From the Archives ...

It’s Summer time and the fishing is easy

Marty Wells
The difficulty (or easiness) of a fishery is relative and changing, a waterway may yield good results one day but for reasons unknown, completely shut down the next. There are however, a number of waters that consistently give up their fishy inhabitants more readily. One thing these waters have in common is a huge population of trout. Most trout fishers are aware of the fact that the bigger the fish population in any given water, the smaller the individual fish size. This is due to the finite amount of trout tucker available in any given waterway. Unfortunately, unless larger fish have been stocked into a lake these easier waters usually hold fish averaging closer to one pound than two. Having said that, big fish can turn up anywhere at any time. 

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When you have finished for the day, why not have a brag about the ones that didn't get away! Send Mike an article on your fishing (Click here for contact details), and we'll get it published here. Have fun fishing - tasfish.com

109 leake tapsellPresented from Issue 109, April 2014
Situated approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes from Launceston is a water that flies under the radar of many…Lake Leake.

Although a fair bit has been written about it over the years, this water remain largely underutilised and doesn’t receive the amount of attention from anglers as it deserves. Both browns and rainbows inhabit this water and they can be quite a size.

They are perhaps the best average size of any water in Tasmania.

108 western walk sceneryPresented from Issue 108, February 2014

One of Tasmania’s most experienced Western Lakes anglers, Craig Rist, explains what’s in his day pack and why.

What to pack for a day out West is something I consider very carefully through out the season. The time of year and the expected weather conditions for a particular day will dictate what I throw into my pack. How many kilometres I expect to walk into the heart of the Western Lakes, away from civilization, is another factor I consider, especially if it’s going to be a solo trip and you don’t have anyone to help you limp out with a broken or sprained ankle.

108 arthursPresented from Issue 108, February 2014
All Arthurs fish are small this year. Myth Busted. I recently spent a day with a friend on a water that some people have deserted because they believe all the fish are small. They are wrong.

Presented from Issue 107, December 2013

If you’ve managed to get out trout fishing a bit like I have this season then you will probably have been cursing the lousy weather so far and the mediocre fishing that’s gone with it. I’ve sampled most of my favourite waters and can confidently say that the winner is certainly Woods Lake. The following is a brief roundup of some of our favourite locations and a detailed look at Woods Lake itself.

107 pedder justinPresented from Issue 107, December 2013
Lake Pedder whilst it has gained some popularity over the last few years it is still not high on the visitation list when compared to some of our other large water storages. It shouldn’t be the case as it has so much to offer and to the lure angler the options are almost endless. Lake Pedder is an immense water storage, controversially created in the late 70’s by the construction of 3 relatively small dams to hold and supply water to nearby Lake Gordon, itself an enormous water catchment that dwarfs Pedder in volume.

107 tarraleah troutPresented from Issue 107, December 2013
Located in the southern Central Highlands is the township of Tarraleah — an ex Hydro village, built in the 1930s and located around one and half hours from Hobart and 50 minutes drive from the Great Lake via the Marlborough Highway. Tarraleah is a great place for fishing with a number of waterways all connected by canals. They hold excellent stocks of trout and its unique in the fact that only trout inhabit these waters as far as I know, with no eels or redfin perch present. It is suitable for all types of angling and a wonderful option if wanting to either explore some new water, or if the weather is rough on the Great Lake side of the hill.

Presented from Issue 107, December 2013
Arthurs Lake has always been one of the key fisheries for Tasmanian brown trout. In recent years though Arthurs has faded somewhat from the trout fisherman’s perspective with the lake being challenged by big draw-downs on the water level. The draw-downs drained many shallow bays including Cowpaddock and most of Jonah Bay, killing long established weed beds and resulting in the prolific mayfly hatch being interrupted. With the aquatic food supply from these bays no longer available this meant that the lake could not support a large head of good size trout.

In 2008 Arthurs fell to one of its lowest levels since damming, 5.72 meters below the full level of 952.82 meters above sea level. Dead fish were located in pools isolated by the draw-down and threatened galaxias were transferred to other waters by the Inland Fisheries Service to create safety populations.

Presented from Issue 104, June 2013

Macca and I were kicking back in my tying room in early January this year tying a few flies, having a beer and talking about the seasons exploits. He was filling my head with stories of his Western Lakes adventures and big golden brown trout. Eventually I couldn’t stand it any longer, the images that were being painted in my head became unbearable.

