The fishing’s snow good!
  |  First Published: October 2008

This spring and the autumn to come have all the hallmarks of being two of the best fishing seasons for many a year.

Rain has been falling steadily in Khancoban for the past two months, slowly replenishing the groundwater lost through a dozen years of unrelenting drought. Our traditional spring flood is a real possibility, which would be the best medicine for the Murray River system. All these rivers need a good flush, which good spring rains combined with higher than usual snowfall should bring.

The Snowy Hydro cloud-seeding experiment, which claims to add 15% to average snowfall, has just been expanded to another 20 locations, doubling the area covered. It certainly seems to be working – we’ve just had our first flood warning for a number of years!

Khancoban, being just inside NSW, is fortunate in that the streams and dams around this area have been stocked with fry and fingerlings. This is critical to the speedy recovery of trout stocks after the prolonged drought. I can but sympathise with Victorian trout anglers, whose pleas for restocking in streams and rivers are being largely ignored by DPI Fisheries.

In the meantime a well-stocked Khancoban awaits for your fishing pleasure! Recent weeks have seen some excellent trout caught, mostly of 1-3kg. They are still feeding in the grass beds, predominantly on snails but the occasional worm is still on the menu too.

Lures need to dive fairly deep. I have found most anglers are fishing too shallow and are not getting down to the trout (e.g. trolling too fast with not enough weight). Lead lining is a good way to get down to the right depth, but downriggers are probably overkill.

Best lure colours are red, blue and pink. As long as you are pulling a little weed, you are at about the right depth.

We are also starting to see some decent redfin of over 1kg, which are mostly being caught on worms fished in the reed beds.

Bookings at the Khancoban Lakeside Caravan Resort have been very strong up until Christmas, so book early to avoid missing your favourite accommodation. With fuel prices dropping back (at least a bit!), take advantage of the improved conditions. With good spring rain, I’m brave enough to predict it will be a memorable season.

Don’t forget to mark your calendars and get early bird entries in for Khancoban Trout Fest November 22-29, 2008. It’s going to be huge this year, with great prizes and great fun.

Paul Southwell holds the kind of trout that were caught in Spring 2004 – the last spring that followed heavy snowfall. Identical conditions have been experienced this year, so hopefully the fishing will be just as memorable.

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