Eucumbene browns where they shouldn’t, when they shouldn’t be?

Firstly, an important issue for Monaro businesses.  The Monaro Rail Trail is an initiative to turn part of the old rail line between Canberra, Cooma and beyond into a rail trail. Those of you who visit New Zealand to wet a line may be familiar with Otago Rail Trail’s immense success in driving their regional economy. So, to help convince government this is a great project we need signatures to an online petition: It takes seconds, thanks!

Beautiful sunsets after beautiful days

Beautiful sunsets after beautiful days.

Now to the good stuff. Easter was a mixed long weekend. After snow and a little rain the previous week, we’d hoped for more but the weather was perfect. Part of the weekend was charter work, and part just good old plain obsession. Eucumbene is stable and hovering around 46.43%. You can still launch a small boat at the Providence Portal, just.

2I had thought that the top of the lake would be firing by now as pre spawning browns moved up, but it wasn’t. My first night was a couple of rainbows on dries, and one 61 cm brown; a taster to make me come back the next day – which turned out to be a mistake from a fishing perspective. Despite perfect conditions I blanked – unfortunately not for the first time this season. I parked the boat on the first small island at Providence and fished down to a 4 metre river bed, bouncing the fly across the gravel – and every level in between. Apart from a few boils from what were obviously decent fish, and many fly changes, “no deal!” Not to worry, I had excellent company and the sunset was awesome. Zoly, who was fishing next to me, landed a nice fish right on full dark.

Sunday morning was another gorgeous day. Did I mention there was no sign of anything at all wintery over the weekend? It was real March weather.

Perfect polaroiding conditions

Perfect polaroiding conditions.

9We blasted across the lake from Old Adaminaby and checked Collingwood and Copper Mine but couldn’t find any fish on the sounder at all. Having committed to not wetting a line until we found some fish, we headed further west and finally found some at Tollbar Creek.


A couple of rainbows chased the Woolly Bugger, and a huge brown cruised under the boat in the shallows. With time running out, we headed back towards Adaminaby, stopping off over some yabby beds for one last cast. With spectacular results. The middle of the day and suddenly we were catching really good browns with a couple of rainbows thrown in. And these browns didn’t even look like they were ready to spawn.

Lovely condition browns

Lovely conditioned brown.

10Monday I went back with Col and I think it was his second cast that brought his first fish up, a nice brown. Then it was my turn with a 5 lber that followed the fly all the way to the boat, swam around it, then inhaled it when I dropped the rod tip. We landed several more browns and rainbows over the next few hours; one of the best boat sessions of the year. Fifteen km from any spawning stream, in full sun, in the middle of the day.

On Tuesday we walked the lower section of the Eucumbene River for some drone pics, confirming it can definitely see fish as clear as day. A few fish had obviously moved into the river since the previous week’s small flush of cool water – although we didn’t/couldn’t catch them.

Spot the droned fish

Spot the droned fish!

All in all, the lake fishing is the pick of it. There was all sorts of food on the surface but nowhere near enough fish rising, suggesting either scarcity or richer pickings elsewhere – you all know my views on this by now. We worked hard to find and catch fish and they were all the more appreciated for their scarcity and their quality. 4 6And they all lived to fight another day. “Let ‘em go and let ‘em grow”; my thanks to Colorado- based Ascent Fly Fishing for letting me use their icon for a catch and release poster for the Adaminaby Easter Fair.Let em go let em grow What do you mean you weren’t there?

Adaminaby Easter Fair

Adaminaby Easter Fair

Tight tippets all

Steve (Snowy Lake Fly Fishing Charters)