I woke to a cold grey morning in Tumut. I am used to fishing early but I had been advised that dawn is less good for trout fishing than dusk. I took the advice to heart and had a lie in …. until 7.30 am. By then I had to test the theory. I drove down to Junction Park on the Tumut River, parked and walked back across the bridge. This spot is where the Tumut and Goobarrangandra Rivers meet. There is a bridge across the river and a small park. The Tumut River is wide and fairly shallow but there are some deeper pools, near the bridge.
You can fish a fair way along the Tumut side of the river and I climbed the steps over the fence and set off along the bank. The sun was trying to come out and it was about 5 degrees. I had a warm hat on and a couple of layers of fleece, but soon everything felt cold. I fished from the bank with a GULP 3” Minnow in the Rainbow colour and then swapped to a GULP 3” Jigging Grub in the Peppered Prawn colour. The latter provoked a few bites but I could not hook up. By about 9.00 am I was still fishless, so I drove back in to Tumut for a bacon sandwich and a coffee.
At about 10.00 am I had warmed up, so I drove further up the Snowy Mountains Highway in the direction of Yarrangobilly. The road runs alongside Blowering Reservoir. At Talbingo I noticed a small creek running down in to the reservoir. I turned off on to the track and followed it up hill, as it ran parallel to the stream. I later figured out this was Jounama Creek. I walked up it for about an hour, casting around, first with soft plastics and then with a few small hard bodied lures, but I could not find any fish. There were lots of pools, but there was not much water over the rocky bottom in places – perhaps there was not enough water for the trout to get up here. I am still very much a novice at this type of fishing, but I work on the principle that any body of water is worth casting at. At about noon, I turned around and walked back to the car. The scenery was fantastic but the fish were elusive.
I drove back down through Tumut and out, along the Goobarragandra River again. Through the afternoon I fished a selection of spots. I had a couple of hits on the soft plastics but did not catch anything. Then I found myself on what looked like very fishy section of river. The bank had turned rocky on both sides, channelling fast flowing water in between. I gave up on the Rapala F3 and switched to the DUO Tetra Works Toto 48. This is a 48mm sinking, bibbed minnow, from my favourite Japanese lure manufacturer. It has the usual DUO hallmarks – brilliant finish and colours, great balance for casting and a startling action. The first one I tied on was in the zebra glow rainbow colour (white stripes on silver). Almost as soon as it hot the water, I watched a fish come out from beside a rock and follow the lure all the way back to me. This happened three times. On the next cast, I jerked the lure a bit more aggressively and bang, the trout struck. It was on, it jumped….,it was off. I was getting frustrated and a couple of casts later, I lost the lure to the trees, on the far bank.
I looked through the tackle bag – one more DUO Tetra Works Toto 48 left – in the red gold colour. I tied it on and moved upstream. I was in the right spot now or I had finally selected the right lure. I saw a few more fish follow the lure and once more, by speeding up, I triggered a strike. This time the fish stayed on. It was only a small brown, but I was delighted to bring it ashore.
I carried on upstream and caught another brown, about 10 metres further on. This time I hooked myself as well as the fish. I found my pliers, released the fish and then bit hard as I pulled the treble out. It had clouded over and fortunately my hand was numb from the cold water.
It slowly started to rain and as I moved up stream, I caught another small brown on the same lure. Then disaster struck – the lure caught on a tree branch, on the far bank. It was out of reach so I had to leave it. The rain was picking up and I was knackered so I gave up for the day.
That was it for me, as I was on the early flight back to Brisbane, the next morning. I had thoroughly enjoyed catching my first trout on mainland Australia.