Patience you must have, my young angler
  |  First Published: February 2016

As reported last month, the river fishing season was very late this year and is only now about to peak. Due to the late season and cool conditions, flyfishers are now experiencing the best flyfishing for years, with lots of bugs about the trout are leaping for joy!

The water level on the streams is lower and clear after a fantastic 5” of rain in early January. River lure spinners are still doing alright with small spinners and small minnow lures. Over the last month, Lake Jindabyne’s water level dropped a bit, but is still high and fishing well. Although a late start to the boat fishing this season, the trollers are now doing well early and late with surface lures and on lead core lines and downriggers in the middle of the day. We’ve seen some very big rainbow trout caught over recent weeks. Overall, it’s time to hit the mountains for a little trout fishing while the weather is warm and the fish are biting.

Secrets of the trout

Baitfishing on lake Jindabyne has been good over recent months with the higher water levels. Mudeyes or even worms have been good used under a float. Either let the waves move it about, or if there’s no wind try and wind it in very slowly with a pause every turn of the handle. Another bait worth suspending under a float is the old faithful grasshopper, bait you don’t see used very often. Grasshoppers work a treat, and there are plenty about at the moment however, you might need the kids with a butterfly net to help you collect a few! Creel Bay, Hatchery Bay and Curiosity Rocks are the best places to baitfish as well as the bottom of Discovery Holiday Park near Widows Creek Inlet.

Some of the best lake flyfishing will come in the next few months, and with the steady lake level we should see some big fish caught. Try any of the streamer patterns such as Mrs Simpson and 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 places to catch a trout on fly.

The boat trolling this year has been very good and we are still catching trout on the surface. The water temperature hasn’t been as warm as in previous years; however, we have downrigged on hot and bright days. Downrigger depth however has not been as deep as in previous years, try for 25-35ft. Expect to see this formula continue to yield results over the next month or so.

The Tasmanian Devil #111, the ‘Willy’s Special,’ is still just about the best Tasmanian Devil colour at the moment followed by the Yellow Wing Brown Bomber. My black/gold Tasmanian Devil or the Holographic has been the best for darker conditions and have also worked well downrigging. I also recommend Bullet Minnows in gold colours down off the downrigger and lead lines. Gaden Trout Hatchery released rainbow trout fingerlings into Jindabyne last month, so all natural rainbow trout colours are working well.

With water levels still high, some of the better trolling areas this month will be Hatchery Bay, Hayshed Bay, Sid’s Bay through to Rushes Bay; however, watch the rocks as the water levels drop and the East Jindabyne Islands start to reappear. The lake has seen some great lure spinning in the shallow bays early and late in the day. You can start by spinning the edges with Celtas, small Stumpjumpers, and flicking 3cm and 5cm Bullet lures. Spin late in the day off steep drop-offs with plenty of rocks in places like Creel Bay, Hatchery Bay and the Snowy Arm. On brighter days, change to a Tassie and cast further out over drop-offs, and let the lure sink before you slowly retrieve. Try down at the South Arm or near Banjo Patterson Park.

Thredbo river

Fish have been caught in the Thredbo River on small 3cm Bullet lures, and rainbow trout and perch have been the best colours. You can also try some Strike Tiger soft plastics very early and late in the day. Olive pepper colour over the weed beds will catch rainbow trout, but the Strike Tiger nymphs work well on the bigger brown trout. Use the lightest jighead possible and work them very slow. 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 one or two.

Fishing on the Thredbo River has been spectacular, with a late season this year we should continue to see some fantastic dry flyfishing again this month. The Alpine streams are still at their best, and plenty of small fish have been caught on dry fly. Fly selection is not too critical in these streams, but placement is imperative or else you risk scaring the fish away. Must have flys include brown beetle patterns, Snowy Hopper, Stimulator, Royal Wulff and Parachute Hoppers. Maybe a brown and a black nymph if the fish are not rising, a white moth or white Wulff, a midge pattern, brown mayfly and an Adams as well, just to make certain you have most circumstances covered!

All in all, conditions are looking good for some great lake fishing over the coming months, so get your gear together and come and try some of our fantastic trout fishing.

Until next month, hope you catch the big one.

• 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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