Lakes looking great
  |  First Published: November 2009

The cold weather continued in the Snowy Mountains over Spring and there were even snow flurries in November. Good rain has also been positive and the Snowy Mountains lakes are looking great.

The last of the rocks at Church Island is just under water and I haven’t seen that for a few years now. As long as Snowy Hydro leaves the water in the lake, we should have great levels for Christmas.

With the lake water also warming slowly, I am starting to see good evening insect hatches on the lake and a good rise of fish just on dark.

Good lake levels and cooler than normal water mean those holidaying in the mountains will have good shore-based fishing into January.

The fish are feeding around the edges early and late in the day so the best trolling has been on the surface in close until the sun rises and after sunset.

Use minnow lures at these times with black and gold or brown trout pattern Rapalas or 3.5 StumpJumpers. The RMG Scorpions in gold are also catching some good brown trout.

After the sun rises, use lead-core lines at two colours (20m) and then deeper to three colours. Twenty to 30m of line out will get your lure down an extra 2m to 3m.

If you don’t have lead core or downriggers, a trolling sinker will do.

The best lures for deep trolling are yellow wing Tasmanian Devil Y48 and for more action try the dual depth version.

East Jindabyne islands, Hayshed Bay, Lion and Cub islands and the South Arm are all worthy a try.


This is when the mudeye fishing is at its best and with higher water levels, float fishing should be one of the better ways of catching trout.

Tiger worms or scrub worms under a float will also be worth a try for rainbows and Atlantic salmon.

Scrub worms fished off the bottom with a running sinker should also catch the bigger trout in the middle of the day in deeper water.

Berkley PowerBait and Gulp Bait are still worth having in the water and some days can be the only things that work. Try teaming up the PowerBait with worms.

Best areas will be Waste Point, East Jindabyne and the Snowy Arm.

Lure fishers should start the morning by spinning the shallow bays with minnows like floating Rapalas, StumpJumpers and others in natural rainbow trout and brown trout patterns or gold colours to represent the Jindabyne goldfish the trout love to eat.

Tasmanian Devils will be the best way of catching fish in deeper water in the middle of the day.

Wait for the lure to sink a little before a slow retrieve. Don’t stay in one place too long and put in only a couple of casts in each area.

In the rivers it will be best to use floating minnow like Rapalas in natural colours or bladed spinners like Celtas or Gillies Spinners.

The minnows can be worked slowly through the pools and the spinners used in the faster-running shallow water.

The Thredbo is a big river with lots of pools and runs for a little lure casting variation.

If you like something different, try the smaller alpine streams or even the Upper Snowy River above Island Bend Dam, but in these waters it is best to downsize your lures to suit the water you are fishing.


As the weather warms again, we will see a big improvement in the dry-fly fishing on the rivers and you always select the best fly on the day by observing what is hopping around the banks or flying about in the air.

The Moonbah River will be worth a look after the Spring rains gave it a good flush.

The alpine streams like Perisher Creek or the Gungarlin River are a couple that are worth trying for experienced fly anglers

On the lake, best flies will be Woolly Buggers, Craig’s Nighttime and Williamson’s Goldfish at dawn and dusk.

The Curiosity Rocks area always looks real fishy and with higher lake levels will fish very well.

If you sight a fish in the shallows you may be better to cast a smaller fly than a larger one, something like a green nymph.

Call in to my shop at the Snowline Service Centre next to the Shell servo for the latest advice and all your fishing needs.

I have moved back into Quality Resort Horizons, where we have set up our Trout Fishing Information and Education Centre for the Summer. This is where we run all of my instructional courses so drop in and have a look around.


December Tips

Best method: Bait on the lake, PowerBait and scrub worms.

Best lake lure: Yellow wing Tasmanian Devil

Best lake areas: East Jindabyne Islands and South Arm near the dam wall.

Best lake fly: Woolly Bugger and goldfish flies in the shallows at night.

Best river fly: Beetle and hopper patterns.

Best River: Thredbo River.

Best Stream: Moonbah, especially for dry fly.

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