Monthly Archives: September 2012

Opening day Eucumbene River

“Not for the faint hearted’ someone mumbled as five four wheel drives disgorged their occupants by the old bridge piles. The first misty light showed a river high in flood and moderately dirty. Inauspicious. The westerly ripped down the valley in gusts up to 30 knots and then to add insult to frostbite it sleeted – then snowed.  With wind chill it was well below freezing and as the first shards of sunlight all too briefly cut through the overcast sky dozens more four wheel drives revealed themselves along the banks and adjacent tracks. I put up with it until just after 7 and hadn’t caught a fish; too old for this?  I chatted to Pete through his car window – warming up apparently – then headed off for the bakery and breakfast.

I sat in the kitchen watching the snow fall. It wouldn’t settle but if you went outside it stung your face and turned you into a snowman.  The blue sky arrived just after 2, closely followed by Messrs Sharpe and Wills.  After their first post-drive drink we set off back for the river and after a wander up and down the river settled on the spot Col (Adaminaby Angler) had said would deliver. And of course it did. Feisty silver rainbows in superb condition. The day was not lost. Glow bugs of course, if you were wondering!

Tight tippets all

Danny’s crew

Danny Spellick and a group of CIT fly fishing scholars turned up at Caddigat Lakes early on Saturday morning. A convoy of small cars down a long and winding dirt track. Surprising there was only one puncture really.  Justin, Mark and Harry from the syndicate were already there with big plans for the big lake.  The breeze was intermittent north, then west, then calm but it was a cracking day with blue skies and only the odd cloud. A real Snowies spring day.  Everyone got cracking on Snaggy for a warm up session and the usual tortured cries as inexperience and enthusiasm won out over tactics and patience – and by that I mean these aren’t bream being dragged in on 5 kg braid, they’re fit fighting fish that like to be played a bit.  But it wasn’t too long before fish started coming ashore.  By lunchtime the group had spread out to a few different lakes and I spent a bit of time with Stuart on Spring Dam – most people had caught a fish by now.  Like a lot of new fly fishers Stuart had lots of questions and was quick to learn, picking up on some of the twitchy retrieve patterns that seem to bring results at Caddigat.  Before long he had two nice fish ashore one of which was over 5lb. Interesting to think this will probably be one of the biggest rainbows he’ll catch if he sticks at fly fishing for the next decade.

Meanwhile, I watched Justin, Mark and Harry setting off in the Quintrex for the top of Caddigat Lake. Justin had caught some nice fish in the main body of the lake on Friday, fishing a sinking line with a “blood sucking leech” as he “drifted” along.  Justin’s report follows: “Mark landed a couple on the sinking line with WB fishing as we made our way to the top of the dam. We then hiked up the gorge and found the waterfall.  Unfortunately, the stream was really low and the water extremely murky.  Didn’t see any sign of fish.  We then got back in the boat and promptly hooked up multiple times.  We ended up just drifting around the top end of the dam, near the rock bar, and casting WB on sinking lines.  Mark landed about half and dozen before deciding to give the poor boatman (moi!) a go.  First cast and I hooked up straight away!  Poor Harry was hooking plenty but somehow kept on inventing new ways of letting the fish throw the hook.  As lunch hour approached, we decided to head back to the boat ramp.  Harry finally managed to connect for long enough to land one.  All up we caught about a dozen (I had lost count as I was too busy handling the boat as well as the landing net!)  Interestingly, all the fish were about the same length (40cm).  They just varied from being fat to really really fat.   All fought extremely hard and gave fantastic acrobatic displays”.

Tight tippets!

Danielle at Caddigat Lakes

It’s  well known phenomenon that women catch more and bigger fish per unit of effort.  A quick trip to Caddigat Lakes last weekend for some footage for Rob Paxevanos’ WIN TV fishing report. Three blokes – Col, Andycam and yours truly – ZERO fish – and then editor in chief Danielle roped this cracker.  More evidence to support the theory!

Once again it was a fiery brown WB with a tungsten head that did the trick.  Note Col’s role in this effort was mainly to get into the picture although he did an admirable job of wrangling the fish in the shallows when it might not have been quite ready to come in. This was one time I had everything crossed having been too lazy to change the tippet from the 5 lb I’d had on for small lake rainbows earlier in the week. I usually stick with 7 lb for Caddigat – anything less often leads to disappointment!

Tight tippets

Tantangara at 26%

This gallery contains 2 photos.

18 September 2012. Col, Ian, Gary and I set off from Adaminaby at 9.30 and headed for Tantangara.  Gary and I pulled up at the turning for the boat ramp and watched the lake for a while. Not a ripple which was sure to freak out Col who hates glassy water more than anyone I know.  We saw plenty of rises from our perch on the hillside, one of the advantages of calm water.  Col and Ian turned up shortly and we parked at the top of the soak down stream from the weather station and walked around the shore.  Half a kilometre in I couldn’t resist a very fishy looking bay so was the first to peel off from the group to wet a line. I fished two nymphs on an intermediate line.  I watched the others take up station and the minutes passed. I saw two of them move and then the third and not having any joy myself started to follow them.  An hour in and no one had landed a fish.  I leap-frogged Col who was furthest around and got out onto the point but still no fish. Then Col yelled Ian was on so I headed around the corner hoping for a picture. Ian had a nice brown but the fish was already bagged and tagged by the time I got there. And then the fun started. I had 3 rainbows in short order as the wind picked up ahead of the darkening sky.

I gave myself a rest and wandered around to the others. Col had 3 and Ian another 3.  I persevered as the wind dropped and then picked up again bringing another handful of fish in quick succession. The day passed quickly and as the storm clouds rolled in and the thunder started we headed back to the car, stopping only for a brief fish where the creek ran into the lake.

The lake was at 26 per cent and had dropped a little in the past few days. Col speculated the fish were in the deeper water because of the falling water levels but I tend to think the wind just brought them on when we happened to be fishing a deep bank. Ian fished a black WB, I had all my fish on gold bead green WB size 12. Nothing on the nymphs, not a touch.  Several of the fish took very close in, others took on the drop on a longish cast. No big fish, perhaps the smaller ones are too competitive – perhaps the big fish are still up the river end of the lake after/during/before their spawning event.

The lake looked as spectacular as ever.

Tight tippets!