Hopping mad
  |  First Published: February 2006

What a great fishing season it’s proving to be in the High Country. Around Omeo all the rivers have been flowing well with good temperatures, and the fishing has been sensational! I can’t remember a better trout fishing season in this area.

The grasshoppers have been around in good numbers along with the trout. There’s been a huge plague of locusts situated at Swifts Creek and they’ve created a nightmare for local farmers. Let's hope that the locusts move up The Gap and onto the Mitta River and its tributaries.

There have been large brown locusts and the trout just love them. As well as the grasshoppers, there have been some really heavy hatches of caddis during the evenings. Some nights they’ve been so thick that they almost black out the sky. When the caddis have been up, so have the trout.

I recently flyfished the upper Mitta Mitta River for a couple of hours during the middle of the day. I used a nondescript dry fly that didn’t really resemble anything in particular. During three hours fishing I caught and released four browns, all between 400g and 1.2kg. I also had another six hits that I didn’t connect up to. This has been a pretty average bag at the moment, which gives you an idea of how good it’s been. There’ve been plenty of good trout over 1kg on offer as well as a lot of smaller trout.

I won’t report on the rivers individually this month because they’re all fishing great and running well, and should continue to do so through February, at the least. The rivers are also running clear and all methods of angling have been taking fish. However, it’s been the flyfishermen in particular who have found the conditions perfect for their chosen sport.

The rivers around Dargo have had a hard time in recent years with drought and fire severely reducing trout numbers. It’s pleasing to hear that this year there have been some nice fish taken and the rivers are fishing the best that they have for several years. The fishing in this area is not as good as around Omeo but at least it’s improving.

Anybody looking to catch a fish over in February would be well advised to fish the upper Mitta Mitta River, Livingstone Creek, Gibbo River, Cobungra River, Bundarra River, Middle Creek or the Victoria.

For flyfishermen you really can’t go past a hopper pattern such as a Nobby Hopper or an Elk Hair Caddis during the evening. Bait anglers should follow suit and round up a container of hoppers. Casting upstream and letting the natural drift downstream with little or no weight is a deadly way to catch a big trout at the moment.

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