Tag Archives: flyfishing

Eucy Spawners

After an early start on Wed morning & the hearty bacon & roll & lunch pickup at Adaminaby I headed off to Denisons for a squizz. The usual crowds are up the top end, which I avoided, but also a significant number of cars at the bridge & right down at the rapids closest to the lake.


The howling downstream wind was horrendous, & giving me so much grief trying to cast that I crossed a muddy river which apparently had risen overnight by about 8-9″ due to torrential overnight rain. I fished the bridge pool & was super-excited to hook a 5lb hen within 5mins of the session. Unfortunately I dropped it at the bank when my globug got hooked, & the fish rolled off. Although slightly annoyed at myself I was not overly worried as I thought this is going to be a hot session after hooking a great fish first up. Despite fish moving through the pool I could only hook momentarily before dropping them. This pretty much continued all day. In frustration I thought I would have a squizz at Secret Creek. Mark & Roy told me to try the upper section so I scootered along until I started spooking big spawners. Long leaders & gusty wind is not a good combo & I spent more time sorting out tangled flies. Unfortunately it was not other fishos that get dropping in front of me, but bloody fat gutted pelicans!! There were at least half a dozen sitting in the water, & as you came around a bend they would slowly take off & skim about 2m off the water & fly upstream. I did this for about 300m & every time I thought I would get to clear water, another bloody pelican would be there. Gave up & dropped downstream closer to the lake to see if any action there.



Reports were that Sat & Sun were gang-busters, but Mon & Tues nothing! The rain had def triggered a run, but fishing patchy with either none or 15-20 depending on which sweet spot you happened to be. Interestingly most fish caught on nymphs.


Thurs I decided to have an early start, as the river would be full of fresh fish, & the previous day most of the fish were actually caught just after daybreak, & then went quite for most of the day! Given that a couple of the guys from the lodge had done ok down towards the lake I thought I might go & join them. Yes, on daybreak it was definitely happening. I looked downstream & most guys were hooking up! The river had dropped a bit & was a bit clearer too.


I ran into one of the guys from the lodge & said I was having no luck, but found out that everyone was really loading up on splitshot to get down in the fast moving water. He gave me some splitshot & within 5mins I was on. I went a bit hard on this fish as it was at the top of some rapids, but also so I would not have to push through the gauntlet of another half dozen or so other fishos. In hind-sight I should have just let it run as one of the guys downstream said it was easily 5lb!


There was one sweet spot that I saw a guy pull out 15 fish from, with guys either side only catching the occasional fish. I moved upstream & noticed a couple of large fish “porpoising” in one spot & decided to give them a go. Within 10mins I was hooked up. This fish just swam upstream when I hooked it.  I just love when you snag the bottom, & then the bottom swims off! After going too hard on the previous fish, I am definitely going easy on this one. It has me steadily following it up & down this pool & it is either foul-hooked or a huge fish. After about another 10mins I get a glimpse of a log with fins!! Maybe not the magic double figure but 8-9lbs easily. It has snavelled the hot glue globug. I am still applying steady pressure only & the bloody hook pulls. I sit down still shaking I wonder what went wrong 🙁


One of the guys from the lodge walks downstream & joins me. Turns out he is an electrical engineer & does a lot of contracting work in the Qld UG mines, so we get on very well & have a lot in common. Pretty much rest of the day we take turns to land fish until around lunchtime when the fishing has shut down & a lot of the anglers have bugged out to relocate. Still feeling crook with the man-flu, especially in the disgusting wind the day before, I decide to head back to the lodge for some lunch a rest & regroup before the afternoon session.


After lunch I went back to find even less guys at the bottom stretch so decide to see if my spot is free.  There is one or two guys below & he started catching fish & within about 15mins there were a dozen or more guys in that stretch of water… I stay where I am. I land a few more fish & end the day with again hooking something that does not realise it is hooked & continues to swim upstream. I apply a bit of pressure & the leader parts half way – must have had a bloody casting knot or some other line damage. Again BIG BIG fish but did not get to see it. The guy from the lodge joins me & drops another big fish for no apparent reason, was hooked up for at least 10mins & just applying steady pressure. All fish seem to be on globugs today.


A great day none-the-less & fish until dark & get back in time for 6pm dinner – not sure why so many are camping! Maybe not as many fish, but think the average size is definitely up to previous spawn runs.


Friday I got up at 5am but the rain was beating against my window & the wind was howling again & I felt too crook to go fishing so wimped out & went back to bed. I reckon Friday could have also been a good day, as there would have definitely been more fish running, but I was happy with my Thurs session & needed to be ok to drive home safely.


After fishing with some shop hot-glue gun eggs, & also knowing that one of my friends has been experimenting with the same, I think this is going to be my new “secret weapon” spawn fly…

All fish were returned to the water after a quick photo 🙂





Man vs Fish – Does Fishing For Spawning Trout Create An Ethical Dilemma?

Every year if the conditions are suitable the resident lake brown trout of the lakes in the Snowy Mountains make a pilgrimage up the source rivers to spawn. Two major lakes Jindabyne and Eucumbene are very popular fishing destinations. Does fishing for spawning trout create an ethical dilemma?

Every story has two sides, so this is a summary of the issues as I see it:


  • Over crowding.
  • Amount of fishing pressure.
  • Not a subtle form of fishing, often an over-weighted rig is required (especially true of fly fishing).
  • A minority spoil things for the majority – unfortunately this is true of any pursuit there is always someone who leaves rubbish, is rude or does not follows the rules.


  • Most of these fish sulk in the lake the rest of the year and are rarely seen by anglers.
  • Usually there is only a very short window between when the fish start their spawning run and the close of river fishing.
  • Seeing large numbers of fish (often very big fish) is very exciting.
  • Fishery officers regulate the fishery. They check licenses and enforce catch limits.
  • Taking of fish > 50cm is limited to one per day.
  • Very social and in most cases convivial fishing, you get to say hello and chat to fellow fishers.
  • Most fishers are happy to share a part of the river where normally someone “dropping in” on your part of the river would be considered extremely rude.
  • We catch and release all our fish.

Apart from the main rivers we also fished a couple of the smaller tributaries.  In the shallow water the fish were easily spooked so we reverted to un-weighted globugs and waiting until we saw a fish to cast to. The fishing was as challenging as it was exciting.

It was interesting to watch the effectiveness of a “hybrid” fishing method. A standard fly rig of globug and nymph is rigged on spinning gear. The key difference was that it allowed the use of a series a heavy split-shot to make sure the rig was in contact with the bottom of the riverbed. With the recent rain the river flow certainly was up and it was very difficult to get flies down in the strong current. However, heavy spinning gear and braid just sliced through the water like a cheese-cutter down to where the fish were holding on the riverbed.


Eucumbene Spawn Run Crowd

Welcome to the craziness of the spawn run

Eucumbene Spawn Run Fishing with friends

Our fishing is about enjoying the company of friends as much as the fishing

Mark Kelly Eucumbene Spawning Brown Trout 01

A beautiful brown trout in full spawning colours

Mark Passfield Releasing Eucumbene Spawning Brown Trout

Mark about to release a beautiful brown trout

Mark Kelly Eucumbene Spawning Brown Trout

Just about to release another beautiful brown trout

Mark Passfield Releasing Eucumbene Spawning Brown Trout

Mark releases another fish

Mark Kelly Eucumbene Spawning Brown Trout

What a big mouth!

Mark Kelly Releasing Eucumbene Spawning Brown Trout

About to release my biggest fish of the trip

#fishing #flyfishing #Eucumbene #trout

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