Trout Down Under
Guide to Australia's Secret Fly-fishing Stash
It's time I let the cat out of the bag: Contrary to popular belief, Australia's sere landscape has large areas perfect for trout fishing. Take my last trip, for instance. We fished for six days in the mountains, caught browns and rainbows up to about 18 inches, saw no other anglers, and, apart from almost stepping on a highly poisonous blacksnake, we delighted in a slice of frontier heaven.
Originating from fertilized ova imported from England in the 1850s (on trays packed with peat moss refrigerated by huge blocks of ice), the brown trout is Australia's dominant species of salmonid. Rainbows, imported from North America in the 1890s are also present, especially in the head-waters of mountain streams, but to a lesser degree. The browns tend to be the larger and more wily of the two species, while the rainbows in the mainland rivers tend not to reach more than two or three pounds before they're overcome with the urge to head downstream, out to sea, and back to America. However, in Tasmania, where there are a few isolated populations of brook trout, it is a different story and rainbows weighing four to six pounds are a distinct possibility.
So, all this is good news for the angler who's headed Down Under. In a week's fishing, you could reasonably expect to tangle with plenty of fish weighing a pound or two, a few three or four pounders, and even have a shot at a few seriously big trout.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication