Trout fishing in East Gippsland continues to be good.
As you would expect now, the rivers are all in summer flow mode. Although they are low and clear, they are also flowing well following good winter, spring and early summer rain. The springs are all flowing and we should look forward to some excellent fishing over the next few months.
Due to the good rainfall conditions, grass abounds along most of our rivers.
In some places it is shoulder height. You would normally associate summer and grass with grasshoppers and good fishing. Not so again this year. The past three years have had similar conditions and the ‘hopper seasons have been disappointing. This year is following a similar trend. There are a few hoppers about but not in the numbers that we would like.
On the other hand there are beetles everywhere. I killed a trout in the Mitta River recently and it was chock full of beetles of various types. When I turned the light on in our fishing cabin and went outside, there were Christmas beetles hitting the lights one after the other. Enough to make a fly fishers heart skip a beat! And, boy, you should see the evenings. Snow flake caddis everywhere.
The Mitta Mitta River is fishing well. The summer flow is just about perfect and it is not too hot. Good numbers of small browns are being caught but what is interesting is that many rainbows in the 600-700g range are also about. These are fat little fish. They are so strong that they would pull a brown trout around the pool by the tail if they were connected. They run, they jump, they charge; they are just great fun.
It is unusual for the Mitta at this time of the year to have so many rainbows present. I can only guess that they have moved up from Dartmouth Dam perhaps feasting on the beetles or other food sources. All forms of fishing are successful at the moment. It is peak time for the fly fisher. Dry flies are working well most of the time with Royal Wulff, Red Tag and Elk hair Caddis all taking their share of fish. I ran into a bait angler who was working his way up the river, drifting worms downstream under a float and he was having a ball.
Lure fishermen are also doing well particularly in the broken water although Marg Murray nailed a brown in a flat pool using a rainbow imitation Rapala lure. I have not seen many big fish caught but anglers are having a lot of fun with the trout that are there.
Livingston Creek is a bit on the low side and fishing has been poor. The Bundara River is very clear and has been hard fished over the Christmas break. As a result the trout are spooky. Some good fishing is being had in the Cobungra River at Innisfail. Most of the fish are under 400g but they're fun on light gear.
This is one river where the ‘hoppers should be around in sufficient numbers to interest the trout. The Gibbo River is fishing OK to small fish and up the top end, the Buemba River is fairly quiet with a few small browns showing up.
The Timbara River is not fishing as well as it did a month ago as it has warmed up with the summer weather. It is still however still fishing OK particularly of an evening when the caddis are around and the days temperature has dropped. Browns up to 600g are common.
As we move into February we should continue to see the good fishing continue in the Mitta River. Its tributaries, particularly the Bundara and Cobungra Rivers should also be worth a look especially now that the holiday crowds have left.Reads: 1972