Bright outlook for opening
  |  First Published: October 2012

We were a little concerned with the outlook a couple of days before the opening of the 2012 trout season in the Omeo area. But we had nothing to worry about on opening morning.

Snow and cold weather was forecast from Wednesday until the weekend. And snow it did, right up until the opening. In fact there was snow on the Glen Wills Bridge on opening morning and a lot of snow visible on the surrounding hills. However, on opening morning in dawned bright and clear. It was a lovely high country day starting off at below zero and rising up the mid-teens with little, if any, wind and the same again on Sunday.

Generally speaking, the rivers were in great condition for this time of the year although they were cold, as you would expect. Most of our rivers run off the mountain ranges, including Mt Hotham and Victoria's highest peak Mt Bonang, and there is still plenty of snow to melt and find its way down them. I checked a couple of rivers and found the temperature to be between 2-4ºC. As a result the fish were hugging the bottom and were still in fairly poor condition after a long winter.

The Mitta River was flowing nicely and could be crossed in places. It was very clear and fished very well for this time of the year. On Saturday, Jim Combey used a double nymph rig to catch nine browns up to 500g. Jim was fishing in the Middle Creek area.

Adrian Bond travelled to the Gibbo River and found it to be fairly high. It can be a difficult river to fish when it is up as it is a big advantage to be able to wade the pools. Adrian caught one small trout. Dartmouth Dam is 92% capacity and has covered much of the lower section of this river. The lake has now risen to the Morass Creek junction. Some anglers are fishing the dam on the flat section near the Morass junction.

Michael Rosenboom fished the upper Livingston Creek. He found the river flowing fairly hard but clear and fishable. Mick caught five browns up to 600g using a sunken tungsten nymph. Further downstream quite a few anglers using worms encountered good numbers of browns of a similar size.

My mate Mick and I fished the Mitta River in the Glen Wills area on Sunday. We commenced fishing at around 9am when the air temperature was 1ºC. We caught nothing until 11am when the day warmed up to 15ºC. At that time, midges started to appear on the water. They were not big in terms of size or numbers but there were enough for us to notice them. The trout also must have seen them as we caught nine browns over the next 1 1/2 hours, all on nymphs fished deep. The appearance of the midges has obviously triggered a feeding reaction in the trout.

The Cobungra and Bundara rivers fished well for the bait fisher. The humble garden worm was king. Most of the fish were well under 500g and not in great condition. Spin fishers were about in good numbers and accounted for their share of fish.

Over the next month the days will get longer and the water will warm up. A few beetles and the odd mayfly will also start to put in an appearance. October is a great time to be in the high country and the fishing should be terrific.

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