As I write this report, Jindabyne is being threatened with the worst bushfires in history. Already 250,000 hectares of the Kosciuszko National Park has been burnt out and we are a long way from the finish yet.
By the time you read this you will know a lot more about the outcome and I would take a punt there will be little cheerful outcomes to report. A lot of streams and rivers in our area have been affected by the fires and just how badly that will be we will not know for some time. It is often heavy rain washing the ash into the streams that causes the most trouble.
So far, the Thredbo River and the Mowambah River are still fishing well for experienced fly anglers, but the water is low and the fish are spooky. With a little Autumn rain that should improve the fishing for the lure anglers as well.
Lake Jindabyne is fine, with good water levels and cooler water temperatures than normal. The excellent fishing is expected to continue right throughout Autumn and into Winter.
Although a little hard to predict this year, lets have a look at what we can expect over the coming month.
The lake temperatures stayed down a little this year and that means that the surface fishing will start early. This month should signal the start of some excellent early-morning surface feeding from the trout.
Leadline trolling has been excellent and we should see this continue over the next month or so. Try two colours (20 metres) early and three colours (30 metres) later in the morning.
The Tasmanian Devil No 50 frog pattern is always good for this time of year and No 36 yellow wing has by far been the best overall lure to use on the lakes over the past month. As we get closer to Easter, bring out the No 55 pink Panther Tassie.
Some of the better trolling areas this month will be Hatchery Bay and Hayshed Bay. Sid s Bay through to Rushes Bay will fish well early in the day for big brown trout.
Lure-casting will be confined to the lake over the next couple of months, or at least till we get some rain and the rivers get a little more water.
The best spinning will be early and late in the day where there are steep drop-offs with plenty of rocks. Bays like Creel and Hatchery and the Snowy Arm all fish well.
A variety of lures will work, but the best will be small bladed spinners, like the Gillies Fantail Spinner. Use them over the weed beds early and then change to a Tassie as the day get brighter, when you should and cast farther out, over drop-offs.
Bait-fishing will improve over this month and mudeyes will still be the best bait. If you can t get mudeyes, try a nice big bunch of garden worms.
Best bait-fishing areas are Creel Bay, Hatchery Bay and Curiosity Rocks. Another great area is AT the bottom of the Snowline Caravan Park near Widows Creek Inlet.
Some of the best lake fly-fishing is during the coming months. Try any of the streamer patterns, such as Mrs Simpson and Williamson’s Gold Fish. Olive green nymphs and shrimp patterns are also worth a try.
The South Arm, Creel Bay and Kangaroo Bay are all great places to turn over a flyline at this time of year.
On the rivers and streams the fishing may be a little difficult because of the fires’ effect, as already explained. The Thredbo River will start to improve as we get rain and a few early spawning browns start to move into the river.
The Alpine streams may take a little longer to recover after the fires and we can only hope that all the efforts of NSW Fisheries and the acclimatisation society’s efforts with recent trout stocking will not be wasted.
All in all, we are looking good for at least some great lake fishing over the coming months, so get your gear together and come and try some our fantastic trout.
This month’s best
Best method: Trolling
Best depth: 2 to 3 colours of leadline. (20 to 30 metres of 18lb)
Best lure: Tasmanian Devil No 36 yellow wing .
Best areas: Hayshed Bay, Sids Bay .
Ever wanted to learn to trout fish? On April 5 and 6 we will hold a Learn to Trout Fish Weekend. All methods are covered including trolling, spinning , bait-fishing and fly-fishing. Cost is $330 per person the first two NSWFM readers who pay a deposit will have three nights’ accommodation free. For more info on this or any of our fly and trolling schools, phone me or email --e-mail address hidden--
I will be available for personal guiding over the coming months for fly-fishing and lake trolling. Lessons ruin from two hours, trolling trips from three hours to a full day. For the latest in fishing conditions phone 0408 024 436 or visit www.fishnet.com.au/snowyfish
John and Anne Crookes, of Brisbane, with a pair of 1.4kg rainbow trout caught on trolled No 36 Tassie Devils.
Mick Bartlett, of Sydney, caught this kilo trout trolling a No 50 Tasmanian Devil.
Ken Nicholson sent out a mudeye under a bubble float at Mill Creek inlet on Lake Jindabyne for this choice rainbow.Reads: 970