I am pleased to report that it is all good news in the High Country this month. During the later part of spring and early in summer, East Gippsland received some very welcome rain. Over a two-week period we received in the vicinity 125mm of steady and widespread rain.
From a fishing point of view this is the best type of rain to get. It gets the springs and rivers running without causing any damage. At the worst there was only a tiny bit of minor flooding. In addition, steady rain tends to soak into the ground, unlike heavy rain that tends to run off and cause erosion. This should ensure that the springs and rivers have a good flow over the summer period. We have had very little hot weather, which means that the rivers are also running at a very nice temperature for the fish.
This is the time of the year to expect good fishing, as the terrestrials are normally around in good numbers, the caddis are making their presence felt during the twilight hours and the grasshoppers should be getting busy and taking flight. I was fishing last Saturday evening and experienced one of the best caddis hatches on the Mitta Mitta River that I have seen for quite some time (although the rise was disappointing in terms of fish numbers).
Most of the rivers bordered by farmland or grass have fairly good numbers of grasshoppers. At the moment they are still quite small and have not become airborne, however this should occur within the next few weeks. I have not observed large numbers of beetles at this stage but they should be around.
Like all the other rivers the Mitta Mitta River is flowing beautifully. Around the Omeo Valley area, the fishing is OK without being great. There are fairly good numbers of small brown trout to be caught but I have not seen many big fish. The fish are in good condition. Upstream of the Bundara River, the fishing is a little better and the fish little bigger.
Bundara River is flowing beautifully for this time of the year. Good numbers of smallish trout are being taken and grasshoppers are present.
Cobungra River is in the same condition and the fishing is about the same also. The famous Blue Duck Hotel has been sold recently and we wish the new owners well. This is a great spot for a very good meal or cold ale, or both, after a long days fishing.
The Livi is fishing pretty much as it always fishes around the Cassillis area. A good number of small fish are present but they are not easy to catch in this small waterway. It is flowing well and has good numbers of small ’hoppers around.
The fishing is great in the Gibbo. I fished there this week with two other flyfishers and we caught 50 trout, mostly rainbows. Most of these were the usual small rainbows that you expect to catch in this river, however Geoff Johnston landed a nice 900g brown as well.
We found that the section upstream of Gibbo Park provided us with the best action, although we did do pretty well downstream of the Park as well. We also startled a sambar stag about 30m ahead of us as we were fishing the river.
The Gibbo River has some lovely flat, grassy camping areas scattered along the river and will again be popular with the Christmas fishers.
Delegate River is disappointing, with not much happening there at the moment.
Pinch River is also quiet. This river fished well last year and has received stocking earlier this year, however only a few small fish are showing up. Having said that, local angler, Trevor Gordon, had a quiet day fishing this river until he hooked and lost a nice brown that he estimated at over 1.8kg.
Trevor fished the river the next day. In the same pool he hooked and landed a 1.8kg plus fish that was probably the same fish he lost the previous day.
The Macalister River between the Macalister Dam and Licola is fishing well at the moment. It has been stocked and is producing lots of rainbows of around 700g.
I have not had any reports from the Wellington River, however I would expect it would be going well also.
I hope all readers had a very Merry Christmas. Tight lines for 2009.
Geoff Johnston fishing the Gibbo River. This is only a small river but is jam packed with fish at the moment. Geoff had a great day flyfishing the Gibbo, catching about 20 fish for the day. He was using a Royal Wulff dry fly.Reads: 1999