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Salmo trutta were introduced to Australia from England, and have been known to reach 1 metre in length and 10 kilograms or more.

Brown trout were first stocked in New South Wales in the tributaries of the Murrumbidgee River near Queanbeyan in 1888. The following year Fisheries obtained brown trout from Victoria and distributed them throughout out NSW including the central western rivers and streams of the Armidale District.

Brown trout are usually brown to olive on the upper body, upper fins and gill covers, but the colour of the fish can vary greatly with its age, diet and habitat. Dark spots are often surrounded by an orange or red halo. Below the lateral line is lighter with less spots. Brown trout do not usually have spots on their tail (where as rainbow trout do). Female fish (hens) are shorter from the nostril to the tip of the nose than males (bucks). Male fish will develop a lump and later a hook on the bottom jaw.

Brown trout are carnivorous and feed mainly on insect larvae, adult insects, molluscs, worms, small fish and crustaceans. Many fly fishermen consider the brown trout to be the ultimate challenge, mainly because of its secrecy and unpredictability, which constantly challenge angling methods. When fishing for brown trout, the time of the day is important. In low light the trout will feed in shallows, margins and thin water; harsh light tends to send these fish to the safety of undercut banks, and deeper areas of lakes (as found at Uncle Billy's Retreat). It has a preference for drab, insect-orientated fly patterns. Try smaller rather than larger flies and pay attention to presentation using as fine a leader as possible.


  • "Trout Fishing the Snowy Mountains" by Steve Williamson (Australian Fishing Network).
  • "The Fly Fisherman's Catch" by Charles Jardine (Dorling Kindersley).