It was the Wastell Shield weekend and heading up the Calder Highway always makes me feel good, especially if I’m going fishing with a bunch of mates. However on this occasion we were travelling up the Hume Highway, and we were heading to Omeo. I was especially looking forward to this trip after fishing in this area earlier in the year on a camping holiday with the family. Peter had expressed an interest in fishing that area a few months earlier. Now the time had come. Ross Garwood, Peter Cogdon, Trif Tzaros and I were looking forward to a great three days. We stayed in Peter Cogdon’s caravan at Freeburgh Caravan Park on the friday night, which would only leave us about a 2 hour trip to our destination the next day. Saturday morning arrived with half the party up for a quick fishing session and the other half opting to sleep in. I won’t name the lay abouts but Trif and I fished the river immediately behind the Caravan Park for about 9 or 10 fish between us, one brown, the rest rainbows. After breakfast we headed over the top of Mt Hotham and Dinner Plain, then down to Omeo for a fuel stop, and on to our destination just out of Anglers Rest on the Bundara River. We were staying in a log cabin on a farm which is surrounded by the Alpine National Park. The cabin consisted of one good sized room with beds at one end and a kitchen with a wood heater and a long table at the other, a lean to laundry / bathroom completed the amenities. There was no electricity in the cabin, lighting was provided by gas which was adequate, but I wouldn’t want to tie flies by it. Further accommodation is available up the hill next to our hosts house which are both made of mud brick. Our hosts Bob and Barbara made us feel most welcome. On arrival we were told that it had snowed here earlier that morning, anyway it didn’t seem that bad so we quickly unpacked (dumped our stuff on the table), had some lunch, and headed to the river, which was only 100 metres away. Trout to about 2lb could be seen cruising the pools but were extremely spooky in the clear water. Two of us fished up stream from there with the other two walking about 1km down stream and fished back up to the cabin. The fish were not rising at all, so nymphing seemed the way to go. This proved to be the right move as we were soon amongst them. Not a huge number but what we caught were very chunky fish. It turns out that our host Bob had bought a beginners fly outfit from Rumpfy at a field day that was held at Traralgon a few weeks earlier. So a few quick pointers were in order to set him on his way. What a fantastic place to live for a fly fisherman. After a break we again tackled the Bundara for the evening session with a few taken on drys (parachute duns) but the majority were taken on nymphs. We joined Bob and Barbara up at the main house for tea, which was most enjoyable especially as we didn’t have to cook or clean up. Bob is a wealth of information on the local history of the area and knows a lot of the tracks around the place. The next day he took us over some pretty hairy 4WD tracks for about a 40 min trip into a secret spot on the Cobungra. It looked like trouty water, which was confirmed when Trif hooked into one shortly after stepping into the river. He and Peter fished up stream while Ross and I went to do a little exploring. Unfortunately, our path was blocked by an escarpment, not too far downstream, so we entered the water only a few hundred metres below the car. Ross tied on a nymph and his first cast was accepted by a brown. After the initial success we struggled to be honest. By the time we got back to the car, we had had enough of this part of the river, and on catching up to Peter and Trif found that they had caught nothing more either. So we negotiated the track back to the main road and found another section of the Cobungra to fish, this time with much more success. Again mostly with nymphs but also a bit of action on the dry fly. While fishing that afternoon we where joined in the water by a tiger snake of about 1.2m wanting to cross the river about 2m upstream from where I was wading (not the first time for Trif and myself). This snake must have just shed a skin because it was the most vivid yellow and orange you could imagine. It was more intent on crossing the river than having a go at us, although it did hang around for a while after it had reached the other bank. For the late afternoon / evening session we fished the Big river which had quite a good flow. It seemed to me that this river held a better head of fish than the other rivers we had fished this weekend, I certainly dropped plenty anyway. Again it was tea with Bob and Barbara, which of course was most welcome for the previously mentioned reasons, after which we tied up some flies for Bob. Next morning broke to the sound of steady rain. After checking out the Mitta Mitta for future reference which had plenty of water in it as it is fed by the Big, Cobungra and Bundara Rivers, we decided to head south along the Omeo Highway which follows the Tambo River for quite a way. The Tambo looked to be in a pretty sorry state with the water level being very low, especially for this time of year. The rest of the trip home was pretty uneventful, although Ross did stun us a bit in a cafe in Bairnsdale with a new word to add to our vocabulary, (new to me anyway). You’ll have to ask him about that. On reflection, although plenty of fish were caught for the weekend, I think we were probably four to six weeks too early in the season up there as the insect life really hadn’t started to stir. So I guess by the time you are reading this the fishing should have really fired up. Glen Cox.