Last chance trout
  |  First Published: June 2014

June is here and so is winter. The start to the snow season is not far off, which means so is the close of the river fishing until the October long weekend.

The June Queens Birthday holiday weekend is the last chance that you have to target the early spawning trout in the Thredbo River. For those that do come to fish the river, it is a very busy weekend and a lot depends on the rain and weather as to how the trout will behave.

If we get a fair bit of rain leading up to the closing weekend then the fishing will be great, if we don’t, the fishing will be hard on the rivers. My suggestion is to fish the lake instead as the trout fishing on the lakes has been great over recent months.

Anyhow let’s have a look at what will happen over the month in more depth.

Boat trolling over the last month has been good with plenty of hard fighting rainbow trout in excellent condition, giving the lake trollers a lot of fun and I would expect this pattern to continue. We might even see some of those big Atlantic salmon caught over the coming month or two and, if you are lucky enough, the brook trout should also come on the bite.

In winter, the trout are more aggressive and are more likely to take a bigger lure. Jointed Rapalas, similar to the ones we spin in the lake edges, are worth a try and the bigger the lure the better. We quite often troll 9cm and 11cm lures for the bigger fish.

StumpJumpers in gold colours to represent the little gold fish in the lake are also great and even a 7cm gold Rapala will do a similar job. Try these and other gold coloured lures off lead core lines if conditions are bright and try trolling over the weed beds for the best results, as this is where the goldfish love to hide.

Other lures to use in the middle of the day are Tasmanian Devils in pink number 55 or orange number 56 colours. These are aggressive colours in winter and the trout will strike these hard. Also keep in mind a number Y36 yellow wing for the sunnier days and Tassie Devil holographic or say a number 48 or Y48 are always worthwhile early and late in the day.

There are still plenty of big fish at Creel Bay and it is not too difficult to fish given there is so much more water this year. You can downrig some very big brown trout using bigger minnow lures. If you don’t have a downrigger then try putting the big Rapala onto your lead core line and put four colours of lead into the water and then another 20m of 20lb Dacron backing. This will get you down to where the bigger browns are holding out, but remember troll slowly at about 2km/h.

Use your fish finder to see where the trout are holding and keep on working them. Most of the bigger fish are going to be down near the bottom of areas like Waste Point and Creel Bay where the Thredbo River runs into the lake.

Bigger minnow lures are the secret at the moment so use big Rapalas, even up to 13cm. The orange tiger Rapala is also a great aggressive colour and a slow trolled orange minnow spin is also worth a try.

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

Bait fishing is productive with all the extra water this year. The bigger trout will be cruising the bays and inlets for a feed. You can fish all day during winter but don’t fish too deep as the fish often feed in close to the shore. Bait fishing with scrub worms or artificial bait works well in winter, so long as you don’t mind sitting back and waiting; this method works any time day or night. 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 musilin to reduce friction if the trout are running and dropping baits.

Artificial baits are great in winter and you only need to just use a small ball of artificial bait, just a little bigger than a pea, and a small size 12 hook will catch more fish than big hooks and big bits of bait. Gamakatsu do a fine wire hook called a single egg hook and these are great for power bait. You can use a size 8 or 10 hook for trout in winter.

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

Unlike summer, you can spin all day in winter, however on sunny still days choose the deeper drop-off where the fish will cruise looking for something to eat.

I find that in winter smaller 7g Tasmanian Devils best for the deeper water on still days and the 13g Tassies on the windy days. Another lure that has been worth a throw is the 3” StumpJumper. Pink is a great colour in winter. Orange minnow spins are also great off the bank.

Jointed Rapalas with a little bit of orange on the tummy is another lure that will get the trout to take notice and if you work these jointed minnows like a wounded fish you will get a lot more strikes.

You can also spin with small bladed spinners, like number 1 or 2 Celtas and Vibrax spinners, in the shallow weedy bays on the lake. I like gold colours or reds.

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

Overall, 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. Like bream fishing down the coast, blades are working well on trout in the rivers and the lakes, so well worth a try. Some of the better blades are TT Switchblade Golden Boy, Strike Pro Cyber Vibe 35 BLG and Cyber Vibe 50JU009 (some of these look like our lake goldfish and the trout love to eat the little goldfish).

Flyfishing is June and July on Lake Jindabyne would have to be the hardest and coldest months for flyfishing.

The best fishing usually occurs when the browns start to return from spawning, however this year with some of the browns and rainbows spawning as early as last March we might find that the flyfishing will be better this year. With the higher lake levels and fish hanging about the bays, the better areas are Creel Bay, Hayshed and Hatchery Bay, Mill Creek Inlet, The Claypits, and The Snowy Arm.

Well rug up and enjoy your trip to the Snowys, and if coming down for a snow trip, don’t forget your fishing rod!

• If you would like a bit more information on what trout fishing is available on Lake Jindabyne in winter, please call into my shop at Discovery Holiday Parks Jindabyne next to the Shell servo 02 64 561551. All the best with the fishing over the next couple of months and remember I operate for guided tours right throughout winter.

June roundup – the best of the best!

Best method: Bait fishing with scrubbies teamed up with artificial baits.
Best depth:Bottom fishing.
Best lake lure:Tasmanian Devil in pink 55 or Rapala Brook and Perch patterns.
Best lake area:East Jindabyne pumping station and The Claypits.
Best fly method:Black Woolley Buggers on the lake.
Best river:Rivers all closed to fishing until October.
Reads: 1378

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