Fire, heat and not much fishing
  |  First Published: March 2013

Over the past month we have had fire, heat and no rain.

In fact we have had no rain for a couple of months apart from the odd thunderstorm.

We have also started to get a few cooler nights and milder days between the heat.

A touch of autumn perhaps?

This has not been a great combination for trout fishing.

Most of our rivers are low and clear and a little warmer than I would like.

The Bundarra River is a classic example.

It still has a reasonable flow thanks to good winter and spring rain leaving the springs running.

Fishing is generally hard though, as it has been worked over during the recent school holiday period and combined with the clarity and low flow, the fish are quite spooky.

A few smallish fish are still being taken.

It is a similar story in the Cobungra River.

There are a few hoppers in the Innisfail area but the fishing is generally quiet. It would however be unwise to fish this river at present as the Mt Hotham bush fires are not far away.

As I write this, the Alpine Way is closed from Harrietville to Dinner Plain and a couple of days ago they were contemplating extending the closure into Omeo.

Favourable weather conditions helped and the closure was not implemented however the fire continues unchecked in hostile country and could continue to burn for many weeks, even months yet.

It would only take a change in wind direction and strength to see it quickly spread to the Cobungra River, which of course has its headwaters at Mt Hotham.

You have to love Australia, fires in Victoria and Tasmania; floods in Queensland and NSW.

Possibly the best fishing at the moment is in the Mitta River, upstream of its confluence with the Bundarra.

Although it is low and clear, there is a reasonable flow in it and a few hoppers and beetles to keep the trout interested.

Evening caddis rises are happening when conditions are favourable.

The lower Mitta around Hinnomunjie is warmer and the fishing is not as good although a few fish are still being caught.

I have seen carp in this area that have swum upstream from Dartmouth Dam.

Livingston Creek is low and fishing poorly as is Middle Creek and the Buemba.

The Gibbo River has a reasonable number of small fish in it.

The Timbara River has fished well all season and continues to produce fish although not as many as previously.

Evenings are best in the Timbara when the heat of the day of off the water.

What we really need is some cooler autumn weather and some rain to top up the rivers and to put out the fires.

Otherwise fishing will be a struggle over the next month.

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