I want to ask anyone who is planning their Easter and end-of-season fishing trips to come to the NSW Snowy Mountains. Of course the environment is great. Of course the people are great. Of course there are some great fish to be caught. But what the Snowies really need is for you to come here and spend some money. The Snowy Mountains are open for business.
Last Monday I went to the Adaminaby bushfire recovery community meeting. Officials from a number of agencies spoke about the support that’s available for people affected by the fires. The thing I remember most was the complete lack of cars and people in town. There were literally no visitors.
The questions I would ask If I was planning a trip. What’s the access like? What’s the fishing like? Is there any risk?
Access to the lakes is fine. Right now, even though the Lake Eucumbene level is down, there is grass close to the water in most locations and it looks great. There are mudeyes everywhere; anything close to the water – trees, sticks, boulders – are all covered in mudeye husks.
There is still a question mark about track access to the rivers, however I’ve been annoying anyone who will talk to me about making sure the tracks are open for Easter and the autumn river fishery – and the importance of giving anglers notice.
The fishing is not brilliant, but as always, those who persevere are catching fish and they are in great condition. I’ve had several reports of 1 kg plus rainbows that were the 3/4 lb’ers at the beginning of the season.
There are no more risks than any other year. To be honest, on the lakes you wouldn’t even know there had been a critical emergency. And everything is so green after the rain – and there are some ripper hoppers in the long grass.
There are a few ideas in the wind to give fishing tourism a boost. Buckenderra is on the front foot with a $10,000 tagged fish competition. Four lake fish have been caught, tagged and released. If you’re booked into accommodation at Buckenderra you are in the game. Catch a tagged fish and you go into the draw for the $10,000 – as well as winning a small instant prize. The competition runs until 30 September. And the 4th annual Buckenderra fly-and-lure-only catch & release competition is on the weekend of 21 and 22 March, with the competition briefing at 7 pm on the evening of Friday the 20th. Spaces are limited by the size of the restaurant for the Saturday night dinner to a maximum of 150. So call Buckenderra 02 6453 7242 to book.
Lake levels: Eucumbene 27% and sort of stable – still 1% up from this time last year. Jindabyne, 71% (down 10% from last year). Tantangara 9.43 % due to the Snowy 2.0 works – creeping up with the recent inflows.