Top time to tame a trout
  |  First Published: December 2008

December is a lovely month in the Snowy Mountains with plenty of sunny warm days ideal for a family fishing picnic.

There are plenty of easy accessible banks which provide good fishing and safe surroundings for the children. If the kids like to splash around in the water, ask them to keep a good distance away from your rods so they don’t spook the fish.

They should always wear sensible footwear on the bank and in the water because, unfortunately, we get our share of irresponsible anglers strong enough to carry slabs of beer but not strong enough to take home the empty bottles.

A few days ago on a magic, sunny day with a slight wind I just had to get out in the boat and, to my surprise, my wife Jan and our scruffy dog Ollie joined me. Jan always hears me talking to customers so she wanted to see some of the places I talk about.

We spent half a day exploring parts of the Lake she hadn’t seen and had a great day. We didn’t get any fish but the three of us had a great time together.

This happy activity is a reminder to you that you can take the family out for an enjoyable sightseeing trip and fit in a little bit of fishing, too.


The best baits in the warmer months are without doubt the cuda mudeye or the smaller spider mudeye, but you have to rig them the proper way.

Use only the small light hooks specially made for this kind of bait. Put the hook carefully through the wing case behind the mudeye’s neck to keep it alive and swimming. That attracts more fish than a dead bait.

It’s also important to grease the line so that it floats high in the water and to use a running plastic float half-filled with water so it is heavy enough to cast and will drift with the wind or current. Don’t use too heavy a line, 6lb is plenty.

A good mudeye angler normally gets more fish than those doing other types of trout fishing.

Then we have the normal set-up we use all year around, a running sinker with a 1m leader. Half way down you attach a 30 cm dropper with a small hook for PowerBait and at the end of the leader a bigger hook for a scrub worms or grub.

Late evening and after dark is very good during the warmer months to use this rig, when the biggest fish swim close to the banks and into the weed beds in shallow bays.

Good fishing spots include Adaminaby Bay, Homeleigh Bay, Old Adaminaby, Anglers Reach and Seven Gates.


What can be better than being on the lake at sunrise and seeing fish rising all around the boat? It’s so quiet and peaceful you never want it to end.

During summer with the water temperature rising, you have to use lead-core line or a downrigger to get down to where the fish are early morning and late afternoon. At 1m to 8m it’s not that deep so a combination of flatlining on one rod and three colours of lead line on the other rod should cover different depths.

The middle of the day is another ballgame, when a downrigger or an overhead reel with six to seven colours of lead core line come in. Tassie Devils or Lofty’s Cobras have a good trolling action and there are plenty of colours to choose from.

If you need any help to choose the right ones, come and see me when you arrive in Adaminaby.


The best times to spin from the banks are early morning and late afternoon but after dark can be very successful. I caught one of my biggest rainbows late at night on a Lofty’s 3X in Yens Bay (unfortunately there’s no water there at the moment).

Try the spots I recommended for shore-based bait fishing. If you have a boat the whole lake has countless clusters of rocks and trees which provide good hiding and ambush spots for big browns.


Since the opening of the season river fishing has been a little inconsistent but recently things have improved. There is a good flow in the Murrumbidgee and Eucumbene rivers, thanks to some reasonably good rain in the catchment.

Some rainbows and browns up to 2.5kg have been caught and quality fish between 700g and a kilo are not uncommon.

Some grasshoppers have made an early appearance and the dry-fly fishing has improved immeasurably over the past three weeks. With settled weather good fishing will continue through January.

We have seen some huge hatches of caddis so ant and beetle patterns should also prove successful.

Other dries to try in the rivers in following months include Humpies, Red Tag, Parachute Klinkhammers, Kosciusko Duns, Shaving Brush, Goddard’s Caddis and Royal Wulff. Beetle and ant patterns as well as the old-fashioned Coch-y-bondhu will all produce fish, with the Coch-y-bondhu a great substitute for a multitude of patterns.

When fishing dry flies it’s important to eliminate line drag on the water by mending your line or by putting a bend in your line during the cast.

Lake Eucumbene and Tantangara have both been fishing well, particularly in the evening until the moon comes up. This should continue regularly basis until the water levels begin to fall.

Popular areas include Seven Gates, Cemetery Point, Homeleigh Bay, Rushies Plains and Wongrabelle. Three Mile Dam also fishes well at this time of year and is a gorgeous place to camp.

So remember to give your family your Christmas wish list early this month so they’ll have plenty of time to go and buy all the fishing gear you just can’t do without. Then as a reward you can take them on a lovely sightseeing trip on the Lake and combine family business and pleasure.

For regular updates visit www.alpinetouristpark.com.au/fishing.shtm and for info on Adaminaby and Eucumbene visit www.alpinetouristpark.com.au/adaminaby.html

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