First place to start researching is via John Kents very good guide books or from the Fish and Game website, they have info there for each region and access brochures you can download, links are here
What type of river? You'll find the most trout in rivers that have lots of food, which generally means rivers that don't flood often. Stable rivers will have a lot of insect life living within their beds which provides food for the hungry trout. Next to food trout need cover, somewhere to hide, to seek refuge from predators, that maybe deep water, undercut banks, overhanging trees, rocks and other obstacles within the river. They also prefer medium to slower moving water, or water that has slow pockets for them to feed in, fast water requires to much energy expenditure so that become a limiting factor.
So a stable river with lots of pools with plenty of cover are prime homes for trout. Some rivers support just Brown trout, others just Rainbows, and some will have a mix of both. Rainbow predominate rivers tend to be faster flowing, rainbows appear to be happier in faster water than browns
Where in the river will you find them?
If they haven't been undisturbed and there's plenty of food they can be just about anywhere that offers shelter from the current and has somewhere handy to escape to. Generally and particularly with brown trout they will sit in slower water just off the edge of faster water, they love to sit behind or in front of obstacles, ledges, anything that provides respite from the current, and also in surprisingly shallow at times to very deep water. What they like is somewhere that provides lots of food with a minimum of effort to collect it, if they have to expend too much energy collecting food, the energy expended may be more than what the food source is providing so that wouldn't be sustainable for long.
So when you walk a long a river these places start to become apparent and if you look carefully you'll start to find fish, not in everyone, depends on the hold capacity of the river, but they'll be there as long as there is food and cover. With time you recognise the type of water that fish like and what they don't like
There are always exceptions to all off the above, so at the end of the day trout are where you find them, it's just that some places are more likely than others
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