Located within north eastern NSW, the Dorrigo plateau is a convenient 1 hour drive from Coffs Harbour and 1.5 hours south of Armidale. This area satisfies abundant and varied fishing options with a plenitude of Brown and Rainbow Trout, Eels and Australian Bass. The Bielsdown River stretches through the centre of Dorrigo town, and in less than a five minute trek from the Dorrigo township, you can be soaking a worm, casting a small lure or a wet or dry fly for rainbow trout up to 2.5kg! Catch and release is strongly encouraged given the amount of effort that has been made by the community to ensure that trout stocks are plentiful for locals and visitors.
Spots of Interest
Some trout dams within NSW remain open to fishing throughout the entire year, and these are called ‘General Trout Dams’. Some general trout areas include the Bemboka River, the Goodradigbee River and the Lachlan River. However, the annual closure on trout fishing is on the 11th of June 2019 and the reopening will be the October long weekend beginning Saturday the 5th. These dates are pertinent as the closure in-between allows for Brown and Rainbow Trout to breed uninterruptedly.
Dorrigo is the most eastern part of the New England Trout Fishery which is the northernmost in Australia. This area satisfies a great trout stock and is well worth visiting. The Dorrigo Trout Hatchery is located on the Point Lookout Road which branches off the Armidale Road south of Ebor. Being one of only two facilities in NSW, this hatchery has bred and released millions of trout hatchings and is an ideal spot to start!
Located 80km east of Armidale and 120km inland from Coffs Harbour, the small town of Ebor is renowned for sustaining an ideal habitat for trout. The streams stretching throughout Ebor are usually full of persistent Rainbow Trout, Wily Trout and Brown Trout. It truly is trout galore! The Dorrigo-Ebor Freshwater Fishing Association (DEFFA) is responsible for the consistent restocking of trout within the waters of the Dorrigo plateau, and they operate under some pretty strict fishery guidelines. Assuming you have your recreational fishing license, if you wish to then fish for trout in private streams, you must seek permission from the landowner through a visitation or a letter. Public access is available at majority of bridges crossing streams and at travelling stock routes that surround the streams.
Whilst a relatively inexpensive activity, there are a few items that are essential if you are fishing for trout. If you are fishing in general trout areas, there are various methods that are accepted. These include one attended rod and line with no more than two hooks attached and a landing net. In Dorrigo and surrounding areas, it is best to purchase live bait from the hatchery and/or artificial flies and lures to attract those hard-pulling trout. Also, be sure to wear protective clothing as the trout can put up a fight in and out of water!
Something for the kids
Kids can cast too! If you have children aged 8-14 years, they are invited to learn how to fish carefully and responsibly in a safe environment. The Dutton Trout Hatchery hosts a variety of workshops and they are conducted by experienced volunteers from the NSW fishing industry. At only $40 per child, attendees can receive four hours of information regarding techniques, bag and size limits and fish handling practices. Visit https://www.dorrigo.com/event/kids-fishing-workshop-at-dutton-trout-hatchery/.