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Poor snow means low lake
  |  First Published: September 2005



Spring has finally arrived and most of the trout have returned from their spawning runs but I’m sure that there will still be a few late spawning rainbows left in the Thredbo River, ready for the opening of the rivers next month.

Over the past winter the snowfalls in the alpine region were a little disappointing, regardless of reports you may have read. The ski resorts again played the season up a little better than it was and in fact the snow depth was below average.

What this will mean for the fishing will depend on how much rain we get over the coming couple of months. With a lot of snow we can rely on a slow melt to feed the rivers and streams and keep the lake water levels rising at least until the end of November. Without snow we must have rain to keep our streams fishing well into the season.

TROUT MATTERS

On another matter, NSW DPI Fisheries has a discussion paper out on a review of saltwater and freshwater rules. The freshwater proposals affect local trout waters.

For far too many years the rules on inland waters, trout waters in particular, have been too confusing for anglers and I for one will continue to fight to have rules simplified so that anglers are no longer persecuted for their innocent ignorance.

If you haven’t seen the discussion paper, I suggest you get yourself a copy, have a read and let DPI Fisheries know what you think. You have until September 30 to do so. For further information you can contact fisheries on 1300 550 474.

SPRING PREDICTIONS

After what was a very low winter water level, due to the work being carried out on the Jindabyne Dam wall, it will be interesting to see just how well the lake will fish over the coming months.

The rising water over new ground on our lake is great for fishing but if we don’t get rain then we might just be in for a lower than normal lake over the summer.

With spring now upon us, the days are longer and a lot warmer and the fish will really come on the bite as the water rises over new ground.

As the water level rises, the fish should come in close to the edges in the early morning and late evening in particular. Lures such as the Tasmanian Devil in gold no. 36 will be the spring-summer favourite while the green and gold frog pattern no. 50 is always reliable. The Gillies Spina or a Celta no. 1 or no. 2 and the green and gold are lures to use when the fish are in the shallows while the lake is rising.

Rushes Bay, Curiosity Rocks and Taylors Bay at Kalkite are great spring fishing spots. The warmer water will make trout more active in their feeding habits so it’s not a bad idea to look closely in the shallow water to find cruising trout.

FLY FISHING

Spring is a great time for polarising fish (using polarised sunglasses to spot the fish in the water). Shallow weedy bays like Sid’s Bay, Hatchery Bay, The Claypits and Creel Bay at Waste Point are good locations and the best flies are olive nymphs and yabby patterns.

Again, look before you cast because there could be a trout cruising right under your feet.

Trolling is one of the easiest methods to catch trout in spring because the fish are often cruising the shallows early in the morning so that’s where you have to fish. After sunrise, lead-core lines run at about two colours (20 metres out) will get about 3m deep with a Tasmanian Devil lure and you will need to troll in about 4m of water to get the bigger brown trout.

If you don’t have lead line, try the dual-depth Tasmanian Devil lure. You can’t go past the no. 48 brown bomber early on and then no. 36 yellow wings on the brighter days.

I mentioned a while ago the new E Chip lures from Pro Troll, which emit an electronic signal that simulates a wounded fish. The E Chip lures I have been trying on the trout are the Trout Killer and the Kollonee Killer. These lures are catching quite a few fish and do work on days when the fishing is very hard. There is no doubt that they are best used at a very slow troll or when using lead-core line or a downrigger. There is also a Pro Troll E Chip salmon lure called a Stingfish, which looks like a very large Flatfish lure. This was effective on the large pre-spawn brown trout over last winter and we will have to wait and see how they go over spring and summer.

The E Chip flasher, which looks similar to a dodger in shape, has been effective on the days when you need something to stir up the fish into action and there is no doubt again that when the fishing is hard, these attractors improve the catch rate. They are definitely worth a try and I would be interested in hearing about how well they go for other anglers.

Soft plastics for trout are another issue that I talked about previously, and I’ve come to the conclusion that trolled soft plastics are even better when accompanied by a set of attractors such as cowbells or ford fenders. The addition of a Wigglefin Action Disc will also increase your catch rate.

Last winter I experimented with the PowerBait Micros 1” Power Nymph. When trolled behind some attractors like you would a mudeye, these little soft plastics have been fantastic and well worth having in your tackle box for the days when the fish are actively feeding. The best colour I have tried is the toad colour.

The best areas to try are East Jindabyne Islands, The South Arm and Waste Point.

BAIT FISHING

With the water still cold, worms and Berkley PowerBait have been very effective close to the edges. The best PowerBaits have been the lemon, lime and orange twist. These float and are best fished off the bottom using a sinker. Areas to try include Hatchery Bay and Waste Point, but most shallow bays that have water covering new grass will attract the trout to feed in close. Remember not to scare the fish.

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 fly fishing school on November 19 and 20. 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.

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