Enough good water – for now
  |  First Published: December 2007

So far this season has continued very hot and dry and although Lake Jindabyne looks great at the moment, I am not so sure if Snowy Hydro will be pumping water out like they did last year.

At the time of writing the rivers are still in great shape and there is still plenty of water with the last of the snowmelt and a few showers.

By the end of January we might see the better fly fishing on the alpine streams. You may catch only small trout but you will have a lot of fun doing it. A 5wt outfit is just a little too heavy, so a 3wt to 4wt will be the go .

Spin anglers have been doing well on the Thredbo River and I expect this to continue until Christmas, but come January the fish might be a little shy after the onslaught of anglers over the holidays.

On the lakes, the water will be warm on the surface so the best fishing will be early and late in the day. Boat anglers should fish the surface early and then use lead-core lines and downriggers.

Downriggers will give you the best fishing on the lakes but you also need a good depth sounder. You’ll need to spend at least $500 on a sounder and if you have to ask Santa for a downrigger and a sounder, you had better be on your best behaviour this month.

Bait anglers will do it tough over late Summer with the lake water temperatures expected to be very high. So if you’re a bait angler you had better start praying because I am not so sure Santa is going to that generous.

If you don’t think you have a chance with a new boat, I suggest a very good alarm clock because you will need to get up about 3am to get the best land-based bait fishing.


Downriggers have provided the best of it over the past few weeks although lead-core lines haven’t been too bad, especially teamed up with a deep-diving Tasmanian Devil Dual Depth.

The usual technique of fishing on the surface in shallow water at first light and then moving out into deeper water with 20m or 30m of lead core will extend the better fishing well into the late morning. Then downriggers are a must to reach fish 10m down.

Best lures early on the surface will be small minnows, like Rapalas, Min Mins and Rebel Crickhoppers on very light line or braid 40m away from the boat. These lures over the weed beds in shallow water might get some big brown trout. Brown trout and rainbow trout patterns are best.

Later, when fishing deeper, use Tassie Devils like No 36, the various yellow wing colours and my lime green yellow wing. It’s always worth trying the No 48 or Halo colours and my own red-nosed yellow wing, designed to catch trout feeding on goldfish.

Areas that expected to fish well over the next month are Hatchery Bay, Sids Bay, the South Arm, East Jindabyne Islands and Township Point.


Plenty of trout should bite early and late in the day on the lake but in the middle of the day you are better off fishing fast running water on the rivers and streams.

Even early on the lake it is better to fish deeper drop-offs and allow the lures to sink a little before retrieving. Jointed Rapalas and Rebels have proved good, possibly because of the increased tail action.

If using Tasmanian Devils try the same colours mentioned above but maybe downsize to the 7g size.

The Thredbo River has been better than last year and there are a few fish coming out, mainly in the early morning. The upper reaches above Ski Tube are best and the faster runs hold most fish. Red and gold Celtas and a variety of minnows lures are catching a few good trout.


Bait fishing over the next month will be for the early birds. The water is warming and the best fishing has been before sunrise or around dusk. Worms are best for brown trout while Berkley PowerBait is good for the rainbows and salmon.

The new Gulp versions are going well and most flavours are catching trout. It has been hard to get live bait so the artificials are popular.

Best action has been over the weed beds with mudeyes, if you can get them or try worms fished off the bottom in the deeper waters. Local scrub worms are good but also in limited supply.


The lake is fishing better than I thought with larger streamer flies over the weed beds late in the evening effective. The Williamson’s Goldfish is very good at this time of the year.

As we get a few more insects hatching we are also seeing good morning rises on the lake, with the wind lanes best fished out of a boat. Best flies are dependent on what is on top of the water at the time.

On the streams the fishing has been good with brown and green nymphs best fished in the faster runs in the middle of the day. You can try a Humpy or White Moth for good dry-fly action and it won’t be long before the hopper season is in full swing.

The Thredbo River is producing some fish in the faster water and already there has been plenty of dry fly action lower down near the lake. It shouldn’t be a bad December and January but with the heat, February may be harder without rain. It hasn’t been too bad so far so here’s hoping.

I’d like to finish by thanking my readers for all the kind letters, phone calls and emails over the past year. It’s great to hear from you all and it has been a pleasure to do these reports for such a great magazine. All the best for Christmas to readers and customers. To make a booking or for the latest update phone my shop on 02 6456 1551 or email me.

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