It was a slower start to the snow season this year, but the mountains are now white and this means plenty of water for the rivers and streams when it melts in spring.
Snowy Hydro have just released the water release targets for 2013/2014 for their environmental flows and if it goes to plan, the major environmental release down the lower Snowy River should occur around the 8 October.
A couple of smaller releases will occur in September depending on snow melts, but this major release in October will be the big one for the year.
At this stage, looking at the chart, there will not be any more major releases in the first half of 2014, however this of course will always depend on any major rain events.
While the lake level will drop sharply at the time of the release, I would expect that again depending on snow melts that the lake will again rise over 80% just in time for the Trout Festival in November. Details can be found at www.snowyhydro.com.
With the water still at just below 80% at the moment, the trout have been happy to cruise the edges poking about as they prospect for something to eat.
Bait fishing has been very good with the best baits being scrub worms teamed up with trout artificial baits in orange or pink. Spinning around the edges of the lake is always good in winter at any time of the day and we are still seeing some nice, healthy brook trout caught up to 5lb.
Brookies prefer to hang out in the sheltered bays at this time of year and go to deeper water when the water warms up. Brookies will take the same lures as the rainbows and browns. Jointed Rapalas worked very slowly is the best way to catch a lazy trout when the water is cold and the fish are a little sluggish.
If the water is dirty, then orange or pink lures may work better as these are aggression colours for trout in winter spawning time.
For deeper water on really sunny and still days when the trout may be spooky in shallow water, you can use lures such as the Tasmanian Devil and again, colours like the pink number 55 or the brown number 48 are sure to catch a fish or two. The Y48 Tasmanian Devil is also well worth having in your tackle box.
The better times are early and late in the day but you can still catch fish near the rocky points and deep drop-offs during the middle of the day. Some of the better winter areas are Hatchery Bay, the South Arm and you might like to try Curiosity Point.
Trolling is our most popular fishing method during winter and we almost always catch fish.
Some of the big Atlantic salmon released by Gaden Trout Hatchery last June have now been caught but there is still more out there and they are a lot of fun to catch. There is no real special lure to attract the salmon, you just have to be in the right place at the right time, but they do not mind a little bit of silver on the lure and the Tasmanian devil number 77 Autumn Brown has been very good. Other good lures to use at the moment are Tassie Devils in numbers 55 pink and 72 as well as No. 50 frog pattern or 36 yellow wings on the sunnier days.
For the bigger brown trout, I like to troll larger 9cm and 11cm jointed Rapalas and the brown trout pattern is a favourite.
Lion and Cub islands, as well as East Jindabyne islands, are excellent trolling spots at the moment; you need to troll close to the edges for best results. With winter trolling it is always important to remember that with the cold water, the fish move a lot slower and so it is important to troll slower than in summer and it will help to use an electric motor or trolling baffle to get the boat down to about 3km/h at the most.
If all goes to plan, the flyfishing should improve towards the end of this month as we head into spring and the edges of the water warms a little. Green nymphs fished near the rocky outcrops should catch a fish for you.
If on the day the water is a little choppy, then move to an olive streamer pattern like a Woolley Bugger or something similar. Traditionally, August is polaroiding (spotting trout with the aid of Polaroid sunnies) month for the anglers and that also started early this year.
If polaroiding, fish quietly and approach the water only after spotting a fish. The western shoreline from Curiosity Rocks to Hatchery Bay is excellent to spot fish during August and don’t forget to keep away from my area over at Sid’s Bay. Another area for big fish is Creel Bay at Waste Point, but remember this is in the Kosciuszko National Park and you are expected to have a pass. You will need to purchase the pass at either Cooma or Jindabyne visitors centre.
If you’re down in the Snowy Mountains area over the next month, call into my shop at Discovery Holiday Park, say hi and pick up a copy of the latest fishing report. If you would like to join me on one of my charters, just give me a call on 02 64 561 551, our Facebook page will also give the very latest reports so become a Facebook friend at Steve Williamson’s Lake Jindabyne Trout Fishing Adventures. Also visit my web site at www.swtroutfishing.com.au for all fishing reports and find out more about our winter tours. All the best for some great winter fishing!Reads: 1181