Interesting Month up High
  |  First Published: April 2009

It has been an interesting month in East Gippsland and the High Country. We have had an Indian summer with numerous days reaching 30C plus. During the month we have also had a heavy rainstorm over parts, but not all, of the catchments.

The upper Mitta Mitta River system received a heavy storm that dumped about 50mm of rain into the system in quick time. The results were closed roads, washed out gullies and some very dirty rivers and dams. Many farm dams filled up with water and also sheep manure, silt and debris. Lake Omeo actually had some water in it for a few days. Unfortunately, just a short distance away there was little or no rain.

The Mitta Mitta River has between Dartmouth Dam and its junction with the Bundara River has been out of action for much of this month. A great deal of dirty water has been coming down the two tributaries and the Mitta looked more like my wife's vegetable soup than a pristine mountain river. There must have been a slip on one of these tributaries as this dirty water continued to flow for the next 2 weeks putting paid to any fishing.

Above the junction it was a different matter as it was unaffected by the rain. Fishing in this section has been fairly good. Most of the fish are small browns but there have been the odd better fish of around 700g caught. Flyfishing has been successful using just about any dry fly including Royal Wulff’s, which would probably catch trout in a bath tub. The bait fishers have been picking up their share of fish with grasshoppers. This has not been one of our best ’hopper seasons but there are still a few about. Evening rises have been almost non-existent.

The Bundarra and Cobungra rivers have been dirty for the past couple of weeks and consequently the fishing has been poor. Prior to the rain, the Bundarra River was fishing OK. Most of the fish were small and like the Mitta, dry flies and ’hoppers were the go. The Cobungra River was not fishing well.

The Gibbo River continues to be the stand out river in the area. Plenty of small rainbows and the occasional brown are being taken from the section that flows along the Benambra/Corryong Road. This is a great little river with some excellent rough camping areas dotted under the gum trees. The lower section of the river is not fishing so well but as we get closer to the end of the season, it is a good spot to remember as the fish will start moving upstream from Dartmouth into the rivers. As can be seen from the accompanying photo, Morass Creek is dry at the moment except for the occasional stagnant hole.

The Timbarra River is yielding some small browns but the fishing is not terrific and unfortunately the Dargo rivers are quiet.

Let’s hope for some much needed rain in the right catchments at the right time in the lead up to the closed season. Hopefully this will lead to a great spawning season with plenty of trout on offer when the season re-opens.

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