End of 2016 blog

Now posting on Flystream

Andrews fine brown from the Eucumbene River

Andrews fine brown from the Eucumbene River

Heading to the Snowies?  There’s fisher folk here from everywhere. Well, I suppose I really mean mostly NSW and Victoria, with the odd Queenslander – and I even spotted a WA plate. Adaminaby has a good busy buzz and of course Jindabyne is pumping. But it’s not just that. Since I started to post Kiandra bridge photos on Google maps earlier in the year Google tells me the pictures have had thousands and thousands of views, and I’m not kidding when I say that apart from the other fishermen (who annoyingly seemed interested in fishing the same water on boxing day), we saw three full car loads of Australians (originally I hazard a guess from China) pull up at the bridge for a very quick look, to take a load of selfies, before zooming off again in their overloaded Corollas. Experiencing a bit of nature no doubt. I should warn the weary traveller that this year is a good fly year. In particular the blowies and bush flies have enjoyed the wet weather like everything else. The frogs are deafening with their croaking, and the crickets in the scrub above the Chimneys (Lake Eucumbene) would give cicadas a run for their money. At about this point a suspicious reader might begin to think “what about the fish”? Well, I have a few thoughts about that. The first is that you can’t fish properly when you’re buggered. I’ve been doing some renovations in the Adaminaby cottage (trenching, walling, floor sanding) and when that’s all done, I haven’t had a lot left to focus on the fish even though I’ve been putting a good few hours in every day – just not with focus. Clearly that has to change. Second, in 1687 when Newton first published his three laws of motion in Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica in the small print was a fourth law. Simply stated it says that if you drag a black Woolly Bugger (Nigrum Lanigeris Pedicabo) to and fro, for long enough and on an intermediate line, when all else is failing you will eventually catch fish. I should have followed the advice I gave Andrew so confidently and which he diligently and with utmost confidence in the expert guide followed. Whilst Col and I obsessively fly changed every time we saw a rise, Andrew caught fish. Since Christmas the weather has been kind to the fish. Warms days have brought on some good insect activity and plenty of thunder storms and rain has washed plenty of food into their habitat – and we’ve had some awesome sunsets. One of Andrew’s rainbows (taken for the smoker) had eaten a small fish, plenty of midge pulp, a long legged non-descript bug, something that looked a bit crunchy (beetle?) and at least one fresh stick caddis. A different Andrew reported he’d fished the Eucumbene River at Sawyers Hut for a good session of mainly small fish; with a reliable report for the Flying Fox. Kiandra is still fishing well although it is very popular at the moment. The Eucumbene river mouth at Providence is muddy but there are some good fish rolling around and even though the lake has been dropping like a rock the portal from Tantangara Reservoir is still roaring and the trollers doing laps means there must be something to catch there. A report from the Thredbo River was all about lots of small fish, which to everyone will be cause for optimism given the reportedly poor spawn run this year. The trollers in Lake Eucumbene are getting a few fish (and loving the Cobra 101 apparently – whatever that is); and Lake Jindabyne has been quieter than usual other than the water skiers. Tantangara Reservoir is a camp site and will be until 2 January but there are still good fish being caught by the bait fishers and trollers with some reports of fly-caught fish from boats, and the bank in the late evening. Lakes levels are Tantangara at 32.94% and falling fast; Eucumbene at 55.86% (down (just a little) 0.04% on the previous day); and Jindabyne rising slowly at 86.25%. Maritime officers are in town with the big Naiad inflatable parked in Your Street – so wear your life jacket; and there are a few bitey march flies showing up so long pants and long sleeve shirts are in order. Tight tippets everyone, have a safe and happy New Year and if you’re travelling please drive carefully and slow down on Snowy roads – eve if only for the wildlife.

