Spring is cracking along nicely and on Sunday I popped up to Providence to check out the lake for my own private “Eucumbene has reached 50%” party. It looked awesome as we came over the hill and dropped down towards the lake to launch the boat near the portal. But what’s that, the lake’s muddy as far as the eye can see, a milky chocolate colour heading down to Anglers Reach that belies the blue sky and light wind conditions. The portal from Tantangara was running full bore – not an inch of airspace in the tunnel and it was dirty. Bloody impressive to see that much water – and impossible to hear someone even when shouting – but really muddy. Looking upstream it was obviously cleaner and there was blue water in the west so we moved further up the bank to a likely launch spot in front of the lodge and set off to the northern bank, tying the boat off and watching a platypus swim around the boat. That was the only living aquatic creature we saw.
The obvious cause of the muddy water is that Tantangara has dropped from 60% to 40% leaving a wide muddy scar on the bank. Last week’s rain and the very strong winds causing metre high waves will have muddied the margins, and then sunk to the outlet. I have to say it wasn’t inspiring and any self respecting salmonid would be doing its best to avoid the smoker and hiding in the dirty water, not least of all because it’s where there might be more food, more cover to hunt the margins for tucker from the newly flooded bank. It was one of those days when I wanted to be there on dusk, not in the middle of the day. The dirty water had formed a wedge under the clear water right up to the top of the lake, with only a few hundred metres of blue water. As Phil said “the water that looked nice to the flyfisher probably didn’t look nice to the fish”. After a couple of hours we decided to set off for Caddigat Lakes where it’s summer time and the living is easy; fish are jumping and you know the rest. One of the Caddigat Lakes syndicate members caught half a dozen good rainbows last Thursday, the largest a 63 cm female from Spring. We didn’t do quite that well but we did OK.
The intelligence network on Eucumbene and Jindabyne says brown trout close to the bank, on big flies, and be patient. Still not much in the way of rainbows but the odd report of a 3 lb’er. As the lake is rising the creamy coloured moth grubs are floating up with one brown’s stomach contents full of them. As often happens when the fish are zoned onto a particular food source, they can turn their nose up at anything else “so **** good luck” my very frustrated source said.
Tight tippets all.