Snowy Lakes Update Autumn 2022

The Snowy Mountains fishing year continues to surprise and delight. Lake Eucumbene reached another seasonal high water mark of 47.84% on 10 March. The last time we saw that level was the 14 February 2017, so a five year high. If we were talking about a stock market recovery, we’d call it a bull market! But more remarkable is the constant stable level. Short of a brain snap at Hydro HQ, it now seems a racing certainty we’ll crack 50% in late winter or early spring.

The soak on the right at Frying Pan at 47.8%. An absolute trout food factory.

All the lakes and rivers are fishing well. The only poor fishing report was from some mates from Canberra and the Southern Highlands who had a 3 day trip without landing a decent fish. But they did stay at a lodge in Thredbo, and were definitely enjoying gentleman’s hours.

Mudeyes on a Brookwood boulder. Every westward-facing rock is plastered in shucks.

The hot tip remains hoppers, with mudeyes a strong contender for line honours – if you’re prepared to stay out after bedtime. The little flies I’ve been preaching about all season have taken a back seat to the bigger patterns. Rod from Crazytrouthunterz has increased his Pheasant Tail Nymph size to a massive size 14, up from his usual 18s. The fish are seeing bigger food, and with the serious drop off in midge activity, and their autumn rush to get condition on before spawning they may not be quite as fussy. We are definitely getting to the time of year when it’s worth trying anything that looks like food. I’m not calling the end of caddis or midge just yet though. I’m not sure why the midge have gone doggo. A few sunny days might turn that around.

Rod’s ripper hopper-caught brown.

Small hopper patterns fished blind in the ripple have been excellent at bringing fish up, although hooking them can be frustrating. In my last trip with Phil he reminded me it was okay to strike a hopper-take quickly if the fish slashed at, and I only needed to wait ‘God save the Queen’ if it was a gentle take. Took me back to cicada fishing the tussock lakes in Central Otago, where a dozen missed takes were nothing on a 30 fish day. Anyway, listen carefully and you’ll hear the missed-take cursing from around the lake. For best results, find an offshore breeze with a grassy bank behind you, near a soak, bring to the boil and simmer gently.

A lot of people have asked me about the caddis, and even though there are a few about, the numbers of stick caddis in the water is a fraction of any year I can remember.

The shape that’s caught a million fish! Nathan reported fishing a mudeye pattern with striped legs and a green UV back.

Lake levels.

Lake Eucumbene is at 47.68% and stable. Lake Jindabyne at 97.1% and stable. Tantangara Reservoir at 14% and stable after tanking downwards all of February. I’m spending Easter at Tantangara so look out for the next update.

Frying Pan carpark on a Sunday evening in March. No better indicator of how good the fishing is. There were another six vehicles parked on the bank at the campsite, and a small Dunkirk flotilla!