Lyell trout a good option
  |  First Published: July 2008

A fishing rod in your hand and the warm sun on your back is just what the doctor ordered for a cold day in July.

Trout fishing should be high on the agenda, with Lake Lyell a good option. Quite a few brown trout will be up the river, but not all fish go at the same time.

Some stragglers will still be lingering in the upper reaches of the dam and can be caught trolling and casting lures on flat lines during the early morning and late afternoon.

They tend to be caught a little deeper during the day, with lead lines and downriggers getting down to these fish.

Shad- and minnow-shaped lures work quite well at deeper trolling depths on lead-core line or a downrigger, just remember water pressure will affect lure action so you may have to speed up a little.

Rainbow trout will be very aggressive this month and can quite often be seen chasing each other around. A fast-moving lure that is bright and flashy will often tempt them to bite.

Fly fishing will be tough going this month.


Thompsons Creek Dam is generally really clear, with 4m of visibility common. This sort of water clarty can make the fish quite spooky.

One way to get around this problem is to fish the windblown side of the dam; the washing effect of the waves breaking onto the shore will send sediments into the water and muddy things a little.

Food is also pushed against these windblown shores and rainbow and brown trout will cruise around these muddy waters chasing tucker.

Dealing with the wind is obviously a major drawback, especially fly anglers, but the rewards are there. A small Brown Bag fly or a large brown or black nymph can be dynamite.

Oberon Dam can be very cold in July, with icy south-westerly winds pushing down the dam.

Bait fishing with worms or Berkley PowerBait and keeping your hands in your pocket makes good sense.


The numbers of redfin will be down but the average size will be up with fish around 1.5kg are not out of question. At this size, they give quite a good account of themselves on light gear.

Most of the time I target the banks at Carcoar Dam first, casting 60mm rattling lipless lures or small spinnerbaits to structure such as logs and rocks.

If the action is slow I then move offshore and use my sounder to locate fish.

After finding some, it’s a case of finding out what and how the fish want a lure presented – they tend to be a little fussy in Winter.

Sometimes they like a jig or a blade-type lure ripped as fast as possible off the bottom but at other times you have to drag a soft plastic across the bottom slowly.

Just experiment and see how you go – it can be frustrating.

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