Steve (Snowy Lake Charters www.nakedtrout.com.au/stuff/fly-fishing-charter-boat)

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Tight tippets

Steve

Public Forum on Snowy Mountains Lakes Trout Fishery

On 29 May 2014, if you’re in Cooma, try to get along to the public forum on the Snowy Mountains Lakes Trout Fishery. Your chance to let the good folk from fisheries know how it’s all going. Cooma Ex-Services Club at 6:00pm on Thursday 29 May 2014

Here’s a bit of history for you.  A speech in Parliament in 2002 went as follows:

“In May last year after extensive community consultation the New South Wales Government introduced a plan to better manage trout fishing in the Snowy Mountains. This strategy includes Lake Jindabyne, Lake Eucumbene and Tantangara Reservoir. All local businesses and anglers had been concerned for some time about rainbow trout catches. A survey funded by freshwater anglers found that this prestigious fishery is worth up to $70 million a year. Each year 34,000 anglers visit this world-recognised region. The Snowy lakes trout strategy provides sensible measures to make sure that this fishery remains the best in Australia and that it continues to attract visitors, who support local businesses. The strategy protects spawning trout and reduces bag limits, making sure that all anglers get a fair chance to catch a fish. And we are working with the community in regard to New South Wales Government fish stockings. We have given a five-year guarantee of consistent trout stocking. That has never been done before. Each year Lake Eucumbene gets 150,000 rainbow trout fingerlings. Lake Jindabyne gets 50,000 rainbow trout fingerlings, 200,000 Atlantic salmon fry and 50,000 brook trout fry. The Tantangara Reservoir will remain a wild brown trout fishery.

I am pleased to advise the House that the strategy has been hailed as an outstanding success. The Snowy Mountains Lakes Working Group was established in December 2000 to help us develop this strategy. Last month its members met with the Director of NSW Fisheries in Cooma to review the progress and the implementation of the strategy. Representatives from the tackle and tourism industries, the Monaro Acclimatisation Society, angling media and the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Authority all attended the meeting. I am advised that the group was unanimous in its praise for the strategy, stating that it was the best thing to happen to the fishery for 20 years—high praise indeed from the Snowy Mountains trout industry. Large rainbow trout are now being caught consistently in Lake Eucumbene and a bumper summer season is being forecast. This year’s rainbow trout spawning run was the best for many years—more great news for anglers, visitors and local businesses. The success of this strategy is a magnificent achievement for New South Wales.”

As the then Director Fisheries I can say that the forum in Cooma was a robust meeting with a few fiery exchanges – particularly on bag limits. Apparently the Victorians wouldn’t come here on holiday if they couldn’t fill their eskies for the extended family back in Geelong.  Over a decade later and the fishery has a great run – until this year when the rainbows have been missing in their usual numbers.

Here’s my view. First, the fishery will bounce back. Trout stocks are no different to any other fish stock in that there need to be a range of conditions for the fishery to do well.  A healthy spawning stock, good spawning habitat, good seasonal conditions in the river (rainfall and temperature), a good flood to move the fish down into the lake, good lake habitat for fry, plenty of food and shelter, and stable lake levels. And when all that comes together we need to keep predators under control so the healthy spawning stock is maintained. Now there’s the rub. When I say predators, don’t jump to attack the cormorants and pelicans – sure they catch a lot of fish, and I’d prefer they didn’t, but it’s the humans who do the damage (in my humble opinion).

Two years ago we had a bumper year. The lake was high, there was plenty of food, and you could catch and release double figure bags on a good day.  Word got out and for a while it was standing room only. Every man and his dog got their rods out and gave it a go. Last year, the good times rolled on but by early 2013 catch rates were falling dramatically.

When the spawning season arrived the clouds of rainbows we see in the river just weren’t there. We watched, and hoped, but they didn’t come in their usual numbers.

The browns meanwhile have been our saviour. Last years spawning run was exceptional and all through the early part of this season you could rely on a brown or two in the evening, as a consolation prize for the missing rainbows. But after Christmas even this has slowed because even that stock can be fished down.

So we’re treating this as a boom bust fishery.  The fish stocks get up, word gets out, everyone turns up, the fish get hammered, everyone goes fishing somewhere else. In 2016 we will have a good rainbow year again, and so on.  Is this how we want to manage our fishery?

Of the success factors I listed, most are out of our control – in the main they’re environmental. We can’t control the weather, and we can’t control the lake levels. The spawning habitat is in the National Park so is well protected. What we need to control is predation by humans. We need to share the resource better amongst ourselves. We need to reduce bag and possession limits to 2 and 4, and introduce  a boat possession limit of 6.  We should have a zero bag limit on the Eucumbene and Thredbo rivers all year. We need to try something brave to even out the peaks and troughs between the years.

