Snowy Lakes Mid Winter Update

The lake fishing has been awesome all through June. A good mix of mid-size rainbows and really solid browns has made suffering the bitter cold completely worthwhile.

A top quality winter brown…

… and similarly chunky rainbow.

On sunny days, the UV has brought on midge in the late afternoon. Otherwise, it’s mainly been about big blingy flies, mostly fished deep; and they love big tungsten beads that give a nice jerky, dipping action. I’ve been rethinking ways to animate the flies, but it’s the pause after the wiggle when the trout grab as the fly is diving. I even tied on a 4mm fluoro green tungsten bead bugger to get my main fly a bit deeper, and immediately caught two fish on that fly.

It’s all about the bead and bling.

At Lake Eucumbene, the best shore fishing has been when its windy, and after its been blowing into or along a rocky shore, on shale, and over drop-offs. From the boat it’s all about the cruising fish on the shallow flats near islands and off big soaks.

Rocky windward shores are a key focus at this time of year.

Meanwhile, Rod from Crazytrouthunterz reports good numbers of high quality browns from Lake Jindabyne. He presently favours the steep and rocky western shores, where you can get up high and watch the fish come out of the depths. Big flies with tungsten hotheads have caught him a lot of fish.

Lake Levels

Lake levels are all good news. There’s concern in Tumut as Blowering Dam looks like it might spill with downstream flooding, despite the river already running at bank level. That might explain the kick-up on Lake Eucumbene, which rose over 1% in a week. The level is flatlining at the moment, and the graph overall is pretty much mirroring what happened last year… if you add 15-20%. If it keeps doing that we’ll be at 60% by Christmas.

Don’t let the pretty sunset fool you. The ground was already crunchy underfoot with ice by the time I got back to the car.

Somehow, I just can’t be that optimistic, not yet anyway! 1 July level is 41.2% compared with 22.5% this time last year. Lake Jindabyne has been dropping ever so slowly from a mid April 98.6%, to 1 July 89.5% (compared with 77% this time last year). The fish don’t appear concerned by this very gentle fall, unlike the sudden drops in Lake Eucumbene when they pull out the bung to generate power. Tantangara Reservoir has been rising slowly and is now at almost 27%. The only access to the lake is from the boat ramp, with all other access roads closed for winter. The western shore is closed to foot traffic for the Snowy 2.0 works. So it’s pretty much boat-only access at Tantangara for now.