Over the past month the High Country has been bathed in sunshine with some beautiful late autumn weather. This has been great for fishermen and holidaymakers but not so good for the trout streams. Regrettably we have received little rain and as a result our trout streams continue to run low.
This is the major river in our area and has fished well all season. The grasshoppers have been around since Christmas and even in May there were a few still to be seen. Like other rivers in the area, the Mitta Mitta River is running very low and clear. The fishing however has remained quite good.
Flyfishers have been catching fish on nymphs fished below dries with the occasional fish taking a dry fly. Bait drifters have been doing well too, fishing natural baits. The spinfishers have found the going hard in the low, clear conditions.
Once again the Mitta has been the pick of the rivers to fish in our area. It has been producing a good number of brown trout up to 1kg and the odd specimen over that figure. It should continue to fish well until the end of the season given reasonable weather. The browns are looking for a place to spawn and the Lake Dartmouth browns will be ready to run up the river when the conditions suit.
The fishing in this beautiful little river has been fairly poor. Due to the dry conditions, the river is barely flowing and most of the good fish have dropped back into the Mitta.
A few small browns have still been taken, mainly by flyfishers. The odd small rainbow has also shown up, which is unusual.
There has been some great grasshopper fishing in the Cobungra over the past few months. The Cobungra River runs through a fair section of grassy farmland as well as native bush. The section that flows through the farmland has provided great fishing since Christmas with lots of hoppers present as well as lots of appreciative trout.
I am sorry to say that the party is now largely over. Due to low flows and a lack of hopper numbers, the fishing is fairly ordinary at present and unlikely to improve much before the end of the season.
This small creek has fished well all season. The ‘Livi’ is not a trophy trout stream by any means. The browns are mostly small but they populate this creek in pretty good numbers. The fish here have been free rising all year. Again, hoppers have been their preferred food source. Even though the hoppers have virtually finished now, the trout are still feeding and some good sport is to be had. The area above the Cassills Bridge is probable the best bet.
This beaut little stream was good early in the season but like so many others, the lack of rainfall has taken its toll. The river is low and the fishing poor.
The Wonnangatta, Wongungarra, Dargo and Crooked rivers make up the bulk of the Dargo system. These rivers can be excellent trout streams, however, due to seasonal conditions, there is barely a trout to be seen. And that’s been the case for most of the year! Dargo is a great place to do some camping and four-wheel driving but if trout fishing is your thing then I suggest you look elsewhere.
Ten members of the Melbourne-based Southern Fly Fishers club stayed at Anglers Rest over the Easter holidays and fished the upper Mitta Mitta, Bundara and Cobungra rivers with help from Geoff Lacey.
Most members found the going challenging, even difficult at times, although they managed to catch and release an average of twelve trout each over three days of hard fishing.
On days of fine weather with no wind or cloud a mixture of brown trout and rainbows were caught, most falling for size 12 to 14 black or brown nymphs. Others took size 14 to 16 Royal Wulffs or Stimulator dry flies.
Fishing the Mitta was particularly daunting with low, gin-clear water demanding exceptionally long casts with fine leaders to achieve any success.
The Bundarra and Cobungra were also low but fishing was a little easier due to their relative narrowness and excellent cover along the edges. Several brown trout that were caught and released in these streams weighed in at around 1kg each. Great fish for skinny, late season water.
Member Tony Hyett summed up their trip, "The Victorian alpine region is one of the most beautiful places I have fished and I will return as soon as possible. Great fishing and great scenery.”Reads: 1882