Rivers looking good in spring
  |  First Published: October 2016

The question everyone asks is, “How are the rivers going to fish this season?” The river season opens on the October long weekend each year. At times, if the spawning season is late, then the main spawning rivers like the Eucumbene and Thredbo rivers can be full of trout – mainly rainbows. There can also be a few late spawning brown trout as well.

The past winter has been a wet one with a couple good floods. I’m expecting this year that most of the spawn run will be finished before the rivers open. However, that is not all bad news. We still have a few stragglers as well as the resident trout that haven’t seen an angler for months, so there’ll be some good trout captured.

Late last August, 220 rainbows, ex Gaden Trout Hatchery fishing clinic trout, were released into the Thredbo River and Lake Jindabyne. Some were up to 5kg – most of those massive rainbow trout are still waiting for you to catch them.

October is a great month for trout fishing as the water level of the lake is rising, and the temperature is perfect for trout. Bugs are now flying about, some having hatched from the water. The trout response to this is feeding time. When the rivers first open, the emphasis is on trying to catch trout.

Lure anglers are best to try minnow style lures and there are heaps of them out there. A newer lure on the market growing quickly in popularity is the Bullet Lure. There are two sizes suitable to the river, the tiny 3cm Bullet was very productive last season, so is the new 5cm lure. This lure has in its favour a great range of colours, many of which have been designed especially for trout.

With the introduction of the Strike Tiger range of soft plastics, designed with trout in mind, and a fantastic range of trout colours, the popularity of soft plastics in trout waters has escalated. Soft plastics can be rigged almost snagless and anglers fishing the rivers for trout are starting to adapt their practices to also suit trout waters with great success.

Back on the lake, fishing will be great for the bait anglers, with plenty of big browns and Atlantic salmon caught. If you’re lucky enough, you might catch yourself a brook trout over the next month. There have been schools of brookies moving around the edges of the lake from bay to bay. Get one, and you’ll get more. Brookies are very aggressive fish and less fussy about what lure they strike – it’s about placement rather than lure.

There’s still time to polaroid for trout around the lake. As the water rises, trout cruise the edges. For fly anglers in particular, it’s an exciting time of the year. A selection of flies you might want to try are Jindy Bugger, olive nymph, green Woolly Bugger and maybe even a Tom Jones.

Lure anglers can polaroid trout as well. After spotting trout, watch to see which way they swim and cast a small minnow lure well out past the trout. Retrieve slowly and try to swim the lure about 2m in front of the trout. The best lures will be those that float and then dive to about 1-1.5m deep. Bait anglers, try to spot cruising trout and cast a nice big scrub worm in front – works a treat from winter to spring, when the trout are really hungry.

If you have light enough tackle, a worm on the hook and no sinker is the best way to fish for trout. Boat trollers have been waiting for the weather to warm up and bring the trout to the surface prospecting for insects. It’s easy just surface trolling lures, and there’s no need this time of the year to go too deep, but on sunny still days, a lead core line outfit is very helpful.

There are new colours of Tasmanian Devil lures to try out now. The Y131 yellow mongrel is one new colour that’s been particularly popular, and the yellow wing version of the new 131 spotted dog. A great spring fishing season lies ahead and if you are coming to the mountains, don’t forget to call into my shop and catch up with the latest fishing information.

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