Rivers run hot, cold and full
  |  First Published: April 2008

The Murrumbidgee and Eucumbene rivers have been enigmatic lately a couple of afternoons producing spectacular dry-fly action for over a dozen fish and then a couple of days later the trout showed no interest.

River flows are excellent and with regular rain predicted, we are confident of good fishing until the close of the season.

Some large browns have already been patrolling the lower Eucumbene, indicating an early and active spawning run.

Best river dries include hopper patterns, Parachute Coachmen, Parachute Adams, Red Tag, Royal Humpy and Stimulators. Nymphs and small Woolly Worms have been productive wet flies.

The Lake level remains fairly constant with inflows matching outflows and fly-fishing has been quite reasonable. The level should drop a little during April-May but fishing should remain good as the surface temperature drops and trout become more active.

There have been some huge hatches of caddis and now some very good mudeye hatches.

Tantangara Dam has also fished well and its trout are in prime condition. Take plenty of warm clothing when you venture up there because a warm mountain day can turn into an icy one in the blink of an eye.

With all the interest in the new Scientific Anglers sharkskin fly line we decided to give it a test and initial results show the publicity is pretty accurate and, although different from normal fly lines, it’s a pleasure to use.


This is one of the better months to use bait from the banks; the water has cooled and the browns are cruising the shore en route to their spawning rivers or creeks.

A favourite set-up for this time of year is a 1m leader under a running sinker with a 30cm dropper with lime twist power bait attached half-way down and a fat scrub worm or bardi grub at the end.

Mudeyes are excellent but sometimes it can be a problem to find a spot with the wind behind so the bubble float doesn’t drift back to the bank. You can attach a sinker above the float but it doesn’t work as well.

Fish deeper water in the middle of the day and move to the bays in the afternoon, at night and early morning. Good spots include Adaminaby Bay, Cemetery Point, White Rock Inlet, Frying Pan Arm at Seven Gates and Providence Arm.


Small Celtas work well in rivers and bigger creeks or you can pinch a few split shot on the end of your 6lb line and attach a couple of droppers with flies above them and then fish the rivers the same way the fly-fishers do.

Lofty’s Cobras in Eucumbene special and yellow wing are the favourites of those who walk the banks during the day. A few others worth using include Lofty’s numbers 22, 48, 70, 65, 48y and 100y and Tassie Devils 03, 19, 50, 86, 89 and S12.

Casting soft plastics from boats is increasingly popular and it’s a good way to chase big browns around sunken trees or big boulders. Try those bait spots we mentioned.


The other day Lars invited one of his customers to join him for a few hours’ trolling. This gentleman normally takes a book, sandwiches and thermos of coffee and spends the day bait fishing from a bank so this was a new experience.

Lars soon faced a barrage of questions: Why were they changing lures all the time? Why was the boat travelling at different speeds? Why was it zigzagging from 8m to 30m depth?

Lars told him it was a matter of finding the right depth and the colour of the lure which attracted the fish at that moment. This always changes so fishos can’t get complacent.

They used four rods with overhead reels each and most of the fish they caught were on four to five colours of lead-core line, which meant the lures were at 6m to 8m. They ended up with two browns and six rainbows and lost a similar number.

Good trolling spots include Adaminaby Bay, Springwood Bay, Frying Pan Arm, Coppermine Bay and Addicumbene Reach. Those lures mentioned above are good.

For information about recent conditions in the area of the boat ramp visit www.eucumbenechamber.org.au and click the link at the top right of the page. For regular fishing information updates visit www.alpinetouristpark.com.au/fishing.shtml and www.adaminabyangler.com.au/reports.shtml . To find out everything Adaminaby and Eucumbene offer, go to www.alpinetouristpark.com.au/adaminaby.html


While being passionate about fly fishing I have never made the effort to tie my own flies until Christmas, when my wife gave me a fly vice and boxes loaded with everything any fly-tier could ever need.

Lars had obviously been secretly colluding because he sent over a couple of boxes full of the finest hackles and furs. Fly maestro Colin Sinclair then gave me a 30-second lesson in tying a brown Woolly Worm and then said ‘go for it’.

Col looked at my first masterpiece with some disdain and suggested I keep it to compare with others I tied as my prowess increased – a subtle way of saying it was bloody awful and hopefully improvement would come.

Five or six Woolly Worms later, I took some down to Eucumbene for a swim and four or five casts later I landed a 500g brown and another followed soon after – they worked!

Perhaps there is something about tying your own flies. At least you can tie them the way you want them; some of the commercially-tied flies are not quite as I would like. Talk about opening a can of worms…

– Peter


In the March issue we expressed concern that the Murray-Darling Basin Commission had called for tenders for the removal of alien fish species with the strong poison rotenone, and intimating that the eradication of trout was a priority.

We were able to organise a meeting with Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald, who assured us that his department had no intention of jeopardising trout fishing in the Snowy Mountains. We thank Geoff Churcher of the Australian Trout Foundation for his help and input, especially on the Victorian side of things.

We will continue to liaise to ensure the protection and enhancement of the trout fishery.

– Lars

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