November is a great time to fish the Snowy Mountains. The lakes are often at their best with some excellent shoreline fishing for bait and spin anglers.
Although Lake Eucumbene is at a very low level, it is still fishing very well. The edges are still muddy and slippery in places and you should also take care when launching larger boats.
Lake Jindabyne is at the same level as last year so there is no worry about boat launching. Over the last month there has been excellent fishing in Jindabyne, although most catches have occurred close to the shore so boat anglers trolling out wide may experience difficulties.
The level continued to rise over October and is not all that far off last year’s level which is good news – we didn’t have a big snow melt this year. What we have to worry about now is just how much rain we get over the coming months. We are desperate for rain to keep our rivers flowing and to maintain the great fishing in this area.
Trolling hasn’t been all that easy with all the fish hanging close to the foreshore, but some beauts are out earlier in the mornings. Trout fishing is most effective when using lead core lines trolled close to the bottom. If you use three colours of 18lb lead core with a 13g Tassie Devil on the end, the lure should sink to 4m. If you stay in 5m of water you have a very good chance of catching a nice big brown trout.
Yabbie coloured lures like Tasmanian Devil Holographic have been best at catching the bigger brown trout. Rainbows and salmon are taking gold or green/gold lures with Tasmanian Devil numbers 36, 50, S12, 89 being effective as well as ‘yellowing’ lures. The best areas have been around Rushes Bay, Hatchery Bay, Hayshed Bay and Rainbow Beach Estate.
A few brown trout have been taken off downriggers but most catches are rainbows and Atlantic salmon.
The best lures for bigger fish when fished very early in the morning have been Legend Lures in both brown trout and pink colours. With StumpJumpers and Rapalas, the best colours have been gold and black and perch. The Rebel Crickhopper has also been great in the black and gold colour.
Pro Troll E Chip flashers have been great on the sunnier days when fishing has been hard. The signal these attractors emit does have an effect on the trout. The E Chip lures have also been producing some good fish when trolled very slow off three colours of lead core line.
Anglers have also reported that adding Garlic Powerbait scent to lures has increased their catch rate.
Worms off the bottom and a Powerbait dropper are the favoured rigs at the moment. Mudeyes under a float have also been producing Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout. When fishing worms or mudeyes under a float, I always like to put a little fly line floatant, like Gink, onto the main line down to, but not past, the float. This helps stop the line drag created when the line ‘sticks’ to the water, so the fish feel less drag when they take the bait.
In the artificial baits, lemon twist Powerbait is probably the best at the moment, however lime and sherbet are also worth a try. Areas that have bait fished well lately have been Stinky Bay, Wollondibby Inlet (deeper water), Curiosity Rocks Bay, Creel Bay and Rushes Bay. The Claypits area is still fishing well also.
There is still plenty of water in the rivers and streams at the moment and the fishing has been quite good. How long this will last, however, depends on how much rain we get in coming months.
When fishing the Thredbo River you will have to get the lure close to the bottom for the best results. The fish won’t move far in; the faster water is where the bigger ones hide out.
Minnow lures are a favourite with anglers at the moment. Rainbow and brown trout patterns are always favourite colours in the following lure brands but these other colours are also worth trying. Sinking Rapalas in the perch pattern have been great. Small 3” StumpJumpers are going well in green and gold colours. Rebel Crickhopper in orange or yellow colours and don’t forget soft plastics at this time of year in the rivers. If rigged correctly these can be almost snag free if rigged correctly allowing you to fish them along the bottom for amazing results. It takes a little practice but when you get the hang of using them in fast flowing rivers they can be deadly to the late spawning rainbow trout.
Spinning on the lake, it is best to fish early and late in the day. Spin close around rocky outcrops for best results during in the day and use smaller lures like Celtas or Gillies Spinners around the shallow bays after dark. The best lake lures have been Tasmanian Devils in number 48 Brown Bomber and number 55 Hot Pink as well as the yellow wing 23 sparkler Tassie Devil.
Minnow lures are also producing some nice big brown trout. The best lures have been the gold StumpJumpers and the Black and gold Rapala. It is best to stalk the fish during the day by polarising them and then gently casting past the fish bringing the lure back to it.
A little bit of dry fly action happened on the warmer evenings last week with even a night of black ants falling, which stirred up the fish. However, again the amount of rain has kept the rivers flowing hard and we have even seen some late spawning rainbows in the Thredbo. On the Thredbo River for these late spawners, fishing glow bugs and black or brown nymphs as droppers has been the most successful approach.
The trick with flyfishing in the faster water is to make sure the fly is on the bottom, and you may need weighted flies or maybe even a sinking leader. There is also a big advantage in using a sinking fluorocarbon leader at least.
Not much is happening on the alpine streams yet. The only insects flying about at the moment are those pesky March flies. There have been good and bad days on the Mowambah.
The lake is rising well and the early morning and late evening fishing has been best. The best flies have been green/olive nymphs or stick caddis patterns but you can’t go past a black Woolly Bugger fished at night.
I still have room at my weekend Gillies Flyfishing School on November 11-12. The cost is $380 for the 16 hours of instruction.
For more information on these flyfishing courses, or for any up-to-date fishing reports, feel free to give me a call at the shop on (02) 6456 1551.
This month starts off with the Snowy Mountains Trout Festival and, judging from the season so far, anglers should be in for a great week of fishing.
The festival starts on November 4 and the prize presentation will be at Berridale Community Hall from 2pm Friday November 10. The major prize is a Quintrex 385 Explorer with a 20hp Yamaha motor and includes a trailer. The total prize is worth $7000 and you don’t even have to catch a fish to be eligible, all you have to do is enter. Check out www.troutfestival.com.
The Snowy River Shire is about to celebrate its Centenary and there are heaps of activities happening over a two-week period from November 18 to 26.
One of the events planned is the Snowy River Centenary Trout Challenge, a family trout fishing competition. The competition is open to all ages and all legal methods of trout fishing are permitted. Only waters of Lake Jindabyne and Lake Eucumbene are permitted for fishing.
This is an environmentally friendly competition, supported by Department of DPI (Recreational Fisheries), where the winner will be the angler that catches the heaviest trout or salmon.
The event starts at 5pm on Saturday November 25 and finishes up the following day. The major prize will be the Snowy River Centenary Cup which will be presented by Mayor Richard Wallace on Sunday at 3pm in Banjo Patterson Park, Jindabyne.
There will also be lots of other prizes going to lucky entries so you don’t even have to catch a fish to be a winner.
To help entertain the crowds, there will be a stage set up and bands playing so as the whole family can sit back and enjoy a picnic in the park surrounded by the beautiful scenery of Lake Jindabyne and the Snowy Mountains.
Jindabyne Lions Club will be on hand with their famous BBQ and bar set up, to help cater for those hungry anglers that have just returned from fishing.
All competitors must register before the event, and this can be done anytime from 8am on Saturday November 25 by signing on at Steve Williamson’s Tackle Shop, Snowline Service Centre, Kosciusko Road Jindabyne.
For more information you can contact me on (02) 6456 1551 (b/h) or at --e-mail address hidden--
1. Guy Wikramanayake with a 2lb rainbow trout caught trolling.Reads: 746