Time to go with the flow
  |  First Published: October 2012

The rivers will be open to fishing from the Saturday of the long weekend and all is shaping up for a good start.

Late rain and snow have kept the rivers and streams in good condition and now that the snow is melting, the fishing has been great.

With the extra flow at the moment the best flies have been weighted nymphs and a few fish will be caught on Glo Bugs.

Spin anglers will need to make certain their lure is getting close to the bottom in the running water because the fish are still a bit lazy and will not rise too far in the water to take a lure.

The lake fishing has been fantastic and most anglers will agree that we have had the best Winter fishing in many years and the action should continue.

Fly fishers are spotting trout through polarised sunnies and then working out a strategy to catch the fish as they cruise along the bank. I find small green nymphs best in the shallow water.

Lure anglers can also spot the fish before casting and will do best with smaller lures like Celtas, Vibrax spinners, Worden’s Rooster Tails or Gillies Spinners. Minnow lures like floating Rapalas are good but keep them small. Lures that make a big splash spook the trout in the shallow, clear water.

If the day is brighter you can switch to Tasmanian Devils that cast a little further; green and gold is a good colour.

Another good casting lure over the past few months has been the Blue Fox Trout Quiver. It comes in two weights, choose the one best suited to your rod.


As the lake continues to rise trolling will be best near the edges early and late in the day but you may have problems spooking the fish in shallow water. Make sure your line is out further than normal with 80m the least you need out.

The usual technique is to fish the surface in shallow water at first light and then move out to deeper water with with 20m-30m of lead-core line to extend the better fishing well into the late morning.

Trollers this month will do best using minnow lures before sunrise and then switching to darker Tasmanian Devil lures like Y48 yellow wing red nosed brown bomber or even Y94. Try the yellow wing Tassies a little later as the sun is about to rise over the horizon.

Wigston Lures have just released some brand new colours and patterns and we are still testing them but one that has already proven a winner for the Snowy Mountains lakes is the Willies Special, named after some trout fishing guide in the area…

Minnows like Rapalas or StumpJumpers in brown trout and rainbow trout patterns are also good but there are many good brands of lures on the market that will do the job if you know what speed to troll to get the best action out of them.

It is not a good idea to mix and match different brands because no two brands of lures work best at the same speed. Trying to run a Tasmanian Devil and a minnow will not get perfect results from both lures at the same time.

After the sun hits that water, it’s time to change to a Tassie No 36, Y82 yellow wing or my Steve Williamson red nosed yellow wing and as the sun gets higher, get the lure deeper with lead core or a downrigger.

The best lures for those trophy brown trout will be small minnows trolled over the weed beds using longer drop-backs and lighter line or braid to keep the lures at the deepest depth possible. Do this well before the sun comes up for bigger fish.


Bait fishing has been excellent for months. At some time of the day the fish are coming on the bite and you just need a line in the water to catch them.

Local scrub worms are best for brown trout while artificial baits of various colours are great for rainbow trout and salmon.

To catch a big brown the best baits are still going to be bardi grubs or scrub worms fished with a greased line to stop it from sinking and getting caught up in the weed.

There are no spots much better than any other at the moment. With the trout cruising the margins they can be in one place one day and another the next.

The biggest problem with the lake so high is finding easy access; many of our normal tracks are under water. Those with boats have the advantage of unlimited access.


We are going to be in for an interesting fly season. The lake levels is great and it will fish well.

When the days warm up and we get a few more insects hatching we may get some good early morning rises on the lake.

The best flies have been green or olive flies like Hamill’s Killer, small shrimp patterns and olive nymphs.

When the water flow slows on the streams the dry-fly fishing will improve but for now, brown and green nymphs are best.

Let’s hope we get regular rain to freshen up the streams and cool the water.

• It’s not too late to sign up for my beginner fly fishing school on October 20 and 21. Our schools are the first in Australia to offer a national certificate of recognition which can be used to help gain employment in the recreational fishing industry. For info and booking call my shop on 02 6456 1551, email me your postal address or visit www.swtroutfishing.com.au



Best method – lake trolling

Best depth – surface lures early and late in the day

Best lake lure – Tasmanian Devils with yellow wings or holographic

Best lake area – East Jindabyne Islands, Creel Bay

Best lake fly– Hamill’s Killer

Best river fly – Thredbo River, olive or black nymph, Glo Bug

Best river spinners – Thredbo River small deep diving minnows in brown trout pattern

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