Snowies November Update

This bay on the western shore of Lake Eucumbene looked amazing. But we were back in the boat before the midge rise started in earnest an hour later.

The wet spring continues throughout the Snowies bringing both challenging and exciting opportunities. The rivers are running high, and the lakes are rising over fresh ground. The Covid lockdowns mean the fish have been under lower than normal pressure. There hasn’t been a better time for a trip to the mountains for many years.

David fished a tungsten Woolly Bugger sunk deep and stripped back, with a lot of success.

That doesn’t mean the fishing is easy – it never is, but the fish are in great condition and fighting like demons, and catch rates are much higher, on average, than the last few years.

The Providence Portal has been running flat out into Lake Eucumbene since August.

A quick trip around the lakes. Tantangara has been dropping steadily since August as Snowy 2.0 tries to keep the water levels down for their works – right now its at 20%, the portal into Eucumbene is open, and it’s rising slightly as the inflows from the recent rain outstrip the outflows. The fishing reports aren’t great. Muddy banks make it a bit uncomfortable, a lot of the good western shore and the southern bay fed by Kellys Plain Creek are closed because of the construction works. Hopefully this will settle down and the banks will green up down to the lower levels.

Logs like this are floating everywhere: a warning to boaties in rough water and after dark.

Lake Eucumbene has just passed 42% and will come up quickly on the back of this latest rain. Some of the soaks are unbelievable. The fish just can’t stay away from the steady supply of food coming out of the scrub and the ground. The midge haven’t really kicked off yet, but another week or two and they will be everywhere. There was an early show of mudeyes but the real movements are still a few weeks away. There are plenty of leaping dragonfly feeders around on sunny days to frustrate you. All the southern lake bays, from Middlingbank to Rushy Plain and Frying Pan, are fishing really well. O’Neills and White Rocks at Seven Gates are warming up, as are the bays near Adaminaby. The top of the lake, now almost at Providence Portal, has been fishing very well too. Small (size 16/18) black midge pupa, Pheasant tail Nymphs (size 14/16), and a black or green Woolly Bugger after dark have done the job.

Stephen fished hard for some nice fish – but didn’t even get a cast to “the biggest brown I’ve seen in my life” that cruised past on top of the weed beds.

Lake Jindabyne is at 88.7%. How amazing is that! Fishing reports have been a bit sparse, but I can’t believe it’s not worth a go. For me, it’s just so hard to drive past Eucumbene!

Navid fished small creeks with success, drifting a nymph through this bridge pool that held several small but feisty rainbows.

The rivers are all getting plenty of angler attention now the Covid gates are open and are bearing up surprisingly well. Some of the small creeks are pumping and are well worth a look. The fish are definitely less picky if you can get a fly through the brambles.

A nice brown caught in shallow grassy water and promptly released.

A rainbow, still in spawning colours, from the Eucumbene River upstream of Kiandra.

All up, it’s hard to find a downside to Snowy Mountains flyfishing right now – except perhaps the regular bouts of wild and wet weather which are generating all that water in the first place.