Snowy Mountains River-Opening

(Note: Since posting this earlier today I’ve been cruising around taking some weather shots. They’re at the bottom).

Well, October 1 has almost rolled around and whilst many this weekend are focussed on dogs and swans, and/or sharks and the storm; in the Snowies it’s storms of a different kind that will characterise the trout river season opening weekend in 2016.

It’s raining today; rained a lot overnight; and there’s a lot more forecast in the next few days. Both the Eucumbene and Thredbo rivers are running high, and if you’re expecting to be able to polaroid the last of the spawning rainbows as they hang in the tails of gracefully running pools (as you could last year) you might be a little disappointed.

A Nungar Creek tributary running through the grass

A Nungar Creek tributary running through the grass

For the first few weeks of the season there are always a lot of people on the rivers and manners seem to get forgotten. Don’t be naïve enough to think people won’t fish right above you, or even in the same pool. If you don’t like this then maybe the Eucumbene and Thredbo aren’t for you until things settle down a bit. There are plenty of other smaller rivers and creeks which are often too small to hold fish, that this year have had plenty of water to encourage fish. If you’re over on the Adaminaby side think lots of walking and the upper Murrumbidgee, Tantangara Creek, Nungar Creek, Gang Gang, Swampy and any bit of water below any barriers. I would certainly recommend that as a strategy if fishing nymphs blind through big water is a bit intimidating.

Upper Eucumbene with a good flow

There are mixed reports about how many fish are in the river. The Thredbo had a very slow start to the rainbow spawn run but apparently picked up a bit. It’s impossible to gauge the Eucumbene run this year because it’s been running so high, and the fish are just difficult to see.  A few people have been poking around the creeks for a look in the past few weeks and have reported some fish.

General advice on river flies is to forget the dries as your weapon of choice – other than a big one as an indicator; well weighted Pheasant-tail Nymphs with a split shot to get them down if necessary (if your nymph never bounces on the bottom, it’s not getting down); and don’t forget your Glo Bugs. If they are all that’s working you don’t want to be the only one not catching – even if you only try them out of desperation (of course!).

Zac and his Tantangara sping brown

Zac and his Tantangara spring brown

The lakes are looking awesome. Eucumbene is at 52% and rising so literally any bay where you can find a bit of water running in or a good soak will be holding fish.  There are reports of lots of browns in the shallows right on dark, and even a reasonably likely rumour that big dries fished close to the shoreline have been getting whacked. Tales of double figure numbers of fish caught in both Eucumbene and Tantangara are too frequent for them all to be exaggerations. Simply put, a rising lake brings the fish in and they can be quite dumb – as well as frustrating and annoying when they spook at the drop of a trilby.

Providence flats and Studlands rising above 50%

Providence flats and Studlands rising above 50%

Col was shown a picture of what may well have been a 10lb rainbow from a bay “south east of Adaminaby” – it was certainly a cracker. So maybe a 4 lber from last year found a liking for yabbies. For Eucumbene that’s probably a one in ten thousand fish; but they are there. Someone always wins the lotto eventually. But not if you don’t play…

If you’re on the boat there are some strong winds (nor-westerly) forecast. Maybe not enough to keep you off the water but try

to launch from a south-facing ramp or bank to make the day’s end retrieval a bit easier. Whether you are on the boat or bank there is a chance of thunderstorms. At the first sign of thunder get the rod down and get back to your car.

Have a great weekend. I’ll report on it all again early next week.

Tight tippets all.

Steve (Snowy Lake Fly Fishing Charters)

Snowy Mountains Highway at 1450 metres

Snowy Mountains Highway at 1450 metres

Eucumbene River at bank level at Kiandra

Eucumbene River at bank level at Kiandra

An evening fish at Providence - in the sleet at 2 degrees C

An evening fish at Providence – in the sleet at 2 degrees C