The Monaro Wind!

Sunday was a write off on Lake Eucumbene. It blew hard and a boat trip was cancelled so off we went to the Monaro to give the McLaughlin another go.  The day started in a promising way; light breeze in the valley, the odd fish rising in the bigger pools, intermittent duns and spinners, pairs of dragon flies zipping from spot to spot. The water was still quite dirty in the bigger pools from the flood rain two weeks ago but the river itself was quite clear.

I started off (on Corro’s advice) with an emerger nymph on a greased up leader to be aimed at fish once they’d been spotted.  I drew the attention of two fish but didn’t convert.  One spot at the head of a pool had at least two fish rising but as soon as the wind came up they of course disappeared – and search as we did in other pools the wind definitely had an effect and the fish had gone down.  I tried Corro’s plan B, a nymph under a Geehi beetle but it wasn’t to be.

After lunch I fished a pool near a river crossing and saw a fish in the same spot I’d seen one on the last visit. It even appeared to have the same cormorant scar on its back as it rose through the water column twitched its head to feed and sank back into the pool.  I didn’t see it again.

I fished down and back up the river. No fish, and again fished the pool near the crossing. I fished it blind, but where I knew the fish was holding and second cast got my reward.

This was a nice 1 kg brown that was as fat as a barrel. Definitely no shortage of food in the river. So I’d christened the new WF4 line, and the new waders, and I’d been carrying the camera – all well know jinxes to catching fish.  I wandered up stream for another kilometre.  A long pool featured a solitary rise. With squadrons of duns coming out of the run at the head of the pool you might have expected to see more. Then the other Steve and Steve appeared from nowhere and that was it for another day.

The short version from those who know about these things is they don’t think the rivers are back to their former glory – yet – but after a couple of prospecting trips it’s good to see fish in such good condition, even if they are few. Another couple of years of stocking and another couple of years with good rain, who knows!

After some hospitality from station owners Howard and Annie I set off for Canberra via Nimmitabel and Cooma.  Ten kilometres from Nimmitabel a car veered across the Monaro Highway into my path. I swerved and avoided it and watched in the mirror as it plunged off the embankment and disappeared from sight. The young man, Troy from Traralgon appeared physically uninjured and as he crawled, shaken and apologetic up the bank he somehow was still on the phone to his friend. The car appeared relatively undamaged from its 5 metre plunge.  We got it back on the road, changed a wheel with serious damage from a rock impact and he was off again, carefully, to Nimmitabel to get it checked out. After of course going back to the skids and crash sight to get pictures for his mates! Flash backs all night.

Tight tippets all.



Fly Fishing and Accommodation in Adaminaby