We certainly had a good start to the snow season this year and the snow keeps on coming, which will be excellent for the rivers and streams when it melts in spring. At the moment there is 2m of snow on top which means good lake levels for the spring, and in fact we could end up with 100% capacity again as we already have 88% and the lake is still rising.
So far this winter the lake fishing has been excellent, with great shore-based angling, and it can only stay that way. This is the third year in a row we have had fantastic shore-based fishing in winter.
Bait fishing has been very good with the best baits being scrub worms if you want to catch a good brown trout. For rainbow trout, artificial baits in orange or pink (or mixed) have been great.
The best rig for scrubbies is a simple big scrubby onto a hook and no weight added. You don’t need to cast out too far, and with light tackle you will get the distance needed anyway.
With the artificial bait, why not place on a scrubby as your weight to cast and have a simple dropper of artificial bait floating above? This duel hook rig often works wonders.
If you like to throw lures, spin the edges of the lake, preferably in the sheltered bays, with lures in rainbow trout and brown trout patterns. Working jointed Rapalas very slowly is the best way to catch a lazy trout when the water is so cold and the fish are a little sluggish.
If the weather is dirty, 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, throw them out well past the fish and then wind in slowly. Again, colours like the pink number 55 or the brown number 48 are sure to catch a fish or two. 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.
Traditionally August is ‘Polaroiding’ (spotting trout with the aid of polarised sunnies) month for anglers, and that also started early this year. If you’re coming to have a fish in August, here are my predictions for this month in more detail.
If all goes to plan the flyfishing should improve towards the end of this month as we head towards spring and the edges of the water warm a little. Green nymphs fished near the rocky outcrops should catch a fish for you. If the water is a little choppy on the day, move to an olive streamer pattern like a Woolley Bugger or similar.
If you’re Polaroiding the lake, fish quietly and approach the water only after trying to spot 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 Sids Bay, because it’s mine, all miiiiine!
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.
Trolling is our most popular fishing tour during winter and we almost always catch a fish.
Some of the big Atlantic salmon released by Gaden Trout Hatchery last June have now been caught but there are 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. Still, they do not mind a little bit of silver on the lure and the Tasmanian Devil no. 77 autumn brown has been very good. Other good lures to use at the moment are Tassie Devils in numbers 55 pink and 72 and 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’s important to remember that cold water makes the fish move a lot slower, so it’s important to troll slower than in summer. An electric motor or some sort of trolling baffle may be needed to get the boat down to about 3km/h at the most.
If you’re down in the Snowys 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 or 0408 024 436. Feel free to visit my website at www.swtroutfishing.com.au for all the latest fishing reports and find out more about our winter tours.
All the best for some great winter fishing from Steve Williamson.Reads: 866