Hard work and perseverance pays in the end!

 

It was a sunny day, light breezes forecast. I watched the trolling boats carefully. Surface lures and downriggers working the contours along the western shore. A single camp set up on the eastern shore mainly bait fishing into the teeth of an increasingly brisk westerly wind. I was looking for clues as we worked our way along the shore flicking Rapalas – who was catching fish and where? This weekend I had Garry, Brendan and Hugh on a charter, none of whom were fly fishers but all keen to learn. We’d started the weekend lawn-casting to develop some basic skills but for the boat trip decided on spinning rigs in preference to fly – an OHS issue! We were on Tantangara Reservoir which had been a last minute change of plan.  Eucumbene’s very muddy at 44%, compared to 61% last year, and it’s not the most attractive puddle.  Unlike Tantangara which at 27% is on fresh ground with grass to the edge of the water, and looks spectacular. On such a beautiful day and with good conditions forecast we were on the right lake – even the brumbies were out in force.

All my powers of observation didn’t help, I didn’t spot anyone catching fish. We cruised over to the Island and clambered ashore for some more casting practice, spooking a fish out of the shallows. At least it was nice to see one! And then Garry picked up a beautifully marked brown on a black woolly bugger on his last cast before lunch.

We cruised into the Murrumbidgee gorge for a break with warming coffee and lunch before checking out Nungar Creek where fish were just as scarce. As the sun dipped behind the cloud horizon and the breeze picked up the temperature dropped and pub grub at Snow Goose started to look like a good option.

We’d had a good day and the shortage of fish didn’t seem to worry anyone but me and with a trip to Caddigat Lakes planned for Sunday I was optimistic – with the team quickly developing their fly fishing skills.

 

We were there early and started on Snaggy Dam. The wind was a chilly and gusty nor-wester but the sun cut through the scattered cloud so it was comfortably warm. Hugh started the tally (which is always a cause for a sigh of relief) and after a good tussle brought his first ever fish, of any species, to shore.  We headed up to Spring Dam, and walked up to the inlet bank to take advantage of the wind. Brendan got onto a nice fish, and next cast Garry hooked up – our one double hook up for the day. So far, size 14 brown pheasant tail nymphs accounted for all the fish, Garry’s suspended under an indicator.

After lunch we fished Kidney Dam with a change of tactics in the gin clear water.  Garry fished a sinking line with an orange booby, quickly hooking a 5lb rainbow. Then a boiling rise from a cruising fish which promptly attacked Hugh’s mk2 woolly bugger cast right onto  its nose – and then spat the fly.  I’d started walking away muttering the fish wouldn’t have a second go when Hugh lifted into the best fish of the day.

 

 

We fished Dixieland Dam but the big fish didn’t show .  Great weekend guys, hard fought for fish are character building!

A quick note about Caddigat lakes. The  lake levels are down so this week’s forecast rain will be very welcome. The fish are in good condition with no sign of early spawners yet – but another month and they’ll be cruising the banks looking for trouble. I’ll be stocking over the next month.

Tight tippets all

Steve