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Focus on the edges
  |  First Published: August 2001



Early August in the mountains is usually when we get some big snowfalls and they are all good for extra water for the lake. However, at the moment we have an exceptionally high lake already so it is going to be an interesting Spring.

For the latest lake levels check out www.snowyhydro.com.au

Over the past month the water has remained high and the trout have been happy to cruise the edges looking for something to eat.

August is traditionally a month for polaroiding – spotting trout with the aid of polarised sunnies. The way to success is to spot these cruising trout before you cast, carefully watching the direction they are moving, and then laying out a cast that intercepts their course yet won’t spook them.

Polaroiding is not just for fly casters; you can also carefully cast lures and even bait to the trout that you first spot along the lake edge. A second person to keep an eye on the trout helps because it is easy to lose sight of the fish when you move close to the water’s edge.

The trout are mostly looking to the bottom of the lake at this time of year so if you watch the trout for some time and then even cast a scrub worm 4m or 5m in front of it, the trout will often come to where the splash was and investigate. Cast at the fish and you will spook it.

Best lures for polaroiding are those that float and dive to the bottom when retrieved. Floating Rapalas are good but there are plenty of minnow styles that you can toss out past the fish and then slowly retrieve as the fish gets closer.

If they dive to 1m or 1.5m in 2m of water this should be just right to attract the fish’s attention.

It’s very exciting watching the fish cruise around the lake and if it’s good weather you can often catch a few big fish in just one session. If you need a guide to show you how it is done I know a good one I can put you onto.

SPINNING

Spin the edges of the lake, preferably in the sheltered bays, with floating lures in rainbow trout and brown trout patterns. If the weather is dirty then orange or pink lures may work better because these are aggression colours for trout in spawning time.

For deeper water on really sunny and still days, when the trout may be spooky in the shallows, you can use lures such as the Tasmanian Devil. Colours like pink No 55 or brown number No 48 are sure to catch fish and Y48 is also well worth having in your tackle box.

Its best early and late in the day but you can still catch fish near the rocky points and deep drop-offs in the middle of the day. Some of the better Winter areas are Hatchery Bay, the South Arm and Curiosity Point.

FLY

If all goes to plan, the fly-fishing should improve towards the end of this month as we head towards Spring and the edge of the water warms a little. Green nymphs fished near the rocky outcrops should catch fish.

If the water is a little choppy then move to an olive streamer pattern like a Woolly Bugger or similar.

If polaroiding the lake, fish quietly and approach the water only after spotting a fish. The western shoreline from Curiosity Rocks to Hatchery Bay is excellent to spot fish during August, as is Sids Bay.

Another area for big fish is Creel Bay at Waste Point but remember this is in the Kosciuszko National Park and you are expected to purchase a pass at the Cooma or Jindabyne visitors centres.

My next weekend fly school for beginners will be on October22 and 23. Cost is $390 with everything supplied, including lunches.

TROLLING

Trolling is our most popular fishing tour during Winter and we almost always catch fish.

Some of the big Atlantic salmon released by Gaden Trout Hatchery last June have now been caught but there are still more out there and they are a lot of fun to catch.

There is no real special lure, you just have to be in the right place at the right time, but they do not mind a little bit of silver on the lure.

The Tasmanian Devil No 77, Autumn brown, has been very good. Other good lures to use at the moment are Tassies No 55 pink and No 72, with No. 50 frog pattern or No 36 yellow wings on the sunnier days.

For the bigger brown trout I like to troll larger 9cm and 11cm jointed Rapalas in the brown trout pattern.

Lion and Cub Islands and East Jindabyne Islands are excellent trolling spots at the moment, troll close to the edges for best results.

Remember that with the water so cold the fish move a lot slower and so it is important to troll slower than in summer. An electric motor or some sort of trolling baffle may be needed to get the boat down to about 3kmh at the most. To learn more, join our November trolling school, call me for a brochure.

BAIT

The brown trout are nearly all back from spawning now and are looking for something to eat. A bunch of worms fished on the bottom or suspended under a float should entice a bite.

There is no doubt that the PowerBait and Gulp products are catching lots of trout; the colours and flavours change from day to day. So far this Winter you can’t go past sherbet or orange.

Fish the shallow bays early and late in the day and the rocky, deep drop-offs during the middle of the day.

Call in to my shop at Discovery Holiday Park or book a charter on 02 6456 1551. Visit www.swtroutfishing.com.au for all the latest.

Facts

JULY TIPS

Lake Level: Over 80%

Lake Temp: 7° and falling

Best method: Bait off the bottom

Best lake lure: Tasmanian Devil pink No 55 or Holographic

Best lake area: East Jindabyne Islands, South Arm

Best lake fly: Black Woolly Bugger

Rivers reopen October 1.

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