After storm-dodging in Victoria for a few days and finding one perfect day amidst a collection of shockers, I headed back to the Snowies where it was even colder, snowier and windier. Two very accommodating clients (Richard and Margaret) were more than happy to let me pick a good-looking day (presumably as long as I got it right) and that high pressure system forecast for last Sunday seemed perfect.
The ramp was another matter. The heavy rain and snowmelt was pushing the lake up faster than the Portal can get it out, and the turning circle was submerged. I hate that. A kilometre of winding hill to reverse down, with a vertical drop off the edge down to the lake on the western side – if you get it wrong.
And all that went off without a hitch. A couple of hours later we were launching the boat and watching a couple of lads with a roaring campfire land a nice brown they’d spun up off the rocks.
The sky was blue. The sun had burnt off the mist and there was a slight ripple on the water – a typical Tantangara nor-wester. As we sped across the lake the cold bit through every piece of clothing, burning hands and face.
We fished in the lake below Nungar Creek, headed into the Murrumbidgee Gorge where the water was ripping in, and ended the day on the eastern shore, casting into the shallows. The water glassed off for a while and with the snow down to the water line in places, the scenery was superb. The day passed quickly. We fished a variety of Woolly Buggers and Magoos, as well as a choice selection of small nymphs. We hit the odd fish but didn’t hook up. Margaret persisted patiently to almost dark and had hits from three fish in three consecutive soaks, each one somehow avoiding a proper hookup. Some days it just isn’t meant to be. A family of robins followed us along the bank for the last two hours. I always think they’re good luck, and maybe they were – just not in the fish department. The snow really highlighted how many rabbits there are up there, the brumbies came right down for a paddle and to watch the action, and a wedge-tail swooped around optimistically. Richard and Margaret were very kind about not getting a fish on the boat (a guide’s first duty it is said) but a boat full of fish could not have been better than the spectacular weather and scenery. Although there is a question about which of these were colder?
Tight tippets all
Steve (Snowy Lake Charters)