Welcome to December and the start of summer, the big news is that the water temperatures on the lake are a few degrees colder than last year, so that is good for trout and it looks like we have a great month of fishing ahead.
Last winter, DPI Fisheries released 148 large (the biggest 4.7kg but most were 2-3 kg) 3-year-old rainbow trout into the Thredbo River at Gaden Trout Hatchery. These fish were all tagged with a yellow tag containing details of who to contact when recaptured. It was not compulsory to release the fish but so long as the tag number was recorded then it really didn’t matter if you released the fish with the tag or not. Released fish could still have their movements tracked no matter how many times they were caught and released.
On the October opening weekend, quite a few of these fish were caught in the Thredbo just down from Gaden. If you catch one, please notify fisheries on the phone number on the tag. There are still plenty swimming around waiting for you to catch.
Lake Jindabyne’s water level is still quite high once again, with Snowy Hydro conserving water in case the predicted El Nino reduces rainfall. Snowy Hydro have been conserving the water and not generating electricity as they would normally do this year and so all of our lakes water levels are higher than normal.
It’s normal over summer to get out of bed before sunrise and make certain you have lines in the water at first light, however, with cooler water temperatures you may be able to stretch your surface fishing into mid morning this year before you have to go deeper using downriggers to get your lures down to about 35ft where the trout are lying.
For boat trollers, 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 coloured Tassies to use will be darker lures early with the number Y48 yellow wing red nosed brown bomber or even Y94 being winners. Try the yellowing Tasmanian Devils a little later as the sun is about to rise over the horizon. The number 111 Tasmanian Devil Lure ‘Willies Special’ has been a very good lure over recent months!
Minnow lures like 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 and mix and match different brands, as no two brands of lures will work best the same at the same speed.
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 (to 80m) 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 but excellent for months now and over recent weeks the mudeye fishing has been spectacular. Local scrub worms fished off the bottom, however, are best for brown trout while artificial baits of various colours are proving themselves for rainbow trout and salmon. If you want to catch yourself a big brown trout then the best baits are still going to be a well-presented scrubworm and these are best fished with a greased line to stop it from sinking into the weed and getting caught up.
There are no fishing spots much better than others at the moment, so with the trout cruising the margins of the lake they can be in one place one day and another the next.
It will be an interesting fly fishing season. The lake water levels are great at the moment and the lake will fish well, especially in the shallows early morning and into the late evening if we get some evening hatches of insects to excite the trout into feeding. The best flies on the lake have been green or olive flies like Hamills Killers, small shrimp patterns and olive nymphs, but there might be a little dry fly fishing at night after the hatches, so keep that in mind and a mayfly or caddis pattern is well worth having in your collection.
The river and stream fly fishing was a little slow getting started this year, due to a few very cold changes in October, but now that there are more insects, beetles, caddis fly and grasshoppers about, we have had some very good fishing, especially the evening dry fly fishing after a warm and sunny day.
Those who like throwing lures into rivers and streams, you will need to make certain the lure is getting close to the bottom in the running water on the days that are bright and sunny. Your best fishing again will be early and late in the day. In the middle of the day fish the deeper pools and make certain that you are getting down to the bottom and the longer you can keep the lure down there the better chance you will have of catching a trout. Don’t forget soft plastics in the deep pools, these can be very effective on trout.
Lures like Celtas, Vibrax spinners, Wordons Rooster Tails or Gillies spinners and, of course, minnow lures like floating Rapalas are all good for river fishing. A new lure that has been great on the rivers is the new Bullet range of 5cm minnow lures and these now come in two sizes, with the larger one better for the lake or larger stretches of the river like on the Thredbo River.
For soft plastic freaks, you can’t go past the huge range of Strike Tiger plastics. The colour range is perfect for trout and there is always a colour to suit the conditions of the day. The new Strike Tiger frog copies are amazing, you just have to try using one for trout because they really do work.
Finally, I would just like to wish you all the very best for Christmas and the New Year, and I also want to thank you all for your support over the last 12 months. Hope to see you down in Jindabyne soon.
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December roundup – the best of the best!
|Best method||Lake Trolling: surface until an hour after first light and then downrigging at 35ft|
|Best lake lure||Tasmanian Devils with yellow wings or Y48 (Yellowwing brown bomber)|
|Best lake area||East Jindabyne Islands and Hayshed Bay|
|Best fly method lake||Hamills Killers, Williamson’s Gold Fish and in dry flies brown Mayfly|
|Best river for fly||Beetle, grasshopper and Mayfly patterns|
|Best River for spinners||Bullet minnows, Vibrax Spinners and Gillies Hoppers|