July is the month when the township of Jindabyne is flat out with snow skiers and most accommodation is either booked out or very expensive, however since you don’t need to get out of bed early to catch a trout in winter, you can always stay in towns close by where there is accommodation at a reasonable rate.
Cooma, Berridale and Dalgety are towns that come to mind that have great accommodation at reasonable rates. I love my winter trout fishing as most of the time the fishing is great because the trout are hungry.
Grab a good pair of boots and a warm jacket and come down and try a winter trout fishing experience.
The early spawning brown trout are mostly now back into the lake you can expect them to be cruising the edges looking for some food.
At this time of the year it doesn’t matter what method of fishing you are doing you must remember the fish are close to the edges and you need not cast out too far.
Baits on the lake bottom or suspended under a float will catch trout as they cruise by, but if you are fly fishing or spinning with lures you have to also be aware that you need to slow down your retrieve and leave the fly or lure in the fishes face longer.
Soft plastics have really started to have an impact in trout waters and more anglers are experimenting with them. Some of the more successful plastics that I have in my shop are in the Squidgy range - 65mm Wrigglers in colours Golden Eye, Rainbow Trout and Bloodworm. The Squidgy Killer Tomato in 60mm has been good on the brown trout (due to its colour I suspect) and the Berkley Gulp baits in the 2” Minnow pink and pumpkinseed colours and the 3” watermelon or smelt patterns are also great when used over the weed beds on the lake.
If you’re out in a boat on the lake over winter, trolling lures a lot slower than summer is also the way to increase the number of trout you catch.
July is also the month that we start to see some of the very big Atlantic salmon caught on Lake Jindabyne.
Some of these fish are hatchery release brood fish, that are beyond their used by date and each year Gaden Trout hatchery release some big monsters into the lake after they have been stripped of eggs for the hatchery’s breeding program.
It does take a little time for these fish to put on condition and to also get used to their new surroundings but they are naturally aggressive fish and you will always catch them on a lure it it’s dragged past the fish’s nose.
These Atlantic salmon, some in excess of 5kg, will give you the fight of your life, while others will just about drag your boat from one end of the lake to the other.
I prefer to photograph and then release any of these big fish I catch over winter, as they aren’t in good enough condition to eat so early after release. Give them time to eat some natural food and put on a bit of extra weight and they are fine for the table.
July is also the time when we get most of our snow on the mountains and the weather can change very quickly, so always check for any major changes before heading out in a boat. It only takes minutes for the lake to go from mirror flat to over metre high waves and 100 kph winds.
Just remember that when on a boat all rugged up, sometimes with waders on, you are a death wish waiting to happen if you aren’t wearing a life vest. If you were to fall into the water, which is getting colder by the day, once you get wet – there is a very good chance that you will die. If not by drowning, when all your wet clothes drag you to the bottom or your waders fill with water, you will not last long before hyperthermia will get you.
Keep safe – wear a life vest or at least have one handy. It only takes on gust of wind or a mate standing up and overbalancing and you could all be in the water. Don’t worry, I have seen it happen on a number of occasions and yes people die this way every year on lakes in the Snowy Mountains.
It’s the big weather changes that improve the fishing at this time of year. I always make certain I’m on the water as soon as the change passes, as this is when the fish are on the bite. The longer the weather is fine and the longer a high pressure system hangs about the harder the fishing becomes so weekly cold changes are great for fishing over winter.
Trolling is one of my favourite ways to catch trout in winter, sit back relax and wait for the fish to bite.
The best lures to use when trolling the lake for big trout in winter are the jointed Rapalas in various colours as it seems that the action is what the trout like most. Tasmanian Devil lures in pink 55, orange 57 and brown number Y48 are the best on the rainbow trout. Y82 and Holographic are another couple of colours worth a try.
Remember, slow is good when the water is cold and the fish are sluggish.
Trolling flies off fly lines (harling) is also very productive in winter and trolling flies on lead core lines during the middle of the day produces some big browns if you stay just over the weed beds. We have some flies in my shop that are designed for trolling and can be dynamite over the weed beds on the lake.
