This is the time to get out onto the water and break in the new rod and reel and wet a few new lures.
Lake Jindabyne continued to fish well through December and with the right methods used at the right times there is no reason good fishing shouldn’t continue right through Summer.
The peak of Summer means that you have to put up with hot days and warm water but there is no reason you shouldn’t still catch plenty of trout, you just have to fish the right way at the right time of day.
Early risers will catch fish on the around rocky and snaggy areas using worms and PowerBait off the bottom and, if you’re really early and lucky enough to procure some, mudeyes fished under a float will also be good.
Trollers who don’t have any deep gear like downriggers will need to ensure they are in the water at first light because by breakfast time the trout will be heading into deep water and will be hard to catch.
Spin anglers will do best in the first hour or so of light and by mid-morning will be lucky to catch a fish and may be best heading to the alpine rivers for a spin where the water is cooler.
The best lake fly fishing will be in the wee hours before first light.
If you like a sleep-in it’s probably best to have a good breakfast and take the family for a swim or a drive until later in the day.
If you have a downrigger on the boat you can catch trout in the middle of the day but the best trolling will be in the late evening. Without downriggers it’s no use on the lake until after dinner, when you can fish from about 7pm to 9pm.
The same is true for the lake lure spinners and bait anglers with the best fishing occurring at dusk.
Fly anglers are a little luckier because they can head to the streams in the middle of the day for a little dry-fly action but the best fishing will also occur later in the day when they may get an evening rise. Evening is often a great time on dry fly over the Summer.
Remember, the weather can change quickly in the mountains and even snow is possible on the odd day. Conditions can change and so will the habits of the trout.
Just keep the conditions in mind when selecting a method to catch a trout this Summer.
Some good weed beds are slowly establishing and the fish are in the shallows early in the day.
Use Tasmanian Devils in gold and green colours (or Y82) on flatlines early before the sun gets too bright, then move out into deeper water and fish lead-core line at three to four colours or downriggers at 9m. Darker lures are best when fishing deep, try Tassie numbers 6, Y48 or Halo.
Rapala minnows in the jointed versions do very well on the bigger browns.
Downrigging will become popular because you need to fish deep to catch the best fish. Last year the late Summer downrigging was just fantastic, almost unreal, and this year should be no different.
You may have to go as deep as 15m but if you stay in deep water you will not have any problems snagging up.
Best areas have been Hayshed, Hatchery and Rushes bays and the South Arm has been very good for downrigging.
It’s best to spin on the lake very early and very late but the middle of the day is best 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 targeting these fish the average size of the lake fish is increased.
Most lake fly anglers fish only during the nights because they know that is when the big fish 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, especially the rainbow trout Squidgy and a variety of different Berkley Gulps when the fish are reluctant to hit lures. Call in to my shop and we’ll tell you the best ones and how to rig them.
River spinning is much better than last year and there have been some good trout if you are prepared to walk a little further away from the holiday crowds.
Small minnow style lures like Rapalas work well and the old favourite green and gold Celtas or Gillies Spinner is also a must for any tackle box. Change lures often and never work over one area of water with more than a half a dozen casts.
This is mudeye time, when the nymph of the dragonfly is used live, hooked through the wing case and allowed to swim around beneath a float. Fish them early and late in the bays and move to deeper water as the day brightens up.
The shallow bays are the best night locations but look out for the snags.
PowerBait and bardi grubs are still more than worth a try and the newer Gulps are catching plenty of trout.
It’s grasshopper time on the rivers and streams in the mountains and when a hopper drops on the water a trout will attack without hesitation.
There are various grasshopper fly patterns available but just have a look around and see what the size and colour the real ones are and find a fly to match.
Keep your eye open for evening hatches of other insects, such as mayflies. I love the dry-fly fishing at this time of year.
Night is the best time to fish the lake, using a dark or black fly like a Woolly Bugger, Black Phantom or a Craig’s Night-time, or my own Snowy Mountains Goldfish. Fish the bays and the inlets for best results.
Drop in at my shop at the Snowline Service Centre next to the Shell servo for the latest information or to book a tour.
We still have vacancies for the beginner fly fishing schools on February 14 and 15. The cost is $380 for the weekend with everything supplied. Call 02 6456 1551, email me or visit www.swtroutfishing.com.au and www.fishingcourses.com.au.
The Discovery Holiday Parks Jindabyne Family Fishing Challenge will be on February 20 to 22.
It’s a competition for the whole family with the emphasis on fun, and is also the final in the Think You Can Fish Series currently being led by Kerry Webley of Wollongong.
Kerry is in the running for angler of the competition and best team award, which has certainly upset a few of the male anglers in the series. Whether she wins or not will depend on how many fish she manages to catch over the three fishing sessions at Jindabyne.
The Jindabyne competition is limited to only 100 anglers so if you are thinking about competing you had better call Discovery Holiday Parks Jindabyne and book your position. More details about the event on my web site at www.swtroutfishing.com.auReads: 1854