Blowering up hope
  |  First Published: February 2009

Predicting water levels in our impoundments is almost impossible these days. Constantly dropping water levels have become the norm during the summer months and dropping dam levels are being associated with shut down fish, but this certainly is not the case at Blowering Dam.

As the dam slowly drops, the resident yabbies and crayfish no longer have freshly flooded weed beds and grass flats to feed and hide in so must constantly keep on relocating themselves to keep up with the dropping water level, or they will end up high and dry. The fish in the lake are clued onto this and take full advantage of the easy pickings these conditions are associated with.

Therefore, it seems obvious that any lure or fly that imitates a yabby will give you a good chance of hooking a fish. I like to use live yabbies and if you are like me and don’t have the patience to simply cast your bait out and sit there and wait for the bite to happen then this little tip is for you:

Rig a live yabby to a normal unweighted hook and use it like you would a soft plastic yabby imitation. Simply cast it out let it sink to the bottom wait a second or two then give your rod tip a little flick to lift the yabby up off the bottom then allow it to sink again then repeat the process all the way back to the bank. Be sure to watch the line, especially when your yabby sinks back to the bottom, as this is when the strikes most often occur. This technique really does work a treat and out-fishes most other fishing forms at this time of the year.


February is consistently a good month for trolling up redfin, and they are normally up around the 3-5m mark. However, last February we had to troll a bit deeper in around 7-11m of water to get consistent results, so it pays to keep a close eye on your sounder to see what depth the majority of the fish are holding.

Lures of choice when trolling for redfin are the ever reliable AC Slim Invaders or lipless crankbaits fished on 1-6lb braid way out the back of the boat.

Another tactic worth employing whilst trolling for redfin is the stop-start technique, which like it’s name says is to stop your motor for a second or two then continue again for 10-20m and do it again, not sure exactly why this works so well but at times if you don’t employ this technique you will hardly catch a fish.

The other little trick, which I think most people know by now, is to add a little soft plastic or saltwater fly to your line around a 1m or so above your main lure. This little trick can sometimes reward you with double hook ups that are always fun no matter how big the fish.

Trout streams

To avoid the raging Tumut River whilst in high flow a lot of anglers have been hitting the smaller trout streams in the district to get there fishing fix. The smaller streams are much easier to fish and have a very good population of both wild and stocked trout to keep anglers happy.

Although most fish are around pan size in the creeks, some anglers have been rewarded with some very nice fish around the 2-3kg mark. Thanks to the regular rain we have received, most of the creeks have had enough flow in them for some of the bigger fish from the river to be able to navigate there way up into these tight, over grown creeks making for some very interesting battles.

Nymphing has been working a treat in the dirtier water but as soon as the creeks clear from the rain the resident trout are more then happy to rise for a well presented dry fly.

Spinners, such as Rooster Tails, have also worked really well of late and the beauty of these lures is they work in clear or dirty water equally well. Rapala CD-3 and any 1-2” soft plastic in either trout colours or all white are good fish takers in the small streams.

Best places to fish vary from stream to stream but whichever stream you choose to fish it’s worth noting that the energetic angler will be the most rewarded. Sure you will catch a few fish from areas beside the road, at reserves and other main access points but to be truly rewarded with spectacular fishing one must be willing to do the hard yards and hike a fair way in from these main access points. This usually involves getting cut up by blackberries and falling over many times along the way. If you are willing to go threw all of this then you will be rewarded with some spectacular fishing.

Pretty much every flowing stream in the Batlow district has a healthy population of trout in them, however it is up to the angler to find where the best creeks and best places on the creeks are through trial and error.

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