Rain saves lake – for now
  |  First Published: February 2008

Good rain over the last couple of months has saved Snowy Hydro dropping the lake level, which has remained at 60% the whole of summer so far – but talk is that levels may drop by February.

Fishing has been fantastic, especially for those with boats fitted out for deep trolling.

The rainbow trout are in fantastic condition after feeding up on water fleas. These crustaceans are about the size of a pinhead, and the trout and Atlantic salmon just love eating them.

There is a fair amount of weed about around the lake edges, which has been great for flyfishers fishing at sunrise and sunset for cruising trout.

Bait anglers fishing from shore have to be aware of the weed and make sure they grease their fishing line so it doesn’t sink down and get caught up. Float fishing is best, especially in areas where the weed is 1m long or more.

The river fishing has improved after the rush of anglers over the holidays and there have been some good-sized fish caught.

As we head into autumn the water will cool and the streams will fish better again. It won’t be long before the brown trout will be thinking about their spawning run.

Don’t forget the Bestons Trout Challenge at the Snowline Holiday Park on February 16 to 18, just call Snowline on 02 6456 2099 to book.

On February 23 I will hold a one-day downrigging course for $100, email --e-mail address hidden-- or call 02 6456 1551 to book.


The lake temperature stayed down a little due to rain, storms and cooler days – good for surface trolling early, but you still need downriggers later in the morning. Lead-line trolling has been excellent and should continue over the next month or so. Try two colours (20m) early and three colours later in the morning.

Tassie Devil No 50 frog pattern is always good at this time of year and No 36 yellow wing has by far been the best overall. My new black/gold Tassie has been very good for downrigging. As we get closer to Easter, bring out the No 55 Pink Panther.

Some of the better trolling areas will be Hatchery and Hayshed bays. Sids Bay to Rushes Bay will fish well early in the day for big browns.


Best spinning has been on the lake, but fish are still being caught in the Thredbo on small floating Rapalas. The best lake spinning is early and late in the day around steep, rocky drop-offs. Creel and Hatchery bays and the Snowy Arm fish well.

As the sun rises, change to a Tassie and cast further out over drop-offs, letting the lure sink before you retrieve slowly. Best areas have been down at the South Arm or near Banjo Patterson Park.

On the river, a variety of lures will work, but the best will be small bladed spinners used over the weed beds.

Bait fishing will improve this month with mudeyes and worms under floats still the best. If you can’t get mudeyes, try tiger worms under a float and let the waves move the bait about or, if it’s calm, retrieve very slowly with a pause every turn of the handle.

Another bait worth suspending under a float is a grasshopper. They work a treat and there are plenty about at the moment.

Best bait fishing areas are Creel and Hatchery bays, Curiosity Rocks and at the bottom of the Snowline Caravan Park near the Widows Creek inlet.


Some of the best lake flyfishing is coming as the water cools, and with so much weed around the edges, we should see some big fish caught. Try any of the streamer patterns such as Mrs Simpson and Williamsons 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 will start to improve as the days get cooler but there is still plenty of dry flyfishing for another month or so yet. The alpine streams are still looking OK and plenty of small fish are being caught on dry fly.

Fly selection is not too critical in these streams but placement is, or you just scare all the fish.

All in all, we are looking good for some great lake fishing over the coming months, so get your gear together and come up.

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