Like most, my season has been an interrupted one – although as a Snowy Mountains local, I’ve been fortunate enough to still be able to fish nearby waters.
As the weather has cooled in recent weeks, I’ve shifted to lakes. Eucumbene and Jindabyne have both fished well, with Jindy having the most to offer the shore-based fly angler. This lake has been sitting at around 61%, typical of 60-70% winter levels over the last 3 to 4 years. (This is possibly for Snowy Hydro to leave room in the lake for spring snowmelt.) In any case, this relative stability allows weed-beds to establish, and at this level, these are easily reached from the shore. Where there’s weed, there’s food, and where there’s food, there’s fish!
How to approach Jindabyne
As I mentioned in an earlier Jindabyne piece, winter weather will determine the method you choose to fish. On blue-sky late autumn and winter days, I prefer to polaroid with likely dry flies teamed with nymphs; or use a well-set Woolly Bugger trap. You can also expect to find good midge hatches in the shallower, silty bays. Overall, patience and locating the feeding zone is the key here, and when successful, the result is a satisfying capture.
On bleaker, windy days, searching with generalist wet flies in close and around discoloured edges and structure, is a deadly method. The prospect of that big tug keeps you warm in the Arctic conditions! If winds are favourable, another option is loch-style flyfishing with triple nymph rigs. I have found rainbows in particular are susceptible to this tactic.
Lake Jindabyne has a reputation as a fickle lake and I’d agree with that. Being at the lowest altitude of the three main Snowy lakes, it simply has a wider range of food items available to the trout. With this greater range of food, there’s potential for the trout to become more selective. Couple this with many generations of wild breeding to create trout that survive and thrive in the Jindy environment, and you have a challenging target.
The wrap up
If travel restrictions allow a visit to the Snowy Mountains, consider Lake Jindabyne as a worthy option. Our region will welcome you with open arms (from 1.5 metres away!), with most of our local shops and businesses only just starting to get back on their feet. Enjoy the the fishing: the weather may be cold, but the flyfishing is hot!
My Jindabyne fly box
Size 6 Woolly Buggers in black and brown cover multiple food items, though I suspect these big flies replicate yabbies and gold fish on the bleak days mentioned.
Size 10 Woolly Buggers in olive or black cover mudeyes and damsels and fish really well over the weed-beds.
For nymphs, go for sizes 12 to 18 in weighted and unweighted. Pheasant tail, black seals fur and green nymphs are good.
For midges, try size 18 to 22 Zebra buzzers, blood worms, and adult parachute midge in grey.