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Thompsons Creek Dam NSW

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PathFishing Report » Freshwater Reports » Dam or Lake

Article by Spooled ( Watch )
Posted14/09/06 10:00:00 (Australia/Sydney)
This arcticle has been viewed 10303 times.
from Lidsdale, NSW

▲TopThompsons Creek Dam NSW

The bell tolled (or alarm clock as it were) at 7am signifying a 4hr sleep. Even with the 2-2 1/2hr drive we would still be there with plenty of time to fish. Generally like most other Trout waters Thompsons Creek Dam fishes better at midday to late afternoon. This is the time that the air and water temperatures have warmed up sufficiently to trigger the hatches.

Thompsons Creek Dam
Thompsons Creek Dam
Our drive was reasonably uneventful and it was great to be on the open road again. For me as the time on the water draws closer the anticipation increases immensely. So much so that there is surely a formula out there somewhere detailing this phenomenon going something like this

ME = E / DTW

ME = Maximum Excitement E = Excitement DTW = Distance To Water

If E where to equal 100 out of 10 so too does ME eventually (when you are lake side)

For me, Fishing is the only pursuit that allows one to relive the pure excitement experienced in one’s youth.

After arriving at the Dam we parked the car and readied for the half a kilometre walk to the water. We couldn’t have asked for a better day. Warm (air temp around 19 degrees), bright, very little cloud cover and only a slight wind.

Jaye with Thompsons Creek Dam Rainbow
Jaye with Thompsons Creek Dam Rainbow
The blossoming Cootamundra Wattles (Acacia baileyana) meant that Spring had arrived, and it also meant that the trout season was just about to open for the rest of NSW. Thompsons Creek Dam however has no closed season. It is a Blue Ribbon waterway though, which means “No Bait Fishing” it is Lure and Fly only. The lead up road is unsealed and at a slight incline (approximately 15 degrees) at the top of the rise you are brought out to the center of the dam wall. The water was low, very low. I had never seen it at this level. The good thing about low water levels though is the fish are more concentrated.

Trout eggs
With the fish spawning it can make catching them a little more difficult
Due to the direction of the wind we decided to fish the left side of the dam. As we approached, anticipation was high however we had no idea what we were in for. Jaye decided to flick a Celta around while I opted for the long wand with a Wooly Bugger. While I was casting into the wind its lack of ferocity meant it was reasonably easy with close to maximum distance being achievable. The water was clear and though no fish were sighted we continued to cast blind in the hope of drawing a fish from the deeper water. The www.spotters.com.au (Spotters) really come into their own here, giving a distinct advantage when polarizing cruising fish. As we worked the dam edge the water was shallow, only a foot deep (30cm for all you youngens). On sighting two fish we stopped moving immediately and just watched them. Fining beside each other then darting off into deeper water only to return to the same place. They were joined by another four making it six very nice fish less then ten metre’s in front of us.

Rick with 7lb Rainbow
Rick with 6 - 7lb Rainbow
I put a cast past them and to the right stripping the Woolly Bugger past their noses. A small look from a 4 – 5lb fish saw me tense slightly with anticipation. Recast and another retrieval had little more interest then the first. Assuming they were feeding on small fish due to their erratic behaviour I continued to fish the Woolly Bugger. After a few more casts and no more interest I decided to change to a Black Woolly Bugger. This also produced very little response. The insects floating on the surface above them had been ignored entirely.

The surface of the water was littered with Beetle’s and Flying Ants, but still no rises. Then more like tidying the place up then feeding one lazily sipped one off the surface. Changing to Black Spinner Dry fly which was the closest I had to a Flying Ant I cast out and waited, and waited, and waited. Picking it up and laying it down again due to the wind pushing it up against the bank. After presenting everything from Brown Spinner Dry’s to Black Beetle pattern’s, Mrs Simpon’s, Craig’s Night Time and Hamills Killer’s I reverted to the Olive bead head Woolly Bugger as that seemed to receive the most amount of interest.

