Trout spawn early
  |  First Published: June 2013

Snow on the mountains and the cold weather has certainly stirred up the brown trout into spawning mode. Plenty of fish have already moved into the Thredbo River and if you get the conditions, they are easy to catch with the right lure and fly.

With only a couple of weeks to go before the end of the river fishing season, you do not have a lot of time to come on up to the mountains and experience the great spawn-run fishing we have experienced over the past month.

The Thredbo river closes at midnight on Monday, June 10, but the fishing on the lake will remain as hot as it was last Winter, with plenty of big browns already coming in for the shore-based anglers.

With the lake level dropping very slightly and cooling significantly, the brown and rainbow trout are coming in close to the edges looking for worms and yabbies and it is not too hard to catch one on bait, lures or flies on the right day.

Trolling has also improved, with trout caught off the surface now so no need for all that deep trolling hardware like downriggers. Just a simple lure towed behind the boat will catch a trout for you.

The next month should be great; all you need to do is rug up and head for the water.


This season should be great and we will even see some of those big Atlantic salmon caught over coming months.

Winter trout are more aggressive and more likely to take bigger lures, so jointed Rapalas similar to the ones we spin the lake edges with are worth a try trolling; the bigger the lure the better. We quite often troll 9cm-11cm lures for the bigger fish.

StumpJumpers in gold colours to represent the little goldfish in the lake are also great and even a 7cm gold Rapala will do a similar job.

Try these and other gold lures off lead-core line if conditions are bright. Troll over the weed beds for best results because this is where the goldfish that the trout and salmon love to eat hide.

Other lures to use in the middle of the day are Tasmanian Devils in pink No 55 or orange No 56. These are aggression colours and the trout will strike them hard.

Also keep in mind a No Y36 yellow wing for the sunnier days and the Holographic or a No 48 or Y48 early and late in the day, or off three colours of lead core.

There are still plenty of big trout at Creel Bay and it is not too difficult to fish there, given there is so much more water this year.

You can downrig some very big browns using bigger minnows. If you don’t have a downrigger try putting a big Rapala (up to 13cm) on your lead-core line about four colours out and then add another 20m of 20lb Dacron backing. This will get you down to where the bigger browns are holding, but remember troll slowly, at about 2kmh.

The orange tiger Rapala is also a great aggression colour and a slow-trolled orange Rapala Minnow Spin is also worth a try.

Other good areas to troll are in the shallow bays like Hatchery and Hayshed, while Sids Bay at East Jindabyne is also a favourite because it is weedy with lots of food for trout.


With all the extra water this year I think the bigger trout will be cruising the bays and inlets for a feed and so that is where you should be also casting a b ait.

You can fish all day during Winter but don’t fish too deep because the trout often feed close to shore. Scrub worms or artificial bait work well day or night as long as you don’t mind sitting back and waiting.

Artificial salmon eggs have been very good for catching some bigger trout at the moment. Both the worms and artificial baits are fished off the bottom with a running sinker.

Remember to fish light and keep the bail arm open to let the trout run with the bait. Grease the line with Mucilin dressing to reduce friction if the trout are running and dropping baits.

Artificial baits are great in Winter and you need to just use a small ball. A little bigger than a pea on a size 12 hook will catch more fish than big bits on big hooks. Gamakatsu do a fine wire hook called a Single Egg Hook and these are great for PowerBait.

Over the next few months the areas to catch trout on bait include Wollondibby Inlet and Creel Bay at Waste Point and Stinky Bay nearer to town. Remember, the lake is weedy but that’s where the fish like to hang out.


You can also spin all day in Winter but on sunny, still days choose the deeper drop-offs where the fish cruise for something to eat.

In Winter 7g Tasmanian Devils are best for the deeper water on still days and the 13g on windy days.

Another lure worth a throw now is the pink 3” StumpJumper, while orange Minnow Spins are also great off the bank.

Jointed Rapalas with a little bit of orange on the belly will also get the trout to take notice and if you work them like a wounded fish you will get a lot more strikes.

You can also cast small bladed spinners like a gold or red No 1 or No 2 Celta or Vibrax in the shallow weedy bays.

Soft plastics are also worth a try and the Strike Tigers in vodka and orange and princess pink colours are good, and the Tasmanian Trout Frogs are also going great.

Soft plastics for trout would have to work the best in winter. Flicking them out and working them slowly through the snags and above weed beds when the lake is low is the best way to catch trout.

Blades are working well on the rivers and in the lakes. Some of the better blades are the golden boy TT Switchblade, Strike Pro Cyber Vibe 35 in BLG and 50JU009. Some of these look like our lake goldfish and the trout love to eat the little goldfish.


June and July would have to be the hardest and coldest months for fly-fishing on Lake Jindabyne.

The best results usually occur when the browns start to return from spawning, but with some of the browns and rainbows spawning as early as March, we might find that the fly possibilities will be better this year.

With the higher lake and fish hanging about the bays, try places like Creel, Hayshed and Hatchery bays, Mill Creek Inlet, The Claypits, and the Snowy Arm.

Rug up and enjoy your trip to the mountains and if you’re coming down for a snow play trip, don’t forget your fishing rod. I operate guided tours throughout Winter so call in to my shop at Discovery Holiday Parks Jindabyne next to the Shell servo.



Best method –Scrub worms, bardi grubs and artificial baits in the lake

Best depth – The bottom around the edges

Best lake lure – Tasmanian Devil pink 55, Rapala brook and perch patterns

Best lake area – East Jindabyne pumping station, the Claypits.

Best fly – Black Woolly Bugger on the lake.

Rivers closed from June 10 until October.

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