Welcome to November, the last month of spring. It’s closer to summer and even Christmas isn’t far away. After what was a very cold and wet winter and early spring, I think I am looking forward to a bit of summer.
Talking of how wet the last few months have been brings me to the exciting news. The ground is so wet in the Snowy Mountains region, all the rivers and streams are in fantastic condition and there’s so much ground water it would take an extremely hot summer to dry up the springs that feed the mountain streams. We’ll be having one of the best fishing seasons since the 1980s.
The once famous Monaro flyfishing streams are all flowing again and with a little restocking over the last five or so years the only problem we’ve had is that there’s almost nobody fishing them, including me. We need more anglers out there to give us an update. The fishing is most likely very good and the few that are fishing the streams are keeping the good news to themselves. The start of November is the time for the annual Snowy Mountains Trout Festival – get onto the web to find out more at troutfestival.com.au.
Let’s look in more detail at what to expect this month. For the flyfishing enthusiasts on the rivers and streams, we’re now seeing plenty of white moths and tea tree beetles. Soon we should see the start of the hopper season. With the water level on the lake still quite high, flyfishing the edges of the lake early and late in the day is still very worthwhile.
Fishing the small bays and inlets has been good and we’re still seeing cruising trout that are very catchable. Be careful not to spook the fish. Woolly Buggers, Craig’s Night Time and Williamson’s Goldfish have been the flies well worth using at dawn and dusk. The shallow bays on the lake are worth a try before the sun rises, but after that you’d better be fishing deep.
Lake bait fishing has been good. Team up your rig with worms and artificial baits, with the worm sitting on the bottom and the artificial bait floating about 25cm above the worm. Meal worms are an old-fashioned but very productive bait for trout. They’re excellent fished off the bottom and also very good fished a metre or more under a float where they look very much like a bunch of maggots to the cruising trout.
Best areas for baitfishing at the moment have been Waste Point area, the Claypits and at East Jindabyne near Rushes Creek. For the lake boat trollers, surface trolling lures at 2m deep and lead core lines at three colours or 30m will be the best methods to get trout at the moment. It’s worth trolling some minnow lures early in the morning off the lead core lines.
StumpJumpers have been good. The 5cm Bullet Lures are really gaining popularity as one of the best minnow style trout lures in Australia. The 20g Tasmanian Devil lures have been gaining in popularity with boat trollers over recent years. It may be because of the larger and clearer volume of water in our lakes that anglers are changing to a lure that dives a little deeper and has a slightly stronger action. The best Tasmanian Devil colours at the moment have been the Canberra killer, Willy’s special 111 and the new 2016 Y131 yellow mongrel.
Clearer water often means the trout will go deeper when the sun is high. Best areas to troll at the moment with the high lake level have been the East Jindabyne islands, Hayshed and Hatchery Bay and up at Creel Bay. Lure spinning has been good early and late in the day and should continue that way for a while yet. There are trout about and the best fishing is in the shallows early and deep water later in the middle of the day. Try minnow lures like floating Rapalas, Stumpjumpers and lures in rainbow and brown trout patterns, or gold colours to represent the Jindabyne goldfish that trout love to chase and eat.
Soft plastics have been gaining in popularity for trout over coming years. While the usual paddle-tail and curl-tails have all been great, the Strike Tiger nymphs and the 2” Hawgs are very life-like. Fished with very light jigheads, these are catching some great trout and are worthwhile trying, especially in the rivers. Don’t stay in one place too long and only put in a couple of casts in each area.
If you’ve been following my Lake Jindabyne Trout Fishing Adventures on Facebook, you would have seen the new Bullet Lures that we’ve been trying out and the newer larger minnow has again been proving very successful, both in the lake and on the rivers.
Best methods to catch a trout
Best method – bank-based bait on the lake with artificial bait or scrub worms.
Best lake trolling lure – Tasmanian Devil green and gold number 111 and Y131.
Best lake area – Creel Bay and Waste Point area and Stinky Bay, the Haven.
Best fly method lake – black weighted Woolly Bugger and Williamson’s Goldfish.
Best River Fly Fishing– black bead head nymphs and a size 12 tea tree beetle or white moth.
Best River Lures – trout pattern Bullet Lures and Striketiger Hawg in black and gold.
Best lake spinning lures. – Tasmanian Devil number 111 and 5cm trout pattern Bullet Lures.
Kate Rogers with a rainbow trout – one of the ex hatchery trout that she caught on a Tasmanian Devil lure.
Matthew Caldwell with a rainbow caught on a soft plastic.
Jarrad Sibley with a brown trout caught while trolling.