Josh Carpenter profile

Josh Carpenter

Tournament Angler and Fishing Personality

Josh has been fishing for brown trout in the Snowy Mountains for many years and has perfected some techniques that put him onto good numbers of quality spawn run autumn fish. A keen tournament angler and former fishing writer, Josh continues has carved out a career in the tackle industry, allowing him to work at what he enjoys best!

Josh’s Snowy Mountain Trout Fishing Tips

  • Autumn is the time when brown trout are conditioned up and start to move into the Eucumbene and Threado river systems above the storages. When conditions are right it’s not unusual to pick up twenty or more trout in the 4lb and above size class in a day.
  • Don’t become fixated on fish you can see. Give them a few casts and if there’s no interest simply move on. Josh finds that for every fish he can see there is usually ten to twenty fish in deeper water that aren’t visible but are very catchable.
  • Focus on the details. This is one style of fishing where minute details can be the difference between one or two fish and twenty or more fish.
  • Josh recommends starting at the lake and walking upstream. Look for a those pools beneath riffles where the water is too deep to see the fish. Migrating trout tend to hold up in this deeper water and rest before pushing through the riffles.
  • Rainfall is key, the trout don’t move into these systems in numbers until there’s been some flow. Josh reckons that Anzac Day onwards is the time and suggests keeping an eye on the Bureau of Meteorology website for a few consecutive days of 20mm or so rainfall.
  • Weather conditions and other factors don’t seem to matter too much, it’s really all about rainfall and river flow. It pays to start fishing early in the day, but that’s more because the number of anglers doing this style of fishing has increased and you want to get one of the prime spots.
  • Josh can sometimes spend an entire day standing at a single pool catching fish.

Josh’s Trout Fishing Tackle

  • Josh likes a spinning rod that is fairly fast in the tip for throwing light lures and prefers longer rods from 7’2” to 8” for the line control. It’s important to get a good balance between a sensitive rod and one that has a slow parabolica action to reduce the number of hooks pulled when targeting larger fish on small hooks. A mid-range 2500 size spin reel with a decent drag is all that’s required in terms of reels.
  • A high visibility orange, yellow or green braid is recommended in the 4-8lb class. A light fluorocarbon leader of 4-8lb works best, with the lighter lines getting more bites.

Josh’s Snowy Trout Fishing Lures

  • The humble Tassie Devil in 14g size is a surprisingly effective option for Snowy’s trout, though it might seem an odd choice for relatively shallow, running water. Josh reckons casting them long and then working them back a little faster than the current is surprisingly effective. Some days they are the only lure that seems to work.
  • Rapala original floating minnows in 7 and 9cm sizes work well, especially the spotted dog colour, which account for an extraordinary number of quality browns. Josh theorises that these lures are seen by trout as a competitor in the spawning migration and are hit out of aggression. This is corroborated to some extend by the fact that quite large lures in this colour (eg 12cm) are surprisingly effective.
  • The secret sauce in Josh’s spawn run trout arsenal is a “nymph and egg” rig, which is comprised of a length of mono with a couple of split shot ties to a split ring below the split ring is a 12” length of leader with an egg pattern fly tied to it. A second length of leader is tied to the bend of the egg fly and to the end of that he ties a nymph fly. The trick to success is playing with the weight until the rig drifts very naturally through the deep holes very close to the bottom. Josh can spent 30-120 minutes at times adjusting the rig and his technique until it drifts properly as it can make the difference between catching a fish or two and catching a cricket score bag of trout.

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1 Comment

  1. The Armchair Angler

    Well done Josh. What a sophisticated lesson in getting back to basics … observe carefully & tread lightly, don’t fixate only on sighted fishing, move on if trout is disinterested (or more likely spooked), walk the extra mile (but remember the return journey) … and carry 3 lures – a tassie devil, a spotted dog, and a fly.

    From the get-go I guessed that a fly would be the surprise solution just as soon as the pool noodle was mentioned.

    A tech-tip for others if deciding to fish a fly on spin no matter what the rig is to substitute a 6-3X (2-4kg fluoro equivalent) tapered leader for your regular leader.

    It will cast just as well and will turn over a light fly rig so much better. If necessary cut the leader (normally 3m) to length from the butt end, tie using an FG, and add new tippet (or pre-tied rigs) as required. Works a treat when casting ultra light lures too (i.e. those less than 3g / 0.1oz).

    BTW – if concerned about using split shot of consistent mass, buy some cheap’n’cheerful electronic jeweller’s scales on ebay to grade the shot.

    Plenty of other uses too, like accurately weighing lures & jig-heads. You’ll be surprised at just how far the actual weight differs from what’s on the pack. Even more important for ensuring replacement hooks, trebles & rings don’t upset the overall balance of the lure. This is vital for micro hard-bodies where suspension / slow-float is critical, noting that flotation differs twixt salt & fresh. Equally important for large barra lures too where an oversized 6X hook & ring upgrade can kill the action dead.

    Just my tuppence worth.


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