The road, though no more than thirty metres away might as well be in Queensland thanks to epic blackberries and a near vertical climb and suddenly, my plan to fish up from Dean Creek and then walk back down the road is looking pretty stupid.
That’s the nature of Snowy Creek. Although it’s closely followed by a good road for almost all of it’s twenty-five kilometre length (as the crow flies), getting to that road from the water can be virtually impossible, making access a mixed bag. Wading the river—let’s call it what it is—is also a tough in places thanks to fast water, bedrock and slippery-as-greased-piglets football-sized rocks.
So is it worth it? Totally.
There’s more interesting and challenging water on this river than any other I’ve been to in northeast Victoria and the scenery is awesome. The fishing? Not bad either.
In the upper river, fish are generally small in size though big in numbers. I’ve caught ten rainbows for every brown, but every brown has been slightly larger.
The lower sections of the river have some bigger fish as well, though the numbers of small ones is still pretty high. I’ve heard tales of four- and five-pound fish and even seen a couple that might go three, but I have yet to catch anything much over a pound myself. It’s also worth mentioning that the fishing is very reliable here.
In terms of tackle, and in general, this is 4-weight water below Granite Flat and 2- to 3-weight above. In the twiggier sections there’s the odd bit of deep fast water that requires a heavy fly to hit the bottom if nymphing and that might rule out the really light stuff. The only addition to my normal twigwater fly selection would be a few heavy #10 & #12 Tungsten bead-headed nymphs.
Driving up the river from Mitta Mitta there’s a few access tracks up to Granite Flat where the river is quite fast and wild and best avoided in high water. I’ve not fished it down this far myself but nearly crashed the car many times while watching it through gaps in the trees on my way further upriver.
Between Granite Flat and Harkers Creek the river is less wild and more relaxing to fish, particularly on an evening rise.
The Walnuts is a great little camping area has a good, short stretch of river up to Harkers Creek that holds some nice fish and is a good afternoon on the water and I often finish a day there.
Above Harkers Creek the river is again very gorge-y and wild. There’s a few short tracks offroad and a couple of places where it’s possible to scramble down and a couple of others that make me wish I had climbing gear.
Near the top of the river, the Lightning Creek campground is both beautiful and a great spot to roll out the swag. Upstream from here is the best twigwater if you’re happy to hoof it in and out.
The pubs at Mitta Mitta and Eskdale are both excellent and after extensive testing over many sessions, I can honestly say they both pour very good beers.
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