Continued lack of rain has meant that lake levels are dropping and look like they will go as far as they did last winter – and then it will be over to the gods to give us snow and rain over winter so by spring the levels will be in readiness for next summer.
The good news is that finally, after 20 years of talking, Lake Jindabyne boat ramp is about to undergo improvements. A NSW Maritime grant of $29,500 has been approved for Snowy River Shire Council for ramp improvements.
NSW Maritime Infrastructure Program grants are generally offered in a 50:50 funding agreement with local councils or community groups. Special thanks go to Rob Staples of Snowy River Shire Council, without his efforts we would not have been successful.
This month the brown trout really get fired up in readiness for spawning.
The Thredbo river rules change in May to only one fish per day per angler, and that fish must be over 50cm. Fisheries officers are out and about so make sure you have your licence on you, too.
The more rain and the faster the rivers flow, the better the run of fish. The biggest of the browns will mostly wait until the rivers are in flood and there is enough cover so if we manage good May rain, you can expect some great fishing in the rivers.
With no rain, it will be fishing as normal but indications are promising.
On the lake, downrigging minnow lures will trigger an aggression strike from these some of the monster brown trout and I like to use big jointed Rapalas, like 11cm models or even bigger.
Given last summer’s heat, we’re lucky the lake is not lower than it is.
This is one of the best months for the bait angler fishing the lake edges. Big brown trout are cruising for a feed before they head into the rivers on their spawning run.
Worms, teamed with an artificial bait like Berkley Powerbait, and fished off the bottom, work well. The new Gulp baits, in jars like the PowerBaits, are touted to be 55% more efficient than the older formula and are well worth a try.
Best areas over the next couple of months will be Waste Point at Creel Bay and the Snowy Arm near the pumping station.
When we get rain, minnow lures like the Rapalas (especially the jointed ones) and the 3” StumpJumpers and the like will be the best choice for big fish in the rivers. The jointed Rebel lures in the rainbow trout pattern are another that you should have at hand. Jointed lures have a great action and can be worked fast or slow.
Use sinking or deeper-diving minnows when the river is high and stick to smaller lures when the water is low and clear.
Don’t worry about the size of lures if the river is in flood because you might find that bigger is better. The Thredbo River is my river of choice from now until rivers close in June.
Now that the water is cooling, the lake spinning will improve. Tasmanian Devil lures in brown colours such as No 48 will catch fish. When the water gets below 14°C, pink or orange lures also work well.
Try some bigger jointed Rapalas here as well, 11cm and 13 cm are not too big for aggressive browns.
Good spinning areas are Creel Bay, Waste Point, the Snowy Arm and for fish still actively feeding, try Curiosity Rocks, Wollondibby Inlet, Hatchery Bay and the Claypits.
On the Thredbo River, if we get rain and the brown trout start to run you might like to use the drift rigging techniques to catch trout in the deeper, faster water.
This method works well and by teaming up a fly like a weighted black nymph with a Glo Bug and letting the rig bounce along the bottom with the aid of some split shot, you can catch trout on flies using a normal spinning outfit.
Another way to use a Glo Bug on a spin rod is with a float.
Trolling is interesting in autumn as some days the fish will strike out of aggression and some days they will be feeding. Knowing what the weather is about to do will help. Again, big jointed lures are well worth a try for big browns.
The weed beds are close to the edge so if trolling early in close, you don’t need lures that dive too deep.
Tasmanian Devils are still well worth a try and this month I quite often change to pink or orange, which seem to work best on aggressive spawning fish. Colours like 55 pink or 56 orange are good.
The day will often warm up and the fish can still go deeper so lead-core lines and downriggers will still be very useful.
Dual Depth Tasmanian Devils rigged through the side hole to troll to 4m will also help during he middle of the day, but make sure you don’t troll too fast when this lure is rigged in the deep-dive hole.
Lion and Cub Islands always fish well in autumn for rainbows and as the brown trout move to the end of the lake to spawn, Creel Bay and the Snowy Arm are worth trying.
The streams and rivers will still have good days, even this late in the season, possibly even on dry fly. However, most fish have been taken on brown or black nymphs out of the running water.
As the rain comes and the trout move into the Thredbo, anglers will chase big trophy fish and fly anglers will have the best success using Glo Bugs and nymphs. Black and brown nymphs in about a size 10 or 12 are good and make sure you have some weighted flies for when the river is flowing hard, you need to get the fly down to the fish.
Lake Jindabyne will fish better this month as the edge water cools. Flies to try will be the purple/black Woolly Bugger, Mrs Simpson and the Williamson’s Gold Fish around the creek inlets at night.
For the latest reports, call in to my shop at Discovery Holiday Parks Jindabyne or for tour bookings call 02 6456 1551 or email me at --e-mail address hidden-- . Also visit www.swtroutfishing.com.au
MAY BEST BETS
|Lake temp:||15°C and dropping|
|Best method:||Surface troll early, then using lead core at 30m|
|Best depth:||Trolling at 3m, deeper in the middle of the day|
|Best lake lure:||Tasmanian Devil Y48 and pink No 55|
|Best lake area:||Waste Point, Snowy Arm|
|Best land-based:||Creel Bay|
|Best fly:||Dry fly, Parachute Adams or Black Cricket|
|Best river:||Thredbo River above The Diggings|