Creeks dry up
  |  First Published: December 2002

Creeks dry up

Please, Huey, send it down! Lack of rain has affected the fishing on the Tablelands.

Those little creeks through the Oberon, Lithgow, and Bathurst districts are all but dry. Any that are still flowing are spring-fed. I urge all anglers fishing these to practise restraint, maybe even giving the small streams a miss altogether. These streams will bounce back much quicker when we get rain if we leave them alone now.

Before the water got too low, the fishing was good. Josh Hutchins and Geoff King won the Sydney Fly Rodders comp held in the district in early November. They caught a total of 3.9 metres of fish for the weekend, including a lovely stream brown around 1.8kg on dry fly.

Darrel Fletcher unfortunately missed the comp due to illness. In the weeks previous to the comp Darrel caught some lovely rainbows from Thompsons Creek Dam, one day catching a 3.6kg, a 2.7kg and a 1.8kg fish all on Woolly Bugger flies fished deep and slow on an intermediate line. Darrel is a switched-on angler who works part-time at Anglers World at North Rocks in Sydney. Well worth calling in and having a chat.

Oberon Dam

Even though levels are down in Oberon, as they are in most impoundments in the Central Tablelands, the dam is fishing reasonably well with some long, lean browns coming in on lures and flies.

Bait has been best. Scrub worms fished on light threadlines with very little in the way of a sinker, should be fished baits with an open bail. Set the rod in a holder at a low angle and as the fish picks up the bait and starts moving off, set the hook.

Fly anglers should start to catch up in the fish stakes at Oberon this month – just be prepared to take the nocturnal approach.

Many of the local impoundments where boat access is allowed will be very busy over January. Getting out early or later in the day is one way of avoiding the water ski traffic and these are better times to fish, anyway.

Going deep is generally the best way fish, especially during daylight. Trout, redfin and our native species all tend to go a little deeper in January. So drag out the downriggers, the lead-core lines and the paravanes and start dredging those depths.

Baits fished from the boat should be sent deeper, too. Slow-moving bait whether it’s a worm, yabby or mudeye, will nearly always catch more fish. Just make sure you take plenty of sinkers and hooks. And be prepared to lose a few rigs.

Chifley goldens

There have been quite a few golden perch caught in Ben Chifley over the past few months. It’s probably not the sort of place you would go to deliberately target goldens but they are turning up more frequently in catches. They are mostly not big fish, with the average around 1.5kg to 2.5kg, although I’ve heard whispers of fish up to 5kg.

Ben Chifley has always had a sprinkling of golden perch but the past few years have seen an increase in stockings and it’s good to see at least some of them surviving the redfin gauntlet.

At that size, some golden perch should have started to turn the tables on the hordes of redfin pin fry getting around at the moment.

W and W

No, it’s not the return of world wrestling or a promo for Woollies, it’s just a short way of saying Wyangala and Windamere. Both dams have had falling water levels for a long time and this has affected the fishing, mainly I think due to anglers having to constantly adjust to the changing topography. I guess the same could be said for the fish!

Although moving fish are generally hungry, the whole food chain gets a shake-up when water drops quickly. Damien Webb and the boys from Cowra have been scoring a few cod and small goldens on trolled and cast deep-divers.

Damien is hard to miss on the water – they don’t call him the Big Native for nothing. He is a great bloke and is quite happy to share fishing information with just about anyone. He stays on the ball and always does reasonably well.

Yours truly was lucky enough to take out Champion Angler at the Windamere Golden Classic. Chris Burbidge, Gary Cook and I also took out the coveted Steve Starling Teams Trophy.

It was a great weekend for us. I have covered the winning techniques in depth in an article in the tournament news section. You can catch me on 2KY Hi-Tide, Australia’s No1 fishing and boating radio program, between 5.am and 5.30 on Saturdays.



Alan Deseram spotted this fish cruising in a Lake Oberon backwater. A carefully presented brown nymph did the trick.


Late afternoon on Wyangala Dam trolling this deep-diving Whitmore was the undoing of this small cod, along with quite a few of his mates.


Matt Rees holds up a nice golden perch for the camera. This one took a trolled deep-diving Bennet Merlin. Plain old purple was the colour. Purple may not look good in the packet but it’s in the water where it really counts.

N04- Lake Wallace has been quite of late with the warmer weather. This nice Rainbow Trout was caught when the weather was a tad cooler.

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