The trout season is finally over and, as I have reported in previous issues, it was a particularly poor season for many reasons which I have already covered.
I am pleased to report that the season finished off on a comparatively high note although there were not many anglers taking advantage of the fishing. This month saw good numbers of good-sized fish find their way into our rivers. Many of these browns were spawners but there was also a fair smattering of fresh run fish following them and knocking off the eggs as the browns were spawning.
The Buemba River saw quality fish of around 1-2kg plus the odd heavier fish tearing around in ankle deep water. Obviously many of these fish were spawners. The Morass Creek upstream of Benambra also boasted many good fish up to 2.5kg. This is an exceptional trout stream. It is a small stream and is always discoloured. It normally looks like coffee and although fish are taken using flies, the most common and successful approach is with the humble worm.
The Morass flows mainly through farmland before entering a hilly, gorge section before emptying into the Gibbo River (or Lake Dartmouth if it is really high). It is a renowned big fish water. Whilst many of its neighbouring rivers yield small to medium fish, the Morass boasts some beauties. But, it is hardly a classical, clear flowing high country waterway; quite the opposite.
The small Livingston Creek has also produced some pretty fair fishing after being quiet all season. Mick Rosenboom spotted a nice 1kg+ brown finning in some clear water in the tail of a small pool. He could not approach the fish from downstream as would normally be the case, so he drifted a bead head nymph and a Glo Bug downstream to the fish.
He saw the brown move to the side and take the Glo Bug but it did not turn so he could not strike and set the hook. If he had have struck, he would have pulled the fly out of the trouts mouth. After what seemed an eternity, but was probably only a moment or two, the fish finally turned and Mick was fast into the fish. The fight only lasted a few seconds as the trout took an almighty leap out of the water and landed on the bank. It was soon released.
I have spoken to several people who have fished the Mitta River but none of them report seeing any fish. They would have to be there as they are in the tributaries, but as I said earlier, there are not many anglers about. I have received several reports of anglers seeing large numbers of cormorants on our rivers in recent times although they now seem to have departed.
What damage they do to our trout stocks is anyone guess but they cannot be of any assistance to the fishing and of course they are protected.
I wish everyone well in their fishing over the winter and look forward to reporting to you following the opening of the season in September.
Colin Bellfield with a lovely brown taken in the Buemba River. Colin saw many spawning fish whilst fishing the river. He got out his mobile phone and videoed some of them which he estimated to be up to 2kg.