Hungry brown trout
  |  First Published: July 2009

Recent weeks have seen a huge contrast in the weather. One week of rain and wet conditions, as well as snow up the hill, followed by another week of frosty mornings, followed by glorious sunny days with gorgeous blue skies.

Melbourne certainly doesn’t have the monopoly on variable conditions – as much as our northern neighbours would have us believe. Now it’s back to rain in Khancoban and blizzards on the mountains. If these heavy winter rains continue, the spring trout fishing will be awesome, especially after the heavy stocking in this area over the past couple of years.

Post spawn browns

The brown trout are back in the lake after fulfilling their primal urge and they are hungry. Worms and soft plastics seem to be the most productive tackle with a couple caught on smaller, smelt-type lures. The trout are feeding on the fresh water snails, which they find in the large grass beds that cover a large area of the pondage floor.

Soft plastics around the edges got nine decent fish in one evening for the amazing and indefatigable Mick Presnell. He followed that up with five and three in two sessions the next day, all except two released.

What an incredible angler – definitely one of the best I’ve seen on the lake. He puts in the hours for his fish and will use every likely lure in his extensive tackle box, to come up with the right combination. He is also a keen student of fish behaviour and always keeps his eyes on his Lowrance finder, so he knows exactly where his quarry is hiding. We’re hoping to find some sponsors to allow Mick to do a couple of demonstration weekends on the pondage – keep your eyes on this column!

It’s great to see the kids so enthusiastic about their fishing. In the wintertime we get to see the keener ones, trying to out fish their dads’ and each other. One family have been over here for the past week from South Australia and have made a great trip of it with heaps of fishing as well as enjoying a bit of tobogganing up the mountain and many great scenic drives around the upper Murray.

Cloud Seeding

Khancoban also hosts one of the Snowy Hydro visitors’ centres, which allow the kids to learn interactively about the incredible feat of engineering that is The Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme. The other interesting aspect, which can only be seen in the winter, is the huge cloud-seeding experiment, being conducted on around 40 sites, on the western side of the Snowies.

Each of these sites hosts two 15m towers which have affixed to the top large propane burners and automatic weather stations. These stations sense when conditions are right, for seeding and ignite the burners which jet a stream of silver iodine particles up into the prevailing wind, which carries them up into the clouds.

This is increasing winter snowfalls by up to 10% and increasing the water flow down both The Murray and Murrumbidgee rivers. Ultimately improving habitats for our trout and native fish down the river

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