Tackling tricky trout
  |  First Published: December 2013

It’s hot, very hot, and this can make for some difficult freshwater fishing for a couple of reasons. While our natives love warmer water, there is a point where it becomes too warm and they will shut down.

The second reason is that it’s just far too hot to be out on the water in the middle of the day!


In many respects the Murrumbidgee River doesn’t necessarily heat up to the same degree that our local impoundments or smaller rivers do. This is due to the constant cold water releases from the bottom of Blowering Dam. These releases tend to keep the waterway much more active throughout January and February.

Anglers need to focus their attention on periods of low light at dawn and dusk. This is when the fish will be at their most active. Casting spinnerbaits or trolling hardbodies tight to structure is always the best option before and during sunrise and on sunset.

Once the sun has risen a little, casting spinnerbaits becomes a much more fruitful venture as you can really get them right in close to almost any piece of structure.

At about 9am things really start to slow down, and your best option then is to baitfish under a shady tree or have a swim and wait for the afternoon session.

I personally find that the evenings are always much more productive when they are spent purely casting. I’m not sure why this is, but it does seem to be more productive than trolling.


There is a misconception that impoundment trout shut down throughout the really hot months, and as a result of this old wives’ tale not too many anglers target them throughout January and February. While to some extent the trout can be a little tricky, the reality is that you just need to adjust your approach slightly to achieve success.

It makes perfect sense to spend the majority of your fishing energy on dawn and dusk, as this when the resident trout will be at their most active. Start well before sunrise and fish through to about 9am. I recommend starting your approach casting or trolling shallow grassy bays, and as the sun gets higher in the sky gradually move out to deeper water. Hopping dark coloured plastics works very well on the steeper banks as you get deeper into the morning. You can reverse this strategy of an evening as the sun is setting.

Not all anglers have the luxury of a few days to fish the lake, and as a result they want to fish right through the hottest parts of the day. While this creates some difficulty in catching good numbers of fish, it is possible. Probably one of the biggest influences on trout activity is water temperature, and with Eucumbene being such a huge expanse of water, the water temperate can vary by up to 3ºC in certain places. The key to finding active fish in the hottest part of the day is searching out these cooler pockets of water. Finding these will make all the difference.

Those anglers on the long wand should have their best chance of success with mudeye patterns after sunset. Be prepared to fish well into the night. It can be a challenge for those who are new to flyfishing but the frustrations that come with flyfishing at night are far outweighed by the quality of the fishing!

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