The Buckland River was one of Victoria’s richest during the 1850s gold rush, but how has it fared in the trout rush since?
For most of its length, starting near Mt. Selwyn, the Buckland flows in a gentle, ripply manner that makes it both a pleasure to wade and low-maintenance to fish.
There’s great access through several tracks crossing the river and the many excellent camping areas as well.
Really, the only obstacles are the epic blackberries in places on the middle sections of the river. You may need a machete or first aid kit or even both to get off the water outside of the access points so it’s best to plan point-to-point trips.
We started our day on the very twiggy sections above Beveridges Station camping area where the river flows through a shallow gorge. The fishing was slow thanks to an unseasonable cold snap a couple of days previous that even saw snow in the tops of the ranges. By about 11 am the water warmed and insects started to come off, the fish resumed looking up and small rainbows came to hand in good numbers.
In the tightest water, good casting was rewarded with the odd better brown, though we neither saw, nor caught anything over about a pound on the day. There’s plenty of headwater goodness to explore at the top of the watershed for the more adventurous as well.
After lunch we explored a section of the middle river from the Junction up to where Clear Creek enters on the eastern side and then walked back down the road. The fishing was reliable, even if the rainbows we caught were all small.
Gear-wise, the upper river is near perfect short 2- or 3-weight water and the lower or middle reaches are great for longer light rods.
The lower river, on the eastern side of Mt. Buffalo would be perfect 4-weight water unless running high.
From asking around, I hear that the camping areas are all hugely popular and those areas might be best avoided during long weekends and peak holiday times. We saw no other anglers on the Friday we visited.