Browns are on the move
  |  First Published: December 2004

All streams in our area have received good rainfall over recent months and, even after the first month of summer, the rivers could not be in better shape.

Most rivers are running above summer levels and look great. Trout are being taken using all methods – bait, lure and fly. Most of the fish reported have been small, both in length and also in weight. They are still fairly skinny but their weight will increase quickly over the next few months.

Many of the rivers in this area can get very low and hot during summer but there is no sign of this at present. In fact, it looks very encouraging for summer fishing. We have not yet encountered the good run of large browns that have been around over the past few seasons but I am very confident that they will show up soon.

There are a good number of small grasshoppers evident in the grassy areas and they should find their way onto the streams as the warm northerly summer winds come into play. Caddis are prevalent in the surrounding vegetation and visible on and above the water, particularly in the evenings. During early summer, beetles are always around although perhaps they are not quite as prevalent as in some years.

As we have had good steady rain, all sorts of insects, worms and grubs have found their way into the rivers and this all goes well for the ensuing season.

The upper Mitta Mitta River, above Dartmouth Dam, is fishing well for smaller browns. The river is running at 16C and fish are responding to dry flies, lures and bait. The bankside vegetation along the Mitta Mitta River has recovered well following the fires of almost two years ago. Many of the trees have re-shot and on the valley floor, grass of about a metre high is common. Unfortunately, blackberries and broom, which were burned out by the fires, are also common and making a strong comeback.

The Cobungra River is running well although it has been a little coloured by rain and snow almost all of spring. Some small fish are being caught but results are better elsewhere.

The Bundarra River just looks great as it leaves the rough, steep, timbered valley and spills out onto farmland. This is a very pretty little valley with good fishing access. The water was a very inviting 14C when I recently fished the Bundarra. Action was not fast, but we landed a few typical browns of 30-35cm.

Middle Creek is also flowing and fishing well again mostly small browns. Livingston Creek around Cassilis is also producing small browns.

The Delegate River is flowing well, however, it is fairly low for this time of the year. Fishing is quite good without being brilliant. There are a lot of fish being caught in the 30-40cm bracket but some bigger fish are also present. Caddis hatches are prevalent in the evenings and there are some spinners hatching during the day. Again, small ’hoppers are everywhere.

The Wongungarra, Dargo and Crooked Rivers are all producing some reasonable fishing and they are all best fished before the hot weather sets in.

With the good rain and warm weather, the snakes are also about in good numbers. They can be quite hard to see in the long grass that we presently have so be careful and carry a crepe bandage while walking the streams.


Hubert Reichelt shows-off a small trout brown taken on a Royal Wulff fly in the Delegate River.

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