It’s been a hot and cold week. Both the weather and the fishing. In Adaminaby we had gale force winds; 5 degree nights; over an inch of rain on one night; and 35 degree days. We didn’t know whether to wear a fleece or a T-irt. The highlights of the week from a fishing perspective were the Eucumbene River, a trip across Tantangara, and a visit to Caddigat Lakes.
I went into Caddigat with Andrew to check up on reports of brown trout cruising the weed beds in the middle of the day. Sure enough, we watched and waited (along with a curious brown snake) as several fish boiled their way along the edge of the eastern shore weed beds on the Rodney George. The water was alive with bugs, a real soup. I gave Andy explicit instructions and within minutes he was wrangling a fat 2 kilo fish through the weed. We stocked these trout over a year ago as 3-400 gram fish for the National Championships. Later on we had a look at Caddigat Lake. It was already 2 in the afternoon under a blistering sun and despite my obvious pessimism a sizeable rainbow cruised right past us no more than a metre from the bank. I grabbed a rod from the car and ran around and past it, hurling a nymph into its path and it literally turned to the sound of the fly landing, and swallowed it. Real textbook stuff.
A few days later was a trip to Tantangara with Col to fish the lower reach of the Murrumbidgee River; with a bit of lake fishing planned on the way back. The river looked amazing. Green pasture, brumbies everywhere, flocks of Gang Gangs, herons, and both wedge-tail and sea eagles. We walked for miles fishing the runs and pools, some of which seemed barren, some full of fish. Hardly a footprint in the mud that didn’t look like a hoof. The lake fishing didn’t happen. By the time we got there it was blowing a strong nor-easter and we surfed the boat onto the trailer; and then popped a tyre and wrecked a wheel on the track out.
The Eucumbene around Kiandra continues to draw me like a magnet. In the last 3 months I’ve fished it in flood, snow, heatwave and gales and it’s never failed me. This week was no exception although the average size of catch has come down as the bigger fish have been taken out. Why isn’t there a zero bag limit on this river? On consecutive days we had spate water after heavy overnight rain, followed by gin clear water with normal flows. The dirty water brought twice as many fish and good nymph fishing further down in the runs and pools. The clearer water pushed the fish into the heads of the pools and back onto small dries – pretty much anything Wulff-like.
Reports from Lake Eucumbene are of a serious fishing slow-down, which I can support, with fewer rainbows and the odd cruising brown. All of which is not all that surprising given the surface water temperature was 23.8 degrees – motivated by which I went for a swim on Sunday, only to find out that at waist depth it was bloody freezing!
Lake Eucumbene is hovering around 49.25% and any outflows seem to be matched by inflows; Jindabyne is down a touch at 85.14%; and Tantangara continues to drain at 20.55% (good news, the rock boat ramp turning circle is now out of the water).
Tight tippets all, Steve, Snowy Lake Fly Fishing Charters