Snowy Lakes Spring Update

Ash fighting a brown that fought like a bow.

Strangely, the Lake Level Calculator for Lake Eucumbene only shows a maximum scale of 50%. I’m guessing the Hydro can’t see any immediate need to show higher lake levels. But the truncated scale at least means the 0.something percent rises do at least show up and we’ve gone up 0.41% in a week which is great. And all that snow we’ve been having should see it get up a couple more percent before the NSW river season opens in 33 days on Saturday 5 October… but who’s counting! Even without any heavy rain in the meantime, the mountain rivers will be benefiting from the snow melt, will be crystal clear, flowing strongly, and full of rainbows – one can dream!

The Snowys last Friday – that’s the Main Range top right, Lake Jindabyne top left.

I had a middle-of-the-day session with Ash last week who broke a long drought with a nice browny. We worked a windy shore over some yabby beds, jerk jerk jerking Woolly Buggers, and hanging nymphs. The water looked amazing with just enough colour to imagine fish working the dirty water line chasing food under the cover of the murk. Ash’s fish had an overly large tail – he will grow to be a really big fella. As big as that smile!

A couple more observations about the fish. There’s a cormorant scar on his flank, and with a tail like that it possibly didn’t run up the river this year. The fish swallowed the hook, but whilst preparing for the removal operation, the hook just dropped out of the cartilage – so nearly another missed fish.

Jindabyne is stable at 67.63%; no real bump from the inflows on the really snowy side of the mountains yet. I’ve had two reports from bank fisher who have blanked, although they did see fish, just couldn’t get a connection.

Tantangara is over 26% again so the Port Philip Fire Trail will be going under before the start of the season again. I’d been looking forward to quicker access to the other side of the lake, and the river. Unfortunately no fishing reports but remembering my epic snow-to-the-water trip this time last year I’m not surprised. the Tantangara Road will have been pretty inhospitable so if you’re thinking of going in, take care.


Early spring is a great time to get a fish in – the willows are already green, there’s plenty of trees in full blossom in Canberra, and hayfever medication sales have picked up after some early warmth. My current tip is Lake Eucumbene. Find the clay yabby banks and fish along them with Woolly Buggers – either on an intermediate line, or weighted on a floating line. If that doesn’t do the trick, Anthony keeps reporting fish taken under an indicator so give that a go – the trick appears to be to look distracted and the fish will self-hook while you’re not concentrating!