Season runs late
  |  First Published: February 2004

ALREADY it’s the last month of Summer. Last month we talked about the late Summer season and that is not such a bad thing now, because we will have an extended dry-fly fishing season on the streams and rivers.

Normally in the mountains the stream fishing starts to slow down by now, but this year we will have a few more months of great fishing yet and, with a little extra rain, maybe well after Easter.

Early January was very hot in the mountains, sending the lake fish deep and improving the downrigging to the best it has been for many years. The excellent deep-water fishing on the lake is expected to continue at least for the rest of this month.

On Lake Jindabyne, Snowy Hydro has started up the pumps and the water level has begun to drop after what was an extremely high level of 87%, the highest it has been for 15 years. Although the level is dropping quickly now, there should be still plenty of water to see us out the full season.

Trout fishing in Summer is often best in the early morning and late evening as the fish cruise the edges of the lake looking for a feed. Never totally discount the middle of the day for fishing, however, as the trout are always looking for a feed, especially on the river. Trolling in the middle of the day can also be productive using deep-diving lures or deeper trolling methods such as leadlines and downriggers.

Bait-fishing is best early morning and late evening along shallow edges, or in deep water at other times. Remember you can fish with bait in the lake only, it is illegal to fish the rivers and streams in this area with bait. Worms and mudeyes (dragonfly nymphs) are the best Summer baits.

Spinning in the lake is popular and the early mornings and late evenings are the better times to fish.

The best lures to use this Summer are the Tasmanian Devils in colours such as green and gold/yellow or brown during the evening. Try No 6 Aussie and 50 Frog, with the best deeper trolling lure No 48 Red Nosed Brown Bomber. I like Tasmanian Devils because they are cheap, they catch fish and they are Australian made.

Other spinning lures to try are the Legend Minnows, with the best colours Rainbow Trout and the Brown Trout. We have also been having some great success using the Spanyid Maniac spoon. This lure has a wobbling action that seems to really excite the trout and when they do strike, you had better hang on to the rod.

Spinning the Thredbo River has been great over the past couple of months. Best time is late in the day. Help look after our river by returning any fish caught and take only those fish that are very big and may dominate other fish in the river. The best lures have been spinners like the Gillies Spina and the little Producers Willy’s Worm brown trout and rainbow trout patterns.


Fly-fishing is best in alpine streams during the day, with the Royal Wulff the best dry fly. Fishing the lake early mornings and evenings will be good, especially after a warm day. Try the shallower bays and use patterns like the Mudeye, Hammill's Killer, Mrs Simpson or Craig’s Night-time.

This is also the time of year to tie on a Williamson’s Goldfish around the inlets where the real goldfish hang out. Fish the fly deep and slow for best results.

On the lake, the trout have been coming on late at night. The water around the edges has been very warm and the trout have been late coming in close. Widows Creek, Taylors Inlet and Mill Creek Inlet have been great locations.


This month trolling will continue to be excellent with the lake high, but it will still be best in the early morning and late evening. Lures to try will be the Tasmanian Devils in colours like No 48 and No 36 early and late and No 6, No 23 or No 50 during the day.

Downriggers set from eight metres to 12 metres have been best and it’s a toss-up day to day between Tassie No 36 and No 48 as to which catches the most fish. Downrigging in the deep water just off Lion and Cub Islands or down at the South Arm has been consistently producing rainbow trout to 1.5kg.

The most popular live bait for trout during the Summer is a mudeye fished one to two metres underneath a float early and late in the day. The other effective bait is the worm. A bunch of tiger worms or even a scrub worm fished with a running sinker is also a great way to catch a trout. Fished in deep water, this method often catches a cruising trout on even the hottest of days.

The deeper, rocky drop-offs have been producing the best fish. The South Arm and in front of the township have been great places for browns.

If you would like to learn how to fish for trout or get a bit of local knowledge, drop into Shop 1 at the Snowline Caravan Park (next to the Shell servo) or just give me a call on 0408 024 436. Or visit [url=http://www.fishnet.com.au/snowyfish].


Andrew Penny with a 1kg rainbow caught trolling a No 36 Tasmanian Devil. Andrew is the new mechanic at Snowline Caravan Park and can also fix outboard motors.


Bobby Berg with one of nine trout caught in just two hours in recent rain. The fishing was fantastic with the cool change. Bobby owns the Bergkeller Restaurant at the Snowline Caravan park and can cook your catch of the day. No need to even clean it, just bring it up and he will do all the work while you enjoy a beer.

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