Molonglo @ Canberra (and Snowies teaser)

Chris and Steve - Fly Selection

A mate lives on the Murrumbidgee near Canberra. Here, in a treacherously deep pool lined with rock shelves, you can stand on slippery outcrops and cast a 10 weight with flies as big as sewer rats, for Murray cod.  I haven’t caught one yet, but he has, and so have the guys from Canberra uni who come to this pool to flick poppers and catch their fish for stock assessments.  The water looks sensational (if a bit turbid) and if it wasn’t as warm as bath water you’d think you were in New Zealand waiting for a leviathan trout to chase your offering. I’ve had one hook up which was probably a big carp but which I hope was a cod – but it behaved like a demented ferret wriggling and squirming in the muddy water and in the end it busted me off in the rapids. My mate tells me a cod fights more akin to a sack of potatoes.   This weekend some pressing priorities just didn’t permit even a quick dash to the Snowies – and the early onset autumn was an additional discouragement – so, on Sunday afternoon, having left a month’s salary at Bunnings, gardening duties complete, and new dog fence installed we set off for the Molonglo River, a tributary of the Murrumbidgee that runs out of Lake Burley Griffin.  We headed for Coppins Crossing where there was a great flow after the recent rain. The tracks down to the blackberry lined river are pretty overgrown and looked a bit snakey but once in the water it felt great – and we did after all only hope only for a carp or two. In the end we got some good casting practice through the dense vegetation, and no carp – but we did find a school of small redfin which kept us there an hour longer than we otherwise would have, with thunder cracking all around and rain drops the size of peas making a reassuring splat as they landed.Rock hopping


The first hand Snowies report will have to wait until the weekend – after my Thursday Friday trip, but the grapevine tells me the Maclaughlin (Monaro) was still pretty dirty on the weekend after the rain, and the fish in Eucumbene, Jindabyne, and Tantangara may have been hard to come by but are there for the committed. The Thredbo, Eucumbene and Murrumbidgee Rivers all have good flows and there are a few hoppers showing up here and there so time to give those rubber legged critters in your fly box a work out.  The consensus is that numbers are down but quality is up and some of the rainbows coming out of Lake Eucumbene are now officially classified as stonkers. And as we all know, 1 stonker = 10 of any other kind of trout. Seriously though the persistently high lake level, and the abundance of food, has seen these fish put on condition quickly. Expect 1.5 kg plus fish, and “for the first time ever” I would recommend 10 lb fluorocarbon or you stand a greater than even chance of being broken off – now there’s an offer that’s difficult to refuse! Fish finding their way to the smoker have contained stick caddis, daphnia, midge mush, and mudeye – but no direct reports of mudeye migrations. The official mudeye migration forecast is this Thursday night.

On lake levels, Eucumbene has been steady around 56% all January and looks superb; Jindabyne has been bumping up and down around the 84% mark, and Tantangara has been creeping up to 27% (which is a lot for summer levels). I wish I had a two week trip, not a two day trip and personally, I’m taking the Socceroos and tri-nation wins as auspicious signs for the next month’s fishing! So squeeze in another trip soon and support your local Snowy Mountain businesses by buying your food and tackle locally.

Tight tippets all

Steve – – Snowy lakes fly fishing charters.