Lake Lyell is easily located on the map, found just west of the Blue Mountains near the City of Greater Lithgow. This close proximity to Sydney and its sprawling western suburbs is rendering the dam as a primary freshwater start point for many anglers wishing to sample excellent sweet water angling.
Despite its well patronized waters, Lyell continues to yield a good annual harvest of trout that fall to many different techniques, but it is the consistency of the fishery that brings many anglers back for a second and third time.

These two nice Lyell rainbows were caught in the unmistakable web of John Knols Spider wire boat.


Lake Lyell has proved to be a year round proposition for the angler. Winter in and around Lithgow can seem to go on forever some years but it is this fact that is part of the key to Lyells abundant trout. For those willing to bare the brunt of these alpine conditions the rewards can be well worth it in the form both rainbow and brown trout. Controlled depth fishing is gaining in popularity at Lake lyell. Techniques such as down-rigging are racking up points on the board, showing their worth not only during the cooler months but also when fish seek the cooler depths during summer. Down rigging can be practiced throughout most of the dam, as Lyells plan is rather narrow and deep as it snakes its way from the main feeder Cox's river up to the open and deep main basin near the wall. With the intelligent use of a sounder anglers will find little trouble following a depth contour for the almost the complete length of the dam as there are few timber or rock snags on which to hang lures or down-rigger bombs. The main basin in front of the launching ramp and other facilities is quite deep, reaching depth of upwards of thirty meters, a perfect area to look for trout in the thermoclime. When the dam was being built and indeed during a recent up grade of the dam wall all trees that were below the top water mark were cut down and removed. Although this has taken away potential fish holding structure, it has enhanced down rigging opportunities. Down rigging is mainly practiced during the cooler months when surface water temperatures plummet to single digits figures and trout look for a thermocline for more comfort. Popular depths to search are the ten to fifteen meter marks. The key being watch your sounder and act on the information it is giving you, if your not catching fish try a different lure or depth, mix things up a bit.

Rob Green caught this rainbow using flat-lining techniques and a small minnow style lure.

Flat lining is the most popular method of trolling on Lake Lyell. This is simply towing lures around behind a boat. Lures choice for this method is a personal one but for the visiting angler here is a short list that will get you started, Tassies and their various clones, various spoons, Knols Minnow, Tilsan Minnow and Bass,McGrath deep Minnow and of coarse the indelible Rapala minnow range, these are some of my personal favourites no doubt you will have your own to add to the list. Trolling minnows can be a little mind numbing at times when fish are scattered throughout the dam's water but as the rainbows start to move out of the dam they seem to become more concentrated and become very aggressive. This behaviour begins in late June depending on local rainfall, needless to say fishing at such times can be a fast and furious affair. Moving your boat into the more narrow, shallow sections where the water actually necks in to form the river itself is also a good ploy at this time of year. Such areas lend themselves to methodically casting lures, searching for migrating fish as they move upstream. While the ethics of such techniques are debatable the results are often not, with the possible chance at a trophy fish thrown in.

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Last updated: August 31, 2006 ©1999-2006 SportsFish, Inc. All rights reserved.
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