Economically, to the region, the consequences of bad years are shocking. Anglers stay away, the camp sites, pubs and shops are deathly quiet. So we need to do better.

I will be in the UK on 29 May so won’t be there, but I have let people know what I think. Please do the same. And as a p.s. to all that,  low catch rates doesn’t keep me away, but it would be nice to have just the odd rainbow for the smoker!

Tight tippets

This is what want!

Steve

 

NSW DPI Fisheries Media Release

Fishers are invited to attend a public forum on the Snowy Mountains Lakes trout fishery with Department of Primary Industries (DPI) managers and scientists in Cooma on 29 May 2014.

DPI Inland Senior Fisheries Manager, Cameron Westaway, said some fishers have reported reduced catches of rainbow trout in Lakes Jindabyne and Eucumbene during the past two years.

“While brown trout catches have continued to remain stable in the lakes and the brown trout spawning fishery has been excellent, we have received reports of lower rainbow trout catches from some fishers using traditional surface and shore based fishing methods – while other fishers have reported good catches using deeper trolling methods,” Mr Westaway said.

“Various theories for these changes in catch rates have been suggested by the public. These fisheries provide significant social and economic benefits to the region and we are committed to their long term success.

“The forum will give fishers the opportunity to hear about the current trout stocking program, management practices, and updates on research.

“Leading New Zealand scientist Dr Michel Dedual from the Department of Conservation in Turangi will provide insights into the iconic Taupo trout fishery which has also experienced changes in catch rates of rainbow trout in recent times.

“Importantly the forum will enable DPI managers to gain feedback from the fishing public on some of the most popular trout fishing locations in NSW. This feedback will assist DPI and the angler based Snowy Lakes Strategy Working Group who provide direct advice on the management of the fishery.

“Interested fishers are invited to attend the free forum at the Cooma Ex-Services Club at 6:00pm on Thursday 29 May 2014.”

Fishers are also reminded that it will be a great opportunity to fish the Thredbo River and Eucumbene River trout spawning runs before the trout closed season begins on 10 June 2014.

 

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Tight tippets!

Steve

Victoria BC and more

A former colleague used to title his emails “Where’s Johno”?  He used to copy it to himself and use it as an aide memoire so he could remember where he was on a given day’s travel – which is what I feel like I need here in Victoria on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Where am I, how did I get here, and what day is it?

It is truly a sensational spot and like our own Victoria, Australia, today demonstrated four seasons in one day as the wind howled, the temperature plummeted, the skies opened to a deluge, before it turned into a warm, blue sky, T shirt wearing autumn day. A great spot, with great scenery I thought as I walked along the foreshore from office to hotel looking across the sound some 25 miles to the Olympic Mountains on the US of A mainland.

As we cruised out to our fishing grounds yesterday, off Sooke, there was a dense fog but flat calm ocean. The sea lions grunted a greeting as we passed the marina breakwater and our trusty skipper Shawn navigated the narrow channels at speed, but with knowledge. As we passed one of the final narrow spits before the open ocean we spotted a pre dawn vessel that had missed the turning and was sitting high and dry on top of the spit – 2 metres out of the water but with fishing lines in the water – optimism and desperation were the two words that immediately sprung to mind. Off the end of the spit two guys stood waist deep fly-casting into the channel. We sent them a boat wake, humorously close (from my perspective) to the top of their chest waders.

The grounds were 5 or 6 miles off shore in the Strait of Juan de Fuca (I’m sure there’s a good yarn in that name somewhere) and we followed a ripping tide line strewn with kelp and other debris, fishing with centre-pin reels on 10 foot 12 weights rods, sinking the large “flies” with a down rigger.  A very new experience.

The fish of course hit like bloody steam trains but it’s amazing how quickly a 12 weight rod slows them down.  The wild Coho salmon are all released. The hooks are all barbless. The hatchery salmon have their adipose fin removed – and you can keep them.  So look out for a down rigger appearing on Fly By Night in the not too distant future. We landed 3, dropped one at the boat, and quite a few more hits and misses. Great stuff for a four hour window on a working weekend.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Col was off fishing with Ray.  They had a frustrating session on Dixieland Dam with a heap of fish midging, and unable to crack the code.  Ray learnt the trials of a boggy soak on Eucumbene and the limitations of his Land Rover. Took a Toyota to pull it out I heard!

