The regional marketing manager of Snowy Hydro, David Hogan, called in to have a chat recently and to share some forecasts about water releases. He also confirmed that Snowy Hydro will continue to maintain the Denison Street boat ramp at Adaminaby with the removal of silt and minor earthworks as long as it remains a viable launching point as the lake continues to fall.
He said that this arrangement will be reviewed at the end of June. In quite a free-ranging discussion told us that being a very keen fisherman himself, he and senior management were very much aware of the deleterious effects to the fishery of continually falling water levels.
However, he said Snowy Hydro had a legal obligation to meet irrigators’ water allocations while water was available and while there is any usable water left, Snowy Hydro had to generate power.
When the lake was first built the local fishing and tourism industry developed and these now sustain the region’s economy. The financial viability of these local businesses is now under extreme pressure which is a by-product of the demands for water by others. In our view, there has to be a better way of managing our depleting water resources with the interests of all stakeholders considered.
The Lake is expected to fall at least by another two metres by the end of May, which means that we will be launching our boats some 50m further out than currently. As these drops occur we encourage boaties to be extremely vigilant on their travels around the lake to avoid striking obstructions.
Almost daily, more and more of Old Adaminaby is greeting the sunshine and the interest this has generated has been enormous. Old family homes, treasured possessions, things that their original owners believed would never again see the light of day, are surfacing after over 50 years.
These treasured items are not ‘flotsam and jetsam’, they are in no way similar to items that are washed up on the sea shore. Everyone knows that you can’t go pillaging around shipwrecks because it’s forbidden by law.
Items which are now being found on the lake bed, whether big or small, are historically significant in terms of the building of the Snowy Scheme and they therefore morally belong to the local community.
Visitors and anglers know that over 50 years ago the town of Adaminaby was moved so that Australia could benefit from the building of the Snowy Scheme. Local people gave up their homes and properties.
These special items are now heritage-listed and we would hate to see anyone prosecuted if they mistakenly attempted to remove them from the area. Moreover, these historic materials begin to deteriorate immediately they are relocated and specialist conservation techniques have to be used if they are to survive.
The local people are lucky because they have this support from the NSW Heritage Council so these rare items won’t be lost. This means that people will be able to see them in their proper location for many, many years into the future.
The fishing has been fairly patchy with some great days interspersed with some not so great. The barometer has fluctuated markedly, influencing catches. While some of the fish have been in fairly poor condition there have also been some rippers and we have heard of quite a few big fish being hooked and doing what big trout do best – smashing tackle and swimming away.
A round of the NSW Fly Fishing Championships was recently held in the area with two sessions at Tantangara and two at Eucumbene. Most competitors found the fishing fairly tough although some good catches were recorded.
Please remember that all creeks and streams are totally closed from the end of the long weekend in June to the start of the October long weekend.
As the weather gets colder, thermals and many layers of clothing are the order of the day. Winter can produce some of the best fishing and the trout are usually in very good condition.
Early starts are no longer necessary and most of the fishing occurs in the more ‘social’ hours. As well as warm clothing a thermos of your favourite hot brew, generously laced with some blood warming additives, is an essential part of any angler’s equipment for the next few months.
Flatlining around the edges and structure should produce good results. Lead-core lines are still used and most anglers run a mix of flatline and lead-core to cover a variety of depths.
With the lake so low the main basin and the areas around the Powerlines, Big Tolbar and further down toward the dam wall should produce fish. Favoured lures are Lofty's Lures Eucumbene Special yellow wing numbers 40Y, 48Y, 66 24, 14, 100Y, 36 and Tassie Devils PP Glow and numbers 56, Y62, Y5 and Y89.
Good fly fishing can be had from Eucumbene, Tantangara and Three Mile Dam. While most of the action will be centred around wets, some days can provide enjoyable dry-fly conditions.
Loch-style fishing from boats is very successful and more fly anglers are using this technique. A prerequisite is an electric motor or a suitably rigged drogue to control the speed and direction of drift. Fly rods 3m long are commonly used and anglers need to be very confident of their casting action because two people casting from one boat can produce some very interesting moments.
Bait continue to be successful and combinations of worms and PowerBait or grubs and PowerBait are popular. If you can get mudeyes and fish them under a float you should also do well.
I sometimes think that bait anglers are the most intelligent of all trout hunters because on Wintery days and evenings they cast their bait out, rest their rods on an appropriate holder and then retreat to the comfort of warm vehicles and wait until some action occurs.
Working the edges of the lake with lures and soft plastics will also produce good results. A good tactic on windy days is to fish those banks where wave action has disturbed the edges.
Casting lures into the confluence of clear and dirty water will often result in good fish. Although this means casting into the wind, the results are worthwhile.
Good lures to use in these conditions are Lofty’s, Tassie Devils or the Snowy Minnow, all of which are fairly streamlined and cast well into the wind and can be retrieved in a multitude of different actions.
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