November 18, 2010 was a special occasion for Blowering Dam – it was the first time since 1993 that it reached capacity and began to overflow its spillway.
This was exciting for anglers and the general community and locals and tourists flocked to the spillway to watch this rare event.
It was also sad to watch big golden perch, Murray cod, carp, redfin and trout swept over the wall and down into the Tumut River.
Because Blowering’s wall is so high, some of these fish perished and their carcasses were scattered along the banks of the river.
But a lot fish survived and made for some spectacular fishing in the Tumut River all the way until the season closure.
It was common to stand on bridges or high banks and watch several massive golden perch or a big cod cruise past or just sit there tight to a snag. Sadly, the ever-reliable meatheads got wind of these isolated fish and I heard of many being caught on set lines, bag limits exceeded and I even heard of a few chaps catching these large cod and goldens and selling them to a local Chinese restaurant.
This behaviour is frowned on by the fishing fraternity as a whole because it reflects on all of us. Once these offenders are caught I hope they feel the full force of the law.
Blowering has held almost steady since last November and still hovers around capacity. With 12 months since the margins of the dam were flooded, the fish have had time to adjust to their new environment and have found their own little pieces of real estate.
November golden perch action at Blowering is normally spectacular and there has been so much tucker around for the fish that I expect this year to be even better.
It won’t surprise me to hear of several 9kg-plus goldens being caught this year. A 20lb golden is held in similar regard to a 100lb Murray cod – both are relatively rare and other than in Blowering, the only other place you can go and have a good chance of catching one of these trophy sized goldens is good old Lake Windermere.
So if you want a chance of hooking a golden of a life time I strongly suggest you get to Blowering this month and fish hard.
The goldens will be pretty active and most techniques will catch fish.
Medium-sized yabbies or big, juicy scrub worms fished around the margins of the dam, particularly at night, will give you a good chance of hooking a few.
Trolling or casting small hardbodies, lipless crankbaits, blades or soft plastics will also work well and this is a great way of searching for active fish.
Best strategies for chasing trout in the Tumut River depend on what the authorities have lined up for the flow volumes.
Is it going to be high and raging or slow and steady? It’s anyone’s guess.
If the river is flowing fairly slowly, it really doesn’t get much easier. Bait drifting in the riffle runs with garden worms, PowerBait, wood grubs or maggots is the best way of getting good numbers of fish but fishing in a fixed position in some of the larger, slower holes will also get you a few fish.
If you want really big numbers then spinning or fly-fishing is the way to go.
Indicator nymphing with either two nymphs or a nymph and a Glo Bug will account for many fish and spinning upstream with small spinners and hardbodies is another good way of hooking heaps of fish in the low flows.
If the river is high and fast there will still be plenty of fish caught but they will fall to fewer anglers because the difficulties involved with fishing fast flows deter most.
But if you know how to fish the high flows, you can still be consistently rewarded.
The key is to keep moving and cover as much water as possible. Also fish every bit of water that you can get a cast into, because when the river is high the fish will sit just about anywhere in widespread fast-flowing, well-oxygenated water.Reads: 2564