Heading to the Snowies? There’s fisher folk here from everywhere. Well, I suppose I really mean mostly NSW and Victoria, with the odd Queenslander – and I even spotted a WA plate. Adaminaby has a good busy buzz and of course Jindabyne is pumping. But it’s not just that. Since I started to post Kiandra bridge photos on Google maps earlier in the year, Google tells me the pictures have had thousands and thousands of views, and I’m not kidding when I say that apart from the other anglers (who annoyingly seemed interested in fishing the same water on Boxing Day), we saw three full car loads (originally I hazard a guess from China) pull up at the bridge to take a load of selfies, before zooming off again in their overloaded Corollas. Experiencing a bit of nature no doubt.
I should warn the weary traveller that this year is a good fly year. In particular the blowies and bush flies have enjoyed the wet weather like everything else. The frogs are deafening with their croaking, and the crickets in the scrub above the Chimneys (Lake Eucumbene) would give cicadas a run for their money when it comes to noise levels. At about this point a suspicious reader might begin to think, ‘What about the fish?’
So there’s a teaser, but I have a few philosophical ramblings. The first is that you can’t fish properly when you’re buggered. I’ve been doing some renovations in the Adaminaby cottage (trenching, walling, floor sanding) and when that’s all done, I haven’t had a lot left to focus on the fish even though I’ve been putting a good few hours in every day – just not with focus. Clearly that has to change. Second, in 1687 when Newton first published his three laws of motion in Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, there in the small print was a fourth law. Simply stated it says that if you drag a black Woolly Bugger (Nigrum Lanigeris Pedicabo) to and fro, for long enough and on an intermediate line when all else is failing you will eventually catch fish. I should have followed the advice I gave Andrew so confidently and which he followed diligently and with the utmost confidence in the expert guide. Whilst Col and I obsessively fly changed every time we saw a rise, Andrew just caught fish.
Since Christmas the weather has been kind to the trout. Warm days have brought on some good insect activity; and plenty of thunderstorms and rain have washed lots of food into their habitat – and we’ve had some awesome sunsets. One of Andrew’s rainbows (taken for the smoker) had eaten a small fish, plenty of midge, a long-legged non-descript bug, something that looked a bit crunchy (beetle?) and at least one fresh stick caddis. A different Andrew reported he’d fished the Eucumbene River at Sawyers Hut for a good session of mainly small fish; with a reliable report of small fish with some bigger ones seen from the Flying Fox. Kiandra is still fishing well although it is very popular at the moment. The Eucumbene river mouth at Providence is muddy but there are some good trout rolling around and even though the lake has been dropping like a rock, the portal from Tantangara Reservoir is still roaring and the trollers doing laps means there must be something to catch there.
A report from the Thredbo River was all about lots of small fish, which to everyone will be cause for optimism given the reportedly poor spawn run this year. The trollers in Lake Eucumbene are getting a few fish (and loving the “Cobra 101” apparently – whatever that is); and Lake Jindabyne has been quieter than usual other than the water skiers. Tantangara Reservoir is a campsite and will be until 2 January but there are still some reports of fly-caught fish from both boats and the bank in the late evening.
Lakes levels are Tantangara at 32% and falling fast; Eucumbene at 49% (down just a little on the previous day); and Jindabyne rising slowly at 86.25%. Maritime officers are in town with the big Naiad inflatable parked in York Street – so wear your lifejacket. And there are a few bitey march flies showing up so long pants and long sleeve shirts are in order. Tight tippets everyone, have a safe and happy New Year and if you’re travelling please drive carefully, and slow down on Snowy roads – even if only for the wildlife.
Steve (Snowy Lake Charters)