Well Autumn has arrived and we’ve had a few days of very welcome rain and drizzle on the burnt countryside – which should take some of the heat out of the land, rivers, and lakes – but the sun is back today, as hot as ever. The warm water layer on the lake surface has been sitting at 3 to 4 metres, and the fish have been sitting beneath it on drop-offs in about 6 to 8 metres. Find a shelving shoreline, motor towards any bit of bank that looks like it might have weed or a yabby bank and spotting fish on the sounder is almost a given.
On Saturday afternoon we headed for White Rocks in the boat, on the way stopping for a look around the island that stands sentinel to Springwood Bay when lake levels are below 50%. The north east corner has a sandy bar and we found fish in 4 metres and decided to fish sinking lines. As we slowed near the bank a mid-size rainbow leapt clear of the water almost on the bank. Buoyed by this we fished a little longer than we might have done before heading to White Rocks. As we started our first drift, the last of the day’s rain swept through.
The inlet looked magnificent although the bay we had been fishing just a few weeks ago was now little more than a puddle (as the lake dropped). The easterly breeze pushed from the top of the inlet across several hundred metres of flats no more than 3 metres deep. Trevor picked up the first fish of the day, a pound and a half brown, over shallow weed – just where you would expect fish to be.
Two flat islands had emerged on the western shore and we tried to get behind them to some enticing dark blue water but it was just too shallow even when I got out and tried to lead the boat through the shallows. I’d expected a bit more from this spot and it’s definitely worth another look if these easterlies continue.
The next part of the plan was to head for Collingwood and Copper Mine. Sheltered from the south easterly we fished diligently along the bank and across the bay sticking with the sinking lines until a few fish started to rise to the occasional midge. We thought they were mostly small fish but we still cast to everything we saw with Griffiths Gnats, Midge Pupae, Claret Carrot, and Stick Caddis. It took a small green deer hair mud eye pattern, fished on the surface, to get Ingemar his first brown right on dark. In the overcast conditions the twilight was too short.
Green is definitely the colour of the month on Lake Eucumbene with some good reports from Buckenderra regulars. Most fly-caught-fish seem to have fallen to some variation of a furry green wet either moved slowly or allowed to pause during the retrieve. Yabby beds and structure near the bank have been popular day time spots as browns cruise looking for food, now really intent on putting on spawning condition. The lake is not exactly abundant with food at the moment so if they’re not feeding on yabbies they’re going to be hungry.
Eucumbene River fishing reports have been good during and after the rain. The fish aren’t too fussy although the average size is a little on the small side. A beautiful 5lb brown was spotted post mortem at the Suicide Hole on Thursday proudly taken with a Celta lure. Remind me again why the Eucumbene River isn’t catch and release?
Lake levels from the Snowy Live app: Eucumbene at 47.0% and steady. Jindabyne at 79% and steady after a bit of a plummet in recent weeks. Tantangara at 21% and steady – a quick report from Tantangara was of a few small rainbows.
Hot tip for this week is to keep an eye out for mudeye feeders as the evenings shorten and the moon waxes; after dark in weedy bays and soaks. There have to be some out there somewhere!
I’m off to PNG next week and then Tonga – working – and then it will be April and time to start fishing the top of the lake. Current lake levels look very much like this time last year; and it’s not unreasonable to think it will drop before April/May so there should be plenty of exposed river to go around and we will be fishing the top of the lake in 2 to 3 metres of water under Mount Denison.
Tight tippets all!
Steve (Snowy Lake Fly Fishing Charters)