Mitta the best bet
  |  First Published: March 2008

It has been an interesting time in East Gippsland over the past month. We have had quite a lot of hot weather, with the odd day exceeding 40oC. We have also had some heavy rain, resulting in the rivers suddenly rising, then often falling again quite quickly when the rain has passed.

As a result, water temperatures have been variable, with the rivers getting quite warm before the rainfall, cooling somewhat during the rain, and warming up pretty quickly after the flows return to normal.

There are also a lot of grasshoppers around at the moment. Local flyfisher, Adrian Bond, recently caught a nice brown trout of over 1kg in the Mitta Mitta River, and when he gutted it he found the stomach full of beetles. In addition, there are quite a few caddis flies around at last light.

The Mitta Mitta River is holding a lot of small trout and at the moment there are an unusually high number of rainbows amongst them. In addition to the small fish, there are a few good-sized browns about. Many holidaymakers are going for a swim in the river as water temperatures are quite high, so it is best to fish the main river during the cooler periods of the day (morning and evening), and to concentrate on the ripples and shaded areas at other times of the day. Fishing in this river at the moment is probably the best bet in the Omeo area.

Nearby, the Gibbo River is also fishing reasonably well. Most of the fish being taken are small rainbows, with the odd brown showing up occasionally. Water levels are fairly low, so access along the bank is not a problem and it can be readily crossed.

As usual at this time of the year, the Cobungra River is yielding a fair number of brown trout. Trout tend to move up this river looking for a feed of grasshoppers during the summer and early autumn months. Nearby, the Bundarra River is quite low, and, although a few fish are being caught, it is not fishing very well.

Livingstone Creek is also low and warm, with only a few fish being caught. The Tambo River is very quiet. The Timbarra River still holds reasonable numbers of small browns, but the action is very quiet during the heat of the day. The Pinch River is also very low and warm, and fishing poorly.

If we continue to get rain the fishing should improve over the next month. Early autumn is a great time to be on the high country rivers. The weather is great and the fishing is often first class. The days are gradually getting a little shorter and cooler, and the nights can be quite frosty. As a result, the water temperatures will gradually fall and the trout will become more active.

Andrew Martin showing off a small brown that he caught in the Bundarra River.

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