Welcome rainfall in the Snowy Mountains has been great for the river and stream fishing and all looks great for the rest of the river fishing season.
The lower Monaro streams had water in them for the first time in almost a decade but how long that will last I don’t know, all depends on follow-up rain.
Even Lake Jindabyne rose a couple of feet and that helped heaps to produce levels much higher than the same time last year.
Now with the shorter days and cooler weather, the trout should start to feed on the surface and around the edges for longer, though the best fishing on the lake will be early and late in the day.
There is often confusion as to what we mean by ‘early’. We’re talking before sunrise to about a maximum of one hour after sunrise. ‘Late’ is half an hour before sunset to about an hour after sunset.
These are the prime feeding times and I have found that after sunset, the bite quite often will go off again until later, about 11pm.
Many fly anglers will know that night can be the best time for the big fish, especially when the water is warm. Big brown trout will often be finished feeding by the time you get out of bed to go fishing early in the morning.
Trollers who target big brown trout will know you have about a window of about one hour around first light; after that you may as well go home or just target some rainbows instead. I’m talking big brown trout, not just average 1kg to 2kg fish.
Easter and school holidays will soon be on us and it’s a great time to head to the mountains to try a little trout fishing. Many anglers decide to visit our waterways before the weather gets too cold.
This month water temperatures start to reach a comfort zone for the trout and early morning surface fishing can be quite productive, making it easier for anglers without boats to catch a trout.
Trolling can be great early morning and simple surface trolling methods will work before the sun gets too high. Later the trout go deeper and you still need lead line or a downrigger at 15’ to 20’ to get the best fishing.
If you don’t have a downrigger then maybe a simple trolling sinker might do. These sinkers have small wings and are much better than normal barrel or ball sinkers because they go much deeper with less weight.
The best lures have been the Tasmanian Devil Y48. The yellow wing Brown Bomber has been good and the yellow wing Freddo probably the best overall in the past month but this is when we sometimes start to move to pink or orange.
Some of the better trolling areas this month will be Sids Bay to Rushes Bay but this is a tricky area to fish because there are trees and shallows that can pop up out of nowhere.
Later this month you can also try Waste Point or Creel Bay for downrigging as there may be a few early spawning browns about, but they will mostly be deeper at 25’ or more. Use 7cm or 11cm Rapala minnows for these aggressive trout.
Spinning will be best early and late where there are steep drop-offs with plenty of rocks. Bays like Rushes, Hatchery and Creel all fish well.
As the sun rises, change to a Tassie Devil 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 the month progresses, Waste Point and the Snowy Arm will start to fire.
The rain has helped the river fishing and levels are not too bad.
On the Thredbo River, a variety of lures will work and you are best to change often, depending on the depth and flow speed. The Gillies Spina or Celtas will be best early in the running water.
Minnow lures, especially those with a wide action, will be great in the pools. Brown trout will become aggressive this month as we head into spawning season and will attack jointed Rapalas.
Easter is when the lake bait fishing really starts to improve as the water cools and the brown trout feed up before their spawning run. Scrub worms and tiger worms under floats will be best but team them with PowerBait to boost your catch rate considerably.
As the big browns start to feed you might also try some bardi grubs, which are favourites of these fish.
PowerBait and Gulp baits are very handy and various colours will work better than others, depending on the conditions and what trout species you target. The newer P Line Strike artificial baits are also becoming quite popular and are catching some really good browns, with the orange colours best at this time of year.
Best bait areas are Creel Bay, Hatchery Bay and Curiosity Rocks in the deeper water near the point.
Lake fly fishing is best at night and very early morning. Work a slow sinking streamer fly slowly over the weed beds in the shallow, protected bays. Patterns such as Craig’s Nighttime or a black Woolly Bugger are good but Olive Green Nymphs and shrimp patterns are also worth a try.
The South Arm, Creel Bay and Hayshed Bay are all great.
The Thredbo River still has some dry fly fun happening. Plenty of hoppers are about so you should be able to match a fly to the hopper colours that you can see everywhere.
The Alpine streams are also still OK and plenty of small fish are being caught on dry fly also. Try a small hopper pattern, Royal Wulff or Royal Humpy, although a caddis moth fly is also not a bad option.
It’s well worth a look at the lower Mowambah near the weir on the Dalgety Road.
As the month goes on and the water cools further, you might start trying a Black Nymph and if we get more of that heavy rain and a rise in the river we might see a start to Glo Bugs and nymphs working.
If we get further rain it might mean an early start to the spawning season.
For the latest in fishing conditions call me on 02 6456 1551 or visit www.swtroutfishing.com.au.
All the best for April
April roundup – the best of the best!
Best method: Surface trolling early, then lead core at 30m.
Best depth: Troll at 10’. Go down to 30’ in the middle of the day.
Best lake lure: Tasmanian Devils number Y48 and YFreddo.
Best lake area: Hayshed Bay; Waste Point worth a look.
Best fly: Hopper or black cricket pattern.
Best river: Thredbo River above The Diggings