The Victorian trout season is now over and I am pleased to report that it was a good season in the East Gippsland area.
Throughout the year we received good rainfall and the summer temperatures were not too hot. At times our rivers were in flood but they soon returned to normal flows and the fishing resumed as if nothing had happened.
For the second year in a row grasshoppers were scarce. I blame the ongoing rain that we received for the poor numbers of ‘hoppers. Even though ‘hoppers were not around in any numbers, there was still sufficient food to keep the trout interested and to see some very good fishing.
Fly fishers found that most trout were caught sub-surface. Although there were days when they would come up to the top to a dry fly, mostly sunken nymphs were more successful. Lack of ‘hopper numbers would have some bearing on this.
A few of our rivers fished as well as I can ever remember them ever fishing. The Timbarra River, near Buchan, is normally good fishing to small browns during spring and then it goes off when the warm summer weather arrives. This year it was excellent all year, right from the opening weekend.
The fish were also larger than normal suggesting a good food supply. Whilst most of the fish were under 500g there were a few fish approaching 1kg taken this season. A 1kg fish out of the Timbarra River is quite a prize.
The Buemba River is a tributary of the Gibbo River and it is a tiny stream that meanders through the high country out the back of Benambra. It is a river that normally produces lots of small rainbow trout. This year however there were plenty of brown trout mixed up with the rainbows and some of these fish were quite large.
The best that I heard of was a lovely brown of 2kg and there were many in the 1kg range. The river continued to produce all season despite some heavy fishing pressure at times. What probably saves this river is that a fair section of it is virtually unfished due to it running through some very inhospitable country after it leaves the open plains.
The Cobungra and Bundarra rivers fished pretty well all season without being spectacular. The top end of the Mitta River was also good all season but the section downstream of Hinnomunjie was just so so. The Gibbo River produced good fishing all year and the top end of the Livingston Creek was also good.
The interesting area this year were the rivers around Dargo. These rivers have barely yielded a trout for many years due to the combination of fires, floods and fire retardants entering the waterways. This has all changes the past 2 years with excellent fishing in this area. The spring fishing was very good and it continued on over the summer and autumn.
Often these rivers warm up and the fish go doggo during summer but due to the mild conditions the good times just kept rolling along. Growth rates in these rivers is quite good and we are hoping for favourable condition leading into next season for this area.
Mick Rosenboom with a nice fish taken on a nymph.Reads: 663