Drifting sheltered shores during a break from the river action.
The one word challenge for the Eucumbene River opening is “windy”; last year it was “blizzard”. We had a great day, along with hundreds of others all trying to snag their first river season fish. The river was pumping. Tungsten and lead were in high demand. Long leaders and indicators helped immensely.
But back to the wind. It was forecast to gust up to 50 km/h and it did not disappoint. In the gorges you could hear it coming as it shifted around and picked up momentum – in the way the mountain winds do – so you could brace yourself and try to stay on your feet. Casts would literally end up behind you. The lead wasn’t just help to get the fly down, it was also useful to get the fly out. River clarity was 9/10 but the fish we expected to see in the eddy ‘eyes’ weren’t there, and it fished more like November than October. We saw a few fish rising on big slow pools and fished Stimulators on the walk back to car – and nearly caught a fish, it certainly attacked it!
First fish of the new season – classic Eucumbene rainbow on a fluoro tungsten bead “Crazy”.
We didn’t see the fish numbers of last year, but that’s not a complaint; more an observation. A lot of people reported fish, but a lot did not. There were more people further up the river than last year, perhaps because you now have to walk to the river at Denison. And a shout out to the few freefolk who jumped the gun and fished early; we should build a wall to keep you out, you just make people cranky!
We drove around a bit trying to find some shelter, fishing Nungar Creek, and even the western shore of Tantangara just to get the wind behind us for a while.
Lake Eucumbene is rising at 39.6% and is almost up to the Providence Portal; Tantangara is down at 24.4%. Both of which are good signs. The Brumbies are out in force with their foals, and not at all shy.
Enjoy the first few weeks of the season and let them go once you’ve had your fun. I have no idea why we allow fish to be killed in the Eucumbene River, the most heavily fished trout water in Australia, so put ’em back, and let ’em grow.
And don’t forget to spend some of your hard earned in Adaminaby City Centre. Local businesses rely on you.
Tight tippets, Steve, Snowy Lake Fly Fishing Charters