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It’s a festival of trout!
  |  First Published: November 2005



This month starts off with the Snowy Mountains Trout Festival and from the season so far, anglers should be in for a great week of fishing.

The festival ends on November 4 and the prize presentation will be at Berridale Community Hall from 2pm. The major prize is a Quintrex 385 Explorer with a 20hp Yamaha motor and trailer, worth a total of $7000 and you don’t even have to catch a fish to be eligible for the prize, all you have to do is enter. Check out www.troutfestival.com.au .

On November 11 to 13 we also have the second Snowy Mountains Celebrity Trout Challenge and again this event looks like being huge. Due to unavoidable problems, the Challenge has been handed over at the last moment to the Horton Ella Group from Sydney. Should you want to become involved it may not be too late.

This year the boat-based only event will be held on Lake Jindabyne with the presentation at Quality Resort Horizons. Call Daniel Scully on 02 9966 1855 to find out more. In future years the event will be held on the October long weekend so put that in your diary.

LAKE LEVEL

The level continued to rise over October and the level is not all that far off that of 2004. Work is still taking place on the dam wall and delays of up to 45 minutes can be expected while blasting takes place around noon from Monday to Saturday.

The road has been diverted over the temporary dam wall and police are patrolling the 40kmh area so keep your speed down.

TROLLING

We are starting to get a few fish on downriggers at six to nine metres. A few brown trout have been taken on downriggers but most catches are rainbows and Atlantic salmon. Yabby-coloured lures like the Tasmanian Devil Holographic have been catching a few bigger brown trout on the downriggers.

Rainbows and salmon are taking gold or green/gold lures with Tassie numbers 36, 50, S12 and 89 good, with most of the yellow wing lures also catching fish regularly.

The best areas have been around Rushes Bay, Hatchery Bay, Hayshed Bay and over near Rainbow Beach Estate at east Jindabyne.

Lead-core line is still very good early and late in the day. Try two colours (20 metres) early and then three colours later in the morning.

Best lures for bigger fish when fished very early in the morning have been Legend Lures in brown trout and pink. The same colours work in StumpJumpers.

Rebel Crickhoppers and Rapalas have been great in black and gold. Pro Troll E-Chip flashers have been great on the sunnier days when fishing has been hard.

The signal these attractors emit does have an effect on the trout. The E-Chip lures have also been producing some good fish trolled very slowly off three colours of lead line.

Anglers have also reported increased catch rates with the addition of garlic PowerBait scent to lures.

BAIT FISHING

Worms off the bottom and a PowerBait dropper are the favoured rig at the moment. There still have been very few mudeyes about although it is just starting to turn after a few warmer days.

Worms and mudeyes under floats have been producing Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout. I always like to put a little fly line floatant, such as Gink, onto the main line down to, but not past, the float to stop line drag created when line ‘sticks’ to the water. Fish feel less drag when they take the bait.

Lemon twist PowerBait is probably the best at the moment but lime or sherbet are worth a try. Best areas that have fished well have been Stinky Bay, Wollondibby Inlet in the deeper water, Curiosity Rocks Bay, Creel Bay and Rushes Bay. The Claypits is also still fishing well.

SPINNING

There is still plenty of water in the rivers and streams and the fishing has been quite good. The rainbows have been spawning a little later than usual, which made our October fishing fantastic.

When fishing the Thredbo River you will have to get the lure close to the bottom for best results. The fish won’t move far in the faster water, which is where the bigger ones are.

Minnow lures are a favourites at the moment. Rainbow and brown trout patterns are always good but other colours are also worth trying.

Sinking Rapalas in the perch pattern have been great, as have Legends in any colour with red and orange in them, StumpJumpers in colours 42 and 43 and Rebel Crickhoppers in orange or yellow

Don’t forget soft plastics at this time of year in the rivers. If rigged correctly these can be almost snag-free, allowing you to fish them along the bottom for amazing results. It takes a little practice but when you get the hang of using them in fast rivers they can be deadly to late spawning rainbows.

On the lake, it is best to fish early and late in the day. Spin close around rocky outcrops and use smaller lures like Celtas or Gillies Spinners in the shallow bays after dark. The best lake lures have been Tasmanian Devils in No 48 Brown Bomber and No 55 Hot Pink as well as the Yellow Wing 23 Sparkler.

Minnow lures are producing some nice big browns, especially gold StumpJumpers and black and gold Rapalas. It is best to stalk the fish during the day, spotting them with polarised sunglasses and then gently casting past the fish and bringing the lure back to it.

FLY FISHING

A little bit of dry-fly action happened on the warmer evenings recently with even a night of black ants falling, which stirred up the fish. But the rain has kept the rivers flowing hard and we have even seen some late spawning rainbows in the Thredbo. For these late river spawners, Glo Bugs and black or brown nymphs as droppers have been the most successful rigs.

The trick with fly fishing in the faster water is to make sure the fly is on the bottom and you may need weighted flies or even a sinking leader. There is also a big advantage in using a sinking fluorocarbon leader.

Not much happening on the alpine streams yet. The only insects about at the moment are pesky march flies. There have been good and bad days on the Mowambah.

The lake is rising well and the early morning and late evening fishing has been best with green/olive nymphs or stick caddis patterns but you can’t go past a black Woolly Bugger at night.

• I have just changed over my Yamaha 60hp four-stroke motors and have the two older ones for sale in perfect condition with 1500 hours of only freshwater use, mostly at trolling speeds. They come with new controls and harnesses and are crated up and ready to ship at $6000 each. Call me on 0408 024 436.

• I still have some vacancies for my November 26 and 27 trolling clinic for 16 hours’ instruction for $360. Call me at the shop on 02 6456 1551.

POISONERS OWN UP

National Parks and Wildlife and Snowy Hydro have owned up to poisoning the historic poplars along Paddys Corner downstream from Gaden Trout Hatchery. One must wonder just why they did it as they have now destroyed what was the most beautiful and most photographed section of the river.

You have to ask yourself just who the person was that made the final decision and just what the hell got into his or her mind to even think of this act of vandalism. They say that ‘after consultation’ there was no historical significance to the trees – rubbish!

We anglers must also now be concerned about the damage that might be done over coming years from erosion. The trees were planted there in the old days for bank stabilisation but and as a windbreak.

Anyone who regularly fishes this area will also know just how important the shade provided by these trees was to the trout. It was also pleasant on a hot, sunny day to be able to stand under the shade and the fish appreciated it, too.

The damage has been done and over the Winter the dead trees have been removed, but at what cost?

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