Travelling North – Lake Eucumbene and Murrumbidgee River

I have travelled to the Lake Eucumbene area of NSW on two occasions in the last month. On my first trip I only fished Lake Eucumbene in the Buckenderra / Middlingbank area. The fishing was tough to say the least although I only fished during daylight hours. The trout I did catch were nothing short of magnificent. The maiden rainbows were something to behold and fought as well as any trout I have hooked of the same size (apart from sea trout). Most were around 45 centimetres. The browns are always in good condition there and showed up regularly enough to target around the rocks.

The Eucumbene rainbows are in excellent condition and they pull very hard.

The maiden Eucumbene rainbows are in excellent condition and they are pulling very hard.

On my more recent trip the fishing seemed tougher in the same places. However this was compensated for by the excellent flyfishing we experienced in other parts of the lake. Small rainbows were prevalent and as usual, the more overcast and windy days produced good results. While at the boat ramps on various occasions, I spoke with anglers who were trolling. They all said that fish were being caught in large quantities at around 45 – 50 feet down. That makes it quite hard for we flyfishers!

The Lake Eucumbene browns haven't been all that easy to come by in bright conditions, but they're great fish. conditions

The Lake Eucumbene browns haven’t been all that easy to catch in bright conditions, but they’re great fish.

Some friends of mine did do some night time fishing towards the Portal area of the lake with good success. Large brown trout around 6 to 8 pounds came to the net using big surface flies.

A nice stretch of the Murrumbidgee.

A nice stretch of the Murrumbidgee.

I managed to spend some time on the Murrumbidgee River during my stay. I have not fished this river much over the past years but had enough action there to make it a more regular occurrence in future. The water just looks so good! I did get some dry fly fishing early one morning but daytime hatches were small and fish activity minimal. No doubt this will be increasing by the day. Any wind seemed to have an adverse effect on surface feeding and nymphs were more often than not the required flies. With both rainbows and browns present, nymph selections was not important. Once you had located fish (and this was the hard part), catching them was not a problem. Again, plenty of snakes were lying out on the river bank and the water levels were low and clear. The odd fish could be polaroided and these would not move very far to intercept the fly. Most fish were smallish rainbows and with water temperatures still  low, many were in the pools rather than the runs. I have one more trip to the area planned for the end of November and hope the fishing and fly life has progressed.