Rivers are primed
  |  First Published: April 2011

The rivers and streams are in prime condition in readiness for the brown trout spawn run which will start this month.

It is normal in wet years to get and early run of fish and so I expect the Thredbo River in particular to fish extremely well.

Spin anglers will target the fish with diving minnows and fly anglers will be using nymphs and perhaps Glow Bugs.

Lake Jindabyne will also fish better for surface anglers and of course those boat anglers that like to chase bigger fish will be up at Creel Bay targeting the brown trout as they school up ready for a move into the Thredbo River when the weather is right.

The trout usually wait until we get rain and a cold front coming through; they don’t like moving into the river when the water is low or clear.

While the trout are in Creel Bay, the best method catching the bigger fish will be with bigger lures, even as big as the 13cm Rapalas.

This month is also very good for shore-based bait anglers because the trout feed up before they run up the rivers to spawn.

Traditionally the bigger lake fish always get caught on scrub worms or bardi grubs.

All in all, we should see some great fishing this month with the lake level so high – much higher than in previous years.


The final phase in the Jindabyne Dam upgrade project started last month with the construction of a new $10 million spillway.

Work will include construction of a new concrete apron and training walls to connect the existing spillway to the new plunge pool.

MacMahon Pty Ltd has been awarded the works contract and it is estimated that 100-plus staff will be involved with the project, providing a significant boost to the Jindabyne and regional economy.

Construction of the new spillway is expected to be complete by September. Rehabilitation works and landscaping will be undertaken in Spring and finished by December.

There will be some increase in heavy truck and machinery movement in the area during construction with occasional short delays expected on Kosciuszko Road. There will be no delays expected during peak times in the winter ski season.

The lake continued to drop as usual and we may see another environmental release into the Snowy River below Jindabyne Dam later this month. If this happens expect the lake to drop by over a metre in 10 days, like it did last November.


This month the water starts to reach a comfortable temperature for the trout and early morning surface fishing can be quite productive.

It’s also when the lake trout feed up before heading into the rivers to spawn.

The best way to attack the fish is to start off the morning by surface trolling lures and maybe a lead line at two colours out so the lure is about 3m deep.

Later in the morning you can still target some of the browns by fishing close to the bottom in deeper water with downriggers. I find about 20’ is a good starting depth.

Tasmanian Devil Y48, the yellow wing brown bomber, and the holographic are the best overall lures but this is when we sometimes start to move to pink or orange.

My new black/gold Tasmanian Devil has still been very good for downrigging.

If you are targeting the really big brown trout you are best using 9cm to 13cm Rapalas. The jointed Rapalas can be trolled a bit slower and still have good action.

Better trolling areas this month will be Sids Bay through to Rushes Bay but this is a tricky area to fish with the lower lake and you need to be diligent because trees and shallow spots can pop up out of nowhere.

Also try Waste Point and Creel Bay for downrigging; there may be a few early spawning brown trout about but they will mostly be deeper at 20’.


The best spinning will be early and late in the day where there are steep drop-offs with plenty of rocks. Bays like Rushes, Hatchery and Creel all fish well.

As the sun rises, change to a Tassie Devil and cast farther out over drop-offs, letting the lure sink before you retrieve slowly.

We will start to use pink and orange Tassies this month.

Best areas have been down at the South Arm or near Banjo Patterson Park but as the month progresses Waste Point and the Snowy Arm will fire.

There is plenty of water on the Thredbo River this year so more fish have stayed in the river rather than running back to the lake.

A variety of lures will work there but the best will be jointed minnows as the brown trout become aggressive and territorial.

Lures for the river are best if they are at least 7cm and maybe up to 11cm. Other lures like the Gillies Spinner or Celtas used in the running water will be best early.

A lot depends on rain at this time of year so it’s a little harder to predict what the season will bring.

If we get rain you might work the faster runs with some deeper diving lures.

Bait fishing in the lake will further improve this month and scrub worms and bardi grubs will still be best. PowerBait will help your catch rate.

Best bait areas are Creel Bay, Hatchery Bay and Curiosity Rocks in the deeper water near the point.


The lake fly fishing has been best at night.

Some of the best lake fly fishing is during coming months as the water cools and this year, with so much weed around the lake edges, we should see some big fish caught.

Try any of the streamer patterns such as Craig’s Nighttime or a black Woolly Bugger. Olive Green Nymphs and shrimp patterns are also worth a try.

The South Arm, Creel Bay and Hayshed Bay are all great.

On the rivers, the Thredbo still has a little dry fly fishing to offer and it is still a lot of fun if you get a nice day with a few insects about.

The Alpine streams are also still looking OK and plenty of small fish are being caught on dries. Try a small Hopper pattern, Royal Wulff or Royal Humpy. A caddis moth fly is also not a bad option.

It’s well worth a look at the lower Mowambah River near the weir on the Dalgety Road.

As the month goes on and more early spawning brown trout move into the Thredbo River, you might start trying a Black Nymph and if we get heavy rain and a rise in the river we might see Glo Bugs and nymphs working.

I have a feeling if we get rain it might be an early start to the spawning season this year.

For the latest in fishing conditions call me on 02 6456 1551 or visit www.swtroutfishing.com.au.



• Best method: Surface trolling early and then lead core 30m out.

• Best depth: Trolling at 10’, deeper in the middle of the day.

• Best lake lure: Tasmanian Devil Y48 or Y82.

• Best lake areas: Hayshed Bay and Waste Point.

• Best dry fly: Parachute Adams or Black Cricket.

• Best wet fly: Black weighted nymph.

• Best river: Thredbo River above The Diggings

shared caption

Denise with a 4lb brown and Husband Luigi with a 6lb brown, both caught downrigging a yellow wing Freddo Tasmanian Devil lure.

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