THIS is a busy month in the Snowy Mountains, with so many people in the area for snow play but it is also a polaroiding month for the anglers who brave the mountain cold.
In reality, August is the turn from the really cold days in the mountains and, by mid-August, the weather is more Spring-like than Winter most of the time, with warm, sunny days making it perfect for trout fishing.
Polaroiding is the art of spotting trout with the aid of polarised sunnies – the fish are easier to spot once you remove the surface glare from the water
So far this Winter, the weather has been about average. The snow came on time and the brown trout headed into the rivers for their spawning run as normal.
It all looks good for Spring although, like all other areas, we can all do with more rain. At least in the mountains we can rely on the snowmelt to supply plenty of water for the streams and rivers over Spring and early Summer.
On Lake Jindabyne, the water level is still low with the work on the dam wall continuing. Once we start with the snow thaw, the water level will rise and will more than likely be normal over the Summer.
Don’t, however, expect the extremely high level we had last year. Remember, that was above average and we will probably not see that happen again for a few years, at least.
With only one month of Winter to go, and August being such a great time to sight fish cruising the edges of the lake, the water levels are still good but very low and you will need you gumboots or waders for the muddy edges, especially if it rains.
Let’s look at my predictions in more detail.
Spinning with lures such as the Tasmanian Devil in the pink No 55 or the brown No 48 are sure to catch a fish or two.
If walking the edges of the lake, use smaller lures such as Celtas, Prover lures in their holographic colours or Gillies Spina lures. These lighter lures will not scare the trout with big splashes if the fish are cruising close to the lake edge. Remember, always look before you cast!
The better times are early and late in the day but you can still catch fish near the rocky points and deep drop-offs during the middle of the day. Some of the better Winter areas are Creel Bay, Hatchery Bay and you might like to try Curiosity Point.
This is one of the best months for using polaroid glasses to spot the fish and you will often see fly-fishers stalking fish in the shallows and casting their flies. Green nymphs fished near the rocky outcrops should catch fish.
Fish quietly and approach the water only after trying to spot a fish. The western shoreline from Curiosity Rocks to Hatchery Bay is excellent to spot fish during August and don’t forget to keep away from my area over at Sid’s Bay!
Trolling is our most popular fishing tour during Winter and we almost always catch fish. The best lures to use at the moment are Tassie Devils in No 55, No 72 and No 50 (frog pattern). Try No 36 (yellow wings) on the sunnier days.
For the bigger brown trout I like to troll small minnows and the Legend brown trout pattern is a favourite, although you can’t go past the Steve Williamson Signature Lure for Winter trolling.
Other minnows worth a try include Rapala brown and rainbow trout patterns or the StumpJumper minnow in pink and purple or black and gold.
Fish the township end of the lake during August as the water is that little bit warmer and the fish a little more active. Lion and Cub Islands as well as East Jindabyne Islands are excellent trolling spots. Just look out for rocks as the lake is very low at the moment.
If you would like to learn more about how to troll, why not join our Trolling School on October 16 and 17. Trolling expert Bill Presslor will join me as guest instructor so I am sure you will have a great time and learn heaps. Call me for a brochure.
Soaking a bait on the lake is productive and the brown trout are nearly all back from spawning now and are looking for something to eat. During Winter a bunch of worms fished on the bottom or suspended under a float should entice a fish to bite.
There is no doubt that Berkley PowerBait products are catching lots of trout in the mountains, with lime or lemon twist being the best, closely followed by rainbow or orange nuggets.
Again, fish the shallow bays early and late and the deep, rocky drop-offs during the middle of the day.
Call in to my shop at the Snowline Caravan Park, say hi and pick up a copy of the latest fishing report. If you would like to join me on one of my charters, call me on 02 6456 1551 or 0408 024 436, or visit www.fishnet.com.au/snowyfish for the latest fishing reports or to find out more about our Winter tours.
• Readers of NSW Fishing Monthly who book and pay a deposit for our beginner fly-fishing on the October long weekend will receive a free fly rod (offer ends on September 14).Reads: 1043