Spring is definitely here and all eyes are now on the opening of the rivers once again on Saturday October 12th this year. The good news is that the rainbow trout spawning run was very good this year as a result of high rainfall in late August and a good snowmelt that created the perfect spawning conditions. I visited Thredbo River at least once a week last month to establish how many fish I could see and there were plenty! We will have to just wait and see what the river offers up for the opening weekend.
With the snow melting and the extra water flow river fishing will be good regardless of a late run of rainbow trout.
Overall I love spring river fishing because everyone does well. Lure anglers get the goods when the Thredbo levels are up and when the water is lower the fly anglers do better. Anglers shouldn’t forget about the abundance of rivers and streams other than the Thredbo and Eucumbene that are all great fun to fish in spring. River lure anglers are going to do best in October using minnow style lures like Rapalas, 3.5 inch StumpJumpers, Dorado Minnows and also the new Bullet 5cm minnows. Natural brown trout and rainbow trout patterns are most popular but I also like gold or gold and black colours as well. Fly anglers on the river would be advised to make use of weighted nymphs and maybe even glowbugs.
Meanwhile, the fishing has been fantastic on the lake with some of the best winter fishing we’ve seen in years and there is every reason that this will continue given the water level is rising. Fly anglers should attempt to spot the fish first with the aid of polaroids, as they cruise along the banks of the lakes, as this is the best way to work out your catch strategy. I recommend casting small green nymphs in the shallow water. Lure anglers can also spot the fish before casting and will do better with smaller lures like Celtas, Vibrax spinners or Gillies spinners, and of course minnow lures like floating Rapalas, Bullet Lures, Stumpjumpers etc. Make sure to keep them small, lures that are too big will make a big splash and spook the trout in the shallow clear water. On windy days you can switch to Tasmanian Devils for casting a little further. Green and gold, number 111 or Y48 Yellowwing Brown Bomber are just a couple of colours worth a try.
As the lake continues to rise this month the boat trolling will be best near the edges early and late in the day. Take care not to spook the fish over shallow water by making sure your line is out further than normal. 80m is the least you will need out. 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 a good fishing period well into the late morning. This month boat trollers 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. Try the yellowing Tasmanian Devils like 111 “Willies Special” named after a trout fishing guide in the area - it was by far the most successful lure over summer last season. Minnow lures like Rapalas or Stumpjumpers in brown trout and rainbow trout patterns are also good. 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. Don’t try to mix and match different brands. After the sun hits that water, change to a number 36, Y82 yellow wing Tassie or my Steve Williamson Red Nosed Yellowwing. As the sun gets higher 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 - you will need to troll these over the weed beds using longer drop backs 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.
Lake bait fishing has been nothing short of excellent for months now. Fish are coming onto the bite at all times and all you need is a line in the water to catch them. Local scrub worms are best for brown trout while artificial baits of various colours are proving great for catching rainbow trout and salmon. If you want to catch yourself a big brown trout then the best baits are still going to be bardi grubs or scrub worms. Fish these with a greased line to stop them from sinking into the weed and getting caught up. Don’t forget to fish mealworms like maggots under floats for a good result. One angler got a great bag on this kind of bait in just over an hour last month but it would seem that mealworms are still very underestimated as a successful bait for trout in this country.
There are no fishing spots doing noticeably 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. The biggest problem with the lake so high is finding easy access as many of our normal tracks are under water. Those that have a boat will have the advantage of being able to get to spots where others can’t access.
We are in for an interesting fly fishing 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 sessions. The best flies have been green or olive flies like Hamills Killers, small shrimp patterns and olive nymphs. When the water flow slows on the streams the dry fly fishing will improve but for now, brown and green nymphs best.
Let’s hope the season is a good one with regular rain to freshen up the streams and cool the water.
It’s not too late to sign up for my beginner fly-fishing school. Due dates for enrolment is 31st October and 1st November. 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 or booking forms for these courses please call me on 02 64561551 or e-mail me your postal address on --e-mail address hidden-- More information can be found on my web site www.swtroutfishing.com.au. For latest updates on lake levels go to www.snowyhydro.com.au
October roundup the best of the best
|Best method:||Lake Trolling|
|Best depth:||Surface lures early and late in the day|
|Best lake lure:||Tasmanian Devils with yellow wings or Holographic|
|Best lake area:||East Jindabyne Islands and Creel Bay|
|Best fly method lake:||Hamills Killers|
|Best river for fly:||Thredbo River with olive or black nymphs (even glowbugs are worth a try)|
|Best River for spinners:||Thredbo River using small deep diving minnow lures in brown trout patterns|