Fishing - The Lure Which Brings Thousands To The Tumut Valley

May 2001 Tumut & Adelong Times

The Tumut district has seemingly been renowned for its fantastic fishing, and specifically as a trout fishing mecca although the district's appeal to anglers is undergoing a metamorphosis of sorts.

With two rivers and a number of good creeks, together with three lakes, there has always been plenty of trout to go after. However, this changed somewhat in the early 1980's, when native fish were placed in Blowering Dam and subsequently thrived in the local waters, and in turn, Tumut's appeal as a fishing destination has since trebled among anglers.

It is not unusual nowadays to catch one of Australia's mightiest fish, the Murray Cod, up to a size of 30 kgs, whilst Golden Perch are often taken up to six or seven kgs. The Jounama Dam has been "seeded" with golden perch as well.

There are three major dams in the Riverina Highlands which produce some excellent catches of fish.

Blowering Dam is close to Tumut and has been heavily stocked with native fish such as murray cod, yellowbelly and silver perch, as well as the introduced species of trout. Redfin are also abundant at Blowering.

Jounama Pondage is a small dam on the Tumut side of Talbingo, and, due to the frequent rise and fall of the water, it is hard to anticipate when fish will bite. Some very good catches have been reported.

Talbingo Dam is a very deep impoundment about five kilometres from Talbingo, up, in mountain country. It has been stocked but also has plenty of breeding potential, carrying mostly trout and silver perch due to the cold waters. It fishes well all seasons but caution should be taken due to rapidly changing weather conditions, which catch many people off guard. Talbingo is best fished from a boat.

Along the Tumut River, the most popular spots are:

• Mill Angle, about two kilometres from Tumut's town centre, upstream, where there are quite a few shallow and slower pools. A great spot for spinning and working wet flies. Access is via Elm Drive.

• Pioneer Park, within walking distance of the town, under giant elms and silver poplars. This place is a real picture and extremely good for relaxation.

• Tumut Pioneer Bridge, emerging as a profitable spot, with a record of good catches with lures as the water runs at a reasonable pace.

Riverglade Caravan Park, which is available for guests.

• The Junction, where the Goobragandra River meets the Tumut River. It has long been a popular spot and a great place to take the family, with Tumut Lions Club improvements including a park and playground. Ideal for picnics.

• Snowy Mountains Trout Farm, which has become a mecca for many recreational fishermen and catches are usually excellent in quality and quantity. Turn off the highway towards the Blowering Dam wall and turn again about four kilometres upstream when you see a sign pointing to the canoe launching area.

• Jones Bridge Picnic Area, which is the site of the former Jones Bridge on the Talbingo Road. It is also accessible from the road leading towards the dam wall. Camping is not allowed, but there's plenty of room for the kids.

• Gilmore Creek Junction, two kilometres downstream from town, and the last public fishing spot for about 35 kilometres. It is warmer water here and carp can be a problem, but you may find some redfin as well as the tasty trout.

• Gundagai turn-off (past Brungle), which is a public reserve and often frequented by fishermen from Gundagai and beyond. There is a sharp turn in the river and the water slows, allowing bait to be drifted. Some good catches downstream.