Keep your options open
  |  First Published: July 2005

July is a hit-and-miss time for trout in the Snowy Mountains because the fishing is so often affected by the huge weather changes that we so often experience.

As the cold fronts move through the region, dropping white stuff on the mountain tops, the barometer rises and falls like a yo-yo and this has a major effect on the way the fish behave. Some days they feed, some days they become aggressive and those that are ready to spawn are thinking about something else altogether.

The way you fish during this period should depend on what the fish are doing. If they are feeding, then bait fishing around the edges of the lake will be very good.

If the weather change is approaching and the fish go off the bite then you may find that spinning or trolling with lures can spark an ‘aggression strike’ from the fish.

The way you fish will change from day to day so this month keep your options open when trout fishing the Snowy lakes.

Flyfishing on the lake will be quiet this month but as we head into August we should see a start to the winter polaroiding.


Remember, watch the weather changes and be prepared to change your fishing method to get the best results.

Trolling is one of my favourite ways to catch trout in winter as flatlining will often catch fish all day long. Downriggers can also be used in early winter to great effect when there is a big weather change coming through to stir up the pre-spawning trout. The better areas to try are at the creek and river mouths with Creel Bay one of my favourites.

On the days when the fish are feeding you might find that gold and green Tasmanian Devil lures are best. But when the fish are aggressive, the best colours are pinks and oranges.

Minnow lures from 7cm to 12cm or even larger will often get an ‘aggression strike’. You can use pink or orange colours or just simple rainbow or brown trout patterns when the bigger fish are feeding on minnows.

Last month I talked about the new Pro-Troll Trout Killer with the E Chip that emits an electronic ‘wounded fish’ signal. I have continued to try these lures and I am catching trout on them. I find they are better used off lead-core line, one or two colours out, in order to keep them a little deeper.

I haven’t come to any real conclusion as to just how effective they are yet but I can say that I am having better than average success on the days when trolling is quiet. More on this as I test them further.

Good areas for trolling this month are Creel Bay, the Snowy Arm, Hayshed Bay and Hatchery Bay.

Early winter is probably not the best time for lake flyfishing but if you’re keen enough, try polaroiding the edges of the lake. Flies that have been working include Mrs Simpson, Hammill’s Killer and Olive Bead Head Nymphs worked slowly over weed beds.

The best areas for winter polaroiding are Creel Bay, Hatchery Bay, Sid’s Bay and the Kalkite end of the lake.

Spinning from the shore works well during July but remember, lure colours should change depending on the weather on the day. Tasmanian Devils in colours like pink no. 55, yellow wing no. 36 and brown no. 48 work best at a slow retrieve. Good areas to try include the Snowy Arm, Creel Bay and Wollondibby Inlet, which is excellent after rain.


Bait fishing with worms brings results. Use plenty of tiger worms or a single scrubworm fished off the bottom with a running sinker. Another great bait is the bardi grub and it is well worth trying when fishing for trophy brown trout.

Lemon twist and fluoro orange PowerBaits have also been catching a lot of size trout over the past couple of months and corn nuggets usually work very well over winter. I recommend a jar of each in the tackle box.

Good areas to bait fish are Creel Bay, Hatchery Bay, Taylors Bay, Curiosity Rocks and The Claypits.

For the latest fishing information, call in to my shop at the Snowline Centre in Kosciuszko Road next to the Shell servo. We have a full range of tackle and bait. Give me a call on 0408 024 436 for winter bookings. I have boat charters and fly lessons, along with the largest range of hire fishing tackle in the mountains. Bill Presslor again will be guest speaker at our trolling clinics on October 22-23 and November 26-27. There will also be a beginner fly school on November 19 and 20.

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