Get ‘Trout And About’ in our South-west Freshwater Ways and give Trout Fishing a Go.

Trout fishing in south-west freshwater fisheries is a great way to catch beautiful fish in some truly scenic settings and isn’t that hard to do. In this article, Recfishwest staff member and self-confessed ‘trout tragic, Nick Drummond, takes a look at some of the basics you need to know to give this fun form of fishing a go, as we gear up for our annual Troutfest event on Saturday August 31st

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THIS GREAT EVENT

Nick’s personal best brown trout, it swiped the lure the night before and missed, luckily the next morning it was still hanging around and smacked the spinner!

Have you experienced the spectacular freshwater angling the South West has to offer?

If not, you’re missing out! From chasing radiant rainbow trout in serene  Karri-tree lined dams,  to casting lures or flys at cunning brown trout in streams, brooks and rivers where the bubbling water tumbles down the bends and stones, to trawling a wriggling lure behind your ‘yak at dawn on a still glassy lake waiting for that electric hit on your rod – trout fishing in south-west WA has something to offer anglers of all ages and experience.

We have a fantastic trout fishery in Western Australia, supported by a comprehensive trout stocking program, with which Recfishwest is closely involved in, ensuring there is a good distribution of these fabulous-looking sportfish in waters throughout the south-west region.  So, if you haven’t had a crack at trout fishing in WA – why not give it a go?

Winter rains get the brooks bubbling and the streams flowing with cool oxygenated water, something trout love!

What gear do I need?

If you’re a little daunted by starting out in an unfamiliar fishery, don’t be. Yes, there are a few considerations to figure out such as where exactly to go, how to fish the area, bite times, lures selection etc and some might be thinking, ‘Don’t I need one of those super special fancy fly rods to catch a trout?’ – no, you definitely don’t.  And if you keep it simple when you start out by using a light spin set-up, you won’t go far wrong and this gear can easily be as effective and often more effective then fly rods. The outfit only needs to be light; something you would use for herring, skippy, bream or whiting would be perfect. Using a lighter breaking strain line helps to cast further, especially when you can cast small shallow diving minnows, soft plastics and spinners that don’t have much weight to them.

Where do I fish?

There’s a host of majestic waters to explore in the South West – which is a great part of the attraction of trout fishing – wide-open dams, babbling brooks and rolling rivers – all have their own attraction and different ways you can approach them from a fishing perspective. Dams are significantly more accessible to novice anglers, closer to Perth, and a great place to start when getting into freshwater fishing. Streams, brooks and rivers usually involve much more hiking, 4WD-driving and exploring in order to find fishable locations.

Fishing in dams

You’ve got to make the most of the early mornings when the mist is still rolling off the water, someone forgot to tell the kelpie it was freezing cold though!

There is some damn good fishing to be had in the dams! There are many impoundments that hold good fish, with stand-outs being Waroona, Drakesbrook, Harvey, Logue Brook, Glen Mervyn and Big Brook – all great locations that are stocked annually and hold great fish. Late winter/early spring is generally the best time to be on the hunt in dams, when the water is cooler after winter rains have flown in through their tributaries. Dams can still produce fish all year round, but you just have to work harder for them and find the cooler water where the trout retreat to during the warmer months. Remember when trout fishing, it’s paramount that you fish the early mornings or late afternoon, as this is when the trout are fired up and, on the bite – particularly in impoundments. Yep, this means you will have to brave those ’fresh’ mornings when you can see your breath and feel the chill of the air on the tip of your nose, but this is when you will have the best chance – and it’s amazing how soon you warm up when hooked up to a lively south-west rainbow trout or if you’re really lucky a big brawny brown!

Waroona Dam has produced some good fish and some beautiful scenery, how’s the serenity!

Fishing in streams

The majority of streams and brooks flow through some of the beautiful bush that south-west WA has to offer. They twist their way through the valleys of karri trees and provide fishers with a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with nature while chasing a trout. Stream locations are mainly around Pemberton, including the Lefroy Brook, Warren and Donnelly river. Closer to the Metro area is the Collie Gorge below the Wellington Dam and the Murray River (Lane Pool area) can also produce good fish. When stream fishing you will often do quite a bit of hiking and cover a lot of ground searching for pools and areas moving on to the next area after a few casts in each of them. Fishing these waterways using a kayak is a really fun way to catch fish and gives you access to spots that you can’t reach from the bank.

What about the stocking program?

Stocking trout helps to sustain the populations found in our waterways. Though the trout colour up ready for the breeding season, doing their best to push up the streams and brooks in late winter, their spawning is very rarely successful.

This stream in the Pemberton area produced a few nice redfin and a follow from a trout, but no hook-up unfortunately!