Justin and Gary fished on Saturday. Spring was slightly discoloured, Midway gin clear, and Dixieland very slightly discoloured. Gary spotted a couple of fish moving at Midway along the far bank but nothing else. They also reported numerous fish feeding on midge (in fact, feeding frenzy would be a more accurate description they said) in the top corner of Dixieland – but also very frustrating fishing.  One fish grabbed one of Justin’s black buzzers placed right on top of a rise – a very fat rainbow just over 50cm.

Sunday started foggy and cold. They tried Kidney without luck and moved onto Snaggy.  The sun had come out and it turned into a glorious day with an occasional light breeze.  They spotted a fish under the gum trees with no success then moved over to the southern bank to fish the snag pile. Gary headed off the top of the dam whilst Justin hung around to fix his leader. As he walked to catch up with Gary, he spotted a fish about two rod lengths out, actively feeding. For once, he described how everything came together; he managed to land a nymph about a metre ahead of the fish and it dutifully swam over and inhaled the fly.  Another beautiful 50 cm rainbow in great condition. As often happens at this time of year another fish milled around as he was fighting the fish and after the release he put a couple of casts in front of it which were refused before it disappeared.

Meanwhile, Gary appeared to be completely engrossed up near the snag pile.  As he approached Justin saw what had been capturing his attention for the past hour.  Two large fish cruising around the snags and the weed bed, smooching along, obviously feeding. By then Gary had put half a dozen different flies in front of the fish without spooking them, and the fish had refused each one.  After some discussion Gary tried a size 16 BH Flashback which he skilfully landed right in front of the fish, it swam over, inspected the fly, and rejected it. Trawling through his memories Justin remembered the same phenomenon at Dixieland and how the fish was undone by a tiny bloodworm pattern. To cut a long story short, Gary tied on one of Justin’s unused and untried size 18 bloodworm patterns (purchased following the previous event but so far untried), plonked it down and the fish grabbed it without hesitation.  Unfortunately, the hook didn’t hold!

After a leisurely lunch, they headed back to the same spot and armed with the tiny bloodworm, Gary landed one within the first couple of casts, and then another.

There is nothing more satisfying than tough thoughtful fishing, with a good result at the end. One hard earned fish is worth ten suckers any day!

Tight tippets all!

Spring midges, comps, and more

Adrian SMS’d me from Jindabyne after a blank session on Saturday. Peter called me Sunday after a hard weekend on Eucumbene. Col went to Tantangara and got onto a couple using midges. The problem of course (because there always has to be one) is the weather, it’s so flipping warm, and the swallows are already skimming the lake surface which means the midges are already bursting out of their skins – a little earlier than usual. Time to pack away the winter lure box and dust off the nymphs, caddis and midge.

It’s been a blog free fortnight. Even though I’ve squeezed in a few fishing sessions in between returning from Thailand and a trip to PNG, I just haven’t had time to write much, so here’s a quick summary.

I landed from Singapore early on Saturday morning and headed home for a day time catch up sleep, then, rested, I drove to Adaminaby where Dave and his family were staying in the cottage.  Dave is a good all round fisherman who also likes a bit of photo journalism when he’s not doing what criminal law barristers do.  He was already fired up after snagging a nice brown from the shore in Yens Bay on Eucumbene whilst out for a family stroll – with Briggsy the Kelpie in tow.  I’m sure I remember a jet lagged dinner at the Snow Goose, and my next real memory is for the next day, watching a wedgetail eagle fledgling sticking its head up from the nest above Caddigat Lake, and then seeing Dave trying to skull drag a massive rainbow out of the water – which of course only had one unhappy ending.  That’s the problem with barra fishermen and trout fly gear – you can’t hold on that tight!

