Australian Trout Foundation ATF Online
Fishing for Trout

In Australia we have access to at least 5 'salmonid' species; brown and rainbow trout are quite wide spread while the lesser known brook trout can also be found in several isolated waters. Atlantic & Chinook salmon may also be stocked in various states and locations. Some state hatcheries have experimented with other salmonids (tiger trout, triploids etc.) but in general, the above 5 species are of our focus.

Trout fishing is readily available within an hour or two's drive from many of Australia's capital cities. Trout prefer cool, clean and flowing water but can also be found in stillwater (lakes) providing the water temperature is suitable (preferably less than 18-20o C).

In NSW trout can be found in the many streams and lakes of the New England, Snowy Mountains and Blue Mountains districts. Trout may also be found in other regions, but these 3 areas are the main focus of trout fishing in this state. In Victoria they are found in nearly all the streams and lakes of the Great Dividing Range and also in many of the lakes and streams of western Victora while Tasmania has trout in nearly all its freshwater lakes and rivers. The Tasmanian tourism industry is geared to take advantage of this and promotes their trout fishing as some of the best available anywhere in the world. South Australian trout fishing is mainly confined to freshwater river systems near Adelaide and a surprising amount of trout fishing can be found in the south-western corner of Western Australia. Many coastal streams will also hold sea-run trout with several notable rivers in most (if not all) of the above mentioned states.

Bait, lure and fly fishing methods are all very effective. Suitable baits include yabbies, worms, grubs, grasshoppers, mudeyes and maggots with lures imitating these baits also being effective. Brightly coloured "Power-Bait" and other similar concoctions can also be very effective.  Small minnow lures in various colours/patterns or "Tassie Devil" style lures being very popular for casting or when trolling. A myriad of fly patterns can be used with some of the most popular being black or brown nymphs (both weighted and unweighted), Royal Wulff, Adams, grasshoppers, streamers, Wooly Buggers, flying ant/termites and mudeye patterns can all be good at times.

Trout are oportunistic feeders and generally speaking, any ''food item'' that is available to the trout will likely to be taken so artificial imitations of these food items can often be successful. It is worth experimenting to see what works, but the key to success usually lies in observation and understanding of what is going on around you.

For bait or lure fishing, a light spinning rod with 2 - 4 kg line is quite adequate while fly fishing is most often done with 4 - 6 weight outfits. If bait fishing, using the least amount of sinker weight that is practical will yeild the best results.

Each state has their own regulations on fishing for trout (and other species) which cover such things as licencing, closed seasons, size and bag limits, fishing methods, etc. and can change from time to time. We stress that you should familiarize yourself with the current local regulations beforehand for the area you wish to fish. The onus is on the angler to know and comply with these regulations. If unsure, contact a tackle store in the area who should be able to provide a booklet outlining such local regulations.

In a media release by the DEPI (Victoria) dated 27th May 2014, they remind anglers “The daily bag and possession limit for brook trout in Victorian rivers remains at five per person" (as per with other salmonid species) following recent social media circulation to the contrary. - see full media release here..

While it is everyone's right to be able to keep some fish for the table, we ask that you consider the future of our fishery and take no more than your bag limit. Quite a number of trout fishers actually return many (or all) of their catch with great care so they can fish for them again another day. In the words of a well known fishing celebrity; "Fish are way too valuable to only catch once."

Salmonid species commonly found in Australian waters:

Whilst some other more uncommon species (such as Triploids, Golden Trout, Tiger Trout and other hybrid species) may be found in certain waters, the following 5 species of slamonids will be the main targets for most anglers:


Salmo Trutta
Brown Trout
(Salmo Trutta)
Oncorhynchus mykiss
Rainbow Trout
(Oncorhynchus mykiss)
Salvelinus fontinalis
Brook Trout
(Salvelinus fontinalis)



    Salmo salar
Atlantic Salmon
(Salmo salar)
Oncorhynchus tshawytscha
Chinook Salmon
(Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)


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