Monthly Archives: June 2013

Early Winter Caddigat

Whilst hundreds of people crowded the banks of the Eucumbene River in the traditional and pretty undignified June long weekend “last flog of the season”,  Mark, Harry and Justin fished Kidney, Dixie, Snaggy, Rodney George and Spring dams at Caddigat. The fish are in excellent pre spawning condition, lake levels are coming up, early morning fog and frosts mean still water and cruising fish.

Justin reports Kidney yielded the most fish on a combination of nymphs, bead head WB and boobies.  “The nymphs were taken on a dead slow retrieve but the WB needed a faster retrieve to entice a take”.   Phil was also fishing that weekend and got onto some nice fish before the others arrived.

One of the features of Dixieland is the inlet near the spillway where fish hang around waiting for the pump to come on at dusk (off peak electricity) – and hopefully some  food to come with it from Caddigat Lake. Justin reported a bow-wave follow in the shallow water and a snatch at the fly but unfortunately no hook up.  Harry immediately cast to  the same spot,  a nice fat rainbow his reward in the fading light.  After that, it just got too cold to fish.

The quest for the 10 lb’er continues and a  lot of effort went into Dixieland Dam on Monday in the hope of tangling with a double-figure fish.  Harry drew first blood with a beautiful fat and silvery hen. Not quite a ten-pounder.  Mark and Justin then both scored fish but still short of the magic double-figure. All up they landed 15 fish and had a ball!

Tight tippets!

Steve

 

Why I need to go to Peru

Winter has arrived today, chronologically and literally – its pouring with rain and bleak as a summer’s day at  Jamaica Inn on Bodmin Moor. Just nine days until the rivers close and the trout get a break. I’m heading off to Honiara tomorrow. And Cristina gets back from Peru the day after. A momentous weekend.

Cristina “did” Machu Picchu during her last week. The altitude sickness sorted she decide to hike up the mountain overlooking the ruins the day after the big visit. That walk she describes as the scariest experience of her life, negotiating a single file slippery goat track with thousands of feet of nothing below, no hand rails, no safety rope, nothing. She did the research on that walk after she got back which scared here even more.

But this isn’t her travel log, this is about the trout.  For 3 weeks I’ve had to put up with tales of trout spotted on every bridge and in every pool of every river at every camp site between Lima and Aquas Calientes and have been quietly ignoring all references. Even the mention of trout on every menu in every restaurant and cabinas públicas (internet cafe) and the penny didn’t drop, finally this picture comes over the wires and I get it.  Real trout country!

 

Yesterday we did the annual big-fish stocking at Caddigat Lakes relocating fish from the drainage channels at Rod’s Tumut trout farm.  For forty years these channels have hosted the escapees who live a grand, mostly undisturbed life, cleaning  up waste food and growing fat on the aquatic life that thrives in the nutrient rich return flows. And every year we take some of these fish and put them in Caddigat Lakes. They’re not always the prettiest fish but add them to the fingerling stockings and natural recruitment during the years the creeks flow and it all adds up – and I’ve never heard a client complain the 6 lb hook jawed stumpy fin male rainbow they’ve just caught and released looked like it just fell out of the ugly tree.

This year, we got an extra top up because we literally cleaned out the whole drain and turned it off. The old farm is now closed and the new farm open. And all those fish get to live their remaining years in a wild fishery. About 500 of these fish, some up to 8 lb, went into the big dam.

I had a few casts waiting for the fish truck. First cast in the Rodney George got me a 4 lb fish, but then nothing in Teeny. The shearers are on the farm at the moment and I took one of the crew onto Spring, and was showing him how to retrieve the first cast when he hooked a 5 lb + fish. Brown nymph/black nymph, both weighted. So its pretty good at the moment.

Have you ever heard metric measurements don’t do justice to our fishing efforts? In Australia, we think of a trophy trout as  5 lb or greater.  Most people would be lucky to get a handful in their career. A lot never get one.  And a 10 lb’er, well that’s always news anywhere. The problem with metric is it just doesn’t sound the same when you say “I got a nice 4.52592 kilo’er!

Anyway, whilst we were down at Tumut, Col and I fished a secret spot. Four pools  where big fish hang out (its easy to find, under the willows, by the blackberry bushes, between the barbed wire fences). We could see big shadows and given the time of year fished glow bugs, nymphs and so on for 2 hours before Col got his 4.52592 plus kilo’er (actually 5.2 kilos, just under 11 and a half pound) – right after changing to a firey brown woolly bugger – what would we do without woolly buggers!

It was cold and wet but check out that green grass.  Seriously, its verdant over that side of the mountains.  Heading back to Adaminaby most of the creeks were running and the river was up at Kiandra. Just what we need to get the fish moving!

Tight tippets