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Rivers recover dramatically
  |  First Published: June 2012



Local waterways have staged a quick recovery since the floods came through earlier in the year.

Many people, myself included, thought it would take at least six months before we would start to see fishing this good.

One of the greatest benefits of this quick recovery is the fact that late Autumn and early Winter should provide some of the best Murray cod fishing this area has to offer.

But be mindful of a ‘new’ river, by which I mean new snags in places that they weren’t before. Take care when boating.

Murray cod in Old Man Creek and the Murrumbidgee are responding to well to hardbodies and spinnerbaits.

Trolling has probably been the more consistent technique but cast spinnerbaits have been taking some of the bigger specimens.

There are still a few golden perch being reeled in but don’t expect to catch too many now that the cooler weather is settling in.

There are a lot of cod over 80cm swimming about and now is the time to target these fish with hardbodies from 90mm-120mm and spinnerbaits with big Colorado blades.

EUCUMBENE

Anybody who enjoys putting in the effort to catch big brown trout needs to leave right now and head to the Providence flats of Lake Eucumbene.

There are already reports coming in about the browns starting to move up around Providence and into the Eucumbene River for their annual spawning run, so by the time this goes to print the area should be swarming with fish.

As we head towards the close of the rivers on June 11 we will start to see a huge number of big brown trout succumbing to bait, lure and fly on the Providence flats.

The Eucumbene River will also hold a heap of bigger fish as these spawners head upstream, but we have only a week or two left to target these as the season draws to a close.

Nymphs will be your best bet and, as much as I hate to say it, Globugs will be a great option as well. Be kind to these spawning fish and don’t keep any because they are ensuring the lake’s fishing future.

Trolling would have to be one of the most effective methods of catching the big browns that aggregate in this part of the lake.

Big lures are the key to success. I liken fishing for trophy trout to trolling for big Murray cod – use big lures (relative to the species) and be prepared to put in a lot of hours between strikes.

The great thing about trolling for big trout is you can put a couple of big lures and some smaller ones in your trolling spread. This way the smaller lures should keep you occupied with consistent results until the big fella nails a lure. Rapalas of 11cm and 13cm are the most reliable trophy trout lures.

Bait fishers should use fresh scrub worms or bardi grubs and, as usual, rig them very lightly and be patient.

Much like the trolling method, your best bet is to fish PowerBait on one rod and a fresh scrubby or bardi on the other. The theory is that the PowerBait will enable you to tangle with a few rainbows while eventually the fresh bait will entice a bigger fish.

From a lake fly perspective, I always like to hedge my bets on a dual rig of a black or olive Woolly Bugger in front of a brown or black nymph fished on a slow strip.

A heavy tippet is essential due to the number of thistles and shrubs that are now under water and once you hook up you really need to muscle the fish, otherwise they will entangle you.

A minimum 6lb tippet would be for those who like a challenge, but I wouldn’t start with anything less than 8lb.

It all sounds very easy doesn’t it? And it is, to an extent. Trophy fish require only two things, patience and persistence.

You have to put in the hours to reap the rewards, and the rewards will be lifelong memories.

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