Trout feeding up
  |  First Published: April 2014

Welcome to April and cooler weather in the Snowy Mountains. It’s a busy month for the Snowies, with school holidays, Easter and of course Anzac weekend, which brings me to the reminder that the Rapala/Discovery Holiday Parks Family Fishing Competition will be held over the Anzac Weekend this year. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and more information is available at www.swtroutfishing.com.au.

I will always remember April and Easter as always a possible start to the trout spawning season in the bigger rivers like the Thredbo and Eucumbene but this always depends on just how much rain we get. Last year we had a very early start but this year will depend on that rain once again. Substantial rainfall will mean a spawn, and no rain will mean that the trout will stay back in the lake.

April is also the last month that you can legally take 2 trout over 25cm from the spawning rivers like the Thredbo. After 1 May the rule changes to only 1 fish over 50cm per angler per day.

On the lake, the fishing has continued to be very good and now that the lake water temperature is cooling into the trout’s comfort zone they are happier to move in close to the edges of the lake. This makes the fishing a little better for those anglers who don’t have a boat.

Autumn is a great time to go trout fishing. The trout are feeding up in readiness for winter and so are often easier to catch. The great shore based angling should continue right through the winter months like it did last year.

Spinning on the lake will also improve this month as the water edges cool down, but you may find the best spinning will be early and late in the day, and steep drop-offs with plenty of rocks will be the best areas. Bays like Rushes, Hatchery and Creel Bay all fish well. The best areas 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 also move into spawning and aggression mode, but for now green and gold Tassies like the number 111 Willys Special and maybe the Canberra Killer Tassie will be good. Most of the Rapalas I use at this time of year have a little orange on them as well. In shallow bays I like to use the glow Vibrax spinners and also some of the small soft plastics like the Strike Tiger spotted brew colour using a small lightweight jighead.

Boat trolling will improve again this month now that the water temperatures are starting to reach a comfort zone for the trout, and early morning surface fishing can be quite productive. It’s also the month that the lake trout start to feed up before heading into the rivers to spawn. The best way to attack the fish is to start off the morning by surface trolling lures and maybe a lead line at 2 colours out so the lure is about 3m deep. 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 20ft of water is a good place to start.

The Tasmanian Devil number Y48, the yellow wing Brown Bomber, and the holographic Tasmanian Devil have been the best overall lures to use on the lakes over the past month, however this is the time of the year that we sometimes start to move into pink or orange colours. It’s also well worth running the brown trout or spotted dog Rapalas, and the pinkie Rapala will also be worth a try as the trout become more aggressive.

Of course, if you are targeting the really big brown trout then you are best using really big lures like 9cm to 13cm Rapalas. I find the Jointer Rapalas best as you can troll them a bit slower and still have good action on the lure.

Some of the better trolling areas this month will be Sid’s Bay through to Rushes Bay but this is a tricky area to fish with the lower lake levels. You need to be vigilant as there are trees and shallow spots that can pop up out of nowhere. Also try Waste Point or Creel bay for downrigging as there may be a few early spawning brown trout about, but they will mostly be deeper at 20 or so feet.

On the rivers and streams last summer was a very hot one and at present there is not a lot of flow (but that can change). I have found that the best flyfishing has been higher up in the mountains, 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 the art of flyfishing. Try a small Hopper pattern, Royal Wulff or Royal Humpy. A caddis moth fly is also not a bad option.

The Thredbo River still has a little dry flyfishing 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 Thredbo River you might start trying a black nymph, and if we get that heavy rain and a rise in the river we might see a start to glowbugs and nymphs.

On the lake, the best flyfishing is at night. Try any of the streamer patterns such as Craig’s Night Time 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 only improve as the month goes by and the best lures will be jointed minnows as the brown trout start to become really aggressive and territorial.

Other lures like the Gillies Spinas, Vibrax spinners or Celtas are certainly a must in your lure box. It is also well worth a try in the smaller alpine streams using these same lures, as once again these little fish can be a lot of fun. I always crimp the barbs for easy release.

April roundup – the best of the best!

Best method – Surface trolling early and then using lead core lines at 30m out.

Best depth - Trolling at 25ft deep. 35ft middle of the day using downriggers.

Best lake lure – Tasmanian Devil number 111 or Y82.

Best lake area – Hayshed Bay and it’s worth a look at Waste Point.

Best fly method – Dry fly: Parachute Adams or black cricket. Wet fly: black weighted nymph.

Best river – Thredbo River above The Diggings.

If you want to know more about the latest in fishing conditions just give me a call on 02 6456 1551 or check out our Facebook page at Steve Williamson’s Lake Jindabyne Trout Fishing Adventures.

Until next month, hope you catch the big one.

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