Fraser Perry – Southern Snowies

Earlier in November I explored the Geehi, Upper Swampy Plains and Murray Rivers in NSW with Eddie Savkovic. Contrary to conditions on the more popular rivers in the Snowy Mountains, these rivers had good numbers of fish and offered enjoyable fishing. Warm temperatures, an abundance of insects and feeding fish made for a satisfying weekend on the water.

The Murray River was the standout, with the most fish spotted and caught. We accessed the river below Tom Groggin, not too far from where Dan Zylinski and other anglers were fishing with different results. We consistently encountered small rising fish in each pool and the occasional larger fish feeding in deeper runs. In one session, we hooked 7 Rainbows, landing 5 all around 1lb. I hooked and played one very large Brown for five minutes before straightening the hook. Eddie and I estimated the fish to be 4-5lb. The warm temperatures had stimulated plenty of mayfly and caddis activity which the fish capitalised on. Adult caddis patterns with hare’s ear nymphs below on droppers worked well, although stronger hooks were desired!
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The Geehi River was the most challenging of the rivers but was nevertheless a pleasure to fish. The Geehi River above its confluence with the Upper Swampy Plains River is a shallow bubbly stream with the occasional small Rainbow Trout in each run. We experienced fishing similar to that described by Phillip Weigall in his guidebook to the Snowy Mountains; low numbers of small spooky trout hardly worth the effort stalking.

The picturesque Upper Swampy Plains River epitomised summer fly fishing in the high country and was most enjoyable to fish. We waded up this cool stream to catch Browns and Rainbows on dry flies, blind fishing every run and promising pocket of water. With the snow-capped peaks of the Main Range in the back drop, wading up this stream was tireless. Fish ranged from feisty 1lb Rainbows to 2lb Browns. In the larger slow pools I spotted and spooked solid Browns that I won’t forget.

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This trip renewed some of my enthusiasm for the Snowy Mountains and has proven there are fish out there to be caught for those willing to take a risk and explore new waters. With the rivers full of water and a warm summer ahead, I’m optimistic about the unfolding Trout season.


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