Good areas for trolling this month are the South Arm, the Snowy Arm, East Jindabyne Islands and Hayshed Bay.
Because the lake is so low this year, fly fishing has been very good since the weed beds are so close to the shore. You will see fish cruising if you have your polaroid glasses on.
Polaroiding trout is best done on the sunnier days and that is the time I like to fly fish the lake anyway, I never have gone much on fly fishing when it is snowing or during the cold winter nights. A well presented fly, something like a brown nymph, a Mrs Simpson or a well presented shrimp pattern will get good results during the winter months. Don’t forget my Williamson’s Gold Fish when fishing the quite weedy bays. The best areas for winter polaroiding in Jindabyne, are Creel Bay, Hatchery Bay, Sid’s Bay and the Kalkite end of the lake.
Spinning from the shore of the lake is another method that works well during winter and Tasmanian Devils are probably the best lures to use in the middle of the day and colours like pink number 55, yellow wing number 36 and brown number 48 work best at a slow retrieve.
As mentioned earlier there are also a variety of soft plastic that work better when the fish are off the bite and this is possibly due to the smell that is impregnated into these products.
Good areas to try at this time of the year are, The Snowy Arm, Creel Bay and Wollondibby Inlet is excellent after rain.
Bait fishing is a very productive method of fishing in winter and simple rigs work best. Worms and Berkley’s PowerBait has always been a favourite way of winter fishing and that method does bring results. When worm fishing, use plenty of tiger worms or a single scrub worm, and fish them off the bottom using a running sinker.
Orange and lemon twist and fluoro orange PowerBait has been catching a lot of good size trout over the last couple of months and usually works very well over winter and a jar of each in the tackle box is highly recommended. The newer jars of Gulp PowerBait is said to be specially formulated for trout and the rainbow candy and chunky cheese flavours are the most popular at the moment.
As the fish move about the lake so much over in winter there is no particular spot better than another but a hint is shallow water early and late and slightly deeper water in the bright sunny parts of the days - but not too deep!
Best of luck with your winter fishing and if coming down to Jindabyne over the next few months, why not call in and get the latest fishing information at ‘Steve Williamson’s Trout Fishing’, Shop 1 ‘Snowline Centre, Kosciuszko Road (next to the Shell Servo).
I run fishing tours right through winter so why not come and catch a monster trout or Atlantic salmon on Lake Jindabyne. My shop is also open 7 days a week during winter with extended hours over July and August.
The lake levels have dropped to below 46% and are close to minimum operational level.
For latest updates on levels go to www.snowyhydro.com.au
Lake Water Temperature
9 degrees and dropping as the nights get colder.
July roundup – the best of the best!
Best method – Bait fishing.
Best depth- Bait off the bottom.
Best lake lure – Tasmanian Devil in pink 55 or Holographic.
Best lake area – East Jindabyne Islands and The South Arm.
Best fly method – Black Woolley Bugger on the lake.
Best river – Rivers reopen on Saturday October 3rd.
COFFER DAM REMOVAL - JINDABYNE
Work on one of the final stages of the Jindabyne Dam Upgrade Works has commenced with the removal of the temporary coffer dam. The coffer dam was a temporary structure built to protect the construction area of the new auxiliary spillway.
The earth, rock and clay material that makes up the coffer dam will be excavated and loaded into trucks. This material will be transported to approved sites including the Jindabyne Tip where it will be used for land-fill improvements.
Assessments for the work have been completed to identify potential risks and detailed controls developed. These controls will be fully implemented to minimise risks on and off site. For example, the works have been scheduled when the water levels of Lake Jindabyne are traditionally at their lowest point. Completing works during this period will allow excavation works to be undertaken several metres above current water level. While the earth and rock is being removed there may be minor traffic delays while trucks cross Kosciuszko road however these delays ill be minimal and will not occur during peak times over winter.
Final work will be completed by spring.Reads: 3416