As we drove through the scrub towards Tumut Pond Dam a black rabbit darts across in front of the Pajero. Phil exclaimed it was a long time since he’d seen one; I thought to myself maybe it’s lucky, you know, like a black cat crossing your path. We launched the boat and headed into a bay full of rising fish readily deceived by Phil’s dry as we cruised around using the electric motor. We banked the boat and walked up the Tumut River gorge, seeing several large fish until the gorge got the better of us; and then moved to fish a little creek (Explorer’s Creek?) where the fish were smaller but considerably more willing to engulf my Royal Wulff. This was day 3 of the annual five day Snowies boot camp where Phil flies to Canberra and we try to squeeze in too much fishing before he flies back to Melbourne. The goal, apart from fishing, is to limp away at the end, broken and wounded, in the knowledge there’s plenty of non-fishing recovery time afterwards. It hasn’t been a particularly positive season for the Snowies but as Steve Samuel’s says “it’s just been having a mood”. So we set out to fish hard and try some familiar things, some unfamiliar things, the usual and the unusual. So, five days, five lakes, three rivers, ten long sessions, two deluge thunderstorms, brumbies, goats, a 38 degree day high, and a 22 degree day low, Lake Eucumbene temperatures ranging from 25 degrees down to 19 degrees, and fire-bombing helicopters on Tantangara. The furthest we travelled from Adaminaby was Tumut Pond Dam – about 5o kilometres. The overall result, more than 60 fish, several 3 lb browns, and one five and a bit pound brown (from the Murrumbidgee – Phil’s of course!). The lakes: Eucumbene, Tantangara Reservoir, Three Mile Dam, Dry Dam, Tumut Pond. The rivers: Murrumbidgee, Explorer Creek, Tumut River (downstream of Happy Jacks). My injuries; shoulder tendon flare up, sore knee and a torn oblique; Phil got away with a good shinning from a Bidgee rock ledge, and a back tweak lifting out the boat box. We fished late on Eucumbene on three nights catching and losing some nice browns. On one evening we were bombarded with moths; on another, when we went prepared for moths, it was mole crickets crawling up our waders – not the sort of bug you take home to show the other half! A great trip, the moral of the story is closely linked to the definition of insanity – repeating the same behaviour and expecting a different outcome. Get out there, try something or somewhere different, and give it a go!
Steve (www.nakedtrout.com.au fly fishing charters and Caddigat Lakes fishery)