It had been mid-December since I had been to the Julian Lakes area on a three day mission and I just had to get fishing again. Doing my best to sound polite I said “Macca please shut up with all the stories old pal its killing me, lets just get a trip organised and get out West to polaroid some of those trophy browns”. He didn’t take a whole lot of convincing that it was a good idea, so first things first we got the calendar out to settle on some dates that would work for both of us. Sounds easy, but I can assure you when both parties work and you factor in family, sport etc. it’s not always so.

Presented from Issue 102
At an altitude of 1120ms above sea level Lake Mackenzie is one of the highest lakes you can drive to in Tassie. It is the upper most catchment on the Mersey/Forth Hydro scheme, its waters being dammed in the early seventies and diverted via canal and pipe to the Fisher River Power Station. The original Lake Mackenzie, Sandy Lake and Pine Marsh have since become Lake Mackenzie although for most summer months the original bodies of water are obvious.

Please refer here for current information.
http://www.ifs.tas.gov.au/about-us/publications/tasmanian-inland-fishing-code-2016-17

100 lake echo 3 pounder cropPresented from Issue 100
It’s been five years since I last did an article on Lake Echo so time for an update on my still favourite water. Each year I manage several trips which due to the distance from home are usually one or two night excursions. The spring months from September through till November still rate as the best times however the month of April in ideal conditions can be brilliant. By ideal conditions I mean rough as hell, in fact during April the rougher the better. Most Tassie autumns can be quite mild and some seasons I haven’t even gone as it was just too calm.

Presented from Issue 100
For adventurous trout anglers springtime and early summer is the time to start thinking about heading out to the area officially known as the Central Plateau Conservation Area or simply to most of us as the Western Lakes.

This area boasts world class angling opportunities in rugged wilderness setting. For many fishermen their sole exposure to the western lakes region is the pocket of waters in the eastern edge of the CPCA known as the “19 Lagoons”. While these lakes and lagoons always provide reliable fishing opportunities, in this modern age it is hard to get a water or even a short section of shoreline to yourself particularly if you are restricted to weekend trips. For those of us seeking solitude and also adventure, venturing further out into the wilderness is a must.

Simon Tueon (Chewy) and I recently shared one such adventure in to this magnificent wilderness fishery. Here is our story….

99 peddar bPresented from Issue 99
Lake Pedder. It used to be a good fishery right? Wrong, it was an exceptional fishery. Through the late 70s and early 80s the trout from this iconic south west water averaged an astonishing 4kg. That was the average weight not the good fish but the average weight. There has never been a fishery like it and there never is likely to be ever again.

What does surprise many is it’s a great fishery now. The trout are nothing like those of years gone by but they are in great condition, fight hard and in numbers that would be astounding if it could ever be calculated. Large bags are common and the quality of fish is very good. So often when it comes up in conversation people are surprised to hear it offers some great fishing to all artificial methods. And most always add that they’ve never been but have always wanted to make the trip out.

It’s well worth it, the scenery alone is unparalleled, panoramas that extend 360 degrees when you’re out on the water. Some areas of the lake it’s breath taking at times. For someone new to the water the fishing possibilities are much the same. You can round a point and be mesmerized by the bay in front of you, flooded tea tree sloping banks into weed rich water, fish rising, sometimes clear of the water chasing damselfly on the wing, only to go around the next point and see it open up again into a better looking bay and another and so on.

99 night aPresented from Issue 99
The Western Lakes can be a tough place to catch a fish, especially if you’re limiting yourself to sight fishing only. There are many influencing factors that can contribute to seeing very few fish during the day. We see fish in the shallows because there is often some kind of food present that brings them in close to shore. So if there is no food, they really have no reason to leave the security and food rich environment of the deeper water. During low water levels and high water temperatures in late summer, trout will often shelter under rocks during the heat of the day and only venture out late in the evening and into the night to feed. These are the days when you can walk all day and only seen one or two fish.

Presented from Issue 97
Lake Mackintosh is your typical deep tannin stained West Coast Lake that was dammed in the 1980s to create the Mackintosh Power station. The lake has flooded up into native forest, limiting much of the shore access to the boat ramp area at the Mackintosh dam. To explore the full potential of this lake, you need a boat to access every corner. The lake is home to both brown and rainbow trout with it opening at the beginning of the brown trout season and finishing at the end of the rainbow trout season. The lake has a bag limit of 12 fish per person per day. To access the lake you need only drive to the town of Tullah via the Murchison highway and follow the signs.