Dave was a good enough self-taught caster to only need a few pointers and we cruised around the lakes trying different flies and different tactics. In the end, Dixieland and Kidney dams came good and delivered some nice fish, all in the late afternoon, and all on WBs. Dave is now a true convert – first rainbows on fly, and he was pretty excited. Now all he needs to understand is that lively rainbows aren’t easy to hold for the camera.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following weekend we hosted the NSW Fly Fishing Championships at Caddigat Lakes. Some of the best fly fishers in the State to really test the waters. The comp involved bank fishing from the smaller dams and boat fishing on Caddigat, the big lake.

 

There were a few surprises from the four sessions.   First, Dixieland and Midway gave up just one fish between them across all four sessions which is difficult to fathom because they both have good numbers of fish. Second was the cohort of 20 centimetre fish from Caddigat which presumably means natural recruitment from Caddigat Creek last year. But boat fishing from Caddigat was the biggest surprise with 98 fish from the four sessions – and we’ve been leaving that lake alone because the fishing’s been hard! I should also say that Rodney George fished really well too, followed up with the usual good showing from Snaggy and Spring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I should also say that whilst the pro’s were hard at it everywhere else, I had a quiet session in Kidney, which wasn’t in the comp, and caught some beautiful fish.  All but one polaroided in the shallow water at the northern end.

That’s all for now, only a month until the river opening long weekend, then the Snowy trout festival in early November with the big trout official opening on 2 November – definitely one for the diary.

The cottage is now all legal with development consent for holiday lets – the base price for the 3 bedrooms (if you bring your own sleeping bags and towels) is $120 a night ($50 a room if you have to share with me), so book early and book often.

Tight tippets

Steve

REFLECTIONS ON Stocking Success

One of the most frequent questions I am asked is about stocking. How many fish should I put in my dam? How do you decide whether to put in fry, fingerlings or bigger fish? How many will survive?

The truth is that it’s a bit of a lottery. I know one chap who stocks very small numbers of fingerlings every year and has a great catch and release fishery; and another who puts in 10 times as many and gets no better fishing. Another has given up because the fish just disappear.

Some of these variables are environmental – fish need good quality fertile water, and plenty of shelter, and food.  If you’ve got this, and that normally means you’ve got good weed, then you’re a mile ahead of the pack.  Some are about predation. In my view, cormorants are the most efficient predator. If you stock a lot of small fish, it becomes worth their while hanging around for a few days to mop them up – and they will. If you stock a few less and there’s plenty of weed to hide in they’ll give up and move onto greener pastures.  But those big trout you’ve been nurturing for the past 3 years will also make quick work of a bunch of naive fry or fingerlings – but again, the more and the denser the weed the easier the smaller fish will be able to hide.

Last year I turned up to stock a private lake near a house. The lake had been stocked but no one had seen a fish for years.  It was pretty much late dusk when I arrived and as I reversed the trailer down to the lake edge I spotted a bit of movement against the weed bed. Forget the fish stocking, I grabbed my rod and with the owner’s young son in tow stalked what I hoped was a fish and not a duck or a water rat, flicking a small nymph into a narrow channel. A thumping fish grabbed it in a swirl of mud and weed and took off into the middle of the lake as I handed off the rod to my eager accomplice. It wasn’t on for long before inexperience took its toll on the fine tippet. But the owner learnt he had fish (and big ones) that he didn’t know about, and he wouldn’t have needed to order so many from me.

This year we’ve mixed it up at Caddigat.  Small, medium and large fish. More larger fish than normal but they’re still as cunning as ever – if anything the catch per hour has gone down a bit, even thought the average size has gone up a lot.  Last weekend’s catch-of-the-day (by John out of Kidney) is a good example of a full finned hook-jaw male in top pre spawning condition. If you want to know what stocking success looks like, this is it! The only issue I had was he caught in on a monstrous bright orange woolly bugger! And as a footnote to that, the fish followed the fly right to the bank and refused it – then grabbed it as soon as it landed on the next cast. And did I mention this was hard earned – it was freezing with a bitter nor-wester!

 

Tight tippets!

 

 

Marshall Islands

 

After Manilla, Pohnpei, and Guam, the Marshall Islands was at least going to be home for more than two nights – four to be precise. AND we got to spend a weekend there which meant at least half a day for R and R. What, I hear you all say, how can they need R and R when they’re on this Pacific sojourn? Well, I can tell you our employer is getting more than his pound of flesh as we prosthelitise an electronic future for Pacific fisheries. Anyway, enough of that and yes we got our half day off.

