BEING from the sunshine state means our main freshwater targets are warm-water native species, with bass, barramundi, sooty grunter and golden perch topping the list. A novel change can be had by heading south to flick a lure or fly for a few of the acclimatised salmonids from the northern hemisphere that can be found through much of Victoria and eastern NSW. Trying trout
We Queenslanders usually associate trout fishing with icy water, frosty ground and biting air temperature. I vividly recall fishing with numb lips, toes and fingers in the valleys of the Ebor district when the air temp dropped so low that fly lines froze to the guides while casting.
We don’t need to endure those unpleasant conditions to dabble in a spot of trout fishing if we time our southern visits during the warmer months of the year. When I visited the lower end of New Zealand’s South Island – as close to the Antarctic Circle as I ever plan to be – in January a few years ago, the fishing was brilliant.Trying trout
In what the locals described as heatwave weather, with daytime maximums climbing to 24C, wading was pleasant in thongs and shorts, and the trout were very active. Closer to home, I was sneaking along the banks of Tasmania’s less well-known trout streams in late March 2019.Trying trout
Again, the weather was very comfortable – even for a Queenslander – and the trout and tiger snakes took advantage of the plentiful food sources available in the warmer air temperature. During recent years, we’ve spent quite a few successful days fishing the streams and lakes on the northern side of the Victorian Alps during autumn.
Conditions varied from comfortable shorts and sleeves sunshine, through to teeth-chattering scuds of sleet blown horizontally. The point to which I’m heading, in my own scatterbrained way, is that if we time our visits to trout water with thoughtful planning, we stand a good chance of fishing in conditions similar to those of home.Trying trout
This means we don’t need to visit the local mountaineering outfitters to kit out with waterproof and windproof jackets, thermal underwear or electrically heated mittens for our angling outing. Similarly, we don’t need to buy a stack of specialised gear to be successful on lakes or streams in the deep south.Trying trout
When I fished New Zealand, I went armed with one four-piece fly rod – the same one I’ve used for yellowtail kingfish on the Gold Coast – and a three-piece plug rod from my bass, sooty grunter, mangrove jack gear. My deference to the local tradition was to purchase an New Zealand-made Kilwell Kwiksilver salmon spoon in the white lightning bolt pattern, though I did cast it using my extremely untrout-like plug-casting outfit.
When fishing streams from the Victorian Alps or the Snowy Mountains, we habitually use our favourite jungle perch lures with great success. While it’s true that hard-fished trout in almost unbelievably clear water can be hard to tempt, by targeting areas where their vision is hampered by fast water or tannin staining, they’ll certainly fall to a variety of lures.Trying trout
As I write this, my eldest son and his wife are wandering the streams of northern Victoria, throwing Predatek MinMin lures into foamy cascades and bubbly flotsam lines, and are doing very well.