Ovens Odyssey Stage 7 - Pines (Porepunkah) to Wobonga Lane (Eurobin)
This stage was planned as a short distance fishing trip and as a bit of reconnaissance upstream of Myrtleford. We were unsure what this reach would be like (i.e. did it include rapids, woody debris jams, extremely slow with low water?) as none of us had paddled this area before.
Three of us (Jamie, Pete and John) headed off with rods aboard not quite knowing what this stage would hold. We were a little uncertain what fish we might encounter too as we are mid catchment where cod and trout might both be caught. The water was expected to be low, and it was, but we managed to progress without having to get out over too many shallow riffles. And the fishing proved pretty reasonable considering the low flows and hot weather.
NOTE: All cod we catch are photographed and returned to the river. We enjoy catching them and learning where they hide/hunt and take good note of the habitats they occupy. Trout on the other hand are an exotic species and way too tasty to return to the water. Only cod were caught on this stage and they were safely returned to the river.
What can we say about this stage:
- Johno outfished us all. I'd like to blame the fact that I spent my time documenting the trip, but no, I was definitely outfished. Pete persisted with the fly outfit for trout, but the the trout may have shut down due to the heat, and the middle of the day is not ideal. Also, trout spook easily and we were moving downstream; not really the way to do it.
- This reach was mostly clear of woody debris jams and there were no rocky rapids to speak of. It was only the shallow water that impeded our progress.
- There were a few portages around overhanging willows that might be avoidable under higher flow conditions.
- The native vegetation is more diverse in this mid catchment, compared with the low species diversity in the lowland reaches.
- Weeds were a little different to downstream of Myrtleford. Wild Pussy Willow, an invasive seeding species, and blackberry were the dominant weeds in this stage, while Crack Willow, Black Willow and Box Elder were also common.
- Lots of birds with Yellow Tail Black Cockatoos and Gang Gang Cockatoos being notable new additions to birds seen in Stages downstream.
- Many large carp observed in this stage.
Click this Video link to see Stage 7 and some fishing action.
The stats were:
- The seventh stage of the Ovens Odyssey was paddled on 1st February 2019
- 7.2 km (Ch:39.6 to Ch:46.8) (note Ch:39.6 = Chainage 39.6 river kilometres downstream from Harrietville Ch:00)
- Time taken 5 hrs
- River Height - Eurobin Gauge 1.91
- 3 paddlers (Jamie, Pete & John) 3 kayaks