I am pleased to report that following the great rains, the rivers have returned to normal spring flow and the fishing is generally good in our part of the world.
The Mitta River is running well with good numbers of browns up to 1kg being taken. Although all methods have been successful, bait anglers have been the most successful.
The Bundara River is also flowing well and again good numbers of browns are being taken. Access to this river is very good from the Blue Duck and I expect the river should continue to fish well for some time yet.
Middle Creek is yielding some small browns for those anglers who like to fish small waters. The Cobungra River is fishing OK but we would hope that it improves as the water warms up. The Cobungra flows off Mt Hotham so the late snowmelt continues to keep the water temperature down.
Livingston Creek, upstream from Omeo township, continues to fish well to small browns. It is a great little creek that meanders generally through farmland and has excellent access points off nearby roads.
The Gibbo River has been quite high and consequently, lightly fished. There are plenty of smallish rainbows in this river and the occasional larger brown but you really need to wade it to get the best fishing and that has been difficult so far this season. Fish are being caught in the Buemba River which flows into the Gibbo.
The Timbarra River at Buchan has been excellent this season. The Timbarra is an early season river. Once the weather heats up towards Christmas, the water warms up also and the fishing gets very hard. This time of the year the river has plenty of flow and because it is rain fed, the water temperature is excellent and the fish are feeding. Do not go to the Timbarra expecting to catch large fish. Any fish of 500g can be considered large. It is however a lovely river to fish and the camping areas are excellent.
A highlight of East Gippsland this season has been the return to good fishing in the Dargo area. This area has been devastated by fire and drought for the past 10 or more years. Basically the fishing over this period has been terrible. I am pleased to report that this has now turned around and all the rivers in this catchment are fishing well. The rivers include the Dargo, Wongongarra, Wonnangatta and Crooked.
If you are fishing these rivers you will need to consult a good map as a 4WD is required to access parts of these rivers whilst other sections are accessible by conventional car.
Some of these rivers, particularly the Dargo have excellent growth rates and it has not been uncommon over the years to catch fish up to 2kg although the average weight is a lot lower. Plenty of fish are being caught in the 500g range at the moment as well as a fair smattering of fish up to 1kg.
Some of the fish are a little lean due to the harsh winter but they are quickly recovering. It is disappointing to see some local anglers exceeding their bag limits and fishing out of the season in this area. Some are taking so many fish that it will impact their sport in the future. It is better to "limit your catch" than "catch your limit" and if you see any of these greedy, illegal anglers, please let Fisheries Victoria know.
Over the next month the fishing should be great in East Gippsland. The water temperatures will increase and the beetles and bugs that are now starting to appear will be about in good numbers. So far the season has been a little late due to the cold and wet start to the season that we experienced. This is all changing now and I cannot wait to get out fishing.
A fantastic 750gm brown taken in a flooded alpine meadow.Reads: 3208