Snowy Mtns Update – Providence Portal Option

Horses in the mist.

It’s still hot, but summer will end soon and we really need rain in the mountains. Pastures are as dry as dust, even the maligned ‘love grass’ is starting to look good to the stock. The rivers are pitifully low. The one savior in recent weeks has been the Eucumbene River downstream of Providence Portal. The flow has been wound back to merely moderate, the banks are covered in locusts, and trout have moved up to this the food supply from the lake.

View of the Eucumbene River from Studlands – last year’s lakeshore.

Stephen, Dale and I set out for an early morning hike downriver and experienced an amazing dawn. A mob of horses galloped away from us before staring us down through the mist and the landscape lit up with that golden light you only see on rare occasions. Whilst the Sydneysiders were messing around in the half dark with leaders and flies, I’d caught my first trout more or less at the car. Even though the water was a bit discoloured – presumably that’s coming from Tantangara – we saw plenty more fish than we caught on both dries and nymphs. Love the foam hoppers for bringing the fish up, and a BB splitshot for getting flies to the bottom. Down and back was a four hour march and the now 7 foot tall weeds were exhausting to push through – even more so where they had died back and were lying at an angle so you had to break every stem with your forward step.

Lake brown in the Eucumbene River.

Moving up to Kiandra, Stephen laid an epic trap, hiding behind a boulder to get his Stimmy to a well known lie. A cracking 3lb plus fish cruised up from the depths and consumed the fake food.

The joy of release.

Throughout the Snowies, river temperatures are presently too warm in many places, and levels are low, so pick your spots well and fish them gently.

Lake levels are unremarkable.  Eucumbene is falling slowly and is at 25.5%. Tantangara is falling steadily at 40.7%, and Jindabyne is falling very slightly at 81.6%. Lake fishing reports are scarce and those who are out there are not catching a lot. But don’t despair, it’s just that time of year and cooler days are just around the corner. Expect fish to start moving around right on the edges as the lakes cool and continue to drop. My hot tip for April is early morning and late evening on the yabby flats.

Dawn light on the Snowies.