Another great season
  |  First Published: October 2008

Welcome to the start to another great trout fishing season in the Snowy Mountains. The rivers are open to fishing from October 4 and they are in great shape after what was a good snow season.

The rainbow trout spawning run in the Thredbo River is just about over but there are still some fish to be found. When the river reopens, the trout will be attacking lures and flies with a vengeance.

Last winter we saw Lake Jindabyne fall to the lowest level on record. Structures that we could never see before were out of the water, which was a great chance to mark some special spots on the map to fish them when the water returns.

The lake is rising quickly with the snowmelt and the water is around 11°C. As a consequence the fish are happy to feed on top early and late in the day.


Trolling has been excellent and should improve further as the lake rises.

Flatline troll the shallows at first light and then move into deeper water with 20-30m of lead-core line out to extend the action into late morning.

The best lures early will be small minnows trolled over the weed beds on long drop-backs and lighter mono or braid, to keep them as deep as possible. Choose darker colours early and brighter colours later on.

If you want a feed of rainbow trout, troll Tassie Devils close to the edges, but not as close as if you were targeting browns. Weaving the boat will put variation in the lure action and result in more hook-ups.

The best early colour will the number Y48 yellow wing red nosed brown bomber and then the No 94 a little later as the sun is about to rise over the horizon.

After the sun hits the water, change to a No 36, a Y82 yellow wing or my Red nosed yellow wing and get the lure lower into the water with lead-core lines or downriggers.


It’s already been a great season for spinning the lake edges. With the water level rising over new ground, there are plenty of trout biting early and late in the day.

In the middle of the day you can catch fish if you work the deeper drop-offs and allow the lures to sink a little before retrieving. Tassie Devils have been best for this method because they sink quite quickly to any depth you want.

The Thredbo River still has a few late-spawning rainbows that are a lot easier to catch early in the day. Gold Celtas or Gillies spinners and a variety of minnow lures are catching their fair share.

Remember, no bait fishing is allowed in most Snowy Mountains rivers.


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

Worms are best for brown trout while the new Gulp baits are great for rainbow trout and salmon.

If you want to catch a big brown trout then the best baits are still going to be bardi grubs or scrubworms fished with greased line to float it and prevent it sinking into the weed and getting caught up.


We are in for an interesting fly season. While the lake is rising it will fish very well.

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

The best flies have been small shrimp patterns and olive nymphs and it’s been better to fish these slowly under an indicator.

Spotting fish around the edges is possible at the moment but fish have been spooky so far this season.

On the streams, the fishing has been good with brown and green nymphs best.

The Thredbo River will produce some fish on nymphs and Glo Bugs in the faster water and on warmer days there will also be a little dry flyfishing with Royal Wulffs and Humpies worth a try.

It’s not too late to sign up for my beginner fly school on October 18/19. Don’t forget my readers’ special of a free fly rod, just mention of Fishing Monthly to be eligible.

My trolling clinic on November 22/23 covers everything from boat set-up to downrigging but is limited to only six people. For any information call 02 6456 1551, email me or visit www.swtroutfishing.com.au .

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