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Predicting the unpredictable out on Jindabyne
  |  First Published: March 2016



The last couple of months of weather have been pretty crazy in the Snowy Mountains. One day we have it hot and steamy and the next day freezing – which has been reflected in the fishing of late.

Fly anglers will also agree that this season has been crazy, as the insect hatches have excited the trout into an early morning and evening rise. They’ve been all over the place with some species that are normally seen everywhere in very low numbers, while other insects that we have not been seen for many years are out in abundance. That’s simply mother nature, and when we deal with wild creatures there’s just not a lot you can do but roll with whatever happens.

The strange fishing patterns have meant that what may have worked for you before may not necessarily be what works this year, so put on your thinking cap every day on the water. Having a tackle shop as well as the guiding business allows me to really talk to a wide variety of anglers from those very experienced to those that are basically new to the sport. It is often the more experienced that have the most problems catching a trout as they are set in their ways and don’t read the conditions correctly, simply reverting to whatever they had success with last year.

Surface trolling lures on bright sunny summer days when the water is glassy is not the way to catch trout in the warmer water. I guess my fishing reports are supposed to set you on the right track, however I am not Nostradamus and I am sure even he would not have been able to predict day to day what the fishing will be like.

So what do we have in store for March?

I think that we will see some reasonable fishing by the end of March. The lake water temperature remained lower than normal over the past summer, making it perfect for trout fishing. Every time we had a few hot days and the surface water temperature would rise, a cold front would arrive and the surface temperature would drop again.

I would expect this month early morning fishing sessions to yield the best results. 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 an autumn of trout fishing in the Snowy Mountains. The rivers will on average be a little more fishable over the coming month and lure anglers will get a chance to fish the alpine streams where the fishing has been good with plenty of small fish caught.

Some of the lures to try on the rivers for stream trout will be small 3cm bullet minnows in natural trout colours and small spinners like Gillies Feathertails.

On the lake, work the same sort of lures around the edges of the shallow bays in about 4m of water to pick up a bigger fish. Make sure you pursue this tactic in the early morning or else you might have to 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. Try to throw them into the wind into deeper water and retrieve slowly.

Some of the better fishing spots on the lake will be Creel Bay, Hatchery Bay and East Jindabyne Islands – all fish well at this time of the year.

Sussing out the right Fly

For boat owners, the best way to start off the day’s trolling will be to try surface lines with lures to about 2m at first light, maybe with a lead core line at three colours to take the lures to 4-5m as a backup. On brighter days and later in the morning, downriggers will be very helpful to extend your trolling time. Start at 35ft with a lure drop back of 4m, and you should start to see some fish. By late morning go to 45-50ft for the best fishing.

The Tasmanian Devil number 111 Willy’s Special or Steve Williamson’s Lime Green Yellowwing are the best deep lures at the moment with Tasmanian Devil number 36 Yellowwing doing well 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 off Hatchery Bay and Hayshed Bay. Sids Bay through to Rushes Bay at East Jindabyne will fish well early in the day for big brown trout but the first hour of light will be the time to be there.

For lake fly anglers the best fishing has been early morning and the decent fish have been found cruising around the rocky points. The lake flyfishing will only get better over the coming months as the water cools and the trout feed up ready for their spawning run as we move into winter. On the lake try some 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 Sids Bay are all great. On the rivers the best flyfishing is had in the evenings and there should still be plenty of evening rises and fantastic dry flyfishing for a few weeks yet. The Alpine streams still look good and plenty of small fish have been caught on dry fly also. Fly selection is not too critical in these streams but placement is essential or else you just scare all the fish. Try a small Hopper pattern, Royal Wulff or Royal Humpy or a caddis moth fly. Try the lower Mowamba near the weir on the Dalgety Road.

Over this month the best lake baitfishing will be early and late in the day with mudeyes under a bubble float the best bait, before changing to scrub worms off the bottom teamed up with some artificial bait maybe as the sun gets higher. Worms under a float is another alternative if you can’t get any mudeyes, which are slowly becoming harder to collect – once again due to the dry weather. The best baitfishing areas are Creel Bay, Hatchery Bay and Curiosity Rocks in the deeper water.

If you want to know more about the latest in fishing conditions, check out our latest reports on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LJTFA or check out my website www.swtroutfishing.com.au.

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 two hours’ duration, and trolling trips from three hours to a full day. If you want to know more about the latest in fishing conditions, just give me a call on 02 6456 1551 or check out my website at www.swtroutfishing.com.au. You can also see our daily Facebook updates at www.facebook.com/LJTFA.

Lake Jindabyne Trout Fishing Adventures March roundup – the best of the best!

Best methodLake trolling leadlines early then downriggers at 35 feet.
Best depth2 metres early to 35 feet.
Best lake lureTasmanian Devil Willy’s Special number 111 or Steve Williamson’s Lime Green Yellowwing.
Best lake areaDeepwater off Lion and Cub Islands.
Best fly methoddry fly – hopper patterns and Yellow Humpies.
Best riverThredbo River
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