Curries River Dam

Damon Sherriff

Curries is a challenging water. It has had its ups and downs over the years but now thanks to the IFC its stocks are getting back on track. Curries is not every anglers cup of tea. The catch rate is normally lower than in other areas but the fish taken from Curries are of excellent eating quality.

They have bright orange flesh due to the good diet of yabbies and galaxia. Curries is a man-made dam which was completed in 1979. It was constructed for George Town's domestic water supply. After the dam was finished it wasn't opened for trout fishing until 1990. Since then the dam has mainly been stocked with brown trout and rainbows but some liberations of Atlantic salmon and tiger trout have been released over the years.
Curries is a deep dam in areas. Originally it was a river and there were wild stocks of trout in the river before it was flooded. There is ample scope for land based anglers as there is a corsway which you can drive across to the other side of the dam. This is a popular fishing area and it separates the dam in to two halves. The northern shore is a more popular spot for angling. Most of it is cleared and has steep banks that drop off into deep water. The southern shore is not as popular. It is quite reedy and shallow and has poor access. Some of the fly fisherman do prefer this side because of its large weed beds.

Bait Fishing
There are many good spots that anglers can bait fish effectively. Most of the northern shore and corsway has quite deep water. The most popular bait would be wattle grubs and scrub worms. There are some local anglers have taken their bait fishing very seriously and use mudeyes. Kelvin Housego is just one of those locals and he is well known around the Gerorge Town area as the cormorant of Curries River dam. He has mastered using a mudeye suspended below a bubble float. Kelvin catches his own mudeyes by hand. He searches around the shores under rocks and logs to collect his bait and has great success on them. Although he puts in many hours at Curries, it does pay off. Kelvin catches more than most and occasionally catches a 7 or 8 pounder.
Power Bait is also worth a shot. Sherbet and rainbow putty are the most popular colours. The trick with Power Bait is to use a small hook. I like the Daiichi 2171 size 8. This hook is very strong but  light. A heavier hook will sink the Power Bait and defeat the whole purpose of using it. Power Bait is designed to float up off the bottom above the weed line so it is in the trout's face. You can use it on a running sinker or paternoster rig.

Curries is a fantastic spot to troll, drift spin or spin the shores. The deep water on the northern side is very productive when using lures. Cobras, spinners and rapalas all work well. My favourite lure on Curries is the Tillins king cobra # 63 which is known as the Christmas tree colour. Other good lures are Ashley spinners # 14D, #29 and #22. Tassie Devil # 48 is also worth a shot. Rapala floating minnow 5 cm brown trout and rainbow are also very productive.

Soft Plastics
Soft plastics have taken off Australia wide. Local anglers are having good success with SPs. The most popular lures are Squidgies size 1 and size 2 in the fish pattern. The colours would be garry glitter and black and gold. They both seem to work well. Berkley also make a good range of soft plastics. The 3 inch drop shot minnow in the colour pumpkin seed and pearl watermelon an re the most successful colours. Eco products eye ball tails are also a great soft plastic. The colour pumpkin seed and water melon seed are the best colours at Curries River dam.

Fly Fishing
Fly anglers do well mainly using wet fly patterns which imitate the galaxia which populate the dam. Through the warmer months fly fisherman have success on mudeye patterns. The shallow marshier areas are preferred by most fishermen.
Curries is a great spot to take kids. There are plenty of wide open safe areas for them to run wild. Also some great fishing can be had by young and old. Just be aware that Curries river dam is now no longer open for night fishing. It is restricted to day light hours. All bait tackle and supplies are available at Sport "n" Fish in the main street George Town.

Damon Sherriff

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