High water, hot fishing
  |  First Published: February 2008

With an increase in water levels across the board, this month is looking good for some great fishing.

Early morning or late afternoon sessions will be your best chances for trout and native species.

With plenty of large insects getting around above the water, the dry fly is a great option at this time of year, especially those of us who are fishing with a fly rod for the first time.

Large, bulky beetles, grasshoppers, bugs and moths all hit the water pretty hard so a wayward presentation from a beginner can actually attract trout from some distance.

Large, bushy flies that float high in the water are also easy to see in the dim light of early morning or late afternoon.

Short leaders can also be used at this time of year and will actually help you turn over bulky flies. I have caught trout at this time of year on leaders as short as 1.2m.

A dropper tied off your main leader, or off the shank of the forward hook, is also a good option. Smaller nymphs dangling below a bulky beetle pattern can sometimes prove irresistible at this time of year.


The surface strike of a Murray cod is hard to explain in words.

One minute you’re staring intensely off into the distance as your lure bloops, splashes, or buzzes across the surface and the only other noises are those of the mosquitoes buzzing around your head or the fluttering of bat wings through the trees.

In an instant, all hell breaks loose. That humble offering has just disappeared in huge shower of water, the noise is something akin to throwing an empty bucket upside down in the water and then the rod in your hands is likely to be reefed out violently if you haven’t got a firm grip on things.

Quite often you miss your first few fish, mainly because your first reaction is to reef the rod upwards, pulling the lure up and away from the fish.

Better to leave the rod down and wait for the pull of the fish before setting the hook sideways.

If the fish misses, which they do quite often, the lure is still in the vicinity and will frequently be hit again.

What a buzz, and very addictive!


Redfin are great fun to catch, especially for the kids. Ben Chifley Dam has a good population and they can be caught by a number of different techniques.

Try drifting in a boat in the early morning before the wind gets up and bobbing baits or heavy metal jigs down deep is also a great way to score a feed. Repeat your successful drifts and move on when things are quiet.

Carcoar Dam is also great for redfin, although the level there has been low for quite some time. In a way, this has been good because the boat traffic there is much sparser.

Remember, you can catch me bright and early most Saturdays on Hi-Tide on radio 2KY with Kieran and Bruce, usually between 5am and 5.30.

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