Lake Jindabyne’s water level is now at its lowest for the winter and from now on we should see a slow but steady rise as the snow melts.
As the weather warms, this rise will increase and when the water covers new ground, the trout should move closer to the edges looking for a feed.
Brown trout are starting to return to the lake and rainbow trout will start their spawning run into the rivers. It’s the hungry brown trout that anglers will be targeting from August on.
NSW Fisheries has now released into the lake the former brood stock brook trout and Atlantic salmon. Brookies up to 2kg and Atlantics to 8kg are now out there waiting to be caught. Already Atlantics up to 4kg have been caught over recent weeks. One 2.2kg brook trout was caught on a brown trout pattern Rapala on the shores of the Snowline Holiday Park.
As we head into late August, the lake flyfishing will improve as we see a start to the polarising season. This year we should again see some excellent lake fishing as the water rises over new ground.
Even though we can still get some very cold days in August, the days are now getting longer and after the frost melts, the conditions can be fantastic for sight fishing the edges or just trolling around in.
Trolling also improves again this month as the days get longer and slightly warmer. The surface trolling is still productive and good fishing in the middle of the day is possible, even on the sunniest of days.
Lead-core lines are an advantage at this time. Work out approximately how deep your lures are and troll about one metre above the weed in the protected bays such as Hatchery Bay, Hayshed Bay and Sid’s Bay.
Larger minnow lures, from 7cm to 12cm or larger, will often get an aggression strike out of the trout. You can select pink or orange colours or just use simple rainbow or brown trout patterns when the bigger fish are feeding on minnows.
For winter trolling, slow down. A slower troll when the fish are less active works best. Good areas this month are Creel Bay, the Snowy Arm, Hayshed Bay and Hatchery Bay.
This is the start to the polarising season and fish can be found almost anywhere around the edges of the lake as they cruise for something to eat. Best flies are small black or olive nymphs, with bead-head nymphs best in the deeper water, especially when worked slowly over weed beds.
The best areas for winter polarising are Creel Bay, Hatchery Bay, Sid’s Bay and the Kalkite end of the lake on the western foreshore.
Spinning from the shore with small lures also works well. The best lure colours may change, depending on the conditions on the day. The 7g Tasmanian Devils are probably the best because you can throw them a fair way out and let them sink a little before retrieving. Colours like pink No 55, yellow wing No 36 and brown No 48 work best at a slow retrieve.
Small bladed spinners like the Gillies Spina or No 2 Celtas are also good at this time of year and these can be used successfully in the shallower weedy bays. Good areas to try are the Snowy Arm and Creel Bay, while Wollondibby Inlet is excellent after rain.
Baitfishing with worms brings results. When worm fishing, use plenty of tiger worms or a single scrub worm either fished off the bottom using a running sinker or under a float about two metres down. Another great bait is the bardi grub, especially for trophy brown trout.
Lemon Twist and Fluoro Orange PowerBait has also been catching a lot of good trout over the past couple of months in areas like Creel Bay, Hatchery Bay, Taylors Bay, Curiosity Rocks and The Claypits. If you need shelter from southerly winds, try The Haven (Stinky Bay).
Call in to my shop at the Snowline Centre in Kosciuszko Road next to the Shell servo for a full range of tackle and bait. Call me on 0408 024 436 for winter charter bookings and casting lessons. Bill Presslor will be my guest speaker at trolling clinics on October 22 and 23 and November 26 and 27, while there will be a beginner flyfishing school on November 19 and 20.
Work is progressing quickly on the Jindabyne Dam wall and the new one-in-a-million-year floodway. The tunnel through the dam wall is complete and the new intake for the proposed power station is progressing, with the final blast at water level removing the last of the rock.
There have been a few big bangs over recent months with the trout having to duck the incoming rock as it hits the water but there have been no fish casualties. The Coffer Dam is complete and the road will shortly be diverted while a road bridge is built where the existing road is. This will allow the water to flow under the bridge should the dam level ever exceed 100% capacity.
Now that most of the work is completed at water level, the lake will be allowed to rise over next summer, providing we have a good snow season and rain in spring.
The next time we should see Jindabyne’s water level at ‘minimum operational level’ will be at the time the dam work is completed and the temporary coffer dam is removed, probably late in 2006 or early 2007.Reads: 520