Lake Eucumbene has come alive with the warmer weather and all the bug activity, despite the cruel and harsh reality of steadily dropping water levels now at 52.45%, down from 57% at the end of October. I’ve had good reports of dry fly and emerger fishing from Providence all the way down to Middlingbank. The big browns we polaroided last year haven’t really shown up yet, but everything has been a bit late this year. Reports from Tantangara Reservoir are that there is a lot of surface activity in the late evening. Water levels are dropping like a stone at 43.7%, and will keep doing so until they get to the low 20%’s at the end of January. Even Lake Jindabyne, that’s been getting poor to mixed reports this year has some fish showing up close to shore, enjoying a rising lake at 86%. To summarise all that, the best trout lakes in NSW are all worth some serious attention over the holidays.
I fished with Stephen last week on the Eucumbene and Murrumbidgee rivers upstream of Tantangara. Fish were plentiful and aggressively attacking big dries, both browns and rainbows. Elk Hair Caddis, Stimulators, and Royal Wulff patterns all accounted for fish, and I only resorted to a big nymph and indicator to dredge a really deep pool, and it worked well even though we’d already flogged every section of the pool with dries and caught several fish and dropped just as many. A lot of fish are still hanging around after spawning and after a bit of bank side discussion we decided they’re just dumb and hungry. The heavy rain forecast at the end of this week should push a few of these down, along with their progeny no doubt.
It’s my impression there are more people around at the moment than usual for this time of year – foresaking the retail madness for a calmer pursuit? Part of this is the shrinking number of good trout lake fisheries where trouties can go to fulfil their hunting urges, and partly no doubt the strong fishing reports. Don’t be the one to miss out. But let a few go and don’t go down to fill your esky; there are not enough fish for everyone to do that, and that’s not really why we go is it?
Tight tippets all