Tolling up a storm
  |  First Published: March 2007

Lake Eucumbene is where you can troll for days without ‘doing’ the same water twice.

Currently the water volume is one and half times that of Sydney Harbour and we reckon that that’s enough water for anyone to enjoy a spot of freshwater fishing. We would obviously prefer the Lake to be full, when it holds more than nine times the volume of Sydney Harbour, but we still have plenty of water up here and we’re very happy with that.

This year’s summer fishing has been excellent and March is one of our favourite fishing months, so we all have great expectations. During February at Lake Eucumbene the fishing was brilliant for those who read the conditions and fished accordingly. The Lake fished well for all types of fishers – trollers, bait, fly and spinners. Soft plastics are also being used more and more. Early morning and late evenings provided the best results, with some very good quality rainbows and browns being caught.

Both the Eucumbene and Murrumbidgee rivers produced good fish for those who knew what they were doing. Grasshopper and beetle patterns were the most successful flies. A couple of thunderstorms produced some great ant hatches and the fishing was nothing short of spectacular.

March should fish pretty much the same as February. Here are some suggestions that might help.


The fishing is better in the early mornings and late afternoons until dark, although if you’re using lead core line or downriggers good fish can be caught right throughout the day. Flatlining the edges right out to 20-30m of water has produced fish, and we expect this to continue this month.

Tassie Devils and Lofty’s Cobras are the most used lures. The brighter colours, sparkly golds, greens and pinks have proved the most successful.


Bait fishing has been very good and we expect this to continue. Take care when rigging and don’t use overly large hooks nor line that is too heavy. Most successful fishermen use 4lb to 8lb line in either of mono or braid. The best baits at this time of year are grubs, Powerbait, mudeyes and hoppers. Fish early in the morning or at dusk and into the night.


Fly fishing this time of year is concentrating on the Lake and the Eucumbene and Murrumbidgee rivers. Most of the feeder creeks are now devoid of most – if any – fishable water. The best patterns in the rivers are grasshoppers and beetles with similar patterns flowing through to the Lake, as well as Hamill’s Killers and Woolly Worms before dark and Mrs Simpsons, Craig’s Nightime and Muddler Minnows after dark.

Don’t forget when fly fishing to tread softly, not only when the water is crystal clear but at all times. Also remember to ‘Limit your kill and don’t kill your limit’.


To conclude this month’s article, here’s a bit of a ‘beef’ about fishing etiquette… or the lack of it.

On a recent trip up north chasing those magnificent metre-plus barramundi at Lake Awoonga it took me the better part of the first day to locate some fish. Early the next morning in the middle of a really hot session – five barra in the first hour with two over the magic metre mark – a bloke in his 5m boat fitted with a 120hp motor appeared in the small bay in which I was fishing doing the proverbial million miles an hour!

He pulled alongside throwing a two foot bow wave the size of a block of flats and enquired how the fishing was going and what I was using. It only took me a couple of seconds to very clearly enunciate my thoughts and he quickly spun his boat around and departed at about the same speed as he had arrived. What a halfwit! How often do we all see this sort of behaviour? If we all showed a little bit of courtesy and consideration to others we’d all enjoy our fishing outings a lot more.

We look forward to seeing you all at Lake Eucumbene in the magnificent Snowy Mountains, and of course we’re sure no one will be exhibiting the type of behaviour seen recently on Lake Awoonga.

For regular updates about fishing information in this unique area, visit www.alpinetouristpark.com.au/fishing.shtml and www.adaminabyangler.com.au/reports.html.



Rod and Kate Margetts have a holiday van at the Alpine Tourist Park and are regular and enthusiastic anglers at Lake Eucumbene. Here Kate has a 3.5lb rainbow and Rod is holding a 2.5lb brown caught trolling in the Lake.


Geoff Brown caught this lovely 5.5lb brown after dark, bait fishing with grubs.


Rob Darling, his son Stuart with Brendon and Lachlan Myers show off a few 2lb browns they trolled up at Lake Eucumbene recently. The total catch was 16 fish, making for a great trip.

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