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Early and late the key
  |  First Published: February 2008



Lake Eucmbene and surrounds continues to provide a great variety of trout angling options. The key to most of them is to be fishing at the start and finish of the day, when it is cooler and the light is lower.

FLY FISHING

The flow in our rivers and creeks is good after regular rain. The only drawback is that the tussocks are growing high around the edges of some of the creeks and rivers, which can make walking and casting a lot harder. Nevertheless the fishing is very exciting, with nice trout in very good condition being caught on dry and wet flies.

The grasshopper season should be up and running by February. We’ve had some smaller ’hoppers around for some time, and with all the grass about they should grow pretty quickly.

Best flies include hopper patterns, Humpies, Royal Wulff, Royal Coachman, Shaving Brush, Black Ant and beetle patterns, to mention a few. If you must fish during the heat of the day, try suspending a nymph 60cm below a Royal Wulff an fish deeper water.  

I’ve noticed most anglers are leaving the river far too early and missing out on the best fishing. The two last hours before dark are quite often when it all happens, with plenty of insect hatches, lots of rising fish and plenty of fun.

Flyfishing in Lake Eucumbene is improving by the day. Very good catches have been reported with a surprising number of browns being caught during the day by polaroiding the shallow, weedy bays and spring-fed soaky run-offs from some of the steeper banks.

The most effective technique has been to use a dry fly with a trailing nymph. In general, early mornings, late afternoons and into the night produces the best action and you can’t go past wet flies like a Woolly Bugger, Craig’s Nighttime, Mrs Simpson, red and black Fuzzy Wuzzy or a Muddler Minnow.

Good spots include Seven Gates, Yens Bay, Old Adaminaby, Rushy Plains and Anglers Reach and if you have a boat the list can go on forever.

BAIT FISHING

With the mudeye season is at its best, one of these creatures under a running float drifting over a nice shallow weed bay in the early morning or evening into night should produce some fish.  

When fishing during the day or under windy conditions when it’s hard to keep a float out from the bank, you can’t go past a big fat scrub worm with a PowerBait dropper under a running sinker. This is a deadly combination that fishes well all year round.

SPINNING

Casting lures from the banks is an active way of fishing because you’re always on the move trying to spot a cruising fish. I normally use a winged lure like a Tassie Devil or Loftys Cobra from the bank, because they’re heavy enough to cut through the wind and reach a fair distance out.

It’s a different story spinning from a boat, where casting soft plastic minnows around trees and rocky outcrops is fun and often rewarded with a good brown. We’re getting good reports from Anglers Reach, Old Adaminaby and Seven Gates.

TROLLING

In February the water is at its warmest so during the day the fish go deeper, where the temperature is more to their liking.

If you plan to take your boat to Lake Eucumbene for trolling in February you need a downrigger or overhead reels with six colours of 12lb lead-core line, with a 10m leader of 6lb monofilament and 40m of backing. If you haven’t rigged up like this before, ask for help in local tackle stores.

Good spots include around the dam wall, Tolbar, Powerline, Coppermine Bay, Grace Lea Island and Cemetery Point but there are plenty more places.

Make sure you don’t troll too quickly. With winged lures the best speed is 2.5-4kmh. I like to be in 8-40m of water.

WEATHER WATCH

When you’re fishing large inland stretches of water, watching the weather is very important, and Lake Eucumbene is the largest inland stretch of water in eastern Australia. With the support of Snowy Hydro, the Lake Eucumbene Chamber of Commerce has purchased a weather station and on www.eucumbenechamber.org.au there’s a link to Adaminaby weather which will give information including wind speed and direction, temperature, rainfall, humidity, dew point, moon phase and lots of other data.

This information is updated every 10 minutes and will be of great value to all anglers, particularly boaties. The chamber is also setting up a webcam.

For regular updates about fishing information in this area visit www.alpinetouristpark.com.au/fishing.shtml and www.adaminabyangler.com.au/reports.shtml. To find out everything that Adaminaby and Eucumbene have to offer visit www.alpinetouristpark.com.au/adaminaby.html and www.visitadaminaby.com.au.

Dignitaries gather for the opening of the revamped Gaden Trout Hatchery around one of many outside concrete fingerling tanks.

Alex Gavric proudly shows off another of his good catches, a 1.5kg brown.

Kevin Gowen fished the Eucumbene River with a black Woolly Bugger for this lovely 49cm brown.

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