G'day fishos. I think we can safely say summer's behind us now.
These cooler mornings certainly turn my thoughts towards trout and all those cold winters spent listening to the put-put-put of the outboard as I worked my way around the banks and dead timber of Lake Hume, waiting for the drag to scream because a good trout had just slammed the Tassie Devil.
As a fisho, I suppose that's what keeps us heading out. Well, the big question is what is the winter of 2019 going to bring?
On the downside, the lake is still very low. If this season runs along similar lines to the last couple, it's going to be hard work.
On the positive side, with a bit of rainfall and the backing off of releases of water at this time of year, we should see the lake rise steadily through the winter months. Add this to the fact that about 60,000 trout were released into Hume last year and we might, fingers crossed, have a reasonable season.
The other factor that is worth taking into consideration is the fact that the Mitta wasn't running as high for the long periods it did in previous summers.
I've always believed a big percentage of trout released during late winter/spring chase up that good flow of cold Dartmouth water, particularly once that sun gets some bite and warms Lake Hume enough to make them uncomfortable.
Prime trout time in Hume is usually August to October, give or take a week or two either end. So, it's definitely a bit early to pick it right now.
We usually see the odd trout show up from here on in, so I suppose only time will tell.
AT A GLANCE
Dartmouth (63.9 per cent) - is looking great, but the fishing's still tough.
There's a few being caught and most fishos are landing one or two a session, so there's definitely room for improvement.
I spoke to one fella who'd landed three for an arvo and morning, and I've seen ones and twos on people's posts. The fella I spoke to had also caught up with another fisho who had landed eight for the day using fenders and worms. Just gotta keep trying different things, I suppose.
Streams - have settled down a bit and look perfect.
It'll be nice to see a drop or two of rain in them, to get those trout running up to spawn. We've only got three weeks until the season closes, so you'd better get cracking.
Lake Hume (15 per cent) - is still producing those yellas on the troll and also using that slow, rolling plastics technique.
I don't think we can expect them to last too much longer as the weather cools, but there's also the chance of a redfin, cod or even a trout on the troll at this time of year. It was great to see Connor Heir spin up a nice cod from the bank out there the other day.
Upper Murray - should be clearing pretty well by now. I'm sure there's still a few cod to catch up there before the end of the season in August.
Both bait and lures have been working well lately, although most fishos have been leaning toward bait because of the dirty water.
Blowering (27.4 per cent) - hasn't been great, but there's been the occasional big cod to keep it interesting.
The last couple I've heard of have been angled from the bank, but this cold weather will bring those big lure munchers out eventually.
Still no decent reports on reddies and yellas, though.
Lake Mulwala - was a bit tough for the 50 teams that fished the Boats and More fishing comp last weekend.
This was a casting only comp. And while there were a couple of ripper fish caught, there were also 20 teams that didn't trouble the scorers. Just gives you an idea of how tough it can be.
Apparently it was a great comp, and plans are already in place for another one next year.
Murray River - below Albury is very low.
I got out myself for an hour or so Wednesday arvo and poked around, dodging gravel bars and looking for a snag that might hold a cod. I managed a nice, fat 57cm job on Chickens Hit.
You'll definitely need a small boat, canoe or kayak if you want move about a bit, though.
There's been a few trout showing up below the wall on both bait and lure, too.
Eucumbene (25.5 per cent), Jindabyne (76 per cent), and Tantangara (21 per cent) - have all been pretty tough over the past week or two. There's been the very occasional decent session been reported, but in general all three have been tough.
Eucumbene and Thredbo rivers have been producing a few spawners with Thredbo being the pick of the two as far as bigger fish go. There's been a few numbers in Euc but size and condition isn't what you'd hope for in a spawning run.
We definitely need more rain to make an impact.