Off and running!
  |  First Published: October 2008

The 2009/10 trout season opened to a blaze of sunshine and some good early season fishing. The rivers in the Omeo area are all running high and cold, as you would expect at this time of the year.

Mitta Mitta

The Mitta Mitta River upstream of Dartmouth was flowing along at 6.5oC on opening weekend. The air temperature was a very pleasant 17oC during the day but dropped to -2oC at night. It will be awhile yet before the insects start putting in an appearance, although I did see a couple of stoneflies buzzing about. Although the rivers are high they are also clear and in great fishing condition.

Mitta Mitta River was heavily fished on the opening weekend. Many anglers were successful in catching a fish or two and most of the fish were 100-500g. As you would expect the fish were not in great condition so early in the season.

Fellow VFM correspondent, Rod Booker, caught a lovely 1.5kg brown trout in the Hinnomunjie area. Rod polaroided the fish and then spent 30 minutes fishing to it with his flies. He changed patterns numerous times before finally putting on a Pheasant Tail nymph and nailing the fish. A great piece of fishing Rod!

Adrian Bond was fishing in the same area and caught and released four small browns on bead headed nymphs. Spinning was also successful and accounted for a fair number of trout. I did not see many bait fishermen on the water but the few that I did see were not doing too well.

High up on the Mitta Mitta River, above the Bundarra River, the water flow was not too bad for this time of the year. In this area it is an advantage to wade the river and anglers were able to do this. This section was heavily fished and results were similar to the section around Hinnomunjie.

Gibbo River

Gibbo River was flowing high and clear. It was difficult to wade and as a result was not heavily fished. A reasonable number of small rainbows were caught in the lower section.

Upstream the Buemba River fished quite well. Ingomar Mattes and Peter Usher caught five small browns on a dry fly in this pretty little stream. Trout are normally fairly reluctant to rise to a dry fly at this time of the year, however in small mountain rivers like this they are keen to get a feed, and as the water is fairly shallow they will often pop their heads up and take a dry fly. Also the Buemba River was a little warmer than other rivers in the area. It was flowing at almost 10oC so the fish would have been a little more active than in other rivers.

Bundarra River

Bundarra River was flowing high and cold. It had a steady stream of anglers fishing it from first light on opening morning and the fishing was fair without being great. Trout are easily spooked in small rivers like this, especially when confronted by large numbers of fishers marching up and down the banks. This river should start to fish well in the next few weeks.

Cobungra River

Cobungra River was flowing high and cold. There had been rain and snow at its source on Mt Hotham during the week. As a result the fishing was poor. Like the Bundarra River, it should improve over coming weeks although there is a lot of snow yet to melt off the snowfields.

Livingstone Creek

Livingstone Creek, unlike most other rivers in the area, it is not snow fed. As a result it was flowing at lower levels. Rex Estoppey and John Murray caught a few browns to 35cm in the lower section of the river. Further upstream, above Omeo, fishing was quite good for small brown trout.

Tambo River and Little River are both low on fish and consequently are fishing poorly.

Overall it has been a good start to the trout fishing season. Over the next month the fishing should continue to improve. Beetles and terrestrials will shortly put in an appearance. The usual bugs, mayflies, stoneflies and caddis flies should all start appearing in good numbers during October. Hopefully we will continue to get some steady rain and the rivers will stay in good order.

Rod Booker caught this lovely 3lb brown trout on a home-tied fly in the Mitta Mitta River on opening day, after fishing to it for half an hour.

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