Eucumbene spawn run – prelude in G minor

Sunset Saturday night

Sunset Saturday night.

The weekend shot by, even with a Friday chucked in for good measure. The weather had the feel of a change about it; a crispness in the air temperature, with dewy mornings and a lot of light, high level cloud that took progressively longer to burn off as the weekend passed. I’d planned some small stream fishing but plans change and I spent most of the first day drilling holes for the new MinnKota and trying to track down a 7/16 spanner for the 2 inch bolts they provided – when 1 inch would have done. What is it with Americans and metric? The adjustable just wouldn’t fit in the small space provided as I laboured away to nip up the nuisance nylock nuts. Anyway, the motor is a great new toy!

At 5 am on Sunday the dog was padding around the house with her toenails clicking on the hardwood floor, somewhat distressed at the tap-tap of heavy rain on an old tin roof. At last. She’d forgotten what it was, as had I just about. The forecast was for a squall in the morning followed by a break, and heavy rain in the afternoon. And it was right, other than it was all a bit early. I walked the dog in the break from 6 until 7, had a lazy breakfast thinking I had time before heading up to Providence on the back of some intel that a few fish had been spotted doing early morning laps in the Portal pool. By the time we got there it was hammering down, and we weren’t the first on station. Three blokes in a ute were running up and down the bank looking all excited. I jumped out and asked if they’d seen any fish and one of them quickly said no. But I’m sure they were trying to put me off the scent! Which made me even more keen to have a go. And so, with the dog refusing to get out in the torrential rain, I wandered down and cast my intermediate line with Woolly Bugger and nymph. With a nor-wester over my shoulder and the rain keeping the line wet, the whole line was satisfyingly whipping out across the water with ease. But half an hour of flogging got me nothing, by which time I was soaked through and it was getting darker; the wind nearly tipped me into the lake, and my three mates in the ute were all sitting inside it.

This is the lake and the river mouth at Providence right now

This is the lake and the river mouth at Providence right now.

Earlier, Friday had provided a cracking evening. A light, chilly westerly kept going right through until 8; by which time it had gone right through my one-layer-too-few jacket! I watched a few better fish boil whilst landing a couple of small browns and a rainbow. The evening just felt good, but nothing big came from it. A couple of chaps wandered down the muddy bank to the river mouth in the dark just as I was about to leave, encouraging me to hold my spot – but it was just another half hour of casting practice under a lovely waxing moon.

A small resident brown typical of the weekend's efforts

A small resident brown typical of the weekend’s efforts.

Saturday I spent on the boat, fishing the Studlands bank during the day, and the old river channel in the evening. The wind stayed in the west until full dark and then swung a little to the north. The fish were few and small. We fished big flies mainly and the takes were tentative. It was another lovely evening but the fish were not encouraging enough to keep us out too long after dark. After 2 days of this, it’s pretty apparent there aren’t many pre-spawning fish at the top of the lake yet. There are very few of the spawning behaviour rolls and jumps we’ll see within the next few weeks, and remember, everything seems to have been a few weeks late this year – so why should this be any different?

Back to today, it’s cold and it snowed last night. A lot. Col, from Adaminaby Angler drove around to get some pictures.

The Eucumbene River from the road overlooking Kiandra

The Eucumbene River from the road overlooking Kiandra

The lake has been creeping down slowly. In a month it’s come down 1%. Not so much you’d notice it day on day, but there’s more and more island coming out of the water and the fences posts running out from the Portal are now 100mm above the water.

Jindabyne has dropped 2% over the same time, now at 76.4%; Tantangara has been steady at 21% for 3 months – and there are some good 1 to 2 lb fish, mainly browns, being caught by most.

By all accounts the catch-and-release comp. run by Josh at Buckenderra last week was a success. There are a lot of people talking about it – a great initiative. A phone app is being used for catch-and-release comps now which sends in the catch details in real time.

That’s all for now. Adaminaby is starting to buzz as the spawn run looms. Enjoy it once it starts, and don’t get too hung up by people moving around between pools. Give others space, at least a couple of rod lengths, and catch yourself a big one.

Tight tippets

Steve (Snowy Lakes Fly Fishing Charters)