It’s still hot, and the rain has been absent. River flows are down. February is never an easy time. The water at the edges of the lakes is hot, and the number of likely fishing haunts in three or four kilometres of river walking is seriously reduced as the trout look for deeper water. Add to that the natural spookiness of fish that don’t have water depth to give them protection, and you find yourself facing a long time between drinks.
On the weekend we fished the Eucumbene, passed on the upper Murrumbidgee because of small flows, but found some better and very cool water in the Yarrangobilly. The air temperature when we got to the Eucumbene was 5 degrees and there was a mist on the water. We hiked three kilometres downstream and had a look over the bank – and several fish ten metres away just bolted upstream leaving water that looked like someone had just started an outboard. Decent fish! By ten o-clock there were some rises, but by 11.30 we were on our way out fishless, and on our way to Yarrangobilly where the usual small fish action was plentiful and fun.
The Thredbo fishing reports have been very quiet, and the Monaro is a bit too hot – although some good rain a few weeks ago freshened it up and no doubt saved some fish. Whilst there is a lot of attention about irrigation pumping and the demise of the Murray-Darling, our favourite little rivers on the Monaro are also being heavily and legally pumped. Just saying.
Lake levels are a mixed bag. Eucumbene is steady at 26.2 %; Jindabyne has been rising slowly and is scraping 83%; and Tantangara is at 43.8 % and falling steadily at a rate of around 1.2% a week – noting this is around a third the rate of drop when compared with January and September last year. There are plenty of rumours about that!
If you need exercise and fresh air, come down and spend some money in the mountains. It will at least keep your skills up for when the weather cools down, and the fishing heats up!
For anyone interested in flyfishing on Sydney Harbour, the charter boat is now working down there. Check out the Flyboat website for contact details and bookings and keep your eyes out for a Sydney Harbour update post coming soon.