Last chance for end of season trout
  |  First Published: June 2017

June has arrived and so has winter. The start to the snow season isn’t far off, nor is the close of the river fishing which will last until the October long weekend.

I’ve reflected back on the last river fishing season. We had a very slow start to this river fishing season – it was December before there was any real action – and it may have been a very short season with river fishing slowing as the weather cooled in mid-April. However, it was in fact the best river flyfishing season in almost 20 years!

In fact, with so many small fish seen in the streams, all I can say at this point is that if all goes to plan it is going to be another spectacular flyfishing season later this year from early November, depending on the weather once again.

Depending on the method of trout fishing you prefer, you are always going to have good and bad years. While boat trolling, bait fishing and lure spinning may not have been spectacular in the first half of 2017, the fantastic dry flyfishing certainly made up for it!

The June Queen’s Birthday holiday weekend is the last chance that you have to target the early spawning trout in the Thredbo River. For those who do come to fish the river it is a very busy weekend and a lot depends on the rain and weather as to how the trout will behave. Remember, this year the rivers and streams close to fishing at midnight on Monday 12 June.

If we get some good rain leading up tho the closing weekend then the fishing will be great. If we don’t, the fishing will be hard on the rivers and my suggestion is to fish the lake instead as the trout fishing on the lakes has been great over recent months.

Let’s have a look at what will happen over the month in more depth. With only a week or so to go before the rivers close the focus will be on the Thredbo River and early spawning trout. Flyfishing on the Thredbo River will be good for using Glo Bugs, nymphs and maybe tandem fly rigs. Cast into flowing water and make certain the fly is very close to the bottom for the best results.

If using lures, you may find that the best will be bigger minnow lures. Trout will often be quite aggressive and think that the lure is be a little fish competing with it for eggs or even challenge it over a female trout. Lure colours that work best for trout are those with a little pink or orange on them. If you can’t flyfish and lure fishing isn’t your interest, the rig in the diagram may be a way of catching a trout or two.

Use this rig with a float that can be half filled with some water to give it casting weight and with rubber stoppers either side of the float so you can slide the float up and down on the line to adjust the depth of the fly. This way the fly is close to the river bottom. This is a simple way of catching trout in a river.


Back on the lake, boat trolling over the last month has been good with plenty of hard fighting rainbow trout in excellent condition giving the lake trollers a lot of fun. I would expect this pattern to continue.

In winter the trout are more aggressive and more likely to take a bigger lure, so bigger lures are often better. We quite often troll 9cm and 11cm lures for the bigger fish and early in the day is often best. You can troll lures all day long in winter. Try orange and pink lures. These are aggression colours in winter and the trout will strike these hard.

There are still plenty of big fish at Creel Bay up near Waste Point near the mouth of the Thredbo River and it’s not too difficult to fish, given there is so much more water this year. You can down rig some very big brown trout using bigger minnow lures.

If you don’t have a downrigger, try putting the big minnow lure onto your lead core line and put four colours of lead into the water and then another 20m of 20lb Dacron backing and this will get you down to where the bigger browns are holding out, but remember to troll slowly at about 2km/h.

Use your fish finder to see where the trout are holding and keep on working them. Most of the bigger fish are going to be down near the bottom of areas like Waste Point and Creel Bay where the Thredbo River runs into the lake.

The other good areas to troll are in the shallow bays like Hatchery Bay and Hayshed Bay, Sids Bay at East Jindabyne is also a favourite as it is a weedy bay with lots of food for trout.

Lake Lure Fishing

Unlike summer, you can spin all day in winter. On sunny still days, choose the deeper drop-offs where the fish will cruise looking for something to eat. I find that in winter smaller lures are best for the deeper water on still days and the 13g lures work on the windy days. Pink is a great colour in winter.

Orange minnow spins are also great off the bank. You can also spin with small bladed spinners in the shallow weedy bays on the lake and I like gold colours or reds.

Overall, soft plastics for trout would have to work the best in winter. Flicking them out and working them slowly through the snags and above weed beds when the lake is low is the best way to catch trout. Like bream fishing down the coast, metal blades are working well on trout both in the rivers and the lakes. It’s worth a try.

Lake Bait fishing

Over the winter months, I think the bigger trout will be cruising the bays and inlets for a feed, so that is where you should be also fishing.

You can fish all day during winter but don’t fish too deep as the fish often feed in close to the shore. Bait fishing with scrub worms or artificial bait works well in winter, so long as you don’t mind sitting back and waiting. This method works at any time, day or night.

Artificial salmon eggs have been very good for catching some bigger trout at the moment. Both the worms and artificial baits are fished off the bottom with a running sinker. Remember to fish light and keep the bail arm open to let the trout run with the bait.

Grease the line with muslin to reduce friction if the trout are running and dropping baits. Artificial baits are great in winter and you only need to just use a small ball of artificial bait, just a little bigger than a pea. A small size 12 hook will catch more fish than big hooks and big bits of bait. Gamakatsu manufacture a fine wire hook called a Single Egg Hook and these are great for PowerBait. You can use a size 8 or 10 hook for trout in winter.

Over the next few months, the areas to catch a trout on bait are Wollondibby Inlet, Creel Bay at Waste Point and Stinky Bay near town. Just remember the lake is weedy and that’s where the fish like to hang out.

Winter Lake Flyfishing

June and July on Lake Jindabyne would have to be the hardest and coldest months for flyfishing. If you brave the cold you will find that with the higher lake levels and fish hanging about the bays, the better areas are Creel Bay, Hayshed and Hatchery bays, Mill Creek Inlet, the Claypits, and the Snowy Arm. Rug up and enjoy your trip to the Snowys. If you’re coming down for a snow play trip, don’t forget your fishing rod!


Please note from Monday 12 June to Saturday 1 July, I will be taking a well-earned break to head to the saltwater for a bit of personal fishing. During that time my shop will be closed, reopening at 9am on 1 July. Thanks for your support over the past season.

After June, if you would like a bit more information on what trout fishing is available on Lake Jindabyne in winter, please call into my shop at Discovery Holiday Parks Jindabyne next to the Shell servo, 02 6456 1551.

June roundup – the best of the best!

Best methodBait fishing with scrubbies teamed up with artificial baits.
Best depthBottom fishing.
Best lake lureTasmanian Devil in pink 55 or bigger minnow lures.
Best lake areaEast Jindabyne pumping station and the Claypits.
Best fly methodBlack Woolley Buggers on the lake.

*The rivers are all closed to fishing until October.

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