It has been a typical spring in East Gippsland – 28C, fine and sunny with no wind one day; 16C, cold and wintry with snow falling on the mountains the next day. We have had quite good rain in our part of Victoria and the farms, and trout streams, look great.
As I write this (November) there is still some snow on the higher peaks and there will continue to be for a little while yet. Only a few days ago they got a fresh dusting. As a result, the streams that flow off the snowfields of Mt Hotham and Mt Bogong are still flowing quite strong and the temperatures are still low. This is stifling insect hatches although there are some small hatches appearing and a good number of beetles are hitting our windscreens.
Around Omeo, the Mitta Mitta River, which flows off Mt Bogong is still cold and fast flowing although it is fishable, particularly with bait and spinners. Similarly, one of its tributaries, the Cobungra River that flows off Mt Hotham, is also flowing hard and cold. Water temperature of these streams was 6C when I fished them recently.
It is, however, a mixed bag with the Bundarra River, which enters the Mitta River a couple of kilometres from the Cobungra River, flowing clear and fishing well. I fished the Bundarra River a couple of times recently and released numerous trout up to 35cm. There have been no trout rising, but the river contains a good head of trout, which can be caught using all methods.
Middle Creek is in a similar state and some nice small fish have been taken there. The Gibbo River is still fairly high and it is difficult to fish at the moment as wading is required to reach the best spots.
The Timbarra River is normally an ‘early’ stream and this year is no exception. The fish are small and quite lean, following a harsh winter, but there are plenty of them and they can even be caught on dry flies.
One of our better rivers is the Delegate River. The Delegate is running beautifully clear at the moment with the water temperature a very enticing 10C. This stream normally has good mayfly hatches at this time of year but at the moment they are fairly sparse. I have had a couple of trips to the Delegate River recently and both times found a few fish rising. Once a rising fish was found, they usually accepted a dry fly quite readily. Good patterns are the Royal Wulff and Black Spinner. This river should get better and better over the next few weeks.
The rivers around Dargo have been fishing quite well over the past few weeks. The Wongungarra River is holding good fish stocks and they are being caught using all methods. Likewise, the Crooked River is fishing well although the fish are small. The Dargo River should fish well from now until Christmas and later.
Between now and Christmas the streams of East Gippsland should be at their best. See you on the river.
Andrew Matrin shows off a Bundarra River brown trout before release.Reads: 1992