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Trout still trumps
  |  First Published: December 2013



It’s December already and the first official month of summer. For some, summer came early this year but for us in the mountains we actually had a cool spring and it’s in over recent weeks that we have had warm weather.

With that in mind, and the fact that Lake Jindabyne’s water level is still fairly high, the water temperatures have remained quite cool so the surface trout fishing is actually very good. Boat trollers are experiencing good fishing with some excellent conditioned rainbow trout.

It’s normal over summer to get out of bed before sunrise and make certain you have lines in the water at first light. However with cooler water temperatures you may be able to stretch your surface fishing into mid-morning before you have to go deeper using downriggers to get your lures to about 35ft where the trout are lying.

For boat trollers, the usual techniques of fishing on the surface in shallow water at first light and then moving out into deeper water using lead core with 20-30m of line out will extend the better fishing well into the late morning.

Use minnow lures early, before sunrise, and then switch to Tasmanian Devil lures later in the morning. The best colour Tassies to use will be darker lures early with the number Y48 yellow wing red nosed brown bomber, or even Y94 are great. Try the yellowing Tasmanian Devils a little later as the sun is about to rise over the horizon. Number 111 Tasmanian Devil Lure ‘Willies Special’ (named after some trout fishing guide in the area) has been a very good lure over recent weeks and always a summer winner with pour trout!

Minnow lures like Rapalas or StumpJumpers in brown trout and rainbow trout patterns are also good. There are many good brands of lures on the market that will do the job if you know what speed to troll to get the best action out of the lures. Try not to mix and match different brands as no two brands of lures will work best at the same speed. Trying to run a Tasmanian Devil and a minnow lure for example will not get perfect results from either lures at the same time.

After the sun hits that water, it’s time to change to a number 36, Y82 yellow wing Tassie or my Steve Williamson red nosed yellow wing. As the sun gets higher then it’s time to get the lure lower into the water and lead core lines or downriggers are the way to go.

The best lures to try and catch those trophy brown trout will be small minnows and you need to troll these over the weed beds using longer drop-backs (to 80m) and lighter line or braid to keep the lures at the deepest depth possible. Do this well before the sun comes up to get the bigger fish.

Lake bait fishing has been nothing but excellent for months now, but as the summer heat hits us and the water temperature around the edges of the lake warm up, the best fishing may again be early in the day at sunrise. You may also find that it will be worthwhile fishing later in the morning and at some time of the day the fish are coming back on the bite and you just need a line in the water to catch them.

Local scrub worms are best for brown trout while artificial baits of various colours are proving itself for rainbow trout and salmon.

If you want to catch yourself a big brown trout then the best baits are still going to be a well presented, scrub worms and these are fished with a greased line to stop it from sinking into the weed and getting caught up.

Mudeyes, the dragon fly nymph, are a popular summer bait but this year with the cooler conditions and dams full of water they are harder to collect. You might find that purchasing ‘local’ mudeyes may be difficult and when you do find them they are going to be at a premium price. There are artificial alternatives these days that will still catch you a trout all you have to do is fish them a little more actively so you make them look as if they are alive.

There are no fishing spots much better than others at the moment. The trout are cruising the margins of the lake so they can be in one place one day and another the next.

We are going to be in for an interesting flyfishing season this year. The lake water levels are great at the moment and the lake will fish well, especially in the shallows early morning and into the late evening if we get some evening hatches of insects to excite the trout into feeding.

The best flies have been green or olive flies like Hamills Killers, small shrimp patterns and olive nymphs but there might be a little dry flyfishing at night after the hatches, so keep that in mind. A mayfly or caddis pattern is well worth having in your collection.

The river and stream flyfishing was a little slow getting started this year but now that there are more insects, beetles, caddis fly and grasshoppers about, we have had some very good fishing.

With all river flyfishing, it all depends on the temperatures of the day as to how the water’s fish. And a little bit of experience is often needed to get the best out of your fishing, so if you’re a little unsure then it might be time for a lesson on stream craft.

Those that like throwing lures into rivers and streams, you will need to make certain the lure is getting close to the bottom in the running water on the days that are bright and sunny. Your best fishing again will be early and late in the day.

In the middle of the day, fish the deeper pools and make certain that you are getting down to the bottom. The longer you can keep the lure down there the better chance you will have of catching a trout. Don’t forget soft plastics in the deep pools can be very effective on trout.

Lures like Celtas, Vibrax Spinners, Wordons Rooster Tails or Gillies Spinners and of course minnow lures like floating Rapalas are all good for river fishing. The Strike Tiger plastics have a great selection for all your fishing needs. A new little lure that has been great on the rivers is the new Bullet range of lures and these now come in two sizes with the larger one better for the lake or larger stretches of the river like on the Thredbo River.

Let’s hope the summer season is a good one with regular rain to freshen up the streams and cooling the water.

Lake Level

For latest updates on levels go to www.snowyhydro.com.au

December roundup:Best of the best!
Best method:Lake trolling
Best depth:Surface lures early and late in the day.
Best lake lure:Tasmanian Devils with yellow wings or holographic.
Best lake area:East Jindabyne Islands and Creel Bay.
Best fly method lake:Hamills Killers, Williamson’s Gold Fish and in dry flies brown mayfly.
Best river for fly:Beetle, grasshopper and mayfly patterns.
Best River for spinners:Rapala Scatter Raps, Celtas, Vibrax Spinners and Gillies Hoppers.
Reads: 813

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