This week: Trout
Well the Sloth has returned from Vegas, may a I say a bit sore, bruised and battered after succumbing to a fall going to the bathroom slipping on someone’s vomit. However, I was able to visit my 2 favorite outdoor adventure stores in the US being The Bass Pro and The Sportsman warehouse. This article has been requested by Ali King.
Both Rainbow and Brown trout can be found in Lake Oberon (or Oberon Dam) as NSW Fisheries regularly stock fish. Both species can also be caught in the streams around to flowing into the Dam however be careful that you are not entering private property.
Oberon Dam supplies drinking water and therefore restrictions are enforced on recreational and other activities in the lake. Swimming, camping and the lighting of fires are prohibited. Only unpowered and electric powered vessels are permitted on Oberon Dam. Vessels or water craft fitted with internal combustion engines are prohibited. Lake Oberon is ideally suited to the use of canoes, kayaks, and small fishing or sailing dinghies. Oberon Dam sits at approx. 1068 mtrs, above sea level, it is classed as Alpine waters, so no matter what vessel you are in LIFE JACKETS MUST BE WORN AT ALL TIMES. A public launching site is provided off The Reef Reserve, with a parking area for vehicles. Launching at the Dam Wall is not permitted, as this falls within the safety exclusion zone. Access to many of the streams in the area may be through private property—please remember that private property can only be entered with the prior permission of the landholder do not trespass.
Brown, Rainbow and Brook, were all introduced species during the early 19th century much to the detriment of many of our fresh water natives. They have adapted very well here, particularly the Brown Trout. Trout fishing is strongly regulated on all NSW dams and rivers while your fishing license fee assist in running a stocking program for all dams where fingerlings are released yearly. Trout are here to stay, the species have adapted well to our rivers and streams.
Depending on the location you choose to fish Oberon Dam there are a number of popular methods for catching trout. Your approach is likely to be based on your ability, location, equipment and knowledge. Whatever the case it is pretty easy to fish for trout.
Fly Fishing: probably the most recognisable method of trout fishing. It is not that expensive to set yourself up to fly fish with 3w-5w rods and reel likely to be under $100. Who knows you may even then take up a hobby of tying flys in your spare time. Most fly fishing is done in streams and rivers where trout are found swimming shallow and attacking the surface. Special casting techniques are required and flies are an art unto themselves. Casting techniques you can teach yourself in a park as you can practice without the need of a hook. The fly technique can take some time to master, but all in all Fly fishing is not that difficult however it will require patience and great finesse for using on small streams. The alternative is that there are quite a number of places that offer lessons. Pflueger, Daiwa and Gillies all have great entry level fly fishing rod and reel combos. For the experienced, the world is your oyster as this passion you will spend $1000 perusing your hobby.
Casting Lures: In lakes, dams and rivers, you case a lure as you would do it in the salt water. Just add a lure to your balanced spinning rig and start casting lures. This is a very easy way to start the trout battle. There are specialised fresh water rods and reels but if you have a 2000 series real and light rod you’re in business. Again ask your local tackle shop about trout lures and be sure to have a selection of lures and lure colours. Personally I prefer Tassi devil hard bodies, small metal slugs, fuzzy grubs and any small hard body deep diver which look like a small rainbow or brown. You will have to experiment using different retrieves speeds and techniques which can make a huge difference in attracting fish. All lure fishing can be done for a boat or the land.
Bait Fishing: All you will need is a simple rig just like a jetty rig. A sinker and a swivel tied to a leader above a hook. So simple it is perfect and really ideal for lakes and dams, and a great way to get the kids interested. For bait all you need do is add a garden worm to your hook. Again a small 2000 series reel and light rod is all that is required so even a small trout to catch will be fun. Other baits which I prefer over the humble garden worm are wattle grubs, mudeyes, cockroaches, crickets, grasshoppers and maggots.
Trolling: trolling delivers great results on dams, lakes and in rivers. This is more a specialisied technique and one has to keep checking the depth and in certain areas the trout can be very deep, particularly when the sun is bright. I recommend the use of a downrigger for Oberon Dam and as this is a specialized piece of equipment and not everyone will have one having said that a downrigger really is and essential piece of kit for the deeper lakes and dams. My personal favorite lures to troll with include the Tassie Devil again, Rapala Spotted Dog, Rapala Ultra-Light Minnow and Berkley Power Blade
Last of all you could try Jigging: Rainbow trout respond well to jigging, particularly when they are lurking in the depths. This is a great method when the sun is on the river and the fish have left the surface for some protection. Jig the deep holes and remember, jigging is not just for the boaties you will find deep holes where steep banks are and amongst the trees. Fishing where fish are not, will result in catching no fish, and so, jigging where fish are not will also result in catching no fish. You can use live bait or lures to jig with. Trout will hit jigs pretty hard so a different setup is required that all above. Usually a softer tip rod is required that’s all.
There are so many awesome locations for trout fishing in Australia. You will find Brown Trout just about everywhere in NSW. Rainbow Trout are also widely dispersed but not quite as prolific as the Brown. Brook Trout are not as common but you will find them on the occasion Now personally I’m not a fan of trout to eat but I know there are those in here that will be and other mates of mine rate them highly especially as they have a high fat content which makes them super to smoke. Some key areas in NSW where trout are found include: New England Region, Central Southern Highlands, Snowy Mountains, Kosciuszko National Park, Barrington Tops, Gloucester Tops, Robertson, Goulburn and of course Blue Mountains and Oberon. There are specific rules and regulations for trout fishing in NSW so if you’re unsure than please check the following DPI article. http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/…/…/info/closures/trout-and-salmon.
Trout have to be a minimum or 30cm and a bag limit TOTAL mixed species daily bag limit to 4 fish per fisher.
Oh well tight lines until next week. Trout fishing is easy for the kids to learn. Remember whether it’s on a dam or stream watch out for your kids as steams and dam banks can be slippery and water rushes fast in most our streams and most of the time the water is cold.