Fat, healthy fish in Eucumbene
  |  First Published: August 2008

There’s a two-month wait for all the river and creek anglers but Lake Eucumbene is open all year and fishing well.

Early mornings and late afternoons have yielded the best catches of browns and rainbows, mostly over a kilo and with small heads and big, fat bodies.

Bait anglers who can find a steep yabby bank to fish from with a big scrub worm or a wood grub with a PowerBait dropper under a running sinker should be in business quite quickly.

Good spots include Anglers Reach, Old Adaminaby and Cemetery Point into Springwood Bay.

Trolling has been great, the fish are in peak condition and fight like there’s no tomorrow – and they are right, there’s no tomorrow for them if they get caught by one of our many trout-hungry anglers.

During Winter one lure which has been outstanding in the early morning, late afternoon and in overcast weather is Lofty’s Cobra 3X, which has accounted for more fish than any other lure in our tackle boxes lately.

But during the day in full sunshine, you have to bring out a few other lures with brighter colours.

We haven’t had too many reports from those who spin from the banks but we love August and September because there’s always nice size trout cruising closer to the banks and they’re hungry, so there’s no holding back when they strike. Good spots are those mentioned above.


Now is a good time to review of the 2007/08 fly season. The activity on the opening weekend was nothing short of frenetic with huge numbers of fish and equally huge numbers of fishers, old and new.

All who come to the area would agree that from October to the end of November the fishing in the streams and the lakes was fantastic. We experienced some reasonable rain which maintained a good flow in all streams and kept lake levels fairly stable.

It was good to see the Murrumbidgee recover from the devastating fires of 2006 and most of the ash and charred remains have finally dissipated. Quality fish were abundant and many ’Bidgee regulars said it was fishing as well as it had up to 15 years ago.

Hoppers appeared a little earlier than usual and many found that from mid-November it was game on.

From mid-December to the end of January the fishing got a little harder but those who were patient and put in the effort were rewarded with good fish. Wet flies and nymphs were the choice during this difficult period, late into the evening or early in the morning for fish over a kilo.

The smaller feeder streams were still flowing well and some great fish came from these small waters.

From mid-February onward, the fishing improved markedly and March to early May produced some of the best dry fly fishing for many years. Regular hatches of hoppers, mayflies, stoneflies, snowy flake caddis, ants and a variety of beetles provided a smorgasbord for hungry trout and fly fishers enjoyed sensational dry fly action.

Fly maestro Colin Sinclair and Peter spent many wonderful afternoons on the Eucumbene River for regular catches of 15 to 20 fish in a three-hour session.

Peter still recalls one particular afternoon when they were both casting to rising fish in a long run and almost every cast prompted a take from a hungry trout. Peter said that if he were to die right then he would do so with a happy heart and memories of an absolutely unbelievable afternoon of fishing.

Eucumbene and Tantangara also fished well right through Summer and into Autumn with caddis and mudeye hatches of a magnitude not seen for many years. The prolonged stable water made a difference.

It’s been a great year and a truly remarkable year of fly fishing and we look forward to the October long weekend when it all begins again.


And now a little story about a recent fishing expedition when Lars was the skipper and there’s a rule that the skipper is the boss and decides where to go. That is a big responsibility and if the skipper doesn’t go to a good spot and the catch rate is down, a lot of teasing goes on.

On this particular morning there was a heavy fog over Eucumbene but Lars knows the lake as well as anyone so he decided to head across from Old Adaminaby to Collingwood Bay and from there to troll the banks to Coppermine Bay, where he had picked up some nice fish a few days prior.

In the fog he found a bay which very much looked like Collingwood, so they started trolling four lead-core lines and then poured a cuppa to warm themselves up.

After a few quiet minutes Lars said to Peter, ‘It’s amazing how the banks look different with the lower water level and with the fog covering the higher banks.’ At that instant one of his rods went off and a fat rainbow of around 700g was netted and kept for the smoker.

Five minutes later the bay started getting shallower and they could now see the bank on the other side and they knew where they were – in White Rocks Inlet!

Lars had made a long, slow left turn in the fog and ended up on the right point of Springwood Bay and they had then trolled into White Rocks Inlet.

This was very lucky for Peter as by this stage he’d caught two rainbows of 1.2kg and a brown of 1.5kg.

Lars caught only a 700g rainbow and lost a bigger brown. Lars says that when Peter was going to net it for him, Peter reckoned he lowered his rod too much but Lars alleges the fish jumped off was because when it looked up into Peter’s face it decided that it just had to escape.

• For regular updates check out www.alpinetouristpark.com.au/fishing.shtml and www.adaminabyangler.com.au/reports.shtml . For a weather update at Lake Eucumbene scroll underneath the Alpine Tourist Park’s fishing report and click the link to the weather station. It’s now working very well.

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