The rip at Providence Portal
Let’s be honest, there’s no such thing as a secret spot. There are places you don’t tell people about, and there are places that don’t get much attention because they are hard to get to/on private property/a long way to walk. Last weekend I was at Providence on Lake Eucumbene, staying at Providence Lodge on a grey weekend with a group of 20 fly fishers from the Berrima Secret Club (the BS Club). Each day the group would split up into sub-groups of 2 or 3 and the discussion over breakfast was all about where the fishing was best, and where they were going. A few things became clear. First, there was a lot of lighthearted disinformation (lying) going on. Everyone was eavesdropping on everyone else, so misinformation was given freely. Being the good-hearted fellow I am, I was giving one chap genuine advice only to be shushed by another, presumably with designs on that particular locale.
They are a secretive group, no doubt, and I figured out that a lot of this is learnt behaviour. Why? Well you certainly can’t be found acting with hubris amongst this lot because there is a penalty, as there is for showing off, being flashy, or boasting. The penalty comes in the form of a ridiculous hat and yellow trousers – with the crutch cut out – that you have to wear for the next 24 hours (every secret society has its special apparel). I won the hat on Friday night for catching a fish in front of the lodge restaurant window when everyone else was sitting down for dinner. That was apparently too flashy with the added penalties of a) it being the only fish caught, and b) being late for dinner. Offences and award rules are the prerogative of the current hat-holder, apparently with the proviso they can be overridden by the executive committee if one of them happens to be in the cross-hairs. Taff, the BS Club Sergeant at Arms turned 65 on Saturday which added a deal of merriment to the occasion. I mention all this as a simple reminder that fishing with a group of mates is as much a part of fishing as fishing itself. The people, the place, and the piscatorial pursuit are all important parts of the mix.
Anyway, the secret places were all found by another Steve who hiked from pre-dawn to post dusk over 3 days for pretty much the whole of the river from Kiandra to Denison and found fish in numbers in any pool that was difficult to fish and/or difficult to access. He, naturally enough I suppose, was my successor in the hat award having innocently turned up late for dinner and being found guilty of the heinous crime of boasting double-figure catches.
The other secret spot for the weekend was Dixieland. I’ve been fishing with Terry and Geraldine for 2 years now, since first giving them casting lessons, and have put a lot of effort into getting Terry onto a fish. He would willingly confess to not always listening to what I imagine to be very clear instructions but he has great stamina and will, and I’d been surprised that he hadn’t caught a single fish to date whilst Geraldine has been steadily accumulating points. We fished Providence most of Saturday and whilst they did pretty much everything by the book Terry couldn’t take a trick – with Geraldine proving once again she was the only one who could catch fish. So on Sunday we decided to have a go at Dixie. We’d fished there before but had been stormed out by summer hail – this time we put the big boat in and fished the big lake. Anyway, long story short Terry caught three rainbows – a recent stocky and a brace of two year old fish. Geraldine’s quote “Finally, Terry succeeds. Many have tried, but as Steve says, perseverance pays off – including by the instructor”!
Fishing reports from around the Snowy Mountains suggest things are generally slow, but with hard work paying off. Lake Eucumbene is patchy, but with some nice rainbows and mid-size browns. The Eucumbene River has fish if you’re prepared to go looking and they are still up for a Glo bug as the preferred fly. Tumut Ponds has plenty of small fish as usual and was very high last weekend. Jindabyne has been slow as well. One group of visiting Victorians reported mixed results, with “not many fish in the Thredbo”. The upper Murrumbidgee above Tantangara has had some attention, along with Tantangara Creek but the general view is the fish are still hanging around in the feeder creeks. Once the snowmelt eases they will drop back into the river. Mid November is the hot tip for this area. There are a few small hoppers already which might be a good sign for later on. The lower ‘bidgee is fishing well with good numbers of smaller fish – for sure there will be big fish amongst them so don’t automatically reach for the 6X or 7X tippet. Lake levels in Eucumbene and Jindabyne have been rising over fresh ground at 58% and 80% respectively, whilst the plug has been pulled on Tantangara at 19% down from 40% in October with the portal running flat out into Eucumbene – it shouldn’t drop much further.
Last bit of information is that the Snowies is hosting the Fly Fish Australia National Fly Fishing Championships during the last week of November with venues on the Murrumbidgee, at Buckenderra, and on Caddigat Lakes – LINK HERE
And anyone feeling happy? I can fix that. This “gulp” of 150 cormorants was flying over Anglers Reach on Saturday – no doubt looking for a yabby or two.
Tight Tippets all!
Steve (Snowy Lakes Fly Fishing Charters CLICK HERE)