Sunday Times Column
Getting into trout fishing can be quite daunting
- Published: Wednesday, 08 November 2017 21:49
I've received several emails and queries about trout fishing in recent weeks, so I thought I’d offer some freshwater fishing tips.
For many people, getting into trout fishing can be quite daunting and it is hard to know where to start.
I cut my teeth at Waroona Dam more than 30 years ago, catching trout on fly and trolled metal lures when this spot was at its peak.
I really didn’t know much else about trout in WA, but read Neil Coy’s Freshwater Fishing in South-West Australia time and again, such was my thirst for more knowledge.
It wasn’t until a few years later that I had a driver’s licence and started doing more trout fishing.
My goal was to try for them in rivers as well, and guided by info found in Fishing the Wild West, I started with the streams around Waroona.
Lo and behold, the first spot I tried I caught two big rainbows on bladed Celta lures, and I was instantly hooked on trout fishing.
Truth is trout aren’t all that hard to catch, but finding them in our South-West is the key and you need to have a plan.
The most likely way to succeed is to work out which waterways are stocked regularly because while there are some wild trout in WA, a high percentage of the fish caught each year are ones bred in the trout hatchery at Pemberton.
More than 600,000 trout of various sizes were released this year, so there are some places which have a large stock of fish and these are the best spots to try, especially for a beginner.
Visit the Fisheries or Recfishwest websites and you will be able to find stocking lists from recent years which will identify likely spots to try.
From the Serpentine River south, there are many well-stocked waterways including Harvey Dam, Big Brook Dam and Logue Brook Dam, and the Collie, Blackwood, Murray, Warren and Donnelly rivers.
Once you’ve chosen a destination, the next step is to give it a go and now is a good time to try, as water levels will be dropping back after the winter rains and the rivers and streams will become more fishable as that happens, although that’s not so crucial in dams.
Light 2-3kg spinning outfits are a great option for trout rookies.
While trout will take bait, the excitement they provide on lures is far superior in my opinion and they are a lot of fun to catch this way.
They are suckers for small minnow lures to around 6cm long, especially in rainbow trout/pink colouration, and these can be used in dams and rivers.
Floating lures are great, especially in overgrown rivers where casting is difficult as they can be allowed to run downstream with the flow and then retrieved back into the current.
Bladed lures like Celtas can also be very effective, as can small metals.
When you reach your spot, start casting and don’t be afraid to keep moving, especially in rivers and streams where fish will hold in certain locations ideal for feeding and you need to find them.
Trout will at times be found in amazingly skinny water, so don’t be too quick to dismiss spots.
They don’t fight dirty so you are unlikely to be broken off even on light gear, but the aggressive hits, energetic leaps and striking looks make them a memorable catch.
If your love for trout fishing grows, you may like to try fly fishing, but that dark art is a whole new article!
Remember that a freshwater licence is required to catch trout.
Caption: A rainbow trout holding station in a South-West stream.