Hoping for a big snowmelt
  |  First Published: September 2008

This is when we would hope there is lots of snow on the mountains to melt and fill our lakes ready for the Summer ahead, but there is not as much as I would have liked. But the falls we have received should get us through OK if Snowy Hydro don’t take too much out for the Murray River over coming months.

Lake Eucumbene was taken down to almost minimum level over Winter and we must pray for a lot of rain or it will be many years (if ever) before we see it anywhere near full again.

The news about ACTEW (the ACT’s energy and water authority) buying water from Tantangara Dam, via the Murrumbidgee River, to fill its dams for Canberra is a disgrace and will be a disaster because water taken from Tantangara means less water for Lake Eucumbene and, ultimately, the Murray.

In attempting to drought-proof their system ACTEW wants to access water from a range of sources including enlarging some of their own dams and pumping water from the Murrumbidgee to Googong.

So to solve the ACT Government’s water problems they are basically going to steal someone else’s water!

Businesses around Lake Eucumbene are devastated at what has been happening and they need your support to survive. This could be another nail in their coffin despite the fishing being quite good over there and it should be a good season ahead.

Being a lot smaller than Eucumbene, Lake Jindabyne doesn’t require anywhere near the amount of water to fill it but we still would love to see it full more often.

As the lake rises this month, you will see more and more fish cruising the edges and it’s a great time to fly-fish or spin. You can also toss baits and soft plastics in front of the hungry fish and will often get good results if you’re careful enough not to spook the fish with the splash.

The lake has been holding around 46% and is expected to rise a little over the next month. The water is around 8°.


With the lake rising slightly, you’ll find fish close to shore and will need to be careful with rocks. The sheltered bays are holding some good brown trout among the weed.

The first hour around daylight has been best and the weather hasn’t been that cold, so it’s been great watching the sun rise while you land a trout.

Use darker lures early in the day and as the sun rises, then yellow wing Tasmanian Devils in Y48 and Y96.

Rapalas in rainbow or brown trout patterns have been best when trolling through the shallows. The jointed Rapalas are a little better for very slow trolling because they have a better action. These are by far best before the sun rises over the mountain.

Soft plastics, even the Gulp baits, trolled behind Ford Fenders are also well worth a try.

There are plenty of fish up at Creel Bay and Waste Point but they are expected to head into the shallows at the township end of the lake. East Jindabyne islands and Lion and Cub islands have been fishing very well.


PowerBait again has been catching most of the fish with lemon or orange twist going very well. Gulp is also great with flavours varying from place to place.

Let the PowerBait float about 1m off the bottom and team it up with a bunch of worms for better catch rates.

Worms off the bottom and a PowerBait dropper will be the best in the middle of the day for the brown trout.

Best areas have been, the boat ramp, Wollondibby Inlet in deeper water, Curiosity Rocks Bay, The Haven and Rushes Bay. More fish are now moving around Waste Point.


The fish are cruising close around the edges and are very spooky so it’s better to fish the deeper water unless you know how to cast small floating minnow lures without splashing down too heavily.

Spin close around rocky outcrops for best results later on in the day with smaller lures. Celtas or Gillies Spinners are also worth a try around the shallow bays after dark.

Don’t stay in one place too long and put in only a couple of casts in each area.

The best overall lake lures have been Tasmanian Devils in No 48 brown bomber and S12 pink sparkler. Rapala rainbow and brown trout minnows are worth trying.


The Polaroiding is definitely improving and we should see some great fishing over the next few weeks. I don’t expect the lake will rise all that much so it is highly unlikely that the weed beds will be drowned out and this may even mean that we will get great lake polaroiding right through to December.

On bright days use small green nymphs under an indicator and fish very slowly. Fish caught in the shallows have been full of small shrimp.

Bigger flies like Woolly Buggers, allowed to sink and then stripped quickly, will work best at night.

We have a full range of fishing tackle for hire at my shop and fishing tours are now available. For updates call my shop in the Snowline Centre on 02 6456 1551.

My next Learn to Fly-Fish weekend will be held on October 18 and 19. The cost for 16 hours of instruction is $380.



• Troll surface lures close to the shore early in the morning.

• Float PowerBait about 1m off the bottom beside, but not over, the weed beds

• Polaroid trout, working out the direction they are cruising, and drop a small olive nymph well in front so as not to spook the fish.

• Work floating minnows over the deeper weed beds ever so slowly.

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