Well, what an opening weekend it was. Not so much heavy rain as a deluge!
I drove to Omeo for the opening of the trout season on the Friday before the opening. The weather was fine and sunny and the rivers were in great shape. As has been my custom for many years I took a look around various rivers in the area.
They were cold, measuring about 4C, which is about normal for this time of the year. They were a little high, which is also par for opening weekend and they looked very fishy.
Saturday morning I got up at 6am and looked out the window to see the Mitta Mitta River about double the size that it was the night before and rapidly rising.
The lovely sun of the previous day was gone and replaced by steady rain. I am embarrassed to report that I did not even cast a line. I did however take a drive around several other rivers in the area to find that they were in a similar state.
A few hardy souls were fishing and there were a few small and skinny brown trout caught mainly by spin fishers.
As the morning progressed the rivers continued to rise and, by afternoon all fishing had ceased but the rain continued to bucket down. Pubs in the area did good business from wet and weary anglers.
The rain was wide spread on the mountains but the air temperature was quite mild. As a result there was significant snowmelt as well as a lot of rain.
I have seen several Omeo floods over the years but this is the biggest that I have witnessed. The Mitta Mitta River was several times its normal size and there was trees and rubbish getting washed down every few minutes.
Needless to say this will take some time to clear and there will be very little fishing until levels stabilise and clear.
Hopefully the flood will not knock the fish stocks around too much.
On Sunday I headed back down the Omeo Highway and past the Tambo River. The Tambo flows south from the mountains but has a different headwater than the Mitta system and does not come off the snowfields. The Tambo headwaters obviously had missed out on the bulk of the rainfall and it was running clear. It is a pity that the Tambo does not support a very good head of trout.
Its main tributary, the Timbara River could well be worth a look in October.Reads: 1503