Early starts to bring best results
  |  First Published: October 2014

October of course is the month that river fishing anglers look forward to with another river season opening on Saturday 4th October.

It will be a busy time on the rivers with anglers lining up, hoping that the river will be full of late spawning trout and that is something no one can predict.

This past winter we saw a more normal weather pattern, although a little colder than normal. The brown trout that spawned earlier in the season had what could be described as a normal run and the rainbow trout just last month were just about to take advantage of the rain and snow melt to do their thing also.

With the extra water flow in the rivers at the moment, the best flies to use have still been weighted nymphs and even a few fish will be caught on glowbugs. You might like to also try some bigger flies like weighted Woolley Buggers in the faster water. You will find that while not as traditional, it is a very successful way of getting a shy trout to bite.

Those that like throwing lures into the river will need to make certain the lure is getting close to the bottom in the running water as the fish are still a bit lazy and will not rise too far in the water to take a lure. I still prefer my minnow lures that will dive to the bottom on retrieval. You might like to try the Rapala Spotted Dog or a Rapala Pinkie or even try a bigger size than normal, as bigger lures often catch the bigger, more aggressive trout at this time of season.

Meanwhile on the lake, the fishing has been fantastic and most anglers will agree that we have had the best winter fishing we have seen in many years and there is no reason that that will not continue given the lakes water level is rising.

With the snow melt we also see the water level of Lake Jindabyne rise and cover some new ground, bringing the trout in closer to the shore to feed and giving anglers some excellent bait fishing, spinning and of course a start to the fly fishing season on the lake with a much more predictable pattern of fishing.

At some time of the day the fish are coming 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 well-presented scrub worms and these are fished with a greased line to stop it from sinking into the weed and getting caught up.

Lake fly fishing should be interesting this season. The lake water levels are great at the moment and the lake 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.

If fly fishing the lake at the moment, 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 banks of the lake. I find casting small green nymphs to be best in the shallow water. Other flies worth a try are green or olive flies like Hamills Killers, small shrimp patterns and olive nymphs.

Lure anglers can also spot the fish before casting and you will do best with smaller lures like Celtas, Vibrax spinners, Wordons Rooster Tails or Gillies spinners and of course minnow lures like floating Rapalas, but keep them small, lures that are too big will make a big splash and spook the trout in the shallow clear water.

If the day is brighter than you can switch to some Tasmanian Devils for casting a little further and green and gold is a good colour to try.

This month, the boat 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 80 metres being the least you will need out.

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.

You will do best using minnow lures early before sunrise and then switching 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, they are both great. Try trolling the Yellow Wing Tasmanian Devils a little later as the sun is about to rise over the horizon. 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 trout!

Minnow lures like Rapalas or Stumpjumpers in brown trout and rainbow trout patterns are also good, but 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. It is not a good idea to try to mix and match different brands as no two brands of lures will work at their best at the same speed.

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 and 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 dropbacks and lighter line or braid to keep the lures at the deepest depth possible. You need to do this well before the sun comes up to get the bigger fish.

Trying to run a Tasmanian Devil and a minnow lure for example will not get perfect results from both lures at the same time.

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

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


On Saturday 8 November, I am holding a one day fishing competition and presentation dinner as part of the celebration for the 25th Anniversary of my business Lake Jindabyne Trout Fishing Adventure.

I have a few spots available for the event but you must contact me to join in on the celebration. There are very limited positions and you will not be able to join up on the day. Email --e-mail address hidden-- if you are interested in finding out more about the 25th Anniversary celebration.

Beginner Fly Fishing School.

It’s not too late to sign up for my beginner fly fishing school and the date for that is 18 and 19 October. 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 any information and booking forms for these courses please call my shop on 02 64561551 or email me your postal address on --e-mail address hidden-- . More information can be found on my website at www.swtroutfishing.com.au .

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