Presented from Issue 97
When people refer to the Western Lakes they are talking about a vast area of the central plateau that contains hundreds if not thousands of lakes. This area is made up of the central plateau conservation area and the Walls of Jerusalem National Park. This area and its fishing is truly unique in the world. The crystal clear waters and the ability to sight fish predominantly brown trout, at close range, amongst a unique landscape, is something that inspires many people to go to great lengths to explore and fish this region. Interestingly, the Western Lakes is not a place where you would go to catch a lot of fish in Tasmania. This is a place where less is more, with the ability to catch a large number of fish per day being gladly replaced with the chance of only catching a few quality fish. This is a place where there is a lake over every hill and where you get that rare opportunity to count the spots on a wild brown trout as it slowly swims past your feet.

Presented from Issue 97
The opening of the 2011/ 2012 trout fishing season had many anglers excited, rainfall had consistently inundated the state for months prior, and our inland catchments realised levels not witnessed for many years. That being said, the overall condition of many fish landed in the central highlands disappointed anglers, Arthurs Lake and Great Lake being two of the biggest offenders when it came to not “reaching expectations”. One Central Plateau fishery that seems to have bucked the trend this season was Lake King William, where if anything, the average size and condition of its inhabitants has increased quite dramatically. Todd Lambert, John Cleary and Mike Stevens recently took a trip up there to see if the rumours were true.

97 Gunns and Little Lake aPresented from Issue 97
Most fisherman I know have a spot or two that when they go there they get that same sense of feeling that occurs when you arrive back home after a lengthy absence. One area that never fails to generate this nostalgic feeling for me is when I journey out to the two diminutive lakes located roughly north east of Arthurs Lake named Gunns Lake and Little Lake.

A chance meeting….

My Gunns and Little Lake odyssey started approximately 20 years ago on a calm and sunny September morning when long time fishing companion Todd Lamprey and I journeyed out to the two shallow natural lagoons on a purely exploratory mission. Todd and I had been in the highlands for a few days already on a multi day trip and we had decided on looking for a location for the days sport that didn’t require a lot of walking to get to. The preceding days had been spent hiking in the Western Lakes district and Todd and I both really needed to rest tired legs.

Presented from Issue 96
Lake Augusta has been an underrated fishery. It has as much to offer as any other water in the Western Lakes region and as Todd Lambert found out recently, given the right conditions, your bag limit can be caught in a matter of minutes should everything fall into place.

96 four springs 01Presented from Issue 96
For the avid fly fisherman, Four Springs Lake is a pretty good option in the warm weather. Close to Launceston and super convenient for that after work trip. But ask any lure fisherman what Four Springs fishes like in the summer and you will probably get a reply consisting of something like “…the weed is really bad – it’s not worth the trip.” I think the first part of this answer is totally correct. It is a well-known fact that underwater weed growth increases with warmer water temperatures. Casting lures becomes difficult and trolling is near impossible. Weed every cast – definitely not anyone’s cup of tea.

Presented from Issue 95
I think just about everyone has used, or have at least heard of the word ‘munter’ once or twice in recent times. So, what is a ‘munter’ you ask? I think everyone has their own little word for a trophy sized brown, brook or rainbow trout, I guess it all depends on where you’re from. For me, the word ‘munter’ applies for something big, something special, that fish you’ve been looking for a very long time. If anywhere in Tasmania, the Arthur River, or any west coast river or lake, is a likely place to find one of these large, much desired fish. On the 23rd of October, I was lucky enough to have finally caught one of these large fish, a true, wild ‘munter’.

Presented from Issue 94
Lake Plimsoll is a “brook trout only fishery” located near the heart of our rugged West Coast. It is also water that many of Tasmania’s angling fraternity would have heard about, but seemingly only a small minority have ever taken up the challenge to explore at any great length.

Is it a wasted effort or is it just a very well kept secret by those in the know? Todd Lambert, along with two of his mates, Dale Howard and son Trevor, spent some time there recently and in this article, he attempts to shed some light on this fantastic fishery that seemingly “ flies under the radar” to so many of us.

Refer to the Fishing Code for current regulations

AAT recently contacted Forestry Tasmania re access to Lake Rowallan and were told all access roads to Lake Rowallan have been closed including the Borradaile Plains access. The Parangana bridge is out and there have been massive washouts and landslides with vast quantities of replacement fill to be put in place eg 70,000 m3 in one washout.
Remedial work has started and will take some time (months not weeks) and this is the reason roads have been closed.
A video by Rod How is available on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLafM92cLn0
Thanks to Rod for making this video public.

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