With the holiday season over, the Snowy Mountains returns to normality this month and it’s the perfect time to go trout fishing.
The river fly-fishing is at a peak and the rivers and streams are in spectacular condition after recent rain.
Lake Jindabyne’s level is slowly dropping but is still way above normal, so this year we don’t have to worry about low and hot water – so it’s great for the trollers and shore-based anglers, too.
We haven’t had to use downriggers as much as in the previous few years and most of the time surface lines early and late and lead core lines in the middle of the day have been sufficient.
But that doesn’t mean that a downrigger isn’t necessary on the really hot, bright days.
We should see this formula to continue over the next month or so. Start off early with surface lines at least 60m, even up to 100m out, trolling the edges of the shore.
After about an hour, add a lead core line into the equation. With lead lines you should start with two colours (20m) early and three colours (30m) later in the morning.
The Tasmanian Devil Y50 has been great this year and the No 36 has also been good when the sun is up.
My new black/gold Tassie or the Holographic have been best for darker conditions and also have been good for downrigging.
With water levels still high, some of the better trolling areas this month will be Hatchery Bay and Hayshed Bay, and Sids Bay through to Rushes Bay. However, watch the rocks as the East Jindabyne Islands start to reappear as the water levels drop.
Best lake spinning has been in the shallow bays early and late. Start by spinning the edges with Celtas or flicking floating Rapalas.
Late in the day work the steep, rocky drop-offs. Bays like Creel, Hatchery and the Snowy Arm all fish well.
On brighter days, change to a Tassie and cast further out over drop-offs, letting the lure sink before slowly retrieving.
Best areas have been down at the South Arm or near Banjo Patterson Park.
Fish are still being caught in the Thredbo River on small floating Rapalas, especially rainbow trout and perch patterns.
On the smaller streams like the Moonbah or upper Snowy, a variety of lures will work but the best will be small bladed spinners in Sizes 1 and 2.
With the water covering new ground and with all the snags in the water, bait fishing has been difficult over recent months. If you can’t find some clear bank the best advice is to use a float.
With so much water in the dams, mudeyes have become harder to collect and to by and are very costly when you do find them.
If you can’t get mudeyes, try tiger worms under a float and let the waves move it about. If there’s no wind, wind it in very slowly with a pause every turn of the handle.
Some of the smaller Gulp baits under a float are also getting good results.
Another bait worth suspending under a float is the old faithful grasshopper. You don’t often see them used much these days but they work a treat and there are plenty about at the moment. You might need the kids with a butterfly net to help you collect the bait.
Best bait fishing areas are Creel Bay, Hatchery Bay and Curiosity Rocks. Another great area is at the bottom of Discovery Holiday Park near Widows Creek Inlet.
Some of the best lake fly-fishing is in coming months as the water cools. With so much weed around the edges this year, we should see some big fish caught.
Try any of the streamer patterns such as Mrs Simpson and Williamson’s Snowy Mountains Gold Fish. Olive green nymphs and shrimp patterns are also worth a try.
The South Arm, Creel Bay and Kangaroo Bay are all great.
The Thredbo River has been spectacular because the season has been late this year and we should continue to see some fantastic dry fly fishing again this month.
The alpine streams are still at their best and plenty of small fish are being caught on dry fly.
Fly selection is not too critical in these streams but placement is, or else you just scare the fish.
All in all, we are looking good for some great lake fishing over coming months, so get your gear together and come on up.
I will be available in coming months for fly-fishing tuition and lake trolling trips. For the latest in fishing conditions call 02 6456 1551 or visit www.swtroutfishing.com.au.
Best method: Dry fly; fishing has been spectacular.
Best Fly: Yellow Stimulator, Royal Wulff and Snowy Hopper.
Best Stream: Thredbo River for bigger fish but most are great.