Well what a summer it was! A lot wetter and cooler than we have seen for many years, and it’s not often we complain that we cannot fish the rivers because there is too much water!
On Jindabyne, the water level remained high. Snowy Hydro released water down the lower Snowy River, only to have more rain and storms push the level up once again. We have as much water now as we did after the snow melt last spring.
The lake water temperatures remained lower than normal, making it perfect for trout fishing. Every time we had a few hot days, the surface water temperature would rise. Then the storms and wind would arrive and mix up the water layers, so the surface temperature would drop again.
Of course, from now on the nights are going to get cooler, so the water temperature is sure to drop and the trout will be seen feeding closer around the edges of the lake. This makes the shore-based anglers very happy.
Once again, it was good to see so many rainbow trout caught over the last season — really big ones as well. I would hope that the so-called experts that caused the Snowy Mountains so much trouble with their negativity and reports about ‘disappearing rainbows’ are now hanging their heads in shame after destroying their credibility by hastily putting crap on the fishery without taking time to research the problem before opening their mouths or putting pen to paper.
Anyhow, the great news is that due to the cooler and wetter summer this year, the rainbows were more active and plenty were caught. All is looking good for autumn in the Snowy Mountains.
The rivers will be a little more fishable over the coming month, with lure anglers getting a chance to fish the alpine streams where the fishing has been good. Plenty of small fish are being caught. Remember, there is no stocking of trout high up, so these fish are natural recruits in the system, which looks fantastic.
Some of the lures to try will be small 3-5cm Rapalas in natural colours, as well as Celtas, other small spinners like Gillies Bendbacks and Feathertails, the Vibrax Blue Fox, Blue Fox Super Minnows, and you can even try some smaller soft plastics for the smaller runs.
On the lake, working the same sort of lures around the edges of the shallow bays in about 4m of water will be the best way to pick up a bigger fish, but it must be early morning or else wait until dark.
If it is windy, and windy days are quite often good days in summer, try some of the heavier Tasmanian Devils in green and gold, or even yellow. Throw them out into the wind in deeper water and retrieve slowly. The best colours for the lake have been brown and rainbow trout patterns, and gold.
Bays like Creel, Hatchery and the Snowy Arm all fish well. As the sun rises, change to a Tassie and cast further out over dropoffs, letting the lure sink before retrieving with a slow wind.
For boat fishos, the best way to start off a day’s trolling this month will be by trying surface lines with lures to about 2m at first light, maybe with a lead core line at 3 colours to take the lures to 4-5m down as a backup.
If you have been out a while and there are no bites, don’t persist; get out the downriggers and, starting at 35’ with a lure dropback of 4m, you should start to see some fish. As the day brightens further, then maybe go to 45’ by mid morning for the best fishing.
On cloudy or rainy days you can surface fish until about 9.00am before going deeper.
The Tasmanian Devil number 111 Willy’s Special, or Steve Williamson’s Lime Green Yellow Wing are the best deep lures at the moment, with Tasmanian Devil number 36 Yellow Wing doing okay on the surface and off lead core lines early.
Some of the better trolling areas this month will be deep water off Lion and Cub islands, or the deeper water at Hatchery and Hayshed Bay. Sid’s Bay through to Rushes Bay will fish well early in the day for big brown trout, but the first hour of light is the time to be there.
For lake fly anglers, at the moment the best fishing has been early morning, and there have been a few wind lanes about. If you see the ducks and seagulls on the water, this is a telltale sign that they are eating insects on the surface.
Some of the best lake fly fishing occurs during the coming months. As the water cools, and this year with so much weed around the edges of the lake, we should see some big fish caught. Try any of the streamer patterns, such as black Woolly Buggers and Williamson’s Gold Fish. Olive green nymphs and shrimp patterns are also worth a try.
The South Arm, Creel Bay, and especially Sid’s Bay are all great.
On the rivers, the best fly fishing is in the evenings, and there should still be plenty of evening rises and fantastic dry fly fishing for a few weeks yet.
The alpine streams are still looking good and plenty of small fish are being caught on dry fly. Fly selection is not too critical, but placement certainly is, otherwise you just scare off all the fish. Try a small ’hopper pattern, Royal Wulff or a Royal Humpy. A caddis moth fly is not a bad option either.
Well worth a look is the lower Mowamba near the weir on the Dalgety Road.
Over this month, the best lake bait fishing will be early and late in the day. Mudeyes under a bubble float are the best bait, before changing to scrubworms off the bottom teamed up with some artificial bait as the sun gets higher. Worms under a float is an alternative if you can’t get any mudeyes, which are becoming harder to collect due to the dry weather. Best bait fishing areas are Creel Bay, Hatchery Bay, and Curiosity Rocks in the deeper water.
Best method: Lake trolling leadlines early, then downriggers at 35’.
Best depth: 6’ early, to 35’.
Best lake lure: Tasmanian Devil Yellow Wing, Freddo or Steve Williamson’s Lime Green Yellow Wing.
Best lake area: Deep water off Lion and Cub islands.
Best fly method: Dry fly, ’hopper patterns and Yellow Humpies.
Best river: Thredbo.
If you want to know more about the latest fishing conditions, check out our reports on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LJTFA, or visit my web site at www.swtroutfishing.com.au
This freshly minted rainbow was caught on a Willy’s Special number 111 Tasmanian Devil.
Matthew Smith with a tidy rainbow caught on a beautiful alpine summer’s day.Reads: 413