Hopper time on the Mitta
  |  First Published: February 2008

Weatherwise, the past month has been quite unusual. We have had some very hot weather, with daytime temperatures exceeding 40oC. We have also experienced some quite heavy rainfall at times.

I was fishing the Mitta Mitta River recently in nice clear conditions. I had picked up the odd small fish and the evening was approaching. I was looking forward to a nice hatch of caddis, which would provide an entertaining finish to the day. As I glanced upstream, I noticed a distinct line of brown water coming my way. Within a very short time, the river turned a filthy brown colour and any thoughts of a caddis hatch – or any further fishing at all –vanished.

This scenario has occurred quite a bit over the past month, so that the fishing experienced is largely dictated by the weather conditions. Having said all that, the Mitta Mitta River has been fishing quite well. There are good numbers of grasshoppers around, and some good hatches of caddis of an evening. Water temperatures are increasing due to the higher summer temperatures, however this is being offset somewhat by the good water flows in the river. Flyfishers are doing well with Royal Wulffs, Elk Hair Caddis and grasshopper patterns. Now is the time to concentrate on dry flies. The bait boys are picking up their share of fish using grasshoppers, too, while spin fishing is also good, particularly in the riffles.

Fishing in the Bundarra River is quite good, however not as good as a month ago, due to the water level dropping somewhat. Nearby, the Cobungra River is fishing well for flyfishers using ’hopper and caddis patterns. Parts of the river flow through farmland and tussocks that abound with hoppers. The fish seem to know that summer is ’hopper time on the Cobungra River, and most years turn up in good numbers looking for an easy feed.

Livingstone Creek has not been at its best this year, however it is still worth fishing around the Cassilis area. Again, ’hoppers are the go. The Gibbo River continues to fish well with plenty of small rainbows, together with some better fish and the occasional brown.

Towards Buchan, the Timbarra River is a little on the quiet side now that the flow has dropped. Some reasonable fishing can still be had by fishing early in the morning and during the evening, when the day is at its coolest.

Give the rivers around Dargo a miss. Fish numbers are very low.

Some very good trout are being caught in the Brodribb River near Orbost. It is a difficult river to access though, and local knowledge is essential. It does however yield some really big trout.

Over the next month the Mitta system should continue to fish well.

Hubert Reichelt with a small brown trout he caught in the Delegate River.

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