The local rivers continue to run well and the fishing has generally been good.
The exception has been Livingston Creek. Whenever we have received rain, there has been a massive amount of silt washed into the middle and lower sections of this river. This silt is taking quite some time to clear and is not only closing down the fishing in the Livingston but also in the Mitta River downstream of the junction.
I am not sure where all the silt is coming from but I suspect that it is more than one source. I was in Omeo recently when it was raining and I saw a drain running very dirty water into the river. I also noted surrounding farmland with lots of run off that was obviously contributing to the problem.
Whatever the problem, it sure is a mess. Higher up on the Livingston, around Cassilis, the river is quite clean and the fishing is OK.
The Mitta River is a mixed bag. Whilst there is some good fishing to be had, particularly in the Glen Wills area, overall fishing is a bit on the patchy side. Some anglers are getting fish but others are not.
Mick Rosenboom fished above the Glen Wills Bridge recently and caught seven browns up to 1.2kg flyfishing with a grasshopper and nymph dropper. Many of the fish in this area are around 500g with a few rainbows being caught here and there. I fished the section immediately above the Bundarra junction and caught four browns all about that 500g size. These fish were caught on nymphs fished quite deep.
A recent bait fishing competition was also held on the river and reasonably numbers of trout were caught mainly on worms and a few on ‘hoppers. Although there are ‘hoppers around they are not in big numbers and they are sill a little on the small size.
There has been some spectacular beetle flights recently. I have seen massive numbers turn up in various areas throughout the day and an exanimation of the trout's stomach reveals that beetles are the predominant food item on this river. The Mitta around Hinnomunjie and upstream of the Livingston is fishing ok to small browns although there have been some nice evening hatches that have attracted slightly larger fish to put in an appearance.
The Bundarra River is running nicely and yielding some small browns. It has been heavily fished lately and the fish are a little spooky. The Cobungra River at Innisfail is fishing very well. There are quite good numbers of ‘hoppers in this area and the fish are rising freely to them. I also observed them taking midges during the late afternoon. Like the Mitta, most of the fish are around 500g. During autumn this is usually a good river to target.
The Gibbo River is fishing well mostly to small rainbows. Dartmouth Lake has risen to cover the bottom part of the Gibbo although you can drive downstream, cross the Morass Creek and fish downstream to the Dam. The water is a little warmer here and the section along the Benambra/Corryong Road which has a good tree canopy over the river is a better bet.
Also the track down to the Morass Creek crossing is in poor condition and you can easily damage your vehicle. Further up the Gibbo River it is joined by the Buemba River. This tiny high country stream has been fishing very well lately. There are plenty of small browns and rainbows plus good numbers of fish up to 1kg with the odd fish touching 1.5kg. These are great fish in such a small waterway.
Ingomar Matters and his party had a ball there recently, catching and releasing 50 fish up to 600g. They were all taken on flies with grasshoppers being the most successful. Word has gotten around that the fishing is good and the river has received a fair bit of attention and the fish have become spooky however most anglers are getting their share by concentrating on the ripples and runs.
Middle Creek is one of our smallest rivers and has been producing some fairly good fishing also. The upper section is the best where it flows through farmland and there are a fair number of hoppers around. The Timbarra River, near Buchan, has gone off the boil somewhat in recent weeks. It has been fishing well since the season opened but now that the water has warmed up the daytime fishing has largely shut down. Evenings are still productive.
Over the next month fishing should continue to improve. March and April can be the best fishing of the season particularly if the grasshoppers continue to breed. It is a good idea to concentrate on the sections of the rivers that flow through pasture and native grass, as they will be more productive than the bush areas. All the rivers are in great shape and we seem to be in a season that sees regular rainfall which will only help the fishing.
Ross Martin with an average-sized brown taken in the Mitta River.Reads: 998