Temps drop, trout stir
  |  First Published: April 2013

It won’t be long now before we see a few early spawning trout moving into the Thredbo River.

The mornings are cool and the water temperature is dropping, so the trout are just waiting for a little rain and then will start to run.

Remember that from May 1 the rules in the Thredbo change to only one fish over 50cm per angler per day, so this is the last month when you can legally keep two fish over 25cm until the river opens for a new season in October.

On the lake, the fishing over recent months has continued to be very good and now that the water is dropping to the trout’s comfort zone, they are happier to move closer to the edges. This makes the fishing a little better for those who do not have boats.

Autumn is a great time to go trout fishing. They are feeding up in readiness for Winter and are often easier to catch. I expect the great shore angling will continue through the Winter, as it did last year.

On the rivers and streams the fly-fishing has been OK with the mountain streams still producing lots of small trout on dry fly. This is heaps of fun, especially if you are just getting into fly-fishing.

Try a small hopper pattern, Royal Wulff or Royal Humpy, and a caddis moth pattern is also not a bad option.

The Thredbo River still has a little dry-fly fishing to offer on some days but we will be swinging into the nymphing season very soon.

As the month goes on and more early-spawning brown trout move into the river, you might try a Black Nymph. And if we get heavy rain and a rise in the river, we might start using Glo Bugs and nymphs.

I have a feeling if we get rain it might be an early start to the spawning season.

On the lake, the best fly-fishing is at night. 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.


For the lure anglers, the Thredbo River will improve as the month goes by. Best lures will be jointed minnows as the brown trout become aggressive and territorial.

Lures with spinning blades are a must in your lure box. They also are well worth a try in the smaller alpine streams and I always crimp the barbs for easy release of these small but fun fish.

Lure fishing on the lake will also improve this month as the edge water cools but you may find the best action will be early and late in the day where there are steep drop-offs with plenty of rocks. Bays like Rushes, Hatchery and Creel fish well.

Best areas lately 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.

We will start to use pink and orange Tassies this month as the fish move into spawning and aggression mode, but for now green and gold Tassies like the Willy’s Special and maybe the Canberra Killer will be good.

Most of the Rapalas I use at this time of year have a little orange on them.

In shallow bays I like to use the glow Vibrax spinners and some of the small soft plastics like the Strike Tiger in spotted brew colour or the rainbow trout 3” Berkley Ripple Shad on a light jig head.

For windy days the Blue Fox Trout Quivers are fantastic for throwing into the wind and were very successful last Autumn/Winter.


Trolling will improve when the water cools to reach the fishes’ comfort zone and early morning surface fishing can be quite productive.

Start off the morning by surface trolling lures, and maybe a lead line at two colours so the lure is about 3m down.

Later in the morning you can still target some of the browns by fishing close to the bottom in deeper water with the aid of downriggers. I find about 6m is a good depth to start.

Tasmanian Devil Y48 and the holographic Devil the best overall on the lakes over the past month but this is when we sometimes move to pink or orange. Also well worthy of a run are the brown trout or spotted dog Rapala minnows, with the pinkie Rapala worth a try as the trout become more aggressive.

For the big browns use big lures like 9cm to 13 cm Rapalas, especially the jointed ones you can troll a bit slower.

One of the better trolling areas this month will be from Sids Bay to Rushes Bay but you need to be diligent there; trees and shoals can pop up out of nowhere. Also try downrigging in 6m at Waste Point and Creel Bay for early-spawning browns.

For the latest in fishing conditions call me on 02 6456 1551 or visit www.swtroutfishing.com.au . Also check out www.fishingcourses.com.au



Best method – Surface trolling early, then lead core line at 30m

Best trolling depth –8m; 11m middle of the day.

Best lake lure – Tasmanian Devils 111, Y82

Best lake areas – Hayshed Bay, Waste Point

Best dry fly – Parachute Adams or black cricket.

Best wet fly –weighted black nymph.

Best river – Thredbo R above The Diggings

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