Low, slow and warm in the east
  |  First Published: February 2009

Well, what a month it has been! We have had air temperatures varying from a top of 47oC one day to the mid-teens later in the week. The fires have been horrific, but for once East Gippsland has largely missed out on all the action.

There is a fire still burning north of Dargo but it is in a remote location and currently poses no threat. It is burning into an area that was burnt a couple of years ago, so hopefully will soon be extinguished.

The incredibly hot weather that saw the rivers around Omeo rise in water temperature to 24oC. I am pleased to report that since then we have experienced two weeks of quite cool weather. At times we have been wearing a jumper during the day, and the nighttime temperatures have also been quite low. Thankfully this has resulted in a significant drop in water temperatures. Prior to the cooler weather, a few trout were found dead in the Mitta Mitta River, presumably as a result of the high water temperatures.

Overall, fishing in the Omeo area has been poor. The Mitta Mitta River above Lake Dartmouth is running fairly well for this time of the year. There are plenty of grasshoppers along the bank but the evening caddis hatch has finished for the time being. I have not seen many beetles around either. Of course the mayflies will not put in an appearance with temperatures so high. Not a lot of fish are being caught, and those landed are under 500g (some are a lot smaller).

This time of the year usually sees good fishing in the Cobungra and Bundarra rivers, but both rivers are flowing very low, clear and warm. Although there are good grasshopper numbers present, there are not many trout being caught and, like the Mitta Mitta River, they are small. It is a similar story at the Livingstone River; low flow, low fish numbers and warm water.

The Gibbo River is still producing a fair number of small rainbow trout and the occasional brown. The best spot to fish at the moment is along the Benambra to Nariel Road, where there is a tree canopy over the river that gives the trout some relief from the hot days. Nearby, the Morass Creek is low and the fishing very poor.

The Timbarra River is also low and the fishing poor. Don’t even bother to think about a trip to Dargo. The rivers are all low and hot, and the fishing non-existent.

I am sorry to give such a bleak report. What we need is some good autumn rain; not floods, but just good steady rain. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Geoff Johnston with a typically small rainbow trout taken in the Gibbo River. Several small rainbows were taken from this pool using a Royal Wulff fly.

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