More often than not, the wind blew like a demented banshee, swirling around the bays in insane gusts way more than the forecast 50 km/h, roaring through the tree-tops like an express train with mighty gums bowing in unison. The rain fell, then the sleet, then the snow. Lake Eucumbene’s fallen edge was mud and clay that stuck to your boots like velcro. Staying on your feet on snow and slippery clay was like a novice on ice skates after too much Glühwein. Then came the blizzard and our base in town was covered in snow. A new icy edge came into the gale and we settled on resilience as the word of the week. At night the tornado outside the house sucked the fire into life with just a few sheets of chip wrapper to get it started and the electric blankets worked overtime. It was one of those fishing weeks you know you’ll remember and talk about for years to come.
Oh, and of course there were fish. Not the big numbers, but we lived enough stories to fill a book. Resilience, persistence and optimism, with water temperatures from 4 to 6 degrees C.
Eucumbene is at 20.38% and is still falling with the retreating water levels forcing yabbies from their holes – with plenty of evidence of in-hole activity and fresh diggings. Look for dark clay banks with broken structure and yabby holes and fish along the bank – or if casting out wide, make sure your big fly is getting down. If you’re not losing the odd fly, you’re probably not in the zone.
Jindabyne is rising, up a notch at 62.37%. Go to the ever-popular spots like Creel Bay (although the $29 winter park entry fee is pretty un-Australian for a 2 hour fish!).
Tantangara is rising in real-time. Literally you can see the difference in a few hours. In two days, a spit became an island with 60 centimetres of water to wade through. All that freshly-flooded country… Keep in mind though that there’s lots of walking, with gated tracks to the east and west shore locked – only the main road is open, and even it can be blocked by snow with little warning.
Take care in the mud and snow. Bogging (you and your vehicle) is a serious risk, as are drivers on muddy snow-covered access roads in tricky driving conditions!
Tight tippets and thanks to Col Sinclair and Rod Allen for some pre-fishing intel!