THIS Saturday I will get the opportunity to showcase Tumut Valley on the Fishing Australia Television Series.
Nestled in the lush north facing valley of the Snowy Mountains, the area is a lesser seen and lesser publicized part of the Snowies.
But it has some great fishing options that I’ve enjoyed many times.
For a start there are three impoundments of the Snowy Scheme along the Tumut River: Talbingo Dam, Jounama Pondage and Blowering Dam.
Talbingo has reasonably good fishing for rainbow trout around the edges of the tree line, throughout the main body, near the dam wall, and also up in the inlets and main feeder (Tumut) river at Sue City.
Stocking rates dictate the quality of fishing to some extent, but local clubs are active on this front and there is always at least a few ‘bows’ to be caught.
Talbingo is nearly almost always full making it is easy to plan where to camp and fish.
I’ve also caught and seen some of my biggest brown trout in Talbingo. I’ll always remember missing one that was close a metre long. Friends and I nearly had heart attacks when we first spotted it.
The big browns are there in small numbers, and are cunning, but dedicated anglers do catch them.
Many of the biggest browns feed on the prolific redfin schools when insects and other foods are scarce.
Trolling with cowbells and worms, barra style trolling for trout, spinning the edges or loch style fly fishing all produce fish, especially in the early morning or late evening.
Looking for the wind lanes (if they form) is a big step in the right direction when targeting Talbingo’s trout.
There is also the very occasional Trout Cod in Talbingo, and some are up over the 17kg mark – if you get dusted beyond belief it may be by one of these ridiculously hard fighting fish.
Jounama Pondage is a much smaller waterway and is subject to significant and regular water level rises and falls due to hydro operations.
It does however, fish very well at times, usually when rising or full and especially when stocking efforts have been maintained by the local angling clubs.
It is bank fishing only and on its day has some quality shore based fishing for brown trout.
There is also the very occasional red fin scoffing, double figure brown to be had. Spinning and fly fishing are productive early and late in the day when waters are rising. Modern bait fishing techniques are particularly effective.
There’s also a handful of golden perch in Jounama.
Blowering is a mixed fishery, including a few trout, loads of redfin, a few golden perch, and Murray cod.
Some giant cod over 100 pounds have been caught and released in this lake, but they are the stuff of extreme angling…or extreme luck.
And of course there is also the main part of the Tumut River between the Trout Farm and its junction with the Murrumbidgee.
This section is fantastic trout water in Autumn when irrigation flows are low and you can fish from the numerous gravel bars.
Of course there is much more as to where and how to fish the Tumut Valley and I hope you get to catch the Fishing Australia Special on the region this Saturday, October 19 at 5.30pm on WIN and NBN Television.
It will also screen on the GO network. Contact the GO channel for airing time details in your area.