5 Trout Fishing Tips for Victorian Rivers

Here’s our top 5 tips when targeting trout in Victoria’s rivers and streams

Trout Fishing Tip 1Fish Upstream

Trout will almost always face upstream into the current, so by fishing upstream we are always coming up from behind the fish and bringing the lure or fly back past them like natural food in a river will do. Trout also have a bit of blind spot right behind them, so they will find it a lot harder to see you and your movements by doing this. But be prepared to change tactics if any back eddy’s are encountered along the river, as the flow will change direction and head back upstream, which means the fish will be facing downstream into the flow, and will see you coming!

Fishing upstream will drastically reduce your chances of being seen by fish.

Fishing upstream will drastically reduce your chances of being seen by fish.

Trout Fishing Tip 2 – Wear Polarised Sunglasses and a Hat

The use of good polarising sunglasses are a must on sunny days, it cuts the glare off the water and makes seeing trout and your fly or lure so much easier. A hat or cap will also keep the glare off your glasses or eyes helping even more. By being able to see through into the water we are able to better see fish holding structure, the fish themselves or any follows we may have on our lures or fly’s.

polarised sunglasses

Polarised sunglasses reduce glare on the water, which will help you spot more fish and key fish holding areas



Trout Fishing Tip 3 – Wade the Rivers

Wading into the rivers will help by being able to access so many more places where the fish are holding. Also it gives better casting angles and allows to cover the river much more efficiently. 95% of our fishing is done standing in the river itself. Waders are also much more affordable than they were, and for shorter trips you do not need really good gortex waders like simms etc, but a $50 pair of rubber waders will work fine.


The use of waders give you many more options for access, especially in rugged terrain.


Trout Fishing Tip 4 – Stealth

Fish have remarkably good eyesight, and will see movement from quite a distance. So stealth is a must, wear dull coloured clothing, keep low, make slow deliberate movements and try and stay to the shadows as much as possible. This especially rings true in smaller rivers where the fishing is close and the fish may only be a few meters in front of you.

Try to keep to the shadows to avoid detection.

Try to keep to the shadows to avoid detection.


Trout Fishing Tip 5 – Choice of Location

While most of our rivers hold trout, they will all fish totally different dependent on angling pressure. Try and find rivers or sections of rivers that do not get too much attention and your catch rates will definitely increase. The old saying “Either fish where the fish are, or where the fishermen aren’t” sums it up.

Putting in the hard yards to get to a secluded spot can pay dividens

Putting in the hard yards to get to a secluded spot can pay dividens

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Published on: April 10, 2011


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12 Responses to 5 Trout Fishing Tips for Victorian Rivers

  1.' rob says:

    These are all good points and if a new Trout angler was to follow them they would defiantly increase their success.

  2.' Rod says:

    What do you think of the idea of fishing downstream to stir up bugs/sediment/trout food which then gets the fish into an eating mode?
    I have fished with a bloke who swears by fishing downstream. He reckons the rocks he stirs up with his feet also stir up the bugs on the bottom, which then float downstream. The trout see the feed going past and start feeding, at which point you can throw a fly and take advantage of it. He seems to catch plenty of fish this way. Ive always fished upstream – its what all the books say to do, but his logic makes sense to me.

    • Darren says:

      Gday Rod, Thats a good question. It would depend on the river and the situation. In some circumstances we will briefly fish downstream, mainly on larger pools which we cant access very well, or where the fish may be swimming around and not facing upstream at all times. If for some reason we are fishing downstream then we make sure we are making really long casts and try and hide as much as possible, but 99% of our fishing is upstream. But if that style of fishing works for your mate then good on him, and I bet he is having plenty of fun doing it. I guess I could see that technique working for some larger rivers. As for casting a fly downstream, I couldnt see this working very well, the fish would see the fly line, and the fly would not drift very well, plus when you go to strike to set the hook you will generally pull the fly out of the fishes mouth. i dbe interested to hear what other people think on the topic too. Cheers

  3.' Terry says:

    On the issue of sunglasses – will any polarised ones do, or do they have to be fancy? I have heard that brown/yellow coloured polarised glasses work best for freshwater streams, but will my $30 servo ones do the job?

    I can make out underwater structures and every now and again spot a fish – is there a big difference between my cheapos, and a $250 pair of say, spotters? Will I see more fish – is the polarising any different/better?

    Thanks lads

    • Darren says:

      Gday Terry, I’m not expert on sunnies, but this is what I think. Any polarising sunnies are better than nothing when fishing. So a cheap pair will definately make it easier to spot underwater structure and fish. More expensive sunnies will definately have better quality materials and better optical qualities. Alot of people swear by glass lenses for there optical superiority, but I think good plastic or polycarbonate lenses are fine. Im not sure which coloured lenses are better for what conditions, but there is a fair bit of info on the net if you have a look. The trick to spotting fish is practice, the more you look for them and the shapes and shadows, then the better you get at it. Tight lines.

  4.' Gary Washusen says:

    I agree with polaroids, not just for seeing into the water but fly fishing safety as well. I learnt to fly fish a little bit and in doing so, one wayward backcast in a little breeze, flicked a size 12 red tag onto my glasses. I’d hate to think what may have happened if i wasnt wearing some sort of glasses.

    • Darren says:

      Yeah great point Gary, they definately will help stop any eye injuries. Luckily I havent had any flies too the face, but have definately hit myself in the back of the head a few times, and have even got my mate in the ear once when he walked behind me!!

      •' Gary Washusen says:

        And I think I know why I didn’t go on with fly fishing much Darren. One back cast caught me in my left forearm (I’m right handed) through my flannellette shirt and into the skin. Had to cut a hole in the shirt only to find I couldnt push the hook out through the skin as i’d apparently bent the point of the hook on a rock some time earlier. Reckoned I was going to kill someone, probably me, so I went back to spinning.

        • Darren says:

          ouch! yeah I can see why it puts off alot of people, but once you’ve got the hang of it, it is a good way to fish, and can be a good break to spinning sometimes. cheers

  5.' Igor says:

    Hi Guys
    Nice site. I agree with all the tips you have written.

    If I could add one tip it would be ‘to know and understand prime lies and trout behaviour’. Knowing this will help the fisho a great deal in catching more fish and also make it a little bit more interesting by adding an element of science.


  6.' Tom says:

    Hey guys, just wondering when the best time of year to fish for trout is? Cheers

    • Darren says:

      Gday Tom,

      You can catch trout all year round, obviously rivers are closed during spawnnign but lakes are still good. But I think the warmer months create the best fishing for trout. They are much more active, there is more insects around, stream flows are lower so rivers can be waded. So from December through to April would be the best time in my opinion. So get fishing!


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