Drifting The Snowy Valleys of NSW

Mickey Finn & Josh Hutchins drift the Tumut and Swampy tailwaters

Relates to the Feature Article from FlyLife Magazine Issue 100

A snapshot of one of Australia’s most resilient trout fishing regions. Josh Hutchins & Mickey Finnteamed up with Tom’s Outdoor’s in Tumut, NSW & ‘Great Fishing Adventures of Australia’ to drift and fly fish two of Australia’s best tailrace rivers – the Tumut & Swampy Plain.

Despite the recent bushfires earlier in the year, the fly fishing proved to be excellent.

The Snowy Valleys in NSW is home to two of the finest tail-water trout rivers in NSW, the Tumut and the Swampy Plain. The Tumut River in NSW is the pride of the Snowy Valleys. An ideal trout tailwater, it runs high, cold and crystal-clear through forest, farmland and the town of Tumut itself. The Swampy Plain is a rambling white-water stream that resembles some of the best rivers in Montana, with broad gravel runs and high rock banks opening out onto the vista of the Snowy Mountains. Both the Tumut and the Swampy Plain are best experienced onboard a custom drift-boat.

Drifting the Tumut or Swampy Plain in one of our bespoke drift-boats gives you access to every part of these brawling tail-waters effectively and easily; no matter what your experience or mobility level. Our drift boat guides are led and trained by our local guide Mickey Finn. Mickey has spent his offseasons on the massive freestone rivers of Montana, like the Madison and the Yellowstone, learning the art of drifting and fishing effectively from this water-craft.
Early season on these rivers sees fish actively nymphing as well as rising to hatches and aggressively attacking a well-stripped streamer; if you’re lucky the mighty Kosciuszko Dun (our largest mayfly) could hatch at any time in Spring. The long warm summer sees these constantly cold tailwaters shine; Hopper fishing at this time of year is exceptional, with the high air temps and cold-water allowing trout to feed all day. The late-season sees river levels drop and excellent hatches can happen at any point in the day. The size of these rivers also makes them a perfect place for single or double-handed Trout-Spey, Skagit or Scandi casting.
We offer full day and multi-day drift-boat trips down the Tumut and Swampy Plain for trout. Both of these rivers are an easy drive from Sydney or Melbourne and we can recommend and arrange accommodation ranging from a luxury trout lodge to riverside camping and everything in between.
If you want to Drift one day and wander a high-country stream the next, it’s only a short run up the mountains to Kosciuszko National park in the Snowy Mountains where our team can lead you the through the alpine wilderness.

For more information or to book a guided tour visit: aussieflyfisher.com/tumut-fly-fishing/

Special thanks to Toms Outdoors Tumut & Great Fishing Adventures of Australia for collaborating on this project.