To ensure an abundance of trout are on offer for fishers, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development along with the Pemberton Trout Hatchery stocks over 650,000 trout each year! Last year, a trial stocking of 3,500 advanced yearlings into a number of locations into south-west waterways was a huge success in the eyes of many freshwater anglers. This year there are 6,500 advanced yearlings being stocked, up by 3,000 fish on last year! These advanced yearlings are larger than the usual yearlings as they’re raised with more space and food to get them to a larger size of around 30cm before release. The increased size gives the advanced yearlings significantly better chances of survival in the south-west waterways avoiding being eaten by redfin, birds and larger trout. At 30cm, when caught, they also make for great fishing snaps to show off to your family and friends and on your social media.

CHECK OUT MORE ON FISH STOCKING AND LOCATIONS HERE

What else will I need to fish for trout?

There are some other bits and pieces that can make your trout fishing easier and more effective, but they’re not necessary when starting out. Waders are one of these freshwater fishing tools that you don’t need, but can help you in certain situations. They’re a great way to keep warm and dry when exploring the South West, and help you to reach locations people that want to keep their feet dry cannot. Polarised glasses help in nearly all fishing situations and help you to better spot fish and structure beneath the water’s surface.  Spotting fish in this way is something I’ve done in the clear waters of dams on a few occasions, though getting them to hit your lure is a different matter!

Shallow diving minnows work great for trout! Check out the rosy cheeks on this rainbow, looks like its beginning to colour up ready for spring.

A small landing net can be incredibly handy when you’re in the final moments of the fight and trying to subdue the slippery trout! Don’t forget your freshwater angling licence, required when fishing any freshwater body, above tidal influence. There is a licence- free weekend for freshwater fishing on the 31st of September and 1st of August, the same weekend as the Recfishwest’s Troutfest event at Drakesbrook dam. This may be a good opportunity to try freshwater fishing for free and explore the beautiful surrounding in WA’s South West.

TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT LURES AND GEAR FOR TROUT FISHING, CLICK HERE.

Troutfest 2019

If you would like to get your hands dirty and help us to stock some trout this year, you can come along to our annual Troutfest event at Drakesbrook Weir at 10am on Saturday the 31st of August. This event celebrates the traditional start of the freshwater fishing season by providing the community the opportunity to hand-release a few thousand trout into the waterway. The day will include the release of both rainbow and brown trout in sizes from fry (5cm) right up to ex-brood stock fish (>40cm).

Troutfest also gives people the chance to try their hand at freshwater angling as it coincides with the annual license-free weekend. This is a great opportunity to give freshwater fishing a go for free whilst celebrating father’s day. There will be freshwater tackle and rigging information, casting demonstrations, as well as fly casting lessons and demonstrations, a kids fishing clinic and casting challenge at the event on the Saturday.

For many, this fishery is clouded in mystery, where in reality it is all about getting into the bush, having a cast and enjoying some of the best parts of WA. So why not bring the family along and be a part of something special!

Check out last year’s event here: https://recfishwest.org.au/news/troutfest-2018-in-pictures/

Register here.

TroutFest 2018 in pictures

Beautiful clear skies on the first day of spring set the scene for this year’s 2nd annual TroutFest event.

It was better than we anticipated with over 400 people joining us to celebrate all things freshwater fishing at the community stocking event.

With the help of Recfishwest and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) fishers were given a licence free weekend allowing them to try their hand at freshwater fishing over the Father’s Day weekend.

With many people arriving early, just to get their lines in the water, it was evident that fishers were keen to land a prized trout or two and learn about freshwater fishing in the southwest.

On the day, free rod hire was available for those that wanted to try their luck, free fishing tuition taught by our passionate Recfishwest fishing clinics instructors, as well as coarse fishing tuition, fly casting demonstrations with some of WA’s best fly fishers from the Western Australian Trout & Freshwater Angling Association (WATFAA) and an excellent education display by Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).

The Hobie Kayak and Paddleboard demonstrations run by our partner Getaway Outdoors were a hit with many people taking the opportunity to give it a try on the dam and the Lions Club put on a delicious BBQ for everyone.

Highlight of the day:

The major highlight of the day was the exciting fish release, during which the community were able to take part in hand releasing over 200 advanced yearlings (18 month old fish), 18 thousand rainbow fry trout (2 month old fish), 50 ex brood stock rainbow and 12 ex brood stock brown trout (fish used for breeding that are between 2-5 years old).

To find out more about freshwater stocking and where this year’s fish have been stocked, visit https://ilovefishing.com.au/2016/03/21/freshwater-stocking/

It was with the community’s attendance and support from our volunteers that TroutFest is able to increase the awareness of freshwater fishing in the southwest, and provide families the opportunity to see, touch and catch freshwater species.

