Skiers and trout come out to play
  |  First Published: July 2006

The ski resorts are now in full swing and there are plenty of people about, making it a little harder to get local accommodation.

Work on the dam wall spillway is coming to completion and while the coffer dam is removed, the lake’s water level is expected to remain quite low.

Anglers have been catching some excellent trout over the last month and, as predicted, all the fish have been in above-average condition. Trolling has been fantastic, with plenty of rainbows caught off the surface and some bigger browns taken on lead-core line over the weed beds.

Baitfishing is at its winter best and you can catch fish all day long at the moment. Spinning is still better early and late in the day and we might have to wait until next month to get the best flyfishing because the polaroiding is always better in August. Trolling is slower over the winter but now is when all the big fish are caught.

The No Y48 Tasmanian Devil has been best on the sunnier days but there has been a move to the pink No 55 on some early mornings – it’s worth keeping one in the water.

As normal for now, bigger trout love to take minnow lures and the best lately have been 7cm Rapalas in black and gold, rainbow trout and perch pattern. Lead-core line is a must to get the larger fish over the next couple of months.

The Tassie Devil Holographic is a great lure to represent the colours of the yabbies in the lake and this lure has proven to be a taker of bigger fish when used just off the bottom.

Lately I have been using the Rapala X Rap in rainbow trout pattern and the new MD muddler colour. Minnows really get the aggression strikes from trout at this time of year. The Storm Wildeye 394 Metallic in gold and red has been a good goldfish pattern.

The best areas for trolling have been Waste Point and the Eucumbene Arm, along with Hatchery Bay and Stinky Bay. We have been getting some good-sized rainbows in Curiosity Bay too.


Lemon, lime and orange twist PowerBaits have been very popular. The next-best have been the Rainbow Nuggets but you could also try the Gulp worms and grubs. For the traditionalists, bardi grubs and scrubworms are still going to catch the bigger browns. I haven’t heard of too many really big fish being caught on artificial bait.

Areas that have fished well with bait have been Stinky Bay, Wollondibby Inlet, Widows Creek and Rushes Bay and the Claypits have been good of a morning.


With the rivers now closed, you are best to concentrate on the lake’s bays early and late in the day and fish deeper water in the middle of the day. The best lures have been Tassie No 48 brown bomber and hot pink No 55, with the No 36 yellow wings if it’s sunny.

Fly anglers use polarised sunnies to spot fish and cast just in front of them. Spin anglers can do the same. Once you work out the trout’s ‘beat’ you can cast a floating minnow well in front of the fish and as it approaches, start your retrieve allowing the lure to dive down to the fish. This takes a little practice and you need to know what lure to use – floating Rapalas work well, as does the 3cm StumpJumper. These little lures come in lots of colours and with two interchangeable bibs for shallow and deep running. Pink is a great colour in winter.

I would prefer to spin the township end of the lake, where there are still plenty of fish feeding. Try bays like Wollondibby Inlet and Rushes Bay over at east Jindabyne.


There have been a few fish cruising the shallows in the weedy bays but the best is still to come next month. I have been using small green nymphs suspended under an indicator, twitching the fly as I wait for the fish to cruise by. This has been more successful than directly presenting the fly to the very spooky fish.

The Williamson’s Gold Fish fly has also been producing near creek mouths and quiet little inlets where the goldfish hang out. Hatchery Bay, Hayshed Bay, Sids Bay, the Curiosity Rocks area and Rushes Bay have all fished well.

I will hold introductory one-day flyfishing courses at the Holiday Hub Beachside Resort, Pambula, on September 2 and 3, an excellent opportunity for those that can’t make it up to Jindabyne for a weekend course. All equipment can be supplied free or you can bring your own. The cost is $150 with a 10% discount for readers of VictoriaFishing Monthly if you mention this offer.

My Gillies weekend flyfishing course will be held on October 28 and 29 at the Snowline Holiday Park, Jindabyne. For more information or tour bookings call me on 0408 024 436 or at the shop on (02) 6456 1551 or email me.

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