Cumberland River in one of my favourite fishing destinations
along the Victorian coastline. This is not a place of monster
fish and they aren't so plentiful you can walk across their
backs - it's the scenery
The Cumberland River near Lorne is a very small crystal clear
babbling brook surrounded by evergreen rainforest and towering
60 meter cliffs near its entrance to Bass Strait.
The walk up the river to Jebb's Pool and beyond is simply beautiful.
It's almost always wet underfoot except for the hottest summers
and with towering tree ferns right down to the waters edge,
it is a bird watcher and photographers delight.
Best of all - it has TROUT!
trout in this river see a heck of a lot of anglers so they can
be VERY flighty and hard to tempt at times. But this is what
make catching one of them all the more rewarding. The river
has not been stocked for many a year so all the fish in here
are wild and the larger ones are very cunning.
The Cumberland brown trout do run out to sea at times and you
may connect with a very silvery trout every now and then - these
sea runners often put on a real show on the end of a line and
will leave the water several times in an effort to throw the
hook. Most of the trout in the Cumberland are fairly small,
but you can be surprised by the odd fish nudging 40cm or 900
The very best way to catch a Cumberland brown is to use the
local scrub worms unweighted and drift them downstream in the
current. This is particularly successful after heavy rain when
the water has a bit of colour in it or at night when the fish
often throw caution to the wind and explore their stretch of
Under the rocks in the river is teeming with insect life. The
river has a healthy population of galaxids (minnow) as well
as mudeye, damsel nymphs and a host of other critters.
favourite way to target these trout is by fly and lure (in that
order). You can spend your whole day dry fly fishing the river
right in the caravan park amongst all the holiday makers when
the fish are onto falling insects. Flies that have worked for
me in the Cumberland include; dry flies: black spinner, red
tag and blue dun - all in size 16 or smaller. Wet flies: Bead
head nymph, black nymph, brown nymph, matuka (assorted colours),
and Tom Jones - size 16 again apart from the matuka and Tom
Jones - size 10.
Best lures for me have generally been bladed spinners such as
mepps, Jensen insect and celtas, but small minnow styled lures
have done well here too.
A 4 weight fly rod and a small spinning combo capable of using
2kg or less line and casting light weights does the job best
on this river as distance is not as important as a quiet presentation.
this is a fairly small river with a fairly fragile population
of fish so I can recommend you practice catch and release. A
lot of the trout I've caught here wouldn't fill a sandwich anyway,
so I always toss them back.
The Cumberland is only 6km west of Lorne on the Great Ocean
Road and has a great caravan park with kiosk, cabins, powered
and un-powered sites right on the river.
HARD- Die Happy!