Dartmouth township was established as the base for workers during the construction of the Dartmouth Dam in 1973 and serves as a base for amazing High Country fishing. Lake Dartmouth is the centrepiece, complemented by pristine streams and rivers that are home to abundant wild trout. The most significant river is the Mitta Mitta, which feeds Lake Dartmouth, then continues downstream and into Lake Hume.
The lake is a deep and large timber lined water storage extending some 40 kilometres from the retaining wall back to its furthest point up the Mitta Mitta River. Itis surrounded by steep forested mountains that can be snow covered during cooler months. The main launching point is at Lake Dartmouth Boat Ramp which includes picnic facilities. Brown and rainbow trout are in good numbers in the lake and are self-sustaining from wild spawning activity in the many feeder creeks! Lake Dartmouth is also home to a special native fish, the Macquarie perch. The vast majority of trout caught in Dartmouth are caught by trolling, especially in winter. There is 4WD access to the top of the lake but this requires local knowledge and is only for the well-equipped and adventurous. Trout can be caught by bank fishing baits near the boat ramp or near the township in at Lake Banimboola (otherwise known as the Dartmouth Pondage), which is stocked with brown and rainbow trout annually. Water levels in the pondage fluctuate rapidly and there is a designated fishing area.
Click here for information on Lake Dartmouth Boat Ramp.
Mitta Mitta River
The Mitta Mitta is regarded as one of Victoria’s best wild trout rivers. It flows from the Alpine National Park through thick and steep forest which makes access challenging, except for approximately 20 kilometres downstream of Glen Valley which is most suited to fly fishing.
Downstream of Lake Dartmouth, the river flows in a forested gorge, with rapids and cascades immediately below the pondage, then through farmland near the Mitta Mitta township. The river is wide and has deep pools. This section contains mostly brown trout, and all fishing methods produce results. It is very accessible by car although walking is required to reach the river in the gorge area. Below the Mitta Mitta township, the 50 kilometres of river down to Lake Hume is wide and deep with good public access. This stretch contains mostly brown trout but has a significant population of fast water Murray cod and some trout cod.
Snowy Creek and others
For the adventurous, the many feeder streams such as Snowy Creek, Tallangatta Creek, Sandy Creek, Morass Creek and others are all worth exploring. These smaller creeks all contain wild brown trout and will fish better in years when there has been good rainfall. Access for fishers varies and some are only accessible around road bridges. Fly Fishing, spinning and finesse bait fishing are effective techniques.