Spectacular times ahead
  |  First Published: December 2011

With everything looking so green and with plenty of water in the lakes and streams I am sure we are going to have a spectacular 2012 fishing for trout in the Snowy Mountains.

The lake is now well on its way back up after the water release down the Snowy River last October and with the extra water the level is about the same as in 2011. Water is even just starting to creep into the camping area at Discovery Holiday Park, as it did last year.

The lake just looks fantastic at the moment and the trout fishing has continued to be excellent.

The fishing in the rivers this season started off a little slowly with the cooler weather and regular rain but now it’s warmer, there are more insects about, the fish are on the bite and the dry-fly fishing has been good.

Trollers are possibly the only ones who have had slower fishing over recent months, mainly due to the trout preferring to feed close to the banks.

But with the edges now starting warm up, the fish are heading for cooler water and that means that if you want to catch a trout on the surface or in close you need to be there very early in the morning, before the fish go deeper.

By mid-morning you are going to need lead-core lines or downriggers to get to the fish can be holding as deep as 10m.

The old-timers will remember using those paravanes that take lures and baits deeper and we stock them in my shop if you want one. We also have special keeled trolling sinkers that can help your lure get to deeper water without the expense of a downrigger.

However, the downrigger is the only really accurate way to target the trout when they are deep over Summer.

At the moment the depth continues to vary, from 35’ early in the day to 45’ later in the morning.

Jointed Rapala minnows are doing very well on the bigger brown trout. To get the best results, troll these close to the bottom in at least 20’.

Other lures that have been doing well include Tasmanian Devils in green colours with the my own special ‘slime’ leading the way from the yellow wing Freddo.

Other colours well worth trying include the red-nosed yellow wing and on overcast days, the Holographic and No 48 brown bomber.

The 3” StumpJumper in RT and BT colours and the Vibrax Blue Fox size 2 in rainbow trout are also very good at the moment. Also try the Trollcraft Fingerling in 1063 traffic lights colour.

The new Gillies Bendbacks are still going extremely well with TB06 gold and TB01 great, especially for bigger Atlantic salmon.

A little Stimulate slow-release gel on the lures will add attraction when the fishing is slow or the trout are hitting lures and not mouthing them.

If the fishing is quiet then try trolling worms, mudeyes or even bardi grubs behind attractors.

Best areas have been Hayshed, Hatchery and Rushes bays and the South Arm has been very good for downrigging.


Lake spin anglers will also do best in the first hour or so of light and by mid-morning will need luck to catch a fish. They may be best heading to the alpine rivers for a spin in the creeks, where the water is cooler.

The best way to fish during the day from the shoreline is to find the deepest water possible, like the South Arm near the dam wall. Then let the lure sink right down near the bottom before retrieving.

Spin close around rocky outcrops for best results later in the day.

Use smaller lures like Celtas or Gillies Spinners around the shallow bays after dark and check out the new lumo Vibrax spinners – charge them up with the new Rapala UV torch.

River spinning is good at the moment and there have been some quality trout caught if you are prepared to walk a little farther from the holiday crowds. Find deep pools or some deeper running water where the fish may lie under cover.

Celtas, especially in green and gold, have been good in the shallower water. The new Gillies Feathertail spinners in colours FT01 and FT06 are also worth a try. In the Gillies Crossblades you might try CB02 early in the morning and CB07 for later.

The Rapala F5 BTR brook trout is well worth trying as well when it’s been cloudy or before the sun is over the water.


Bait fishing in Summer is mudeye time. These dragonfly nymphs are rigged live through the wing case to allow them to swim around beneath a float.

Early and late in the day are best times in the bays – and move to deeper water as the day brightens.

The secret at the moment is to grease the line to stop drag so the trout can run with the bait without feeling resistance. Always fish with the reel bail arm open for the same reason.

The best line grease is silicon Mucilin, which will not harm the line.

The shallow bays are the best night locations but look out for the snags.

Mudeyes are going to cost lots this year because they are hard to find, so PowerBait and bardi grubs are still more than worth a try.


For fly anglers, this is grasshopper month on the rivers and streams in the mountains and trout love them. Just check the size and colour of the real ones and find a fly to match.

Keep an eye open for evening hatches of other insects, such as mayflies – I love the dry-fly fishing at this time of year.

For the lake angler, night is best – tie on a Woolly Bugger or other dark streamer pattern, or a Craig’s Nighttime. My own Snowy Mountains Goldfish is a top performer in the bays and inlets.

Drop in and say hi at my shop next to the Shell Servo for the latest information available or to book a tour. We still have vacancies for the Gillies Beginner Fly Fishing school on February 11 and 12, $390 for the weekend with everything supplied. I will also run a one-day downrigging course soon, call 02 6456 1551 or visit www.swtroutfishing.com.au.

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