From the Archives ...

Bicheno is home to many commercial rock lobster fishers and quite a few recreational fishers also try their hand as well. Rock lobster can be taken in pots, rings or by gloved hand by divers. All methods must be licensed. Another expensive shellfish, abalone are also eagerly sought. It is a delicacy that can be taken by divers. A licence is required.

Due to Bicheno's open exposure to the Tasman Sea many recreational anglers are either rock or beach fishers. A vessel capable of coping with large, unpredictable seas is needed here. Some beach fishing occurs north of Bicheno and also south towards Coles Bay at Friendly Beaches. Australian salmon, flathead and shark are targeted in the surf, while striped trumpeter, barracouta, morwong, leatherjacket and cod are taken offshore.

Rocky shores abound around Bicheno and many areas are suitable as fishing platforms. A silver sliced lure is the most common hardware and bait fishing techniques here are less common.

There is a marine reserve around Governors Island, opposite The Gulch, which provides an excellent opportunity for diving.

The wharf at the Gulch is a popular place to visit in the evenings for salmon, mackerel and trevally to name just a few. It is also a great spot for kids.

North of Bicheno are a few accessible beaches that are worth a try if you can find some gutters. In particular the beach from the turn-off at Four Mile Beach all the way around to the bluff at the southern end of the beach can be good, but look for gutters for the best results.

Best time to fish; All year

Getting there; 3 hours from Hobart, 2 hours + from Launceston.

Major angling species; Rock lobster, flathead, couta and striped trumpeter, albacore, southern bluefin tuna, marlin, Australian Salmon, bream.

Other attractions; Swimming, surfing, sight seeing, diving.

Scamander River is one of Tasmania's great bream locations. Fish are not as big as in some of the other estuaries, but they are plentiful. It fishes well all year, but the best time is from November to March. Usual methods such as bait fishing and lure fishing are the way to go. Pretty fish and shrimps are some of the best baits, but it pays to have a variety. Locals comment that the fishing now is as good or better than fifty years ago. Bait is available from the shops in Scamander.

You can also expect to catch a few nice salmon, silver trevally and mullet. There are also luderick around the bridge pylons at the mouth of the river. Very few people fish for these, but they are there in good numbers for the angler with the skill and perserverance.

You can drive for quite a way up the river by heading to Upper Scamander. The meandering upper reaches are home to bream as well as trout.

Fishing is quite easy along the easily accessed banks, but a boat can open up a few more opportunities. There is also a Professional guide operating bream and inshore tours from St Helens.

The beaches around Scamander provide some first class fishing. Big Australian salmon, large flathead and sharks are the main targets. Possibly the best beach around this area is Beaumaris Beach. The northern end is the most productive, and often only a short cast is needed to put your bait into the deep water where salmon up to three kilos are caught.

Pulfers reef, directly off Scamander is highly renowned as a good striped trumpeter location as well as big flathead and morwong. In the summer months, yellowfin tuna, albacore and striped marlin come close to shore. There is no good quality, sea access, boat ramp around Scamander so it is best to drive up to St Helens and launch from there.

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 -

Five minutes with Muz Wilson - the River Gnome

Peter Hayes
Muz Wilson is perhaps Australia's best know fly tier and more importantly he is one of the most innovative fly designers on the planet.
Recently while Muz was visiting Tasmania and participating at a fly fishing workshop at our Cressy facility Mike Stevens was able to identify the importance of this man and his contribution to fly fishing. Mike has asked me to pen a few words about this remarkable individual.

In the industry and among his friends they call him the "River Gnome." Muz looks, and behaves like I would imagine one to behave. Anyway he certainly has my children convinced.
One evening late in the season there were six good anglers fishing on Brumbys Creek. The fishing was slow. We all returned to the lodge just after dark and someone who had not gone out asked how we went.
My 7 year old son Lachlan immediately replied that the River Gnome was the only one to catch one. Lachie said it with such conviction that his 5 YO sister Maddie followed on with "yeah he caught it on his Fuzzle Fly and he lost 4 others'. They really believe he is a gnome.
Muz knows fish, I mean really knows fish and there is much we can learn from hanging out with him. That evening was a good example. I think he had  a total of 7 fish come to his fly while the remaining 5 anglers had 1. I personally don't think it was as much about the fly as his method of fishing it. Muz explained to me and the kids that you must do a musical tune retrieve. I can tell you he is right and more about the tunes later.
As I understand it my mate Nick Voce taught Muz to tie flies some 20 years back. Nick met him in a tackle store at Camperdown and struck up what has turned out to be a lifelong friendship. His fishing skills were originally honed in Victorian waterways and he probably knows more about catching bream on fly than anyone else in the country.  
Muz is an intelligent little gnome. He is educated and has many life experiences. Most obvious to me is his passion for fishing and all things related, his generous spirit and his lateral thinking skills. It is a combination of these assets that have enabled him to be a leading edge fly designer.
Muz played with hooks and feathers, and everything else he could get his hands on, for three days at Cressy. I really mean he played, it is play to Muz nothing more, nothing less. I was in awe of his technical tying skills. I lost count of the number of original patterns he has developed and his uncanny ability to develop new tying techniques for obscure materials is amazing. If you ever get a chance to see the Gnome at play you should seize it.
Some of the developments he is responsible for that spring to mind are:
Development of the SLF material and the BMS fly
Rolling furs and other materials in see through waterproof tape to make Damsel and stick caddis bodies.
Taking the UK based booby pattern and turning it into a yabbie for mainland Australian lakes.
Developing the Fuzzle Bugger which in my opinion is a huge improvement on what was considered one of the world's greatest flies a Woolly Bugger.
Upside down minnows that are snag proof and the Hammerhead bream flies.
There is a new upside down foam and cdc dun that is revolutionary and I know it will sort out thousands of Highland mayfly feeding trout next season.
Keep an eye out for Muz, his fly patterns and his tying materials. There is much to learn from him.

All time favorite fly:
Stick Caddis, because of the memorable fish it has caught and the type of fishing it is used for-ambushing or hunting-setting a trap and watching it unfold.

If you only had one day left to fish:
Mongolia, to catch Taimen. They are 6 foot long fish that eat dry flies in rivers.

Most inspirational angler:
Blimey ! Ohhh ! A really tough question.
I like reading Geirach and Randall Kauffman for stuff he has done. Wulff is the pioneer of everything. Morse and Weigall. Bill Beck is an absolute vulture and Jim Allen would be another inspiration. What I like about Jim is he is not too technical-just get it out there. David Scholes-I can relate to stuff about Northern Tasmania rivers and flood plain fishing like here in Western Victoria.

First fish:  
On a fly-a little rainbow out of Bullen Merri on a Black Matuka.
First memorable fish was a one kilo brown from the Hopkins River, sneaking along, working pools with a very small Red and Black Matuka on 12 hook. I had bought it from Ray Long in Geelong

Peter Hayes

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