The Snowy Mountains have lived up to their reputation for unpredictable weather, with late October snow down to lake level… after a river opening in early October where we had stripped down to T-shirts for bankside morning coffee.
The rain has come in fits and starts, but generally enough to keep the rivers fresh, if not quite sufficient to excite Snowy Hydro.
On a personal note, finally acquiring a modest cabin at Buckenderra has been a real godsend. Without it, I was probably fortunate to have survived so many night drives home, arriving at midnight exhausted, and incapable of coherent conversation until after lunch the next day!
The Eucumbene River has survived the first month of the season with plenty of good-sized rainbows still hanging around, although one good flood and they’ll be back in the lake. There has been dry fly action since opening day, with the odd mayfly popping up at random times on the long slow pools.
I had a Monaro stream fishing day with Rod Allen, doing little more than flicking Woolly Buggers – with plenty of success. I had every intention of fishing a dry, but on the day it was cold, and there wasn’t a notable hatch. Famous for its good browns, there are also a few streams holding decent-sized rainbows in the larger pools – I used a large indicator to fish a tungsten bead Bugger right on the bottom of some deeper sections with a lot of success; water we’d already worked through diligently with other methods.
The lake fishing has been amazing. David and I spent a day on the boat fishing the bays at Rushy Plains. Some of the bays with deeper water provided bigger fish; other shallower bays were loaded with smaller models. In one bay, the methane eruptions were incredible. Chunks of rotting plate-size vegetation were being lifted to the surface, where they erupted into a plume of sediment and bloodworms.
Bank fishing continues to be very productive, with the lake creeping up over spring grass. The best lake flies have been tungsten bead Buggers, or a stick caddis fished 30cm to a metre under an indicator. The caddis are active and there have been good hatches right on dark on warmer, calmer evenings. Size 16 midge pupa have also proved to be highly effective for some.
Snowy Lake Levels
Lake Eucumbene has been relatively stable with a gentle increase, but down in the last week to 64.24% from its high of 64.43%. With no big rain forecast, no significant snow melt, and nothing of note to come through the portal from Tantangara, there’s a good chance this will be the peak for the year.
Lake Jindabyne is still falling about 1% a week, currently at 65.92% down from being full at the beginning of the year. I’m not quite sure what the plan is.
Tantangara is at 15.5%, up from 10 % over the last month.
November and early December are great times to be in the mountains. Beat the holiday rush and enjoy the tranquility!