Snowies update – a summer like no other?

If there’s one thing our trout like it’s nice cool water, and on the eastern side of the Snowys, if there’s one thing we’re a bit short of, it’s that. While the Snowy Mountains’ central and western areas have had half-decent rain and unseasonal snow, immediately to the east, the weather has been dry as dust, and insanely windy. The landscape is brown and burnt and we so desperately need rain. It just doesn’t feel fishy and yet there are definitely opportunities and bright spots.

Lake water flooding over grass will always fish well. But those snags!!!!

Lake Eucumbene has been rising steadily since July and is now over 30%. There’s a heap of grass in the water, with midge and caddis everywhere, and a few tadpoles in the swampy soaks. The fish are not exactly abundant and are mostly browns, but they are in excellent condition. Reports are mostly about good evening fishing. If you’re after a day trip from Canberra then Seven Gates, Frying Pan, and Middlingbank are all hot prospects, but I suspect anywhere will fish well on the right day – the places I mention are just getting attention (and hence reports) from the day-trippers.

Eucumbene is definitely overshadowing Jindabyne at the moment which has been steady at 82% for over a month now. I’ve had a few reports of good fishing, but more of quiet fishing.

Tantangara is now down to 11%, having dropped steadily for over three months – that concentrates the mind, as well as the fish, as the portal continues to empty into Eucumbene. Col from the Adaminaby Angler reports the Eucumbene River downstream of the portal looks great with all that diverted Murrumbidgee water, and there are certainly a few fish in the river between the portal and the top of the lake for the ambitious nymph fishers – and it won’t be long before big dries take over – hopefully before they shut the portal off.

A boat helps get you to the right places at the right time.

I had a day on the boat at Buckenderra on Sunday. The campsite is always amazing at this time of year. So quiet. It is definitely a good time to get a couple of nights away before the Xmas rush – from Boxing Day it will be mayhem. The lake is up in the grass, and for a while during the evening I could cast at a fish every other throw. At one point I waded more than 50 metres off the bank and there were more fish rising between me and the bank, than further offshore. There were a lot of midge, but I’m pretty certain many rises were more subsurface boils and probably on caddis. In a couple of spots the midge were balling, and here & there were definite midge risers. With a rising lake there’s always the risk of snags. If you were there last year you’d remember that giant weed growing all around the lake – to over 6 feet tall! Now it’s just rotting sub-surface stems about a centimetre in diameter. Even though the fish were abundant, the final score was fish two, Steve zero. Corro had the same experience further down the bank.

I wanted a fish pic to post but even the usually reliable crazy trout hunter team had a quiet weekend – Rod reported one small brown from the lower Snowy “about a pound”.

Have a great Xmas break and don’t be a stranger to the Snowies.