Everyone is looking forward to the opening of the rivers and the streams after the Winter spawning closure.
At a second past midnight on Saturday, October 5, anglers will begin to line the banks of the Thredbo and Eucumbene rivers hoping that they will be full of late spawning rainbow trout so they can catch heaps of fish and have lots of fighting fun. That’s mostly fighting with the fish and a little with each other!
But the big question is, will there be late-spawning trout still there in the rivers?
Winter was very late coming to the mountains this year and it was not until late August that the snow really fell.
What we did have was rain and excellent spawning conditions, which may have meant that most fish spawned a little earlier than last year.
After the September water release down the Snowy River and a drop in the level of Lake Jindabyne, the snowmelt has topped things up quickly and the lake will be in excellent condition in time for the Snowy Mountains Trout Festival early next month.
We are experiencing normal Spring fishing conditions on the lake, with the early morning trolling quite good with some excellent surface activity.
As the lake continues to rise this month, the trolling will be best near the edges early and late in the day but you may have problems spooking the fish over shallow water. So make sure your line is out further than normal with at least 80m out.
The usual techniques of fishing on the surface in shallow water at first light and then moving out into deeper water using 20m-30m of lead core will extend the better fishing well into the late morning.
You will do best using minnow lures before sunrise and then switching to Tasmanian Devil lures. Use darker lures early, with the Y48 yellow wing red-nosed brown bomber or even Y94 great.
Try the yellow wing Tasmanian Devils as the sun is about to rise over the mountains. Willies Special, named after some trout guide in the area, has been very good over recent weeks and is always a Summer winner.
Minnows like Rapalas or StumpJumpers in brown trout and rainbow patterns are also good but many other good brands will do the job if you know what speed to troll to get the best action out of them.
It is not a good idea to try to mix and match different brands as no two work best the same at the same speed.
After the sun hits that water, change to a No 36, Y82 yellow wing Tassie or my red nosed yellow wing and as the sun gets higher then it’s time to get the lure lower with lead core or a downrigger.
The best lures for those trophy browns will be small minnows trolled over the weed beds using longer drop-backs and lighter line or braid to keep them as deep as possible. You need to do this well before the sun comes up to get the bigger fish.
Lake bait fishing has been excellent for months. At some time of the day the fish are coming on the bite and you just need a line in the water.
Local scrub worms are best for brown trout while artificial baits of various colours are hot for rainbow trout and salmon.
To catch a big brown use a scrub worm are fished on a greased line to stop it from sinking into the weed and getting caught up.
There are no spots much better than others at the moment. The trout are cruising the margins and can be in one place one day and another the next.
We are going to be in for an interesting fly season. The lake levels are great at the moment and it will fish well.
When the days warm up and as we get a few more insects hatching, we may get some good early morning rises on the lake.
The best flies have been green or olive flies like Hamill’s Killers, small shrimp patterns and olive nymphs.
When the flow slows on the streams the dry-fly fishing will improve but for now, brown and green nymphs are best.
With the extra water flow now the best flies have still been weighted nymphs and even a few fish will be caught on Glo Bugs.
Those who like throwing lures will need to make certain their offering is getting close to the bottom in the running water because the fish are still a bit lazy and will not rise too far to take a lure.
On the lake the spinning has been fantastic and most anglers will agree that we have had the best Winter fishing in many years. That should continue, given the lakes is rising.
Spotting fish first with the aid of your polaroids is the best way to work out a strategy on how to catch the fish as they cruise along the shore. I find small green nymphs best in the shallow water.
Lure anglers can also spot the fish before casting and will do best with smaller lures like Celtas, Vibrax spinners, Worden’s Rooster Tails or Gillies spinners. Minnows like floating Rapalas are good but keep them small; bigger lures can make a big splash and spook the trout in the shallow, clear water.
If the day is brighter you can switch to some Tasmanian Devils for casting a little farther. Green and gold is a good colour.
Let’s hope the season is a good one with regular rain to freshen up the streams and cool the water.
It’s not too late to sign up for my beginner fly-fishing school on October 26-27. Our schools are the first in Australia to offer a National Certificate of Recognition, which can be used to help gain employment in the recreational fishing industry. For more info call 02 6456 1551, email me at --e-mail address hidden-- or visit www.swtroutfishing.com.au.
Best method – lake trolling
Best depth –- surface early and late in the day.
Best lake lure – Tasmanian Devils with yellow wings or Holographic.
Best lake area – East Jindabyne Islands, Creel Bay.
Best lake fly – Hamill’s Killer.
Best fly river – Thredbo River, olive or black nymphs or a Glo Bug
Best spinning river – Thredbo River, small deep-diving minnows in brown trout pattern