Head to the lakes for high country fun
  |  First Published: January 2015

Due to the late season and cooler conditions in early summer, fly fishers are only now experiencing the best fly action in years. With lots of bugs about, the trout are leaping for joy!

The water level on the streams is low and clear, and also much more fishable after the regular summer storms. The fish are mainly taking hopper and beetle patterns. The Thredbo continues to fish okay, and after the heavy rain is always the first river to clear up.

Perisher Creek is well worth a try if you like dry fly fishing, and it’s not too cold and windy up there. Spencers Creek is another option.

Some of the best lake fly-fishing occurs during the coming months, and this year with the steady lake level we should see big fish caught. Try any of the streamer patterns such as Mrs Simpson or Williamson’s Snowy Mountains Gold Fish. Olive green nymphs and shrimp patterns are also worth a try. The South Arm, Creel Bay and Kangaroo Bay are all great.

The boat trolling has been very good and we are still catching trout on the surface, as the water temperature is not as warm as in previous years. We have been downrigging on the really hot and bright days though. Downrigger depth has not been as deep as in other years either, with 25-35’ about perfect.

I would expect to see this formula continue over the next month or so. Start off early in the day with surface lines, and the trick is to have at least 60m and even up to 100m out to get best results when trolling the edges of the shoreline. After about an hour, add a lead core line to the equation. With lead lines you should start with 2 colours (20m) early and 3 colours (30m) later in the morning.

The Tasmanian Devil number 111 Willy’s Special is still about the best Devil colour at the moment, followed by the Brown Bomber. My new black/gold Tasmanian Devil or the Holographic has been the best for darker conditions, and have also been good for downrigging.

I have been doing well with 9cm Rapalas off the downrigger and lead lines. Best colours are Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout. Gaden Trout Hatchery released baby rainbow trout fingerlings into Jindabyne last month, so all natural rainbow trout patterns are working well.

With water levels still high, some of the better trolling areas this month will be Hatchery Bay and Hayshed Bay, and Sid’s Bay through to Rushes Bay. Watch out for the rocks as the East Jindabyne Islands start to reappear as the water levels drop.

Best lure spinning on the lake has been in the shallow bays early and late in the day, and you can start by working the edges with Celtas or flicking floating Spotted Dog Rapalas about.

Best spinning late in the day is where there are steep dropoffs with plenty of rocks. Bays like Creel, Hatchery and the Snowy Arm all fish well. On brighter days, change to a Tassie Devil and cast further out over dropoffs, letting the lure sink before slowly retrieving.

Best areas have been down at the South Arm or near Banjo Patterson Park.

Fish are still being caught in the Thredbo River on small floating Rapalas, with the best colours being Rainbow Trout and Perch. You can also try some Vibrax Glow spinners very early and late in the day, or soft plastics like the Strike Tiger in Olive Pepper.

On the smaller streams like the Moonbah or upper Snowy, a variety of lures will work, but the best will be small bladed spinners like the Gillies Spina or Celtas in numbers 1 or 2 sizes. For deeper water, try the Rapala CD5 Spotted Dog or Gillies Tailbender.

Bait fishing on Lake Jindabyne has been good over recent months due to the higher water levels. Try mudeyes or even worms under a float, and either let the waves move it about, or if there’s no wind try and wind it in very slowly with a pause after every turn of the handle. Some good results have come from using the new Ecogear Bream Prawn 40s under a float. These look very much like a real mudeye.

Another bait worth suspending is the old faithful grasshopper, which you don’t see used much these days. They work a treat and there are plenty about at the moment. You might need the kids and a butterfly net to help you collect the bait though.

Best bait fishing areas are Creel Bay, Hatchery Bay, and Curiosity Rocks. Another great area is the bottom of Discovery Holiday Park near Widows Creek Inlet.

If you would like some personal guiding, I will be available over the coming months for fly-fishing tuition and lake trolling trips. Lessons can be booked from 2 hours’ duration, and trolling trips from 3 hours to a full day.

If you want to know more about the latest in fishing conditions, just give me a call on (0264) 561 551 or check out my website at www.swtroutfishing.com.au . You can also see our daily Facebook updates at https://www.facebook.com/LJTFA.

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