Before I talk about fishing I should pay homage to another of the band of Plymouth Uni fishery science graduates (along with me, Bartleet, Cartwright and others) who ended up working in the region because it was too cold/wet/dismal/etc in the old country, one Mr Maurice Brownjohn OBE. Maurice spends his time between Port Moresby, Shanghai, and Majuro working in the business of the multi $billion Pacific tuna fisheries, most recently as the PNA Office Commercial Manager and all round fisheries troubleshooter. He was an excellent host in Majuro whose duties included cooking breakfast every day we were there.

It’s not just we learnt a heap of stuff about the industry, the fishery, the people, and generally about what’s going on and where, he got us into places, and onto boats we’d never have been able to access on our own.

Back to the weekend off, Ian organised a boat “the Wasabi”, skippered by Seal Marine Inc’s Cary Evarts (yachtseal@hotmail.com).  Wasabi was a cracking fishing boat driven by a V6 Cummins 360T which belted along and purred like a cat.

Cary (as in Cary Grant) talked a good story on the way out and despite a 25 knot nor easter which drove a lumpy wind-wave fighting a westerly swell we were soon at it in the main channel entry for the Majuro Atoll lagoon.  I’m guessing the lagoon is 20 kms across, maybe more; the highest point on land is about 2 metres above sea level.

A ring of islands, a lagoon in the middle, reportedly the second largest ship registry in the world, and one of the main centres for tuna transhipment from purse seine vessels and carriers in the western Pacific.  Front page of this week’s newspaper, unfortunately, isn’t about the trade success of the island chain’s 25,000 population in fisheries – and our Prime Minister is en route here in September, elections permitting.

If you’ve hung in this far, well done. A bit of fishing now – it wasn’t hot, and one of our boat party – recently arrived from the UK found the rock and roll swell a bit much and made the traditional sacrifice to the fish gods of a good breakfast berley trail. There’s a moral to that story, don’t skite the night before that you’ve never chucked!

The score. Me one (on a size 12 red tag*). Everyone else nil.  Sharks, one, specifically a nice dogtooth Ian was toying with before it had its body separated from its head. Ian had one massive hit that bust the lure; and the doggy eating shark ripped a hook from a split ring.

We ended up with half an hour of snorkeling on the reef, ate lunch on the way home, and were back in the office before anyone missed us.

Tight tippets all, and thank your God we don’t have these brutes in Lake Eucumbene!

Back  in early August!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Editor’s comment – full of ##it!

 

 

Winter’s Dioramas at Dixie

 

As the morning winter fog starts to lift, whilst the lake is still, the sunlight low and filtered, each reflection is a diorama. A framed illusion of nature’s perfection.

Fishing such calm water brings new challenges. While the light is still low the fish can see you, but you can’t see them. But what you can see is the water bulge with every fish movement. Small disturbances, normally undetectable in a ripple are a give away.  The hint of a fish moving through the water, helping the cautious angler spot their prey.

I like to fish where I have some visibility into the water at my feet so I can see the fish chase the fly. Stream-craft becomes critical. Stand with trees behind you so you’re not contrasted against sky, crouch down, kneel, stand back from the bank.

A slow sinking intermediate line gets the line shadow off the water and gets the fly down to the fish, and small nymphs fished slow get sucked down, and buggers stripped quickly get follows and takes. Fishing blind across some deep water got us a follow right to the bank; stripping a big bugger back to the bank out of a deep hole got us a solid hook up; but it was a slow draw surface retrieve cast right to a boil that got David D this beautifully coloured female from Kidney.

A bead head nymph flicked off the island on Dixieland Dam got David H this cracking male.

Dixieland, Kidney, Snaggy and Caddigat are all spilling after last weeks rain and a bit of pumping, and Midway is filling fast.  Midway and Teeny have been stocked with broodstock fish this week. Don’t get the idea the fishing is easy, they’re as flighty as ever but well worth the effort.

I’m away for a few weeks, but checking emails regularly – Philippines, Micronesia, Guam, Marshall Islands, Honolulu, Fiji and New Caledonia – working – but back early August.

Tight tippets!

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