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Stocked trout for the taking
  |  First Published: April 2005



Now that Lake Jindabyne is cooler, trout will feed closer to the edges and for longer periods during the day and that means that you have a much better chance of catching a feed.

You may think it is interesting that I say ‘feed’, however, with so much emphasis on catch and release these days, we shouldn’t forget that some people actually like to eat a trout, especially wild fish. The Snowy Mountains lakes are managed by NSW Fisheries and they have an excellent restocking program so there should be no reason why you shouldn’t take a fish or two for the table.

The daily bag limit on Lake Jindabyne is five fish per angler per day with a legal length of 25cm.

When fishing the rivers many anglers catch and release because the rivers are a different ‘kettle of fish’ to the lakes. Trout in rivers are very territorial and a river will only hold so many fish. Take them out and there will be none left for anyone else so I practise catch and release myself when fishing the rivers. Anyhow, who wants to drag a dead trout up and down a river all day?

The cooler and wetter conditions were great for the river fishing over summer and the action will get even better as the brown trout start to move into the Thredbo River for their spawning run, which should start soon.

From April onwards you will see some very big fish in the river – the trick is to catch one of these monsters. These fish haven’t managed to grow big from being stupid!

Unfortunately, the water at Paddy’s Corner on the Thredbo River, our best area for spawn-run fishing, may have been destroyed forever. The combined wisdom of Snowy Hydro, in association with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, decided to poison off all of those beautiful poplar trees that have been admired by so many visitors and anglers for decades.

This group of poplars, in their magnificent autumn colours, would have been one of the most photographed sections of the Thredbo River. In all their grandeur these trees were a startling sight as the sun hit the bright yellow leaves each autumn. Now all are dead.

This most famous stretch of river may also be destroyed for the anglers who so often stop and fish this section. Paddy’s Corner was one of the more favoured sections of the river for spawning brown and rainbow trout. The good gravel beds so necessary for spawning trout, along with the shade provided by these trees, is now gone.

Every fishing TV series ever made in Australia, has used Paddy’s Corner for filming – Rex Hunt, Fishing Australia, Escape with ET, Getaway and even Snowy Hydro, to name a few, have used Paddy’s Corner as a backdrop. Now because the trees were non-native and ‘dangerous’ they have been vandalised!

TROLLING

Surface fishing has now started with fish feeding early and late in the day. Surface troll with Tasmanian Devil No 48 early in the day and then swing to No 36 yellow wings or pink No 55 as the sun gets higher.

There is a new Tasmanian Devil colour now available that has been very effective when fished before sunrise and after sunset. The new Phosphorus Pearl colour is whitish and when charged from a torch or camera flash will glow a lot longer than the older luminous lures.

First time in the water I managed four fish before the sun was high in the sky. It’s well worth trying and let me know if you also have a lot of success with it.

The yellow Rebel Crickhopper has also been very good when trolled a long way behind the boat on sunny days. Rapalas have also been very good for bigger brown trout when used on three colours (30 metres) of lead-core line.

The best trolling areas over the next month or so will be Waste Point, Creel Bay, East Jindabyne Islands, the South Arm and Township Point.

SPINNING

Spinning has been very good at sunrise and sunset. In the lake, I like Tassie Devils in No 50 and 36. Hatchery Bay is one of the best spots at the moment while Waste Point and the Snowy River Arm near the pumping station will be get better as we get closer to winter.

Spinning has been good in the Thredbo River and this year’s water level has been excellent for the trout. During the brighter parts of the day the fish have been a little spooky so be very quite when approaching the water. Best lures there will be bladed spinners such as No 2 Celtas or the Gillies Spina in gold or silver during the day.

As more spawning brown trout enter the river the fish will become very territorial, and this is the time to use minnows like Rapalas, Baby Merlins, Legends and the like in brown trout and rainbow trout patterns.

BAIT FISHING

Mudeyes fished about 2 metres under a bubble float are still taking a few fish but the bait is becoming harder to get so a move towards bardi grubs or worms will be best. If the day is sunny and warm, try these baits fished off the bottom.

Artificial baits like Power Bait and Majic Morsels are very good also and rainbow trout love them. When held down by a small sinker these baits will float just off the bottom directly in sight of bottom-cruising fish. I like orange and pink artificial baits over the cooler months.

Team the worms up with floating artificial baits to add extra attraction and a second hook to catch the trout. Two baits on two hooks on one rod is a legal method on Lake Jindabyne

The best areas to fish will be where there is a little weed - Hatchery Bay, Curiosity Rocks and Waste Point. Creel Bay is excellent after rain. Remember, bait fishing is permitted only in the lake.

FLY FISHING

Flyfishing in the rivers and streams has been very good after a slow start this season and the dry-fly fishing may continue for a little while yet. As we move closer to winter and more fish enter the river for spawning, nymphs and glo-bugs will be the best flies to use. Make sure you fish them in the faster runs and make certain they are near the bottom.

The Diggings camping area has been fishing very well of late and the Mowambah River has fished well at the weir and below.

The best flies on Lake Jindabyne have been Williamson’s Gold Fish (fished near creek inlets) or Craig’s Night-time. On the streams the best dries have been the Royal Wulff, Yellow Humpy and March Brown spinners and while the best wet is the Olive Nymph.

For more on the latest fishing conditions or any information on our tours, call in to my shop at the Snowline Service Centre the Shell Service Station. Call 6456 1551 for the latest fishing information or my mobile 0408 024 436.

David Southwell with a two-hook tassie rig and a Steve Williamson mint green yellow wing Tassie Devil teamed up with an Action Disc for extra erratic action when downrigging on a very quite day will often bring better results.

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