In previous years, the first week of spring marked the traditional opening of the South West Freshwater Fishing Season but with improved fisheries management strategies now in place, we are fortunate to enjoy freshwater fishing all year round and we’re predicting with the recent rainfall of late, we’re in for one of the best freshwater fishing season we’ve seen in 20 years!

TroutFest definitely highlighted how good freshwater fishing can be, with some excellent catches of rainbow trout coming from the dam along with brown trout and redfin perch being caught at other nearby stocked waterways.

We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who joined us and we hope you enjoy the slideshow below. Please save any images, share with your friends and family and continue tagging us in your images using the hashtag #RecfishwestTroutfest2018 and/or @Recfishwest.

We look forward to seeing you at a bigger and better TroutFest in 2019.

Missed this year’s TroutFest? Stay tuned for next year’s event and stay up to date on all things fishing by becoming a FREE member with Recfishwest. You’ll get early notifications so you don’t miss an event again. Sign up here.

 

Fishing Tuition, Fish release and All Things Freshwater Fishing!

As we move into Spring Recfishwest is celebrating all things freshwater fishing with the launch of the annual TroutFest event kicking off at 10am on September 1, just in time for Father’s Day!

The licence free weekend announced by Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) presents the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time together by helping DPIRD and Recfishwest release thousands of fish into Drakesbrook Dam as part of an annual community stocking event.

As well as the fish release, TroutFest also includes freshwater fishing tuition for all ages, an education display by DPIRD, fly casting, freshwater tackle & rigging information and demonstrations and general fishing time for everyone to have a go at freshwater fishing for FREE.

Getaway Outdoors will also be taking part in the event offering free Hobie kayak and Stand Up Paddleboard demonstrations.

This year’s TroutFest is the second freshwater community stocking event, and due to its raging success from last year, this event plans to be bigger and better with something for everyone.

The location is suitable for people of all ages, abilities and knowledge so if you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at freshwater fishing, fly casting or simply wanted to see a Rainbow or Brown Trout in the flesh, then now is your opportunity!

For many, this fishery was clouded in mystery, but after last year’s event TroutFest participants realised it is about getting into the bush, having a cast and enjoying some of the best parts of WA.

Each year, thousands of trout are released by DPIRD into many dams and rivers throughout WA’s South West. The trout are all bred in captivity at DPIRD’s Pemberton Freshwater Research Centre and either released as fry, yearlings or ex brood stock (bigger fish that have finished being used for breeding), and range from a couple of centimetres in size to a kilo plus sized fish. View trout stocking numbers for 2018 here.

The development of this fishery and community stocking event has all been made possible with support from the Recfishwest Freshwater Fisheries Reference Group, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, The Western Australian Trout and Freshwater Angling Association (WATFAA) and the Pemberton Hatchery.

It’s just one of many Recfishwest lead initiatives working towards improving habitat and fish stocks which build better environments that contribute to making fishing better in WA.

Registration is FREE but essential. Register here.

View the activities map here.

Watch last year’s video here.

 

Families wanted for Freshwater Fishing Fun!

After the success of last years event, Recfishwest would like to invite you once again to be part of something special and help us release trout by hand and celebrate all things freshwater fishing.

Event details: Saturday 1st September 2018

Starts at 10am to 1:30pm

Drakesbrook Weir, Weir Rd Waroona 6215

What to bring: the whole family with an appetite for fun! You’re welcome to also bring your own rods, lures, sunscreen, hats, weather proof clothing and picnic sets.

The day will include:

  • Trout Stocking – help us release over 2000 trout into the dam by hand
  • Freshwater Fishing Tuition for all ages (30 rods provided) – Members of the Western Australian Trout and Freshwater Fishing Association will be on hand to teach you all about fishing in freshwater, along with our Recfishwest Fishing Clinic Instructors and NextWave Future Leaders Team Members
  • Fly Fishing Casting Demos – ever wanted to try your hand at fly casting? What better way to learn than from some of the WA’s top fly casters!
  • Freshwater Tackle and Rigging Information and Demonstrations – Learn all you need to know about tackle and rigging for freshwater fishing
  • Sausage sizzle and soft drinks hosted by the Waroona Lions Club

LICENCE FREE DAY Registrations FREE but essential.

Click here to register!

Relive the excitement from last years event!

 

FAQs

What are my transport/parking options for getting to and from the event?

There is parking available at the event, however it is limited. Its best to get there early to get a good spot.

Map.

What can I bring into the event?

