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Winter Fishing in NSW for Trout?

  • 3 min read

Where to fish for Trout during Winter?.. yes it's a thing.

In NSW we have what are called 'General Trout Streams'. These designated rivers and streams are closed off  in the winter months (June to October) to allow for fish to run up river, lay eggs and hopefully provide a better fishery for next season.

BUT.. if you do some homework, there are some rivers worth checking out over winter that do hold some good trout and are open year round, you just need to keep some things in mind when you do go hit that cold winter fish.

There's a bloody important distinction between fishing to spawning trout and fishing during the spawn. There’s nothing wrong with the latter, but hitting the former can really ruffle some feathers in some parts of NSW and VIC where casting over active Redds means you might be pulling healthy, spawning fish away from a nest or a mate.

*The Redd is the general location selected by a female for laying eggs.*

Fishing to spawning fish means you're intentionally targeting trout as they're resting on spawning Redds, often partnered up with a mate and probably in the middle of getting down and dirty..#troutporn.

Let’s assume we all like catching big, healthy trout, so we're all on the same team here right? Then fishing to spawning fish is basically bad form, particularly if you’re chasing trout where that population is replenished via the natural and biological process rather than a stocked river by the NSW or VIC fisheries.

So what's the go with fishing during the spawn? Often fish will start to pool up to take advantage of their spawning mates — like rainbows in Winter that might be parking up behind spawning browns in order to chew down an egg or two as they come loose and float down river, and same goes to browns sitting behind rainbows.

The hard part for any keen lord of the fly during this time is finding a river that's open, and not breaking the rules which basically end up destroying what could be a potential bumper upcoming season.

So we've pulled together a few things to help you navigate this:

    1. Watch you step! Redds are usually round or oval patches of ground  that are lighter in colour than the surrounding bottom. They can be a little tough to see, but usually a fish or ten will be guarding it which is a good sign it's a Redd.
    2. Don't be a pervert.. if there's fish going at it, let them be. They're stocking your river for better fishing.. it's worth the wait.
    3. Keep Fish Wet! - If you are targeting some of those pre-spawn fish then remember to keep them wet. Get a photo and get it back in the water. #letthemgowatchthemgrow
    4. Open water. Lastly, find some water that's open during Winter and don't go fishing closed rivers, they're closed for a reason.

Where can you fish in the NSW Snowys > View Here.

Where can you fish in Central NSW > View Here.

General Guide to seasons > View Here.