Trolling on top takes trout
  |  First Published: December 2016

The fishing has been good over recent months and with Lake Jindabyne’s water level is still quite high, the water temperatures are still fairly cool for December, and so the surface trout fishing is actually very good with plenty of trout being caught.

It was a very cold and wet spring with regular snowfalls, so water temperatures should remain a lot lower this year, unless for some reason we have heatwaves over the next month, which will mean that the rivers and streams will fish the best they have for many seasons.

Now that there are more insects, beetles, caddis flies and grasshoppers about, we have had some very good dry flyfishing. On the lake, flyfishing has been good with the best fishing being in the evening.

We usually start off with some wet flies like Craigs Nighttime or a black Woolly Bugger, and as the light fades you will see some trout surfacing, so we switch to a dry fly. The pattern will often be different from night to night depending on what is hatching. With the humidity, we have had termite and ant hatches.

Those who like throwing lures into rivers and streams, you will need to make certain that your lure is getting close to the bottom in the running water on the days that are bright and sunny, and your best fishing again will be early and late in the day. The longer you can keep the lure down near the bottom, the better the chance you have of catching a trout.

Don’t forget soft plastics in the deep pools, as these can be very effective on trout. The Strike Tiger nymphs have been fantastic. Lures like Wordons Rooster Tails or Gillies spinners and, of course, minnow lures like floating minnows like the 5cm Bullet Lures are all good for river fishing.

Lake bait fishing has been nothing but excellent for months now, but I guess that the summer heat has to hit us some time and as the water temperature around the edges of the lake warm up, the best fishing may again be early in the day at sunrise. You may, however, find that it will be worthwhile fishing later in the morning and at some time of the day the fish will come back on the bite, and you just need a line in the water to catch them.

Local scrubworms are best for brown trout while artificial baits of various colours are proving action for rainbow trout and salmon. Scrubbies are best fished with a greased line to stop it from sinking into the weed and getting caught up. Mudeyes or the dragon fly nymphs are a popular summer bait, but this year with the cooler conditions and dams full of water, they are harder to collect, and you might find that purchasing local mudeyes may be difficult. When you do find them, they are going to be at a premium price.

For boat trollers, the usual techniques of fishing on the surface in shallow water at first light and then moving out into deeper water using lead core with 20-30m of line out will be a good ploy. Fishing deeper when the sun comes up will extend the better fishing well into the late morning.

You will do best using minnow lures early, before sunrise, and then switching to Tasmanian Devil lures later in the morning. The best colour Tassies to use will be darker lures early with the number Y48 yellow wing red-nosed brown bomber or even the Y94 working great. Try the yellow wing Tasmanian Devils a little later as the sun is about to rise over the horizon. Number 111 Tasmanian Devil Lure Willys Special Minnow Lures, Bullet Lures or StumpJumpers in brown trout and rainbow trout patterns are also good, but there are many good brands of lures on the market that will do the job if you know what speed to troll to get the best action out of the lures. It is not a good idea to try and mix and match different brands as no two brands of lures will work best the same at the same speed.

The best lures to try and catch those trophy brown trout will be small minnows and you need to troll these over the weed beds using longer dropbacks (to 80m) and lighter line or braid to keep the lures at the deepest depth possible. You need to do this well before the sun comes up to get the bigger fish.

Let’s hope the summer season is a good one. At least we don’t have to worry about water this year!

December roundup – the best of the best!

Best methodLake Trolling with some good stream fly fishing
Best depthSurface lures early and late in the day
Best lake lureTasmanian Devils with yellow wings like number 111 or holographic early
Best lake areaEast Jindabyne Islands and Creel Bay
Best fly method lakeHamills Killers, Williamson’s Gold Fish and in dry flies, brown mayfly patterns
Best river for flyBeetle, grasshopper and mayfly patterns
Best river for spinners5cm Bullet Minnows and Gillies spinners and Strike Tiger plastic nymphs
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