Eucumbeme, Kybean, McLaughlin – too much?

For a lot of fly fishing folk the early season has been a bit underwhelming. The weather has been odd. Stormy, windy, wet, cold, snow, sleet, frost. It’s as if I’ve been tele-ported 25 years back to the old country for a March opening season where we all used to line up pre-dawn outside the gates at Chew Magna lake near Bristol.  Tendrils of Thermos flavoured coffee steam snaking from vehicle to vehicle as we waited for the shotgun start, racing to our favourite headland or bay to hurl our sinking lines and dog nobblers out for naive and unsuspecting stockies, always hopeful for the overwintered 5 lb’er, but always happy with the smaller peas from a pod rainbows probably popped in the day before.

Having to work hard for fish is character building. My character must be as strong as its been for a fair while.   After the initial opening weekend John and James came down to Eucumbene.  James and I had a short session upstream of the Kiandra Bridge without success.  It was a blustery old day with a strong westerly and forecast to strengthen before backing off in the late afternoon. Because the westerly tends to be channeled into more of a northerly by the hills at Middlingbank I decided to take the boat around to Buckanderra and launch there.

We met John at the ramp and got the boat in the water as a small Quintrex headed in from the general direction of Rushy Plains skippered by a bedraggled and soaking wet boatman – shivering miserably. Hmm, good job it was a sunny day!

We set off in that direction comforted by being in a much bigger boat.  After 5 minutes and a dozen waves over the bow we turned-tail and headed south west with the chop on our port quarter to fish the first of the westerly bank sheltered bays.  I have to say it looked unbelievably fishy but after a couple of hours of solid fishing by all three rods we’d blanked and had to make a decision. Either head back and get wet en route, or head to Trivilla inlet and stay dry – but risk a much worse and longer return trip later on if the wind didn’t back off. No contest, Trivilla it was.

Now this looked unbelievably fishy. The foamy windlanes died into streaming currents around the headland surely depositing food as they lost power and direction.  We fished solidly, floating lines with a variety of weighted flies but only James latched onto fish on the high northern bank in deep water, and only after he’d switched to a sinking line.  The green and brown WBs did the trick.

The trip back was very calm and dry after the wind died right on dusk.

The next sortie was to the Monaro with Steve, Steve and Tim to see if the rivers were coming good after the drought. We stayed in “the hut” at Moles Station right on the Kybean River, owned by Rick Hain  The hut is a pit-sawn weatherboard cottage and has all the facilities a fisherman could want – most importantly a wood heater to fend off the cool easterlies and the icy mist rolling in from the coast, just over the hill but a 1000 metres below.

The Kybean is a series of deep tannin-stained pools carved through the millennia into the basalt and granite rock, these days fed by quite a small flow. Some of the pools are 100’s of metres long, others much smaller. The river has been stocked for the last two years and there were signs of fish returning.  Over two days of prospecting we landed 4 fish and missed a few more, the biggest probably an honest 2 1/2  lb.

We also had a sneaky look at the McLaughlin River with similar results.  I’d save my visit here for another year or so. With another good season of stocking and growth behind us this should be excellent; although we did see a few fish rise in one pool on small red spinners, and both Steve Corrigan and Tim landed a fish each.

On one day we had over an inch of rain. The Kybean came up dramatically and began to flow and look like a NZ River.  We fished on the reserve at the Kybean Hall but for just a couple of small fish in what looked a far better prospect. Again, 2 more years and these will be crackers.


Not so for Lake Williams at Nimmitabel. Only a small community lake but the past beneficiary of some DPI Fisheries, fishing clinic rainbows that were fit and fat, as well as the annual stocking of fingerlings which were obviously there. I’m not sure I’d go there for a special trip but if I was passing with the rods I’d always have a go. Midge feeders taken on small black nymphs and certainly not naive – or starving. I suspect they see quite a bit of local fishing pressure from bait and lure. Not quite serenity but you soon get used to the odd stares and curious questions of the picnic brigade; and the roar of passing B doubles.


Tight Tippets all.


The Hut has 2 double rooms with an extra fold out sofa and a floor mattress, comfortable for 4 blokes.  For larger groups another nearby property next to the Kybean River, Gannawarrah Lodge( near Kybean Hall) is also available with 4 double rooms (some with single beds) and a bunk room. Comfortable for 4 couples with kids or 8 blokes. The standard best bed rules apply, the old blokes get the best beds. or  Phone 02 64546138


















Fly Fishing and Accommodation in Adaminaby