You’re welcome to bring chairs, fishing rods, bait and lures. You should also bring weather proof clothing, a change of clothes and /gumboots reef shoes.

We will have rods, lures and bait available however it will be limited.

You may also like to bring along a canoe/kayak.

How can I contact the organiser with any questions?

We will have a Facebook page where you can ask any questions leading up to the event, alternatively you can email info@recfishwest.org.au or call the office on (08) 9246 3366 between 9 -5pm Monday – Friday.

Where else can I fish if this event is full?

Harvey Dam, Waroona, Logue Brook Dam, Big Brook Dam, Warren River and Donelly River are all excellent places for freshwater fishing if this event is full.

 

Want to know more about upcoming events? Visit our Events Calendar.

TroutFest (weather permitting)

Families wanted for Freshwater Fishing Fun!

Click to find out more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

View the location details here.

 

 

FAQs

What are my transport/parking options for getting to and from the event?

There is parking available at the event, however it is limited. Its best to get there early to get a good spot.

What can I bring into the event?

You’re welcome to bring chairs, fishing rods, bait and lures. You should also bring weather proof clothing, a change of clothes and reef shoes.

We will have rods, lures and bait available however it will be limited.

How can I contact the organiser with any questions?

We will have a Facebook page where you can ask any questions leading up to the event, alternatively you can email info@recfishwest.org.au or call the office on (08) 9246 3366 between 9-5pm weekdays.

Where else can I fish if this event is full?

Harvey Dam, Waroona, Logue Brook Dam, Big Brook Dam, Warren River and Donelly River are all excellent places for freshwater fishing if this event is full.

Relive the excitement from last years event!

TroutFest Sheds New Light on Freshwater Fishing

After the success of last years event, Recfishwest would like to invite you once again to be part of something special and help us release trout by hand and celebrate all things freshwater fishing.

Event details: Saturday 1st September 2018

Starts at 10am to 1:30pm

Drakesbrook Weir, Weir Rd Waroona 6215

What to bring: the whole family with an appetite for fun! You’re welcome to also bring your own rods, lures, sunscreen, hats, weather proof clothing and picnic sets.

 

The day will include:

  • Trout Stocking – help us release over 2000 trout into the dam by hand
  • Freshwater Fishing Tuition for all ages (30 rods provided) – Members of the Western Australian Trout and Freshwater Fishing Association will be on hand to teach you all about fishing in freshwater, along with our Recfishwest Fishing Clinic Instructors and NextWave Future Leaders Team Members
  • Fly Fishing Casting Demos – ever wanted to try your hand at fly casting? What better way to learn than from some of the WA’s top fly casters!
  • Freshwater Tackle and Rigging Information and Demonstrations – Learn all you need to know about tackle and rigging for freshwater fishing
  • Sausage sizzle and soft drinks hosted by the Waroona Lions Club

LICENCE FREE DAY Registrations FREE but essential.

Click to register! 

 

 

 


TroutFest 2017

Recfishwest’s first ever TroutFest was held on September 2, 2017. The event was a raging success, with thousands of Rainbow Trout being released into Drakesbrook Weir. The community came out in force as an estimated 500 people, comprising of mums, dads, kids, grandparents and fishing lovers, turned up to celebrate freshwater fishing. During the event there was a release of thousands of fingerlings, 400 yearlings and 70 ex-broodstock, these fish were a portion of the 600,000 fish that have been released this year by the Department of Primary Industries Regional Development, Fisheries Division.

Trout and about: Drakesbrook Weir played host to a Recfishwest public rainbow trout release. The aim is to stock the waterway with fish for recreational anglers.The event coincided with a statement from WA Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly removing the annual closed season of freshwater waterways.

Posted by ABC South West on Wednesday, 6 September 2017

TroutFest was a celebration of freshwater fishing and encouraged families and friends to head to a regularly stocked waterway and experience what freshwater fishing is all about. For many, this fishery was clouded in mystery, but after TroutFest participants realised it is about getting into the bush, having a cast and enjoying some of the best parts of WA.

As well as the fish release, the event also included Freshwater Fishing Tuition for all ages, an education display by Fisheries, Fly Casting, Freshwater Tackle & Rigging Information and Demonstrations and general fishing time for everyone to have a go at freshwater fishing, and for most, it was the very first time.

Recfishwest would like to thank the members of WATFAA for sharing their passion of fly fishing with people on the day as well all of the other volunteers that attended and made TroutFest a memorable experience for all those involved.

TroutFest promotes sustainable, accessible, enjoyable and safe fishing for the benefit of the community and will help encourage freshwater fishing in the South West.

TroutFest is just one of many Recfishwest lead initiatives working towards improving habitat and fish stocks which build better environments that support your fishing.