With so many people in the area for snow play, August is a busy month in the Snowy Mountains but it is also a rewarding month for anglers who brave the mountain cold.
This year we are going to have an early polaroiding season because we have perfect lake levels with the weed beds close to shore. Should spring come early and the snowmelt start, the lake levels will rise quickly and this may have good or bad effects on the fishing around the edges.
With the weed beds close to shore the fish feed actively but if the weed is drowned out by higher water, the fish may stay deeper. It’s very hard to predict but, either way, there is always a trout to catch in Lake Jindabyne.
This month marks the turn from the really cold days in the Snowys and by mid-August the weather is more like spring than winter, with cold nights and warm, sunny days perfect for trout fishing.
Polaroiding is the art of spotting trout with the aid of polarised sunglasses. The fish are easier to spot once you use these glasses to remove the surface glare from the water.
Polaroiding is not just for fly casters because you can also carefully cast lures and even baits to the trout that you spot along the lake edges. The whole idea is to first spend some time watching the fish to see what direction it is cruising and then carefully cast far enough in front of it so as not to spook it.
Polaroiding is an art best done when you have a second person to help spot the fish. It is easy to lose sight of the fish when you move close to the shoreline and having someone up high makes it a lot easier to keep tables on the fish’s movements.
So far this winter, the weather has been wetter than in 2006 and this hopefully should be good for the lake levels come spring. The snow came on time and the brown trout headed into the rivers for their spawning run, as normal.
On the lake, the water level is still low but stable and, if anything, it has risen slightly over the last month.
While the coast has been hammered by heavy rain and storms, the drought is not over, at least for the Murray Darling basin and unfortunately unless they get water we in the Snowy Mountains will again be supplying the irrigation water over the summer and this is not going to be good for lake levels again.
But it’s still early days and maybe some of the rain will fall inland over the next few months. Let’s hope so!
So far this season we have had some good snow and later this month, the snow will thaw and the lake will rise and will more than likely be close to normal over early summer. The water levels are still good but very low and you will need your gumboots or waders for the muddy edges, especially if it rains.
Lures such as the Tasmanian Devil in colours like the pink No 55, brown No 48 or the Y48 are well worth having in your tackle box at this time of year.
If walking the edges of the lake, use smaller lures such as Celtas and floating Rapalas in trout-coloured patterns that trout love to chase. These lighter lures will not scare the trout with big splashes if the fish are cruising close to the lake edge. Remember, always look before you cast.
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 Creel Bay, Hatchery Bay and Curiosity Point.
Green nymphs fished near the rocky outcrops should catch a fish for you. 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!
My spring learn to fly-fish weekend course is being held on October 20 and 21. NSWFM readers who book and pay a deposit before September 14 will receive a free fly rod.
The best lures at the moment are Tassie Devils in No 55 pink, No 72, No 50 (frog pattern) or on the sunnier days No 36 (yellow wings).
For the bigger brown trout I like to troll small minnow lures and the brown trout pattern is a favourite. Other minnows worth a try are the Rapala brown and rainbow patterns or the StumpJumper 3” minnow in pink and purple or black and gold.
Fish the township end of the lake during August because the water is that little bit warmer and the fish a little more active. Lion and Cub Islands and East Jindabyne Islands are excellent trolling spots, just look out for rocks because the lake is very low at the moment.
With winter trolling it is always important to remember that with the cold water the fish move a lot slower and so you must troll slower than in summer. Maybe an electric motor or some sort of trolling baffle should to get the boat down to about 2 knots at the most. We have a trolling school on November 3 and 4 and a one-day downrigging course on October 13.
The brown trout are nearly all back from spawning now and are looking for something to eat. During winter a bunch of worms fished on the bottom or suspended under a float should entice a fish. There is no doubt that the PowerBait products are catching lots of trout in the mountains with lime or lemon twist the best, closely followed by rainbow or orange nuggets.
Again, fish the shallow bays early and late in the day and the rocky, deep drop-offs during the middle of the day.
Call in to my shop at the Snowline Holiday Park and pick up a copy of the latest fishing report or join me on one of my charters by calling 0408 024 436. Visit www.swtroutfishing.com.au for all the latest reports.Reads: 1971