Snowy trout are here to stay

Special Report by ROB PAXEVANOS

RECENT media reports suggesting 'Snowy rainbow trout have gone missing' have created a real stir amongst anglers and the Snowy tourism industry.

Is it true? Well it depends who you are or who you talk too, but I wouldn't blame the journalists that put out these reports as readers in a hurry can at times focus on the headlines and see what they want to see...missing the details.

More interestingly it can be keen anglers themselves that start these 'poor fishing' rumours. Trusty spots, times and techniques that fail due to changing conditions become personal headlines that spread like wildfire ... allow me to explain.

Wherever you fish and whatever you fish for it can take just one isolated bad session to start wondering where all the fish have gone ... bump into another angler who's had a bad day and heck it can be like you're the only two anglers on the lake and all fish have vanished for good.

A bad season and the whole sky is falling. But fish don't just suddenly vanish forever: especially in the snowy lakes; it is after all an 'impoundment' not the open sea.

Thankfully most keen anglers are optimistic and patient; have you ever seen an impatient person that gets anywhere with fishing?

So after a particularly bad day anglers usually come to their senses, lick their wounds and start over again ... and talking is the key ... for it only takes hearing of someone else's success to realise that either you are doing things the wrong way, or that luck still plays a major role in fishing at times, no matter what skill level you are at.

Even in elite competitions the best anglers have lean days or lean seasons while someone else is cleaning up 'somewhere and somehow'.

I am in a bit of a lucky position: reports come flooding into my computer and phone regularly so in many instances I can add these to my own experiences and form a 'statistical approach' to how the fishing is going. Furthermore I follow up by talking to the most seasoned guides on the lake.

And yes it is true that while the brown trout fishing on Lake Eucumbene has been reasonable, the stocked rainbow trout fishing has been very slow.

Eucumbene Authority Col Sinclair blames a 3-4 year boom cycle of good fishing that brought in more anglers and this increased the 'take'.

Meanwhile stocking levels have remained the same so the 'put' hasn't kept up with the 'take'.

But as anglers disappear due to poor fishing the 'put' trout will grow to a nice size and so begins the cycle again, and it takes a stocked fry rainbow 2-5 years to be of the 1-2 pound size people expect to catch.

But business are suffering and can't wait years for anglers to return, so Col and other Eucumbene folks are suggesting stocking levels must increase quickly.

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