Often July has plenty of sunny days with no wind or just a light breeze ideal for a day’s trolling or a few hours on a sheltered bank with your bait rods and a small fire.
The water is only 5° or 6° don’t go for a swim if you can avoid it! If the weather turns bad and the guides on the rods start ice up, call it day and go back to your accommodation for a warm toddy.
The rivers and creeks are closed to any form of fishing, allowing fly fishers to concentrate on fishing in Eucumbene or Tantangara. We haven’t mentioned Three Mile Dam because in Winter National Parks staff the park entrance on the Mt Selwyn road and slug $27 per car entry fee.
Although Eucumbene and Tantangara are generally fairly low the fishing can be exceptional. On clear polaroiding around the edges can be great fun and it’s common to see large fish cruising within a metre of the edges.
The steeper or rocky banks and those with timber, such as in Rushy Plains, Frying Pan or Buckenderra, fish well this time of year. Dry flies can be used during the middle of the day but most fish tend to be on wet flies on floating leaders or around 1m of fluorocarbon tippet.
Check the knots in fluorocarbon carefully, it can get brittle in cold weather.
We regularly extol the virtues of Tantangara and its popularity is becoming apparent from increasing amount of litter that we’re seeing there. Please take out what you bring in so the area can be enjoyed by all of us.
The bait fishing in Eucumbene and Tantangara has been very good all season. The water level has dropped so the flatter banks get a bit muddy but there are plenty of higher, sandy banks which dry faster and are more preferable to fish from.
Good spots include Cemetery Point, parts of White Rocks Inlet, part of Frying Pan Arm and Old Adaminaby. A wood grub or a scrub worm with a PowerBait dropper under a running sinker is doing the trick. If you don’t know how to set it up, just ask the local tackle shop.
It’s extremely rare that we come back to the boat ramp without encountering fish so why are some people catching fewer than others?
It comes down to local knowledge and a set of interlocking factors including the speed of the boat, lure and colour choice, and selection of lead-core line or flat line.
All these details make a huge difference in how many fish you catch.
A lot of people say ‘I love to go fishing and if I get some fish that’s a bonus’ and that’s a great attitude. These lucky people just enjoy being out on the water but for us it is a challenge to se if we can get the fish to bite under the most difficult circumstances and we normally continue fishing until we work out what’s right for the day.
So don’t despair if you don’t get a fish the first five minutes, just keep trying different combinations.
Good spots include Eucumbene Cove, Addicumbene Reach, Powerline, Providence Arm, Cemetery Point and outside Springwood Bay, but even the deeper water of Adaminaby Bay can be rewarding.
Good Lures are Tassie Devil numbers 26, 45, 47, 58, 72, 87, S12, Y48, and Y82; Lofty’s Cobras numbers 6, 10, 20, 31, 34, 52, 100 and the wonderful Eucumbene Special. There are a few other special colours for targeting Eucumbene.
Walking the banks looking for a cruising brown or fishing blindly and covering as much water you can is a good way to keep warm. A Snowy Minnow or a Lofty’s Cobra are good choices when you want to cut through the wind and cover a lot of water.
Any of the spots mentioned above are worthwhile.
And for those who think Winter in the mountains is too cold, put a cover sheet over the kitchen table, take out all your fishing gear and work on your reels, rods, lures and perhaps change refresh the line. There’s nothing worse when you hook big fish and your equipment lets you down because of poor maintenance.
Check the weather carefully before heading out in a boat in Winter. Things can change for the worse very rapidly and the water is cold enough to kill you within minutes.