SNOWY MOUNTAINS TROUT FSIHING
The Snowy Mountains region is approximately five hours from Sydney and seven hours from Melbourne. Cooma is the nearest airport about an hour away. The Snowy Mountains are mainly a part of the Kosciusko National Park, covering over 7000 sq km, with six trout filled rivers and a miriad of tributaries. It has four glacial lakes, twelve man-made lakes, deep valleys and gorges slashed through the mountains and a variety of views and scenery to stagger the imagination. The Snowys grade in elevation from 300 meters on the sandy beaches and clear pools of the lower Snowy River, to over 2000 meters. In winter the higher areas are Australia's winter playgrounds, mantled with snow and ice for 140kms north to south, a mecca for downhill and cross country skiers.
. Lake Jindabyne is best known for its salmonoid population, with its large stocks of Brown and Rainbow Trout, as well as Brook Trout and Atlantic Salmon. Some truly big fish can be had here, with trout and salmon well over the double figure amount available. Lake Jindabyne has an enormous population of daphnia ( a densely aggregating water flea) which spread right across the open areas of the lake. Rainbows in particular take advantage of this easily gathered food.
Lake Jindabyne is part of the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electicity Scheme and the one thing you can never be sure of is the water level. The lake relies not only on good rainfall, but good snowfalls as well, as it is the melting snows of spring that makes Jindabyne and the other lakes of this area so different from other lakes in Australia. But just because there is heavy rain falling and lots of spring snow melting doesn't neccessarily mean that the water levels will rise. If the Hydro Electricity Authority decides to pump water t generate electricity the level can fall rapidly.
All fishing methods may be used successfully at Lake Jindabyne. One of the most popular is trolling. At different times downriggers are used to get right down amongst the fish. Ideally the boat angler should be on the water and trolling the edges before dawn. As the sun gets higher deeper water should be explored. Sounders are essential. Shore based anglers have a lot of shore to explore. Bait fishing and spinning the edges are popular and productive.
Fly fishing is most popular at Lake Jindabyne. Polaroiding the edges and weed beds has turned up some very large trout. Spring time is the right time to sight fish as trout will be actively feeding in the shallows to put on weight after the rigors of spawning, all you need is a good pair of polaroiding glasses and the willingness to walk the shoreline. The sight of a big shadow cruising the sandy shore really gets the adrenalin flowing. Best areas are around Hatchery Bay, Hayshed and Cooley Bay, however most areas are productive. There are reports of anglers seeing over 20 fish in a two hour period from 1.5kg to 5kg. Just about any wet fly will be accepted by these cruising juggernauts, as long as they are not alarmed by your presence. At times you will come across schools of rainbows cruising the shallows, hammering juvenile yabbies in close. Wind-lane fishing is also tops at Jindabyne. In the early autumn morningsyou will find concentrates of thousands of midges and caddis flies along wind lanes. When you find these ribbons of food you'll usually find feeding fish and plenty of action. In late spring and summerthe evenings and nights are primetimes to fly fish this water. These are the times you will encounter a Jindabyne monster.
Lake Jindabyne is a great destination for a family fishing holiday and has a lot to offer the trout angler. The lake is a very user friendly fishery. It has easy access from both the Alpine Way and Kalkite road. Jindabyne is often overlooked in favour of the larger Lake Eucumbene, which is a pit because Jindabyne can produce more consistent captures. Overall it's a great place to wet a line.
RIVERS AND STREAMS
One of the best ways I can explain the experience of fishing the Snowys is to relate the story of an American fisherman, who along with his wife was on his way to fly fish in New Zealand. His wife was curious about Australia, and as it was on the way to New Zealand and not that far from their original destination they decided to check it out. They knew nothing about Australia, didn't even know that we had trout here. Anyway an friend he met took him up to the Snowys and pretty soon he was presenting a dry fly to a big brown in a tiny little creek. Now this angler was experienced, he had caught salmon in Alaska, Fished in New Zealand and many other parts of the world, but as that fish rushed around that mini water he definitely had a case of the shakes and a big adrenalin overload as he worked on the fish. He explained that he had never before seen fish of such a big average size in such a small water. It was the intimacy of the fishing that got to him. So you see, when a well travelled, experienced angler such as this can be totally entranced by the scenery and wild trout of the Snowy Mountains, you begin to realise that we have something special to offer.
So we welcome the competitors of the 1999 World Fly Fishing Championships and all other anglers to one of Australias best fishing areas and wish you all the best in your piscatorial pursuits.
Colarado born and raised Ty Smith is someone you don't expect to find in the Snowy Mountains. Ty has lived in Jindabyne for over ten years, and was considered a local. A Snowy Mountains guide and fly tyer extroadinaire. Ty passed on recently and will be greatly missed by his many friends. Here are what he considered to be the best ten dry flys to use in the Snowy Mountains area. We thanks Bill Classon and the staff of Freshwater Fishing Magazine without whose help this would be possible.
For more information on fishing holidays in Australia, contact
PO Box 287
ph: + 61-3-9783 1104
fax: 61 3 9783 1017
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