Summer was hot and dry few for the Snowy Mountains but overall the fishing was great, even on the hottest days.
The heat, combined with the environmental releases of water into the lower Snowy River in late January and February, dropped the lake a little but it is not that much different from last year so the fishing has remained very good.
With cooler nights now, over the next few months the water temperature will drop and the trout will again come closer to the surface and will feed longer around the edges. Shore-based anglers will soak baits or toss lures and fly anglers will be able to fish later into the morning.
This month we will also see a few more brown trout caught. They have been in hiding over the last few months with the warmer water and unless we specifically targeted the browns, we were catching one brown for every 50 rainbows.
The only Atlantic salmon I have seen over recent months have also been smaller fish but they have been in good condition, a little fatter than usual.
Brook trout have been very hard to find. I have heard of none caught in recent months. Brookies like very cold water and are mostly caught only in the Winter.
This month try surface lines at first light but if there are no bites after half an hour, go deeper using lead core lines.
After 8am it will be downriggers at 35’ and then maybe to 45’ by mid to late morning. Keep lures well away from the boat, troll up to 80m away.
On cloudy or rainy days you can surface fish until about 8am before going deeper.
The Tasmanian Devil yellow wing Freddo or Steve Williamson’s lime green yellow wing will be the best deep lures with No 36 yellow wing worth a try on the surface and off lead core lines early.
My new black/gold Tassie Devil has been very good for downrigging, over the past month possibly the best. This lure is available only through my shop or by mail order.
Some of the better trolling will be in deep water off Lion and Cub Islands, Hatchery Bay and Hayshed Bay. Sids Bay to Rushes Bay will fish well for big browns in the first hour of light.
Sinking Rapalas in rainbow or brown trout patterns or black and gold will be the top lures for spinning the lake. The best spinning will be early and late in the day where there are steep drop-offs with plenty of rocks.
As the sun rises, change to a Tassie Devil in bright colours and cast further out over drop-offs, letting the lure sink before you retrieve slowly.
Best areas have been down at the South Arm or near Banjo Patterson Park but as March progresses, Waste Point and the Snowy Arm will start to fire. Creel Bay and Hatchery Bay are also worth a try.
With the low and hot water in the Thredbo River spinning has been hard work. If we get rain and the river rises, things will change and you can try deeper lures to get closer to the bottom where the fish lie in wait.
Meanwhile, the best lures will be No 1 and No 2 Celtas or Gillies Spinners in gold and red.
Another method worth trying is putting a small artificial fly, like a size 12 Black Nymph, under a bubble float half-filled with water for casting weight. Cast the rig upstream and let it float down with the current, retrieving very slowly, and then cast upstream again into a new location.
If the current is strong use a weighted bead head nymph.
Note that most rivers and streams in the Snowy Mountains region are fly and lure only. We recommend that you first check with the NSW Fishing rules as to which rivers in the area you can legally fish with bait. If in doubt, don’t use bait in rivers!
The lake bait fishing was hard in February due to the heat but it will improve this month.
Scrub worms off the bottom and tiger worms under floats will still be the best baits. Teaming them with PowerBait will help your catch rate.
Another bait worth suspending under a float is the old faithful grasshopper. They work a treat and there are plenty about at the moment but you might need the kids with a butterfly net to help you collect them.
Best bait fishing areas are Creel Bay, Hatchery Bay and Curiosity Rocks in the deeper water.
Some of the best lake fly fishing available is during coming months as the water cools. This year with so much weed around the lake edges we should see some big fish caught. Try any of the streamer patterns such as black Woolly Buggers and Williamson’s Gold Fish. Olive green nymphs and shrimp patterns are also worth a try.
The South Arm, Creel Bay and especially Sids Bay at East Jindabyne are all great.
The Thredbo River has been quite good for fly anglers and the hopper fishing is still very good. There have been plenty of evening rises and fantastic dry-fly fishing but you need to fish the deeper pools for better results.
The alpine streams are still looking OK and plenty of small fish are being caught on dry fly. Smaller streams like Spencers Creek and Betts Creek are worth looking at when there is no wind.
Fly selection is not too critical in these streams but placement is – or else you just scare all the fish.
Try a small hopper pattern, Royal Wulff or Royal Humpy and a Caddis Moth fly is also not a bad option. It’s well worth a look at the lower Mowambah River near the weir on the Dalgety Road.
For the latest fishing conditions call me on 02 6456 1551 or visit www.swtroutfishing.com.au. Also check out www.fishingcourses.com.au, I would be grateful for your feedback.
THE BEST FOR MARCH
Best method: Lake trolling, surface lures early, then downriggers.
Best depth: Lake trolling at 35 feet deep.
Best lake lure: Tasmanian Devil yellow wing Freddo or Steve Williamson’s lime green yellow wing.
Best lake areas: Deep water off Lion and Cub Islands.
Best fly method: Dry fly, hopper patterns and Yellow Humpies.
Best river: Thredbo River above The Diggings (stay high in the mountains for the best fishing)