by Adam Smith •
Jounama Creek is a small creek that winds its way from the Snowy Mountains high country to the base of Talbingo Mountain. Believed by some to be an natural trout spawning stream, Jounama Creek is packed with small rainbow and brown trout boasting beautiful colours and markings. It was my pick of the mountain streams this summer.
Jounama Creek can be found a short distance down the dirt track coming off the Snowy Mountains Highway directly opposite the Talbingo township turnoff. About 500m down the dirt track is the Jounama Creek campgrounds, a couple of park benches, ample grassed flat ground to pitch a tent, swag or park your caravan and a pair of his and hers pit toilets.
Once there it’s all pretty straight forward. Throw on your waders, grab a rod and rock hop your way upstream casting at both rapids and pools. In no time you will bag yourself a pristine mountain stream trout for dinner. I’ve found targeting the feeding trout by casting into the pool above then dragging the lure down though the small white waterfalls generally produces fish each time.
If you have received a hit or drop a fish, casting again at them is usually a futile endeavour and it’s best just to move up the stream and attack the next pool. Bouncing small spinners over the smooth river rocks is by far my most preferred method of enticing a Jounama Creek trout and some of my favourite lures include the locally made FTL Lures no. 4 inline spinner, the Blue Fox Vibrax size 1 in hot pepper black and the Panther Martin 1/32oz in salamander gold.
Hardbody lures in a brown trout pattern are also great to tie on in the deeper runs of the creek. For the spin fisher, the tackle you use is pretty important. A light whippy rod is essential paired with a 1000 to 2500 sized reel.
For the avid fly thrower the Jounama Creek offers a picturesque backdrop to lay a floating line and a dry fly over with excellent results. I always run a bead headed nymph under my dry to increase my chances of enticing a bite from these wild trout twofold, if not more. If surface action is all you desire than running a straight dry will produce fish over these summer months.
Wading in the creek is a must in places, due to thick patches of blackberry bush impeding the access from the bank. When wading the Jounama you will encounter the occasional random slippery rock, which could easily turn into a twisted ankle. This is where an investment in decent wading footwear specifically made for wading small streams by Patagonia, Orris, Simms or Korkers could save you a trip to the hospital. Jounama Creek is extremely scenic and family-friendly; it’s well worth devoting a weekend away to enjoy all it has to offer.