Trout Rivers Productive
  |  First Published: December 2005

Spring has finally arrived in East Gippsland with some great weather. We have just got our first day over 30 degrees and what a difference it has made to the insect numbers.

I recently fished the upper Mitta River and during the evening there was a good hatch of snowflake caddis hovering over the river. This event did not go unnoticed by the trout. The Omeo area is not noted for its mayfly hatches like the Monaro area but there were quite a few mayflies present as well as caddis. Of particular interest were a good number of iron blue duns fluttering about.

A friend of mine was flyfishing and landed 3 browns using a dry caddis pattern. The unusual thing about this was that he was fishing it down and across, under the surface like a wet fly. The trout showed no hesitation in taking it. I fished an Elk Hair Caddis on the surface in the traditional manner and I didn’t get a fish although I had a couple of small trout slash at the fly while it was dragging. This is usually the best way to fish a caddis; cast it across the current, let it drift downstream until it drags and then expect a savage take. The action does not usually start until well after sunset. It often lasts until well after dark.

The upper Mitta River has dropped in height to a very fishable level. It is running quite well and all signs are that we’ll have some terrific fishing between now and Christmas. Worms are still the number one bait, spinning is at its peak and flyfishing is improving every day. When I was there the other day, the water temperature was 10 degrees so expect the water to warm even further and the trout to be vigorously feeding.

The Cobungra and Victoria rivers are also fishing well at present. Like the Mitta, they’re running at normal spring levels. There are also caddis and mayflies present. I noticed quite a few immature grasshoppers recently and I suspect that we are in for another great hopper season this year because there’s plenty of grass around.

Middle Creek is a small tributary of the Mitta. It’s not a stream that can stand lots of pressure but it is a lovely little high country creek that runs through farmland and native vegetation. Presently it’s running fairly high and still a little cold but it will not be long before it fires up. It holds a good head of smallish fish but can sometimes surprise with a good fish or two. A mate of mine caught a 1kg trout here last season.

Livingston Creek has settled down pretty quickly after some spring run off and is producing good fish around the Cassilis area, particularly for bait anglers.

The Timbarra River is a tributary of the Tambo and is fishing well to all methods. The fish are still lean following a harsh winter but they’re slowly recovering and are in quite good numbers.

The Delegate River has its headwaters in Victoria and flows into NSW. It’s normally a terrific trout stream. I fished it a couple of weeks ago and at that stage the hatches of mayflies were well underway, but the fishing was disappointing. This river did not really fire up last season either and so far this season the fishing has been patchy. There has been significant willow clearing over recent years but I wouldn’t expect that this would adversely affect the fishing.

The Little River and Wulgulmerang Creek are two small but productive trout streams that had their population completely wiped out by the bushfires a couple of years ago. As they’re tributaries of the Snowy River, they’d normally get recolonised, however they both have waterfalls that prevent the upstream movement of fish. The Bairnsdale Fly Fishers Club together with some local farmers has lodged an application to stock these waters with Fisheries.

Late spring and early summer is my favourite time of the year for fishing the high country. Our rivers are presently in great shape and there are plenty of fish about. Make the most of it.

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