Snowy lakes – late October 2021 update

Don’t be despondent when you see flat, bright conditions like this. Hope springs eternal and ten minutes later there were beetles dropping out of the sky and browns rising everywhere. Catching them of course, was an altogether different story.

The fishing is great. The fish are loving all the spring rain, the high river flows, and the rising water levels in the lakes. It’s a sort of fish nirvana. Translating that into catches is, of course, challenging but I even got my inexperienced mate Keith onto a good fish this week. The rivers are still pumping with high flows and the fishing hasn’t been easy. You’ll need a fair bit of tungsten or lead to get nymphs to the bottom of the pools, or to swing bigger wets through the runs. I have heard of a few fish being taken on dries, and that action will increase dramatically as we get into November.

Keith had a lot of fun catching this lake brown, after several hours in strong winds.

With Covid restrictions easing, the lakes and rivers are now very busy, and it’s great to see so many people out and about.

Lake levels are still benefiting from the spring snow melt and rain. Lake Eucumbene is at 41.3%, passing last years mid-November high of 38.4%. The last time the lake was on this ground was March 2018, so there’s a lot of terrestrial food in the water. Everything from beetles, to worms,  grubs, and spiders. Add the termite hatches and the growing size of the midge,  mudeye, and caddis hatches, and fly choice can be challenging! But small flies seem to be best at the moment.

The ever-unreliable, hope, experience, and optimism-driven shoreline fisher consensus is that we can reasonably expect the water level to reach 45% given the amount of downstream storage that’s full (Blowering and the Murray storages), and the ongoing wet spring. However, everyone who knows, understands that’s just a guess. Snowy Hydro water movements are a strange and unpredictable phenomena. As soon as we get the first heatwave, we usually lose water quickly. Meanwhile, the next Eucumbene lake level milestone is 46.41%, the peak level of 6 January 2018.  Then, after that, we’re heading for the halcyon days of 56.8% from October 2016. To reach that level, we need more rain, and for the lake to rise for another three months.

Polaroiding on the western shore of Lake Eucumbene is excellent. We got casts to several fish and had interest but no hooks ups. Was still worth all the work.

Hot fly tips are a size 16 or 18 black midge pupa, and a size 14 or 16 Pheasant Tail Nymph. Midge balls will be next on the menu!

As for the other lakes, Jindabyne is also unusually high, at 86.35%.  It hasn’t been there since December 2017.

Tantangara is emptying into Lake Eucumbene through the Providence Portal and is currently at 28.24%. It should continue to drop for another month at least, but given the Snowy 2.0 works and a rumour they want to keep the lake low, maybe it will run until the end of the year. By which time it will be pretty muddy.

Ok, no need to yell! That’s why we call you a blue tongue.

A minor word of caution. The rising lake levels and the abundance of frogs are pushing our reptiles out of their lairs and attracting them to hang around for a feed. Please be nice to the blue tongues, and stay away from the snakes.

Happiness is a belly full of frogs, a spot of sunbaking, and your head in a rabbit hole – just in case!