Rivers in great shape
  |  First Published: October 2010

It’s another great river trout season in the Snowy Mountains, with rivers open from 12.01am on October 2. With plenty of water about and plenty of snow still left on the mountains, they are in great shape.

There will be plenty of late spawning rainbow trout left in the Thredbo River and plenty of anglers on the river on opening day.

The trout will be attacking lures and flies with vengeance but due to the number of anglers, it will not be long before the fish are lure-shy, so I tend to stay away from the rivers until later in the week.

This years opening is also half-way through the NSW school holidays so it would be worthwhile bringing the kids down to the mountains while the fishing is so good.

In comparison with October 2009, Lake Jindabyne is much, much higher and the weed beds are farther out. But the water is also into the grass around the shore, making some areas very interesting to fish and more suitable to flies than lures.


As the lake continues to rise this month, trolling will be best near the edges early and late in the day but you may have problems spooking the fish over shallow water so make sure your line is out farther than normal, at least 80m.

Fish on the surface in shallow water at first light and then move out to deeper water with 20m to 30m of lead core line.

There will be a lot of old weeds under the water for the fish to tangle you around so don’t waste time getting to your line and keep the pressure on the fish and away from the snags.

We have been doing best with minnow lures early and then switching to Tasmanian Devils later in the morning. Best colours will be darker early, with Y48 or even Y94 great. Try the yellow wing Tassies as the sun is about to rise.

Minnows like Rapalas or StumpJumpers in trout patterns are good but there are many good brands of lures that will do the job if you know what speed to troll to get the best action out of them. It’s not a good idea to mix and match different brands, as no two makes seem to work best at the same speed.

After the sun hits the water, change to a Tassie 36, Y82 or my own red nosed yellow wing before eventually getting the lures lower with lead core or downriggers.

For trophy browns, troll small minnows over the weed beds well before the sun comes up using long drop-backs and lighter line or braid to keep them as deep a possible.


It has been a great season for spinning the lake edges. With the water rising over new ground there are plenty of trout biting early and late in the day.

The weed beds are too far from the edge now so minnow lures have not been as effective as Tassies in shallow bays.

The Thredbo River late rainbows are also a lot easier to catch early in the day, with gold Celtas or Gillies Spinners and a variety of minnows catching their share. I like the jointed Rapalas worked with a slow, stop-start retrieve along the pools and undercut banks.

Lake bait fishing has been excellent for months. Worms are best for brown trout while Gulp Nuggets are proving themselves for rainbow trout and salmon. The most popular are rainbow or chunky cheese.

For a big brown the best baits are still going to be bardi grubs or scrub worms, fished with a greased line to stop it from getting caught up in the weed.


We are going to be in for an interesting fly season and the lake will fish well.

When the days warm up and a few more insects hatch, we may get some good early morning rises.

The best flies have been green or olive flies like Hamill’s Killers, small shrimp patterns and Olive Nymphs. Spotting fish around the lake edges is possible but fish have been spooky so far this season.

On the streams brown and green nymphs and Glo Bugs will be best in the faster water. Late in the month when the days warm up there will also be a little dry fly fun, when Royal Wulffs and Royal Humpies will be worth a try.

My beginner fly fishing school is on October 16 and 17, mention Fishing Monthly when you sign up for a free fly rod. My popular one-day downrigger course will be on November 20, call my shop on 02 6456 1551, email me or visit www.swtroutfishing.com.au



Best method: Lake trolling

Best depth; Surface early and late

Best lake lure: Tassie Devil with yellow wings or Holographic.

Best lake area: East Jindabyne Islands, Creel Bay

Best lake fly: Hamill’s Killer

Best fly river: Thredbo River, brown or black nymph, Glo Bug

Best spinning: Thredbo River, small deep minnows in brown trout pattern

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