Early and late for best bites
  |  First Published: December 2007

The warmer weather is here and we’re getting more insects hatching in the afternoon and evening. It’s very exciting when you can see fish rising because it’s up to you to present the right fly to fool the fish to get a hook-up and a nice fish for the smoker.

Lake Eucumbene is still rising and fishing has been excellent for a long time. We have had a few days on and off when the catch rate has been down, mainly because of a quick drop in barometric pressure and gale-force winds, but soon everything was back to normal.

Best time to fish is from sunrise to 10am and from 2pm to dark but there’s nothing wrong with continuing fishing well into the night. Some of the biggest fish are caught at night and it can be so peaceful – there’s only you, a clear sky and millions of stars shining down on you.

Best baits during the warmer months are mudeyes under a running float. For best results grease your fishing line and have the wind behind you to get the float to stay out from the bank

The normal year-round set-up is a running sinker with a 1m leader. Half-way down you attach a 30 cm dropper to the main line with a small hook for your favourite PowerBait and a worm or a grub at the end of the line on a bigger hook.

Most banks around the lake produce fish but on arrival seek advice from the local tackle shop or caravan park.


You can always expect to catch at least a few fish after half a day on the water but your success depends of your knowledge and the equipment you are using.

In Summer with the water temperature rising, lead-core line or downriggers are a must so you can get down deeper during the middle of the day when most fish are avoiding the warmer water in the shallow bays. A good depth sounder is an important part of your equipment to inform you about bottom structure and depth.

Best times are very early mornings and late afternoon-evenings. Good lures to use are winged lures like Tassie Devils or Lofty’s Cobras which work really well and don’t cost a fortune so you can afford to lose some.

If you fish with four rods I suggest two flatline and two lead-core lines with four colours and 15m to 20m of leader. Tassie Devil S12 Sunburst and the Lofty’s Cobra Eucumbene Special are very good lures to start with.

Try around the Power Line, Copper Mine Bay, Grace Lea Island and now the water level is up a bit, try Frying Pan Arm and Buckenderra.


It has been very rewarding for some regular anglers who like walking the banks of the river or lake in hunt of a cruising fish or a big brown hiding in ambush around timber. One group recently caught three nice browns, the biggest a whopping 3.5kg, and numerous rainbows which were released back into the lake. When you see a cluster of trees in the water that’s always a good spot to fish.


With a fairly good flow expected in the Eucumbene and Murrumbidgee rivers and their feeder creeks, fishing should be pretty good over the next month or so.

Hoppers should start to appear in mid-December and their arrival generally is the catalyst for some exciting fishing in the streams and the lakes.

Good numbers of rainbows are about and some very good quality browns have been caught over recent weeks. Dry flies worth giving a run include: hopper patterns, Red Tag, Yellow or Red Humpies, Kosciuszko Duns, Shaving Brush and Royal Wulff.

Nymphs fished under a strike indicator will also produce fish or an alternative to a strike indicator entails rigging the nymph about 20cm to 30cm under a dry fly to cover both scenarios at the one time.

Remember to watch your flies closely; many takes are missed due to a lack of concentration.

Each of the three major impoundments provides its own fly-fishing challenges. Eucumbene is a vast expanse of water with many kilometres of fishable shoreline. Some popular areas include Seven Gates, Cemetery Point, the Old Adaminaby area, Buckenderra, Frying Pan and Yens Bay.

Although most fly fishers predominantly use wets to fish the lake, some superb dry-fly action can be had from time to time, particularly in a couple of weeks when the grasshoppers are about.

Loch-style fishing is also becoming popular and Col Sinclair of the Adaminaby Angler and I have had some great sessions with this technique on Lake Eucumbene and Tantangara.

Tantangara is fishing extremely well and while the water level holds I expect this to continue. Woolly Worms, Woolly Buggers, Nymphs, Mrs Simpsons and Tom Jones consistently produce good fish in this lake.

Three Mile Dam, near Kiandra, is also a great area to fly fish and although the fish are usually not huge, trout to 1.5kg can be expected. Fly fishing this dam at dusk and at night can be most rewarding and the scenery alone makes it a great place to visit.

For regular fishing updates visit www.alpinetouristpark.com.au/fishing.shtml or www.adaminabyangler.com.au/reports.shtml . To find out everything that Adaminaby and Lake Eucumbene have to offer go to www.alpinetouristpark.com.au/adaminaby.html or www.visitadaminaby.com.au

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