Thompsons Creek Dam Rainbow
While initially being cautious not to scare the fish off, I was delicate with my presentation, after 45 minute’s though with no luck my casting become somewhat more carefree. Some on them now landing over the group as I pursued the larger male a few metres past them. However nothing scared them off.

jiggler began to flick the Celta at the same group (as he had held off for the fly) yet nothing. Our frustration grew as there were good fish with quite a few sizable males among them, the group had now increased too. Then it happened BANG and Jaye was on. How dare they I thought. Taking a Celta over a Fly – sacrilege. And what a nice fish, after a very placid fight the nice little hen was brought into the shoreline. As she was picked up from the water and with every grip $50 per kilo eggs dotted the ground beneath her. They were spawning. I had thought it might have been a little early but as it turned out they had already begun. While it didn’t really give us a leg up as to what they where feeding on (apart from eggs and I didn’t have any Glow Bugs) it did let us know why they weren’t interested in our offerings.

DSCN1136 (600 x 450).jpg
On examining the contents of her stomach we found it empty, although not making our job any easier we knew they would have to feed eventually. Half an hour passed, casting and stripping my Woolly Bugger through the pre-occupied bunch, but finally I had a take, and an already tired male was quickly and quietly landed. The school was so occupied with spawning that a 6 – 7lb rainbow being landed two metres away didn’t move them on. We decided to leave them be and continued around the dam edge. The sun was high in the sky now and the wind had picked up, not enough to render the Fly rod useless but enough to make the 6 weight considerably more difficult to cast.

The next few hours proved slow as we were casting blind. I much prefer sight fishing if I can help it so hand Jaye the Fly rod. You know what happened don’t you? Thats right as I continued to flick his Celta around he connected with a solid Rainbow and all I heard was “YeeHaa” Turning to see a fish considerably bigger then mine breach the surface. The angst experienced when such a fish is hooked is overwhelming until it is landed. This experience was to be one of those that render our angst justified as the Rainbow had considerably more fight and was 9lb if not the magic 10. While it should have held it, it didn’t, and as the tippet broke and the rod relaxed a synchronized Oooohhhh escaped our mouths. Somewhat deflated at what would have easily beaten both our PB’s we continued. After another two hens and one buck all taken on a replacement Olive Woolly Bugger. We decide to head back to where we had seen the fish spawning to see if they were ready to eat.

DSCN1139 (600 x 450).jpg
Sometimes its a tough job but someone has to do it.
After working our way back we continued to present our offerings only to be refused 99 times out of 100. Having landed 7 fish for the day and as the sun had now almost set we decided to head off. I began to pack the little Loomis away, organizing myself for the walk out as Jaye had one or two more casts (not intending to pack his rod away).

A small rise off shore, to far to cast at. One a little closer and to the left. Then a whopper three metre’s in front of him. “Oh mate I have too!” exclaimed Jaye as he cast out just behind it. In a matter of seconds his line drew tight and another solid fish was landed. Blue Ribbon waters have a bag limit of 2 trout per person and while we are both very catch and release orientated, Trout is also one of my favorite fish. So while Jaye dispatched of the fish I had a few casts of his rod. It was less then one minute and before I was on, then another Rainbow was released. By this point in time fish were rising everywhere. As I frantically set up my fly rod Jaye continued to cast, hook, land and release fish.

DSCN1130 (600 x 450).jpg
With scenery like this where else would you want to be
After finally getting the rod together I put the Black Spinner back on and began to cast. The cast was short as the fish were close and the fly touched down on the surface and I fought to find the last remaining rays of light to backlight the fly on the waters surface so I could see it. It happened. An absolute perfect end to a perfect day as a 5lb hen arched her back and rose to engulf the Spinner sitting high on its hackles. With a raise of the wrist, she shook her head and a small tailwalk was all that was needed to set a grin from ear to ear. As we released her back into the water we knew we’d come back someday to yet again fish this often overlooked but wonderful waterway.

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