I just had a look at my report for January 2007 and what a difference a year makes!
Last year I was talking about low lake levels and hardly any water in the streams but now we have had some very good rain, everything is looking green and the lake is at a very good level.
Good news for anglers is that there are no water ski races this year so we can have a January of peace and quiet on the lake. It can’t get much better and if the fish continue to bite as they have been, we will have some great fishing to kick off 2008.
Onto the fishing predictions and with lake and river levels low, let’s look at what you can expect for the coming weeks.
Some good weed beds are slowly establishing and the fish are in the shallows early in the day. Start by surface-fishing Tasmanian Devils in gold and green colours or Y82 early in the morning before the sun gets too high.
As it gets brighter, move into deeper water and fish lead-core line at three to four colours or use downriggers at 30’. Use darker lures when fishing deep, try Tassie numbers 6, Y48 or Halo.
If you like trolling minnow lures the new Trollcraft Tassie Terrors have been quite good and of course you can’t go past the proven Rapala minnows, especially the jointed versions for bigger browns.
Downrigging will be popular because you need to go deep to catch the best fish. Last year the late summer downrigging was almost unreal and this year should be similar. You may have to go as deep as 50’ but if you stay in deep water you will not have any problems snagging up.
Best areas have been Hayshed, Hatchery and Rushes Bay and the South Arm has been very good for downrigging.
Mid-summer is best for spinning on the lake very early and very late; save the middle of the day for the rivers.
I like to get up well before sunrise and fish the shallow inlets where the big browns hunt during the night. By catching and keeping these fish, the average size of the rest of the lake’s fish is increased.
Most lake fly anglers fish during the nights because they know that is when the big fish come in to feed. When working the lake edges with lures, smaller spinners are the best, with less splash to scare the trout.
Soft plastics are doing very well and rainbow trout Squidgies and a variety of Berkley Gulps are well worth a try when the fish are reluctant to hit other lures.
River spinning is much better than last year and there have been some good trout if you are prepared to walk a little farther away from the holiday crowds.
Small minnow-style lures like Rapalas work very well and the old favourite green and gold Celtas or Gillies Spinners are also a must. Change lures often and never work over one area of water with any more than a half a dozen casts.
Summer is mudeye time. These nymphs of the dragonfly are excellent live bait hooked through the wing case to allowed to swim around beneath a float. Early and late in the day are the best times.
You should grease up the line to stop drag; you need the trout to run with the bait without feeling any water resistance on the line. Always fish with the bail arm open so the fish can run.
The shallow bays are the best night locations but look out for the snags.
PowerBait and bardi grubs are still working and the new Gulp bait is catching plenty of trout.
This is grasshopper month on the rivers and streams and when a hopper drops into the water a trout will not hesitate to take it. There are various grasshopper patterns available, just look around and see what size and colour the real ones are and find a fly to match.
Keep an eye open for evening hatches of other insects, such as the mayfly. I love the dry fly this time of year.
Nights are the best time to fish the lake. Dark or black flies like a Woolly Bugger or Black Phantom, Craig’s Nighttime and my own Snowy Mountains Goldfish in the bays and the inlets bring results.
The Snowline Bestons Trout Challenge, a fishing competition with the emphasis on fun for the whole family, will be on February 16 and 17 February 2008.
Call the Snowline Holiday Park on 02 6456 2099 or me for more information. If you want to enter you will need to book in to Snowline so definitely give them a call.
For the latest information or to book a tour, drop in at my shop in the Snowline Service Centre, next to the Shell Servo. We still have vacancies for the beginner fly fishing schools on March 1 and 2. Mention Fishing Monthly when you pay your deposit and you may get a Free fly rod for your trouble. Call 02 64561551, email --e-mail address hidden-- and visit www.swtroutfishing.com.au and www.fishingcourses.com.au.Reads: 560