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Spawn run was a battle
  |  First Published: September 2006



Most of the trout have returned from their spawning runs but I must say this season has been a battle for them, with a very late start to the spawn run due to the lack of rain to bring the river up.

Snowfalls were a little disappointing regardless of the reports you may have read. The ski resorts again played up the season but in fact the snow depth was below average.

What this will mean for the fishing will depend on how much rain we get over the coming couple of months. At least with a lot of snow we can rely on a slow melt to feed the rivers and streams and keep the lake level rising at least until the end of November. Without snow we must have rain to keep our streams fishing well into the season.

After a steady winter water level due to the work being carried out on the Jindabyne Dam wall it will be interesting to see just how well the lake will fish over coming months.

Over at Lake Eucumbene it is a different problem and the dam is at its lowest level since 1972- bad if you want to launch a boat anywhere around the lake. Denison Street, which used to go to the old town of Adaminaby, has been graded so it can be used as a boat ramp. Businesses are hurting, with anglers staying away.

The lake levels are predicted to continue to drop until there is any snowmelt but after that finishes, the lake could drop even further, maybe up to three metres. No rain and they are in real trouble over there as it will be almost impossible to launch a boat unless the lake edges dry out enough.

At Jindabyne it looks as if there will be no problem with water levels for the short term or at least until we see how dry summer is. And then there may be a need for Snowy Hydro to take down water levels.

The days are longer and a lot warmer and the fish will really come on the bite as the water rises over new ground.

SPINNING

With the water level rising, the fish should come in close to the edges in the early mornings and late evenings in particular. Lures such as the Tasmanian Devil in gold No 36 will again be the spring-summer favourite while the green and gold frog pattern No 50 is also much-loved.

Last season I introduced my new red nosed yellow wing Tassie and this coming season it will be a winner again. Over recent months I have been doing further trials on the new 3” StumpJumper and it has been a real winner. You will be reading a lot more about this lure over coming months.

The Gillies Spina and a No 1 or No 2 Celta are lures to use when the fish are in the shallows while the lake is rising. Rushes Bay, Curiosity Rocks and Taylors Bay at Kalkite are great spots during spring. The warmer water will make trout feed more actively so it’s not a bad idea to look closely in the shallow water to find cruising trout.

FLY FISHING

Spring is a great time to use polarised glasses to spot the fish in the water. Shallow, weedy bays like Sid’s Bay, Hatchery Bay, The Claypits and Creel Bay at Waste Point are good locations. Best flies to try are Olive Nymphs and yabby patterns. Again, look before you cast, there could be a trout cruising right under your feet. Remember, the streams remain closed until the October long weekend – not long to go now!

TROLLING

The fish are often cruising the shallows early in the morning so that’s where you should troll. After sunrise lead-core lines run out about two colours (20m) will get about 3m down with a Tasmanian Devil and you will need to troll in about 4m of water to get the bigger brown trout.

If you don’t have lead line try the Dual Depth Tassie, otherwise try the brown bomber No 48 early on and then yellow wings No 36 or my new red-nosed yellow wing on the brighter days.

Last year at this time I was trialling the E Chip lures from Pro Troll, which emit an electronic signal that simulates a wounded fish.

Over the last year I have proven that these lures do work on days when the fishing is very hard.

There is no doubt that they are best used with a very slow troll or when using leadcore line or a downrigger. The E Chip Flasher, which looks similar to a dodger in shape, has been effective on the days when you need something to stir the fish into action and there is no doubt again that when the fishing is hard, these attractors help lift the catch rate.

Another new product fresh out of Canada is the Shark, a bright chrome-finish downrigger bomb with special indentations that actually pick up and reflect any electronic signals from the boat and sounder and emit the signal to represent a bait school. It has already been proven by hundreds of anglers in saltwater but trials are still happening in the fresh.

It would seem that again, when used at times when the trout are off the bite, the Shark may attract more fish to your area. My underwater camera attached to the downrigger does show more fish so, to date, it does look to be working.

On the sounder, instead of the thin line across the screen you get with a normal bomb, the Shark puts out a lot more disturbance on the sounder screen and that is very interesting. At this stage I am not sure if I’m catching more fish due to the Shark but I will keep you posted.

Best areas to troll should be East Jindabyne Islands, the South Arm and around Waste Point.

BAITFISHING

Worms and Berkley PowerBait are very effective at the moment and with the water still cold, the fish are staying close to the edges. The best PowerBaits have been the lemon, lime and orange twists. These float are best fished off the bottom using a sinker.

Hatchery Bay and Waste Point are good areas to try but most shallow bays that have water covering new grass will attract the trout to feed in close – remember not to scare the fish.

By now you would have all heard about the new movie ‘Jindabyne’, some of you have probably even een it. The flyfishing scenes were very good and the location is just one of those very special spots that we get to fish here in the Snowy Mountains.

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