Two weeks into the river season and its been mixed results for pretty much everyone. The right spot on the right pool on the right day and you might have scored a score; 10 metres away and for the next 5 pools upstream you might easily have blanked. The lake has been equally fickle. While Phil was catching a 8½ lb brown in knee deep water, the rest of us were struggling in our attempt to catch the 100’s of fish rising in casting range but seemingly dodging the flies to reach the next midge or grub. On one day Phil and I thought we’d cracked it with a good session on midging fish using a Griffith’s Gnat but two evening sessions trying to mimic that success proved fruitless.
The highlight of this weekend was being out-fished by my protégé Iris, who not for the first time, caught a fish on Saturday night when the odds were definitely favouring the trout – and I didn’t.
The river has now returned to normal springtime levels. It’s gin clear, there are a few reports of fish encouraged up to sniff at a dry (Wulffs and Elk Hair Caddis), and the last fish of this trip nailed a hothead tungsten bead Woolly Bugger in desperation swung through the tail of the pool in a spot I knew would hold fish, but which resisted all my skilled line mending to get a drift through it under an indicator. We watched several small duns hatch off the river on Saturday evening, but no big Kossies. There are a few snowflake caddis and small stoneflies and the whole system looks fit to burst into life. If you’re coming now, you can leave the lead shot at home, just bring a few smaller tungsten nymphs.
On the lake we are in for some spectacular midge fishing. I think the floating grubs that are everywhere at the moment will soon be gone and I’m not convinced the fish were ever on them. Like their adult soldier beetle stage, they are rarely being eaten – must taste awful. The water is excellent for polaroiding fish in the shallows if you can find a high bank, and a shallow bay with some deeper water nearby.
Rod and Ash (the “Crazy Trout Hunter” on Facebook) have given positive reports for Jindabyne with good rainbows the reward for persistence, and the Maclaughlin putting on a good show of midsize browns after a few lean years. Thanks to the stocking efforts by the local Acclimatisation Society.
Snowy lake levels round-up 16 October 2016: Tantangara is steady at 71% and will start to fall now as the river flow reduces and the portal carries it all into Eucumbene. Eucumbene is steady at 55%. For a brief period it was rising rapidly, but with the river returning to normal flows, and some releases for power generation that has slowed markedly. Jindabyne is falling at 83%.
Tight tippets all