Anglers who arrive here in October will be surprised at the very high lake level. By early September the water level was already higher than the peak in spring 2002, and it’s been rising ever since.
This high level will be only short lived though, as the Snowy Hydro will be lowering the level of the lake in February to allow for the construction of the new spillway and power station. Over the next couple of years, construction on the dam wall will see the water levels of Lake Jindabyne change suddenly as Snowy Hydro lower the lake’s level to construct a temporary dam wall, where the spillway is to go, and then in 2005 the level will be lowered again to take the temporary wall away. These will be interesting times for anglers and a great chance to retrieve those lost lures or even the odd lost fishing rod – and for one guy, his outboard motor.
For anglers thinking doom and gloom for the fishing, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. The water level will be taken down only to what is a ‘normal winter level.’ We’ve never had a problem in the past with fishing conditions during low water levels.
As the lake continues to rise over the next couple of months, you will find the fish cruising the edges looking for a feed. There have already been excellent reports of good catches of rainbow and brown trout over the last couple of weeks.
Spring is a great time for fishing the mountains, as the trout are very hungry after their winter spawning run up the rivers. All methods of fishing work in spring but the way you fish may vary from spring into peak summer.
Let’s look at the best ways to catch a spring trout over the next month.
The Snowy Mountains Trout Challenge is on later this month with the Shimano Snowy Mountains Celebrity Trout Challenge being held on the 17th and 18th and the Freshwater Fishing Magazine Family Fishing Challenge being held on the October 19.
A quick correction about the Gillies / Flytech International Fly Fishing Challenge held on Friday the 17th. NSW Fisheries are not sponsors of that event, but ‘supporters’ (as reported in the last issue of NSWFM).
NSW Fisheries will be conducting research into hook mortality and angler catch research over the whole three days of events during the Snowy Mountains Trout Challenge. Even fish caught during the Family Fishing Competition will be recorded for research into the health of the fishery.
The Snowy Mountains Trout Challenge Committee thanks NSW Fisheries for their support for the all fisheries in the Snowy Mountains region. Trout fishing is worth millions of dollars in tourism to the region and employs over 400 people.
Surface trolling close to the edges of the lake will be the best and most consistent method of catching fish over the coming months. The ‘early angler catchs the fish’, so get out of bed and enjoy one of our beautiful Snowy Mountain sunrises. Lures to try are Tasmanian Devils in mainly green and gold colours, such as numbers 36 and 50. Brown colours work best in the early morning, and in the late evening numbers 10 and 48 are best.
As the days slowly get warmer the fish will mainly feed along the lake edges in the early morning and late evening. Try spinning the edges with Tasmanian Devil lures like the Yellow wing Number 36 or the Frog pattern number 50.
Up on the Thredbo River you had better check out the new Gillies Spina lures in brown trout and rainbow trout patterns.
When fishing Lake Jindabyne, you can’t go past flies like Mrs Simpson and Craig’s Night Time early and late in the day. As the lake rises over the next month, try fishing over the shallower weedy bays and try a green nymph stripped very slowly for best results.
This season the Thredbo River is sure to fish well, especially up to Christmas. There has been no effect on the fishing from last Summer’s bush fires and there are plenty of fish to be seen. With recent rain and lots of snow to melt, I expect some great dry fly fishing in the streams over Summer, also giving some great alpine stream fly fishing. Small aggressive alpine trout will give you some spectacular catch and release fishing.
Bait fishing can be amazing in early spring, with some great fishing on Lake Jindabyne using Bardi Grubs fished on the bottom or Scrub worms. Because the lake is rising and the fish are feeding close to shore, don’t be tempted to fish too deep. Fish close in early and late in the day in the shallow bays. During the sunnier middle of the day, fish around the rocky points.
If you’d like to learn more about trout fishing, just join me on a lesson or tour. You can contact me direct on 0408 024 436 to make a booking.
I’d also like to announce the opening of my new tackle hire and booking centre, at Shop 1 Snowline Caravan Park in Jindabyne. We’ll be offering the very best tackle for hire and you’ll also be able to hire the very best in fly fishing rods, allowing you to ‘try before you buy’. We’ll also give you the latest fishing tips on what’s happening on Lake Jindabyne.
See you in Jindabyne soon.
1) The dam wall at Jindabyne showing all the important areas.Reads: 1917