Monthly Archives: February 2013

Friday night special

We rolled into town right on dark on a stormy Friday night. All the way down the Snowy Mountains Highway we’d skirted thunderstorms to the south and west and now the east. The odd bolt of lightning, intensely coloured rainbows and sheets of rain on distant hills way across the plains. But Yens Bay, as it is on most nights, would be calm and perfect other than perhaps there would be a few too many people on a weekend night. The car was unloaded in double time, the cat fed, the rods and the dog loaded, Cristina with her book and a beer. The sky to the south was black and threatening. The kind of sky that makes you stare at it. Layers on layers of towering cumulus blackened by the lack of sun, veined with reflected strips of the last daylight bringing its dense, layered structure into contrast. To the eye it was beautiful. The camera wasn’t smart enough.

I drove past Yens, and past Bonny’s staring into the sunset horizon passing a couple of huddled groups and leaving them to drown their worms and drink their beer in peace and on out to the headland where the westerly breeze pushed across the water leaving a nice ripple line half a cast offshore. Crissy and Briggsy the dog headed for the hills and I contemplated options. Too dark to tie a fly on without a torch.  The end of another 30 degree plus day. A balmy westerly. No signs of insects other than the odd whine of a mosquito. Not a rise to be seen. Small olive tailed brown woolly bugger of course.

I fished it deep and slow and as the minutes passed a few very small fish put their noses up for midges close to shore.  I was standing on yabby banks exposed by the rapidly falling lake levels now at below 54%. The margins were either sand, shale, or mud and not a spot of weed in sight, the water as clear as gin. Gone were the clouds of caddis and thumping great moths, the crane flies and mudeyes of a few weeks ago. This would be hard going now for the fish but with very little food they would be at least be opportunistic.

One fish rose on the ripple line beyond my cast. I thought about running down the bank but decided in these conditions it wouldn’t be there when I arrived so I cast in its general direction hoping it would find me. Almost as soon as I started the retrieve I felt tension and lifted into a solid fish. I had 8 lb tippet so gave it some to keep it out of the trees and snags I could see to my left. It flopped on the surface and I imagined I’d soon be admiring the red spots of another good brown, hoping it would match the last 3 lb’er or even better. It acted like a brown, plenty of head shaking and lunging but with hindsight, the couple of reel testing runs into open water was the clue that when I finally got the fish into the shallows it was a rainbow. unusually I had the net with me because there’s so much mud on the shore at the moment it’s just too muddy to comfortably wade ashore and handle fish. I swear it tipped the scale at almost 2 kg, certainly an honest 4 lb’er.  That, I think, is probably the biggest rainbow I’ve caught on Lake Eucumbene at 56 centimetres and not in a particularly well fed condition.

The rest of the evening was quiet.  As full dark settled a few fish were rising a bit too far offshore, but it was what I needed on a Friday night after a long drive and a long week.

For those interested I’ve had a cancellation over Easter so anyone interested in a day or two at Caddigat lakes or a charter on the boat, maybe a trip to Tantangara, get in touch. The fishing may be slow at the moment in all this heat, but come the last weekend of March it’ll be a different story.

Tight tippets!

Fly Fishing and Accommodation in Adaminaby