Early spawn run likely
  |  First Published: March 2012

As we head into Autumn we start thinking about the brown trout spawning run and all indications are that we will be in for another early breeding season.

We did not really have much of a Summer, but below normal temperatures and regular storms making it a very good trout season overall.

If the trout run early, as they did last season, it will be an interesting remainder of the river fishing season but we might have to wait a few more weeks yet to see just what happens.

Plenty of yabbies in the lake this year have helped the brown trout put on some serious condition, so you might see some record fish caught this year.

While this season the water was cooler than normal in the lake, the level was higher than normal, holding at more than 80%. But we can expect that level to go down a little as we head towards Winter.

On Lake Jindabyne the cooler weather kept the water under 20° over Summer so our normal downrigging season just didn’t eventuate. Some days that made it hard to find the trout, which were spread throughout the lake feeding all over the place and it was difficult to say one place was better than another.

While we didn’t have the normal downrigging we did get some good fish down as far as 15m and a lot more good-sized browns than normal.

The best way to start off the day’s trolling this month will be by trying surface lines with lures swimming to about 2m at first light, maybe with a lead-core line at two colours to take the lures to 4m as a backup.

If you have been out a while with no bites, don’t persist – get out your downriggers and start at 11m with a lure drop-back of 4m and you should start to see some fish.

As the day brightens further, maybe go to 14m or 15m by mid-morning for the best fishing.

On cloudy or rainy days you can fish the surface until about 9am before going deeper.

The Tasmanian Devil yellow wing Freddo or my own lime green yellow wing are the best deep lures at the moment, with Tassie No 36 yellow wing doing OK on the surface and on lead core early.

My new black/gold Tassie has been very good for downrigging and some days orange and black will work well from this month.

Among the better trolling areas this month will be the deep water off Lion and Cub Islands or off Hatchery and Hayshed bays. Sids Bay through to Rushes Bay will fish well for big browns in the first hour of light.


Then the best lures for spinning have been sinking Rapalas worked around the edges of the shallow bays in about 4m.

The best colours have been natural brown and rainbow trout patterns, and gold.

Keep your eyes out for the soon-to-be released limited edition Aussie ‘pinkie’ Rapala. This colour has not been seen for more than 20 years and was a hot colour at Jindabyne spawn time. Call my shop if you want to order some, they are a special indent order so they will not be in all shops.

The best spinning times will be early and late in the day – cast where there are steep drop-offs with plenty of rocks at places like Creel and Hatchery bays and in the Snowy Arm.

As the sun rises, change to a Tassie and cast farther 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 but as March progresses Waste Point and the Snowy Arm will start to fire.

Spinning on the Thredbo River has been much better this year and with the higher water we are seeing bigger fish. Sinking Rapalas are better in the faster water with Celtas performing in the shallow runs.

Other lures to try include Gillies Bendbacks and Feathertails, the Vibrax Blue Fox, Worden’s Rooster Tail Sonics and Blue Fox Super Minnows in yellow or blue.


Over this month the best lake bait fishing will be with scrub worms off the bottom teamed up with some artificial bait. Tiger worms under a float are good and another bait worth suspending under a float is the old faithful grasshopper, which you don’t often see used much these days but they work a treat and there are plenty about.

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


For lake fly anglers best fishing has been early morning. There have been a few wind lanes about and if you see ducks and gulls on the water they are telltale signs there are insects to be eaten off the surface.

Some of the best lake fly fishing is during 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 black Woolly Buggers and Williamson’s Goldfish. Olive green nymphs and shrimp patterns are also worth a try.

The South Arm, Creel Bay and especially Sids Bay are great.

On the rivers the best fly fishing is in the evenings and there should still be plenty of evening rises and fantastic dry fly fishing for a few weeks yet.

The alpine streams are still looking good 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 the fish.

Try a small hopper pattern, Royal Wulff or Royal Humpy. A Caddis Moth is also not a bad option.

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



Best method – Lake trolling lead lines early, then downriggers.

Best depth – 2m early, then to 10m as fish head deep.

Best lake lure – Tasmanian Devil yellow wing Freddo or Steve Williamson’s lime green yellow wing.

Best lake area – deep off Lion and Cub Islands.

Best fly– hopper patterns and Yellow Humpies.

Best River – Thredbo River

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