With some of the best trout water in the state and a region steeped in history, Omeo is particularly attractive to adventurous fishers. Ghost towns, gold rush folklore, high-country brumbies, captivating vistas and crystal-clear waters abound. Nearby Benambra is the gateway to the Wilderness and Alpine National Park and is well known by outdoor enthusiasts for quality fishing, camping, horse riding and four-wheel driving. The region boasts a range of productive clear water wild trout fisheries that are renowned producers of browns and rainbows. A 20-minute drive out of town lands you in Anglers Rest where the Mitta Mitta, Bundarra and Cobungra rivers can be accessed, and all are legendary for good reason!
The Mitta Mitta River above Lake Dartmouth
Above Lake Dartmouth the Mitta Mitta is also known as the Big River. It flows from the Alpine National Park through thick and steep forest, which can make access challenging, except for approximately 20 kilometres downstream of Glen Valley which is best suited to fly fishing. This upstream section provides the spawning grounds for the trout from Lake Dartmouth below. The water itself is a classic river full of riffles, big runs, and deeper pools. It can be quite powerful at times so care is required if wading. Fly fishing, lure casting and bait fishing are all effective.
The Bundara is accessible in its lower reaches by road from Anglers Rest via a gravel road that runs alongside it for approximately 3 kilometres. The rivers begin in forested mountains then flows through steep farmland with numerous riffles and deeper pools. Abundant cover in the form of undercut banks and instream rocks offer plenty of habitat for healthy brown trout and some rainbows.
The famous Cobungra is a fast-flowing smaller river rising below the slopes of Mount Hotham. Its snow fed crystal clear waters meander through tussocky alpine meadows, giving way to grazing land interspersed with eucalypts, wattle and tea tree in the region where it joins the Mitta Mitta at Anglers Rest. Somewhat famously, the Cobungra featured in the fly-fishing documentary series A River Somewhere. In the upper reaches, be prepared for a hike to access the Cobungra, it is somewhat isolated and remote making it appealing for the adventure fisher with some accessing it by hiking from Mount Hotham down, better access exists in the lower reaches but a 4WD is an advantage. Both brown and rainbow trout are present and fly fishing, bait fishing and lure casting are all successful.
The Gibbo flows through tall, forested mountains, with moderate fish cover provided by undercut banks. It contains numerous small brown and rainbow trout and is best before the water gets too warm in summer when flow can get low. The lower reaches have been inundated by Lake Dartmouth and are more accessible by boat because of the steep valley in which the river flows.
Middle Creek is a smaller stream with awesome long runs and deep pools as well as quite a few large in-stream rocks that create significant eddies and pocket water. It can be accessed off the Omeo Highway however is overgrown in sections requiring scrambling over rocks and fallen trees. One for the more adventurous and home to very good trout.
The Livingstone Creek is wide and shallow rising in forest and flowing through farmland and Omeo. The headwaters have good trout water though access is difficult. The lower reaches around Omeo contain good numbers of smaller brown trout, especially upstream.