High Country Hoppers
  |  First Published: April 2006

Autumn has arrived and what a great time of year it is. The warm and sunny days are getting noticeably shorter, the nights longer and the water temperatures have now dropped to a level that’s comfortable for trout.

Food has been plentiful and trout have been making the most of the good conditions. The only part of the equation that’s a bit concerning is that we haven’t had any autumn rain. Thus, some of the streams are still very low. They’re all very clear though so tread lightly – the trout can be easily spooked.

Grasshoppers have been abundant on nearly all our rivers. It has been, and will continue to be for some time yet, a great hopper year. Caddis are present during the evenings too although they’re a bit hit and miss, depending on the weather.

Flyfishers basically need only one fly – a good hopper imitation.

Bait fishermen are finding catching hoppers quite easy with the quantity around.

Spinning has been okay but concentrate on the rapids and ripply water.

Mitta Mitta River

The Mitta above Lake Dartmouth has been fishing really well. Between the Cobungra River junction and the lake, the river action has been good although the trend is for smaller fish than further upstream.

Tony Brothers landed a 1.2kg fish recently and there have been lots of fish to 500g. There has also been a lot of carp about.

The Mitta Mitta River (Big River) above the junction with the Bundarra River has been fishing very well. The fish seem a little larger in this area.

Other Streams

The Bundarra River has been fishing reasonably well although it’s quite low and the nearby Mitta River is probably a better bet.

The Cobungra River has fished well for several months, yielding plenty of trout to 1.5kg.

Anybody wanting to catch big numbers of fish should go to the Gibbo River. Bags of 50 fish per day are quite possible, but the size of the fish has been disappointing. This river holds a lot of rainbows along with a good number of browns. This year the river is holding massive numbers of small fish.

Livingstone Creek, above Cassillis, has also been fishing well. This is a lovely small stream that meanders through farmland, tussocky country and light bush. The fish are never large but they’re usually of a takeable size. Due to the abundance of grasshoppers, the fish have really been on the chew, so much so that they’ve been seen leaping into the air to catch hoppers that they spy on overhanging vegetation.

The grasshopper season should continue for some time yet and hopefully, we’ll get some much needed rain.

Anyone fishing the alpine rivers of East Gippsland in April should head for the Mitta, the Cobungra or Livingstone Creek.

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