Lake starts to cool
  |  First Published: March 2013

Now that the heat of Summer is over, the lake water will start cooling quite quickly.

With lake levels over 85% again this year and mostly cooler water, for the second year running the downrigging season just didn’t eventuate.

Some days it was hard to find the trout, which were spread throughout the lake feeding all over the place. It was difficult to say one place was better than any other.

With all the Summer heat, the streams have been low and clear and we still want a little extra water to pick up the fishing.

As the water cools, I think we will have a very similar Autumn to last year. This will mean you may have to look at different methods of catching trout, depending on the conditions.

While I can talk about how to fish while it is so dry, chances are that by the time you read this report we might have rain, so keep your options open.

If the lake keeps dropping, boat fishing will be best; if the lake rises then look at land-based methods like bait, spin and fly.

The streams may also get tougher as the month goes by with only fly anglers doing well – unless of course we get good rain and then the lure guys may be on top.


Overall, spinning on the Thredbo River has been slower but the size and the condition of the trout caught has been better this year. Why we aren’t sure, but rainbows just over 1kg are being caught – big for the Summer months.

These trout have been caught using sinking Rapalas in the faster water and bladed spinners in the shallow water. You can even try some smaller soft plastics in the smaller runs.

On the lake, working the same sort of lures around the edges of the shallow bays in about 4m of water will be the best way to pick up a bigger fish but do it early morning or wait until dark.

If it is windy, try some of the heavier Tasmanian Devils in green and gold or even yellow. Throw them into the wind in deeper water and retrieve slowly.

The best colour lures for the lake have been natural brown trout and rainbow trout patterns, and gold.

Bays like Creel, Hatchery and the Snowy Arm 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 with a slow wind.


The best way to start off the day’s trolling will be with surface lines and lures that dive 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 and there are no bites, get out your downriggers and start at 10m (33’) with a lure drop-back of 4m. As the day brightens further, maybe go to 14m by mid-morning.

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

Tasmanian Devil No 111, Willy’s Special, or Steve Williamson’s lime green yellow wing are the best deep lures at the moment with No 36 yellow wing doing OK on the surface and lead core early.

Some of the better trolling areas this month will be in deep water off Lion and Cub Islands or Hatchery Bay and Hayshed Bay. Sid’s Bay to Rushes Bay will fish well early in the day for big browns in the first hour of light.


This month the best bait fishing will be early and late in the day with mudeyes under a bubble float. Change to scrub worms off the bottom teamed up with some artificial bait as the sun gets higher.

Worms under a float are another alternative if you can’t get mudeyes, which are slowly getting harder to collect again. Best bait areas are Creel Bay, Hatchery Bay and Curiosity Rocks in the deeper water.


For lake fly anglers best fishing has been early morning and there have been a few wind lanes about. Ducks and gulls on the water are a telltale sign they are eating insects on the surface.

Some of the best lake fly-fishing is during coming months as the water cools.

With so much weed around the edges we should see some big fish caught. Try any of the streamer patterns such as a black Woolly Bugger or Williamson’s Gold Fish. 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 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 but placement is, or else you just scare the fish.

Try a small hopper pattern, Royal Wulff, Royal Humpy or a caddis moth.

The lower Mowambah near the weir on the Dalgety Road is well worth a look.



Best method Lake trolling, lead line early, then downriggers at 10m.
Best depth 2m early, then 10m-14m.
Best lake lure Tasmanian Devil yellow wing Freddo or Steve Williamson’s lime green yellow wing.
Best lake areaDeep water off Lion and Cub Islands.
Best fly method dry fly hopper patterns and Yellow Humpies.
Best river Thredbo River

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