When I think about January, I think of long hot days, camping and holiday time. January sure is a great time of the year to be in the outdoors and what better way to enjoy the outdoors then by fishing and camping? Blowering dam has free form camping around the lake, and is a popular spot at this time of year. The lake is massive and there is heaps of camping room so even if there are a lot of people around you’ll still be able to find yourself a nice little area away from the crowds.
The fishing can be fantastic in the lake in January but early and late starts are required if you want to catch fish regularly and not get roasted in the process. Concentrate on the natives at night, and if you want to fish in the middle of the day either target the redfin or hit the most wind swept area you can find. Even on super hot days natives can be found in these well-oxygenated areas feeding heavily on all of the disorientated baitfish and dislodged yabbies, shrimp and crays.
The Tumut River has been up and down all season, when it has been down it has fished reasonably well. High flow rates and plenty of rain, especially through spring, made it almost unfishable at times but those that put in the hard yards still managed a few nice fish.
Big grasshopper pattern flies have worked well recently and should continue to work this month. If you can’t get one to come up to your dry fly I’d suggest tying on a black, brown or red copper john weighted nymph dropper to achieve results. If you find you are only getting them on the nymphs then get rid of the dry fly completely chuck on an indicator and add another nymph. Fishing this way is not quite as much fun as getting them to rise to the dry but once mastered, this technique can yield fish when nothing else is working.
Spinning with Rooster tails, Rapala CDs, IMA Sukaris or soft plastics almost guarantees you a fish in the Tumut River and spinning with the above mentioned lures has already brought many big fish undone this season. The smaller creeks in the area have fished better than the Tumut river and although the fish are smaller in size they are much easier to catch and in bigger numbers. If you feel the river is too high, go and explore one of the many small streams in the area.
The time has come to head to your favourite stretch of river in the hope of catching that big Murray cod of a lifetime. The ‘Bidgee’ has had plenty of water flushed down it to suit irrigator and electricity demands which, for those that like to fish from a boat, is pleasing as the higher water level makes most of the river accessible. Anglers have been blessed with a great start to the season with lots of Murray cod landed and it’s only the canoeists and kayakers that are unhappy at the moment as the river is simply flowing too fast for them to get out there and get among them.
Baitfishing in the deeper holes has been very successful. Shrimp, if you can find them, are easily the best bait to use in the river but juicy grubs (preferably bardies) are the gun bait for targeting Murray cod. Big scrub worms will put you in with a great chance at any of the species mentioned, but if the carp are taking your worms too often then try using medium sized yabbies and you should start to see more natives then carp on the end of your line.Casting lures can be a bit difficult in the higher flows as it’s hard to present your lure properly, however, sticking to back waters behind large logs, in back eddies, flooded creek mouths and on the inside of bends on the river can make the process easier. The water in these areas is much slower moving and is more suitable for the natives. Fishing in these areas in high flow will give you the best chances of hooking a few hard fighting natives on lures.Reads: 776