas which are great activities when the weather is cool, which it was until the last few days when we had the warm nor' westerly winds that took the temps to the mid thirties.

The campground in Tumut is right on the banks of the Tumut river (very pretty spot to spend a few days) so I had several sessions casting spinners into the very fast flowing river. Surprisingly I caught several trout both rainbow and brown right in the campground. Nothing huge but fun to catch and one was big enough to throw in the smoker.

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I also had a crack spinning up at Talbingo (just above Blowering Dam). It was a cold day and I didn't feel that inspired with no interest at all in my spinner until I was about to call it quits and got a strike right on the shore that resulted in my first ever yellow belly (Golden Perch I think is there correct name). It was fantastic eating next night but was the only one for the trip .

 

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There had been good snow falls above Bright and still plenty on the ground at Mt Hotham when we drove up there, resulting in good flows to the trout streams. I'd been to the same area last year and the fish were much more willing then and we caught a few fish in the 40s then. But this year it was tough going with only small fish around 20-25 cm and not many of them.  On our last session we switched to an evening fish after sunset. I'd been working my way down the stream casting ahead of me and had a few hits and caught 2 fish , 1 brown around 20cm and a rainbow at 28. The water was mainly shallow fast runs but I worked any deeper water pretty hard until I found a good hole under a fallen tree.

The strike came after just a few turns of the reel and a huge trout jumped clear of the water in front of me. I thought there's no chance I can get this in as I was only using 8lb leader and the fast flowing water was in its favour keeping it away from me even when not jumping. I managed to work it out of the main flow to my side of the river did the drag up half a turn and slowly got it back to me while trying to keep the rod tip low and reduce it's opportunities to jump. After an eternity I got it close to my waders and without a net somehow got a hand under it and threw it onto the bank and dropped to my knees to stop it sliding back into the water.

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Sorry for the long winded story but it was pretty tense and I fully expected a 'big one that got away' result, so I wanted to relay some of the details.

It went 55cm and fed four adults with plenty left over for the next night - and tasted fantastic.

It was well conditioned with plenty of muscle and had a fully belly with four large cicadas in it - there were thousands of them in the trees this year and the noise overpowering so I guess the bigger trout must have been taking advantage of them.

So despite the lack of numbers this fish (and the yellow belly) made it a great trip.

Cheers

Fil

 

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The high country is a pleasant change. That is a good trout and a good golden perch 

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Great report and pics Fil. I'm heading to Bright in 5 weeks and will certainly wet a line having caught a Murray Cod in the Ovens River at Porepunkah last trip. Golden Perch are pretty good on the table too. Good catch! A very successful trip I would say. Cheers, bn

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Great report! That’s a cracker of a river rainbow! Well done!

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3 hours ago, big Neil said:

Great report and pics Fil. I'm heading to Bright in 5 weeks and will certainly wet a line having caught a Murray Cod in the Ovens River at Porepunkah last trip. Golden Perch are pretty good on the table too. Good catch! A very successful trip I would say. Cheers, bn

Thanks Neil. I caught a small rainbow on this trip in the park next to the river at Porepunkah - I didn't realise cod were there as well! Had some follows from much better trout at the same spot so worth a try while you're there.

The tackle shop guy in Tumut was complaining about the huge cod in Blowering dam eating all the Yellowbelly - ha. I also read a report in the local paper that fish breeders have relocated their big cod from western dams that are drying up into Blowering as its pretty well drought proof.

Enjoy your trip to Bright it's a beautiful area. If you're chasing trout try up stream of Bright towards Smoko and Harrietville. I also went over the range to Mt Beauty and fished the Kiewa which had some good fish in it but they were too clever/shy for me to get any other than a coupe of tiddlers.

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53 minutes ago, LuckyFil said:

Thanks Neil. I caught a small rainbow on this trip in the park next to the river at Porepunkah - I didn't realise cod were there as well! Had some follows from much better trout at the same spot so worth a try while you're there.

The tackle shop guy in Tumut was complaining about the huge cod in Blowering dam eating all the Yellowbelly - ha. I also read a report in the local paper that fish breeders have relocated their big cod from western dams that are drying up into Blowering as its pretty well drought proof.

Enjoy your trip to Bright it's a beautiful area. If you're chasing trout try up stream of Bright towards Smoko and Harrietville. I also went over the range to Mt Beauty and fished the Kiewa which had some good fish in it but they were too clever/shy for me to get any other than a coupe of tiddlers.

Interesting about Cod being relocated to Blowering from "Struggle Street" out West. Alas I don't do any fly fishing these days but will take some light gear and celtas to see if any trout or redfin are up for it. I am hanging on to a bit of fly gear as there is an opportunity to fish for Carp which are surface feeding. I intend doing a bit of homework on the area around Bright although I'll have some grandkids in tow so the fishing aspect won't be too intense. Not overly worried about that as Cod season opens in a week and that will become my major focus for the next 9 months. 

Cheers, bn

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12 hours ago, hookerbruce said:

The high country is a pleasant change. That is a good trout and a good golden perch 

Thanks Bruce. Your right re the high country, I've been a saltwater fisherman all my life but the last couple of years done a trip into this area and apart from the fishing it's  peaceful, often dramatic scenery and great for hikes and the cooler change in weather.

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1 hour ago, big Neil said:

Interesting about Cod being relocated to Blowering from "Struggle Street" out West. Alas I don't do any fly fishing these days but will take some light gear and celtas to see if any trout or redfin are up for it. I am hanging on to a bit of fly gear as there is an opportunity to fish for Carp which are surface feeding. I intend doing a bit of homework on the area around Bright although I'll have some grandkids in tow so the fishing aspect won't be too intense. Not overly worried about that as Cod season opens in a week and that will become my major focus for the next 9 months. 

Cheers, bn

You could take the grandkids to the trout farm at Harrietville, its a nice place for a picnic under the trees and the kids can't miss with the trout. Its free, you only pay for the fish you catch - all gear and bait is provided i.e. bamboo pole, fixed line and fish pellets. Not quite sport fishing but they'll have fun.

Must make a point of chasing the cod soon - it looks exciting and there are some beasts in the Tumut dam!

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Great report & photos those big rainbows sure know how to fight would’ve been a great tussle in the river👍

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15 hours ago, LuckyFil said:

You could take the grandkids to the trout farm at Harrietville, its a nice place for a picnic under the trees and the kids can't miss with the trout. Its free, you only pay for the fish you catch - all gear and bait is provided i.e. bamboo pole, fixed line and fish pellets. Not quite sport fishing but they'll have fun.

Must make a point of chasing the cod soon - it looks exciting and there are some beasts in the Tumut dam!

Many thanks for the info on Harrietville trout farm...that will be added to the list of things to do. If you want to catch up for some Murray Cod fishing in the Murrumbidgee, give me a shout. Cheers, bn

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6 hours ago, big Neil said:

Many thanks for the info on Harrietville trout farm...that will be added to the list of things to do. If you want to catch up for some Murray Cod fishing in the Murrumbidgee, give me a shout. Cheers, bn

Cheers Neil I'll take you up on that offer at some stage even if it's just to get some tips. Thanks

Fil

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