Chris and I ducked down to the Eucumbene River on Friday night to go see if any fish had started to make their spawn run. We had a late start left home at around 8.30pm and headed for the back road through the Namadgi National Park. We were just about to hit the dirt section when at 11.30pm we came across a road closure due to a back burn that had gotten out of hand. We were turned around by a crew member and then told we needed to go through Cooma which added a bit over an hour to what we thought our arrival time would be.
Arriving at 1.30am with the car reading 0 degrees celsius, we set up camp, got a fire going and made a hot cup of milo. We took the tourchs for a wander around the river seeing if we could spot any sleeping trout, but it was looking pretty empty.
We awoke after a cold night in the tents, at temperatures that I can only image went into the negatives. The fire was started again and bacon and egg sandwiches cooked. Once we downed some breakfast it was time to see if there were any fish holding in the river. The quickest way to do this was to use some technology and after the batteries were warmed up the DJI Phantom 3 Pro was in the air on the look out for fish. I check the usual pools that we fish and it was looking pretty bleak, footage that I captured last year shows the fish clearly, so when nothing fish like was showing on the screen it was pretty obvious that this weekend wasn’t going to be the trip we had wished for.
We had sort of expected that to be the outcome due to the lack of rain before the trip and the river being about 1.5 feet below what we usually see, so our back up plan was to head to Tumut for some Rainbow Trout instead. We first checked the mouth of the Eucumbene to see if we could spot any fish in the first pools, but again we were disappointed. So back into Adaminaby to refuel, toilet and coffee, we were back in the FJ and heading up the Snowy Mountains highway for the 100 or so k’s until Tumut.
Dane who is a mate of mine, had earlier sent me a message over Facebook about a small dam that we should check out on our trip. Apparently it is stocked well with Brook Trout, and further digging on Google showed that to be right. We detoured out to this dam, which was no larger than a lot of dams of most farms to find it easily accessable and able to walk the whole parameter. We had arrived at around mid day, and after 45 mins of walking and cast 90% of the water, we called it quits and got back in the car. It’s definitely a spot to try in the late afternoon I think.
The Snowy Mountains is such an amazing place, and although fairly barren compared to back home I love going there year after year due to it being so different. As we made our way across the top of the mountain, we came across a couple of cars that had pulled over and thinking there might have been an accident, we slowed down only to see people get out the cars with cameras in hand to capture a group of Brumbies grazing on the side of the road.
We got to Tumut and checked out the free camp on the river before heading up to the canoe launching area to fish a couple of the runs in that section of the river. A couple of chicken, lettuce and mayo sandwiches made at the back of the car, then it was waders on, lures tied and off to the river.
I had been watching the water levels on the daily river reports website that shows day by day historical release info from Blowering Dam, and all was looking good with it showing that it was in the 550 – 600 mega litres a day. We wandered over to the river and started flicking a run, which was quiet a lot shallower than the last time I had been there, but that was probably 12 months ago. We pushed up stream a little where the water was faster and deeper, and on the first cast in I hooked a nice little Rainbow on a Daiwa Double Clutch in the Yaname colour.
We pushed further up, then walked down as far as we could before it got to deep to wade for no more fish. With dark just around the corner, we went back to the free camp and set up our fire to create some coals for cooking with before fishing the run in front of the camp ground. It was perfect timing as the insects came out in their thousands and the trout were rising everywhere we looked. I changed lures, this time going for a Jackson Athlete 55ARF which was perfectly suited for this very shallow run of water and didn’t take long for it produce the goods on a nice little rainbow. I think I finished on 3 fish for that part of the river and Chris 2.
We walked back up to camp and got to work on dinner, camp oven roast pork and veggies, downed with a couple of glasses of red. It was off to bed to try and catch up on sleep from the night before.
We woke up at 7am and started flicking the run in front of the camp. Chris managed 2 fish to my zero before we decided to go try a few different areas. We pack up camp and jump in the car, first back to the canoe launch for nil, then down to the Gilmore/Tumut junction where I managed 1 Rainbow then to the Goobagandra/Tumut junction where was spotted a small Murray Cod cruising a hole who had no interest in out little trout lures. We jumped in the river and fished the run where I dropped a fish and Chris land one. It was about mid day by this point, so we decided to call it a day and head home to the coast.