Snowy weekend wrap

Providence Flats at 36% - looking east towards Mount Denison

Providence Flats at 36% – looking east towards Mount Denison

On the lake it blew and it blew and it blew, and it rained and it rained and it rained, then the sun shone through, and a rainbow too, and the frost came hard, and the fish were few, but just being in these elements brought a great sense of pleasure and renewal.

BDAS night out

It was amazing we got any fishing done at all. I know I carry on a bit about fly fishing being a social sport but last weekend was right up there. John came up from Tasmania, Stephen came down from Sydney, and Anthony from Canberra. And thirty or so of the Berrima guys took over Cool Mountain Lodge (formerly Providence Lodge) for the end of season last-dash fishout-and-release with the formal Saturday night dinner a great event with fishing tales told, and false modesty, bragging, envy, hubris and greed all recognised and sanctioned in the speeches – no one, it seems, is spared. Now those guys can socialise! Thanks for the hospitality to Michelle the new lodge owner, new management, same great service.

Johns Kelt

The lake was difficult to fish (from a huddled position in the bottom of the boat) but we still managed a good score of rainbows, and John landed a lovely “kelt” brown which had already recovered well after spawning and was putting on some good condition. It blew so hard I doubled up the drogues to keep a steady drift.Doubled up drogue

The river upstream from the Denison camp site was crowded with the usual seasonal antisocial and borderline illegal fishing antics being reported – everyone was commenting on some serious jagging by a few (a bit like a rollicking family Christmas, lots of fun but a few too many mad Uncles).Steve brown 9

But down near the lake the river was relatively quiet. At times we had several hundred metres of river around Providence all to ourselves; and upstream of Kiandra we saw one other person in a 3 kilometre walk – and he was some way off in the distance. Sheltered by the hills and out of the wind, it was warm enough to dump a layer, and we could hear ourselves think out of the incessant wind. And, the fish were much more co-operative.Rainbow spots

Back on the lake, we parked the boat walked, clambered, and tripped, slipped and fell our way for miles up past the tree lines of both Hughes and Toll Bar Creeks. There was plenty of evidence of spawning redds, but no visible fish – other than an odd rotting remnant. Large parts of Hughes were covered in a sheet of ice with the near freezing water running underneath after a minus 10 frost, with a heron deviously picking through the gravel. A giant brown swam in lazy circles near the Hughes Creek entrance – uninterested in my offering, other than a curious turn and follow.

Hughes Creek iceflows

Good flies on the boat were blingy Woolly Buggers, and nymphs with tungsten fluoro hotheads; in the river Glow Bugs and a variety small black tungsten head nymphs.

What a wonderful weekend of company and contrasts.

Steve brown 7


Lake Eucumbene is falling and at 36%, the lowest since 2010 (every cloud has a silver lining – all that extra river means more redds). Jindabyne is rising, at 75%; and Tantangara is rising, at 20%.

There were good reports from Thredbo for those who ignored the lure of the Eucumbene, but the few I spoke to who fished the upper Murrumbidgee had not had a lot of action.

It was good to hear that Fisheries Officers had been out in force with reinforcements drafted in from Tumut.

Tight tippets all, my charters go right through winter and hopefully the rainbows will be gathering in the next month or so. Looking forward to a snowy lakeshore.

Steve (

P.S. I delayed posting until Anthony gave me a report after the weekend’s wild and wet conditions.

Euc in flood

We parked at Kiandra but found it was impossible to walk downstream so walked upstream instead, where I dropped a brown, around 40 cm, it jumped a few times and spat the hook. I had hits before and after the hook up but didn’t land one.  Fishing the river was hard work.

Flooded backwater at Providence

The river broke its banks and it was knee deep to waste deep at the bank and our feet and flies tangled and caught in the submerged grass.  Wombat and rabbit holes were treacherous. We went to Denison but the monster pot holes had blended with the flooded river so we went to Providence. Not a chance of crossing the river so we concentrated on the slower sections.

Chriss Brown

Chris was streaming his flies out to get them down – and down went his indicator. When he struck he wasn’t sure if he’d hooked up but soon enough realised he had a fish around 50 cm. That kept us fishing until well after dark!

Anthony Heiser


Weekend end at Anglers

Weekend end at Anglers