Dig deep for bigger trout
  |  First Published: December 2008

Cup weekend was a huge success. Khancoban Lakeside Caravan Resort hosted a number of keen river anglers, including Phill Jones from this very magazine. Phill and his mates were rewarded with up to 20 trout per day, which were all carefully released.

Nymphs were the fly of choice, and the largest fish was 4-5lb. The Lower Swampy Plains River, on its day, must rank as one of Australia’s top five trout streams. It’s great to see so many happy fishermen.

Dave Pickering, of Goulburn Valley Fly Fishing, spent an excellent week with clients, again catching up to 20 fish a day.

Snowy Hydro has conducted their five yearly tests on the Khancoban Pondage’s automatic overflow release. This provided anglers with a rising water level for the past fortnight, and what a time they had! Some excellent trout to 4kg have been taken. Worms were the obvious choice of bait, with mudeye a close second. Water levels have now returned to normal, but the Pondage is still very cold, which is great for trout!

We have about two more months of good river fishing down here in the lowlands. After Christmas, Tooma Dam and the higher streams, being cooler, will make for better daytime fishing.

Always take some warm clothing heading up to these areas, there is usually a temperature differential of at least ten degrees. Another safety tip is to hire an EPIRB form National Parks here in Khancoban.

Summer fishing in Khancoban is not as reliable as it used to be, having been affected by drought and the lack of water in the Snowy-Hydro storages. With system storages at around 25% of capacity, we don’t get the constant injections of icy Hydro water that we usually enjoy.

The trout are still there, though, usually along the old riverbed, which is deepest part of the lake. Lead line and deeper diving lures are the go. I remember last summer we had a park full of fishers complaining about the poor fishing. Mick Presnell came up for the day to fish with his father. Using his fish finder and bibless rattlers, he produced five trout on the first night. To prove it was no fluke he went out the next morning and caught seven up to 3kg. Needless to say there were a few jaws dropped by that effort!

Summer fishing is more demanding – but the rewards are there.

Wayne Smith with a 3kg brown trout from Khancoban Pondage caught on worm.

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