Pretty as a picture
  |  First Published: April 2010

Thanks to regular showers and even the occasional early dusting of snow, Jindabyne and surrounds are looking fantastic for the months ahead.

Although there hasn’t been a lot of rain, those showers have kept everything beautifully green and the lake is well over 50% and in great condition. Weed growth has been very good and with the water cooling nicely, conditions look excellent for the brown trout spawn run.

After the first light flurry of snow in mid-April, an early spawn run is quite likely at this stage. It means many of the brown trout are likely to be heading towards the rivers and gathering at the entrances to await further rain or snow.

Not all of the brown trout enter the Thredbo River at one time; some spawn early and some late. Most times we get a major weather change, some fish will run into the river.

The best spawning runs occur when we get rain and the more we receive and the faster the rivers flow, the better the run of fish. The biggest of the browns mostly wait until the rivers are in flood and there is enough cover to avoid predators.

So if we manage to get good rain in May, you can expect some great fishing in the rivers.


In May the Thredbo River rules change to only one fish per day per angler, and that fish must be over 50cm long. It’s a silly rule but rules are rules and you must abide by them.

Since not all fish spawn at the same time, there are still plenty willing to take bait. Worms, teamed with PowerBait or Gulp, will work very well over the next couple of months around Waste Point at Creel Bay and the Snowy Arm near the pumping station.

Bait anglers know that the best fishing is in May and early June, when the edge water is cold enough and the fish come into the shallows to feed.

Spin anglers also have good success for the same reason. Some of the larger jointed Rapalas and Rebels, especially in brown trout or rainbow trout patterns, will be great for the larger browns.

Goldfish are stacked up thick in the quiet inlets and the big trout are gorging themselves on them to put on condition for the spawn run. I saw an enormous rainbow belting the goldfish in Widows Creek inlet the other morning, so it’s not just the big browns that like a golden meal.

Try casting a diving minnow that approximates a goldfish on a calm evening or into the night and hang on. My Williamson’s Goldfish fly is also an excellent prospect.

The browns ready to spawn will hang out at Creel Bay, waiting for a rise in the river. Lake trollers will often do very well when they fish this area as a cold change comes through, but at other times you most likely will waste your time trying to catch fish that are shut down.

In the cooling lake, the spinning and trolling will improve. Tasmanian Devil lures in brown colours such as No 48 will catch fish and when the water gets below 14°, pink or orange lures also work well.

Good areas are Creel Bay, Waste Point, the Snowy Arm and for fish still actively feeding, try Curiosity Rocks, Wollondibby Inlet, Hatchery Bay and the Claypits.

On the Thredbo River, if we get rain and the browns start to run, drift rigging techniques catch trout in the deeper, faster water. This method works well and by teaming up a fly like a weighted black nymph with a Glo Bug and letting the rig bounce along the bottom with the aid of some split shot, you can catch trout on flies using a normal spinning outfit.

Use sinking or deeper-diving minnows when the river is high and stick to smaller lures when the water is low and clear.

Don’t worry about the size of lures if the river is in flood because you might find that bigger is better. The Thredbo River is my river of choice from now until rivers close in June.


Some days the fish will strike out of aggression and some days they will be feeding. Knowing what the weather is about to do will help. The weed beds are close to the edge so if trolling early in close, you don’t need lures that dive too deeply.

Tasmanian Devils are still well worth a try and this month I quite often change to pink or orange, which seem to work best on aggressive spawning fish. Colours like 55 pink or 56 orange are good.

The days still often warm up and the fish go deeper so lead-core lines and downriggers will still be useful.

Lion and Cub Islands always fish well in Autumn for rainbows.


The streams and rivers will still have good days, even this late in the season. Most fish have been taken on brown or black nymphs out of the running water but as the the trout move into the Thredbo river, fly anglers will have best success on Glo Bugs and black and brown nymphs in about a size 10 or 12. Ensure you have some weighted flies, you need to get the fly down to the fish.

Lake Jindabyne flies this month should include purple/black Woolly Buggers, Mrs Simpson and the Williamson’s Gold Fish around the creek inlets at night.

For the latest in fishing conditions just give me a call on 02 6456 1551 or visit www.swtroutfishing.com.au



Lake temp 13-14° and dropping
Best methodSurface troll early, then lead core at 30m
Best depthTrolling at 3m, deeper in the middle of the day
Best lake lure Tasmanian Devil Y48 and pink No 55, bigger jointed Rapalas
Best lake areaWaste Point, Snowy Arm
Best land-based Creel Bay
Best flyHamill’s Killer, Woolly Bugger over the weed. Goldfish imitations in the inlets
Best riverThredbo River around Paddys Corner, The Diggings

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