Lake level continues to fall
  |  First Published: May 2007

With Lake Eucumbene levels still falling, a lot of passionate debate prevails, particularly concerning the ‘official’ levels as posted by Snowy Hydro.

We contacted regional marketing manager of Snowy Hydro David Hogan to discuss this matter and found him to be most co-operative. He explained the methodology used to determine the levels and, after listening to his explanation, we are comfortable with what he said.

At the very least it provides some consistency rather than the huge differentials in the local estimates! David also informed us that people are most welcome to visit www.snowyhydro.com.au and access regularly updated information including lake levels and forecasts for the month ahead.

The ramp at Old Adaminaby continues to be well maintained and launching is not a problem.

As we fish the lake now it is interesting to see so many objects appearing out of the water that haven’t seen the light of day since the early 1960s. Almost every day becomes a new history lesson and the interest has become enormous. One local wag suggested that when the lake falls another couple of metres, the annual Adaminaby Cup will be able to be run on the old racetrack and we can all sit on the foundations of the old pub and enjoy a cold drink or two. We will have more about some of these aspects in a month or so when we will do a feature on the Lake and some of its history.

Fishing continues to be very good. We regularly comment on trolling, bait fishing and fly fishing but we should probably mention that spinning is enormously successful from the banks and from boats, especially for those who use soft plastics.

The methods we adopt to catch fish are ever-evolving and preparedness to adapt may often be the difference between success and failure.

While we’re talking about different techniques a lot of people ask if PowerBait really works and how to rig it. Yes, it works and while there are a multitude of ways people rig it, perhaps the most popular is as illustrated hereabouts.

Brown trout are beginning to move towards their spawning areas and if we have some decent rain, there should be further activity. With the water as low as it is and with only a reasonable flow in the Eucumbene River, local pundits are undecided about this year’s spawning run.

But if and when the fish do move, there will be some leviathan tackle-busters making their way up the river and many a tale of woe will told by fly fishos unceremoniously smashed up by these big fish.

Don’t forget that special regulations apply from May 1 to the Eucumbene and its tributaries up to the flying fox and that upstream of the flying fox and all tributaries are Totally Closed to fishing from May 1 until the start of the October long weekend. Check the NSW Recreational Freshwater Fishing Guide.


Flatlining is now becoming more successful with the fish active early and late in the day. Lead-core line and downriggers can still be employed during the day in the deeper areas.

We have noticed some large groups of fish congregating around the power lines, Tolbar and the Dam Wall. Early in the day, any lures with orange as the predominant colour have been very successful.

As always if the lures you are using are proving unsuccessful on a particular day, make a change. Lofty’s Cobras in numbers 100, 48, 13, 6, 17 and yellow winged 100 and 48 continue to produce fish.


The Eucumbene and Murrumbidgee rivers have fished rather indifferently over the past month with most of the fish holing up in the larger pools and not really coming out to play often. Try Red Tag, Royal Wulff, Geehi Beetle, Royal Coachman or Royal Humpy in a dry or small Woolly Worms or Nymphs in a wet.

If flyfishing the lake, late afternoons and nights are best with Woolly Worms and Woolly Buggers, weighted Woolly Buggers and Craig’s Night-times proving successful.

In deeper water intermediate lines are beginning to improve success rates.

Col Sinclair of the Adaminaby Angler and Peter recently put the boat in at Tantangara to check the area out and found the fish very co-operative. It was absolutely fantastic to see vibrant green grassy banks right to the water’s edge and beyond.

We drifted parallel to the shore and cast No 10 Brown Woolly Worms into about 30cm of water and got hammered by browns and rainbows up to 700g. The fish were in excellent condition and fought well above their weight.

Tantangara is often overlooked by visiting flyfishers but we recommend it as well worth the effort.


Bait anglers continue to do well using a combination of worms and PowerBait or grubs and PowerBait. If you are able to get hold of some mudeyes you will also do well.

There have been a couple of really good gully-rakers of storms recently and if you fish those areas where some debris has been washed into the lake you should be extremely confident of getting fish.

Spinning these same areas using the Snowy Minnow, Lofty’s Cobras or Tassie Devils should also produce.

While you’re here enjoying your fishing you must make a point of seeing our iconic Big Trout, which has recently been magnificently restored by John and Maureen Ruiz of Skins Alive.

This regional icon is beside the Snowy Mountains Highway at Adaminaby, which has everything a small town should have, including easy access to fishing in the creeks, rivers and lakes, meals, shops and fresh air. To find out everything that Adaminaby offers visit www.alpinetouristpark.com.au/adaminaby.html

For regular updates visit www.alpinetouristpark.com.au/fishing.shtml and www.adaminabyangler.com.au/reports.html

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