More water, top fishing
  |  First Published: November 2008

It’s great to see a little more water in our lakes after last Winter’s low levels.

The fishing has been great over the past month and since the opening of the river season, the Thredbo River has fishing extremely well.

The spinning has been good and the dry fly fishing is only improving as the weather warms and the insects hatch.

I think we will see some great fishing during the Snowy Mountains Trout Festival from November 1 to 7 and I am certain it will continue throughout Spring and Summer.

Although no longer a weigh-in station for the Trout Festival, Discovery Holiday Parks Jindabyne still welcomes all festival competitors to stay there and management and staff will also run an internal competition during Trout Festival week, so stay at Discovery Jindabyne and it will be like entering two competitions instead of just one, along with a chance to win extra Daily prizes.

At the end of the week there will be a draw for a week’s accommodation at Discovery Holiday Parks Jindabyne, worth over $1000.

After the Trout Festival, I am straight off to Eden for the Discovery Holiday Parks Eden Family Fishing Carnival, the next in the series of competitions I am organising for the Discovery Holiday Parks group.


Yellow wing Tasmanian Devil lures are still favourites at the moment but you need to fish them at different depths, depending on the conditions.

Tassie Y82 is doing very well early in the day but as the sun rises, change to No 36. The Steve Williamson red nosed yellow wing has been the best sunny day colour although my lime green yellow wing is also starting to catch a lot of fish down deep, and downrigging has started earlier than last year.

Jointed Rapalas were responsible for most of the really big browns over the past month with one angler bragging about taking a 10-pounder within the first 10 minutes of his holiday. I told him he might as well go home immediately – some people have all the luck!

Also expect to see some more big Atlantic salmon over festival week. There are still plenty of ex-hatchery brood fish lurking the lake.

Attractors will also help catch these monsters; dodgers and cowbells will help your strike rate.

The difference between a dodger and cowbells and Ford Fenders is that dodgers not only act as an attractor but they also add extra action to whatever is dragged behind them. Some dodgers have to be held down with lead core line or a downrigger weight to stop them surfacing.

The cowbells are flashers simply attract the fish to the lure and flashers don’t necessarily place any extra action on a lure or bait.

Anglers are having good success trolling worms, soft plastics and even flies behind also these types of attractors.

I prefer to use the smaller School of Minnow attractors with soft plastics and flies. These smaller flashers create less drag and you get better feel when playing out a captured fish.

The Eucumbene River area, East Jindabyne Islands, Sids Bay and the Snowy Arm have been fishing very well at the moment but since the lake is still rising slightly, you might find Hatchery and Hayshed bays worth a look.


Mudeyes have been hard to get and we are paying top dollar for them because of the drought. If you can get some, the fish will be happy to eat them.

In the middle of the day, fish with worms off the bottom and a PowerBait dropper and you will catch plenty of rainbows. With the addition of a little Berkley Gulp Chunky Cheese, maybe you will even catch a brown trout.

The big secret at the moment is to fish with bail arm open and make sure you grease the line to keep it out of the slime on the bottom. Local scrub worms, if you can get some, are also catching some of the bigger brown trout.

The new Gulps are going great, just try different ones until you get the flavour of the day. What worked yesterday doesn’t always work today.

Best areas have been the boat ramp, Wollondibby Inlet in the deeper water, Curiosity Rocks Bay, The Haven and Rushes Bay.


While there are still a few fish close to the edges, the better spinning is now in deeper water after sunrise. Tassie Devils are now catching more fish, especially yellow and gold colours.

Spin close around rocky outcrops later in the day and use smaller lures like Celtas or Gillies spinners around the shallow bays after dark. Don’t stay in one place too long and put in only a couple of casts in each area.

The Berkley Gulp 2” Minnow Grubs have been working well around trees, with pumpkinseed and smoke the slightly better colours.

The top end of the lake is still spinning best, with Waste Point not a bad option.

Spinning in the Thredbo River has been a little slower, with less water flowing down now and with it so clear, the fish have been very spooky. If you are careful and prepared to walk away from the more popular spots, you will get some trout.

Minnow lures have been best and the brown trout or rainbow trout Rapalas in 5cm or 7 cm sizes are fishing very well. Celtas in gold and red are also worth a throw into the pools – work them slowly.


There are fewer trout cruising very close to the edges of the lake now but the polaroiding is not over. The water level is good and when you get the good weather, the fish are easy to spot.

At the moment it is still best to use a small green nymph under an indicator and fished very slowly. Fish in the shallows have been full of small shrimp.

At night, use bigger flies like Woolly Buggers and Williamson’s Goldfish at Wollondibby and Widows creeks. These creeks haven’t seen water for some time and with the lake rising, the fish are cruising the inundated grass. It makes them harder to land but it’s a lot of fun trying.

You will also notice large schools of goldfish in these areas that the trout are feeding on.

The Eucumbene Arm has been fishing very well with a lot of big browns cruising along the edges. You need a boat to get up there and fishing from the boat to the edges is the best way to target the trout.


Most trout are still taken on nymphs but there have been days with a little dry-fly action. The Glo Bug season is all but over but there are a few very late spawning rainbows in the faster runs and it’s still worthy of a cast or two with a bug and nymph dropper.

There’s a little dry-fly action on the streams with even the alpine ones looking good at the moment for small fish.

Hoppers are about in the upper reaches of the Thredbo River so Summer is not far off and with that comes some great dry-fly fishing.

For information and booking forms for my courses call 02 6456 1551 or email me your postal address or visit www.swtroutfishing.com.au . We have a full range of tackle for hire at my shop and fishing tours are now available.

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