Over recent months the weather has been cooler and very wet at times and the water in Lake Jindabyne has remained relatively cool. So the trout have been quite happy feeding around the edges, making fishing with bait, lure and fly very good and as the fish feed up in readiness for Winter, things will only get better.
Lake levels remained around 80% over Summer but are likely to drop ever so slightly now as Snowy Hydro gets the level down over Winter ready for the Spring snowmelt. This is quite normal and never adversely affects the fishing.
With the water temperature already dropping a little, the trout spawning season should start early and in recent weeks we have already seen some good fish moving up the Thredbo River. Flooding rain in early March will also help an early start.
Prior to the flooding the rivers all were in perfect condition and have been fishing very well.
This month is when the water temperature starts to reach a comfort zone for the trout so trolling early and late in the day with surface lures like Tasmanian Devils can be quite productive.
It’s also the month that the lake trout start to feed up before heading into the rivers to spawn so minnow lures like Rapalas also can be fantastic. Jointed Rapalas trolled very slowly are the way to catch the bigger brown trout.
The best way to attack the trout at this time of year is to start off the morning by surface trolling lures and maybe a lead line at two colours out, so the lure is running 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 depth to start.
Tasmanian Devil Y48, the yellow wing brown bomber, and the holographic Tassie have been the best lures overall to use on the lakes over the past month but this time of year we sometimes move to pink or orange. Also try the new wakasagi No 108, which has been great over recent weeks. My new black/gold Tasmanian Devil has still been very good for downrigging.
If you are targeting the really big browns use really big lures like 9cm to 13cm Rapalas, especially the jointed ones which you can troll a bit slower and retain good action.
Keep your eye out for the new pink Rapala, which has not been available for more than 20 years. Years ago this lure was amazing on spawning trout.
One of the better trolling areas this month will be from Sids Bay to Rushes Bay but this is a tricky area to fish with the lake level high because there are quite a few rocks just under the water.
Also try Waste Point or Creel Bay for downrigging because there may be a few early spawning brown trout about. They will mostly be deeper, at 20’ or so.
The best spinning will be with minnows early and late in the day around steep drop-offs with plenty of rocks. Bays like Rushes, Hatchery and Creel all 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.
We will start to use pink and orange Tassies this month. Also try metal vibration blades; while new to the local trout scene they are very good. Gold or brown colours have worked best.
I also have been catching a lot of fish on the Blue Fox Minnow Spin. It’s great for casting on the lake.
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 start to fire.
There is plenty of water on the Thredbo River this year and more fish have stayed in the river rather than running back to the lake. A variety of lures will work in the river but the best will be jointed minnows as the brown trout start to become really aggressive and territorial.
Other lures like Gillies Feathertail spinners or Celtas will be best used early in the shallower running water. A lot depends on rain at this time of year so it’s a little harder to predict what the season will bring.
When we get rain you could work the faster runs with deeper diving lures or try a Gillies Bendback, which casts well when you need a little distance.
Bait fishing in Lake Jindabyne will further improve over this month but scrub worms and bardi grubs will remain the best baits. ‘
Teaming them up with artificial baits that can be floated above the worms will help your catch rate considerably.
Best bait fishing areas are Creel Bay, Hatchery Bay and Curiosity Rocks in the deeper water near the point.
Some of the best lake fly fishing in the months ahead will come as the water cools and the fish start to feed around the edges. With so much weed around the edges now we should see some big fish.
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 there is still a little dry-fly fishing on 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 dry fly there. Try a small Hopper pattern, Royal Wulff, Royal Humpy or a Black Cricket if you see fish rising. A caddis moth fly is also not a bad option, either.
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 more heavy rain and another rise in the river we might see a start to Globugs and nymphs.
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Best method – Surface trolling early and then lead core line 30m out.
Best depth – Trolling at 10’. Deeper in the middle of the day.
Best lake lure – Tasmanian Devils Y48 or Y82 and gold or perch Rapalas
Best lake area – Hayshed Bay, worth a look at Waste Point.
Best fly method – Dry fly, Parachute Adams or Black Cricket. Wet fly, black weighted nymph.
Best river – Thredbo River above the Diggings