From the Archives ...

Mega Trout

by Mason Paull
All my adult life I have pursed big fish. With my trout fishing I really only got serious when a mate showed me a monster from Lake Crescent. From then on it became an annual trip to Crescent, for 5 days at a time. We would fish hard for the days were there using bait and spin gear. My biggest fish from the Crescent was a neat 10lb.

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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

111 getting started great lake

This fish and 6 more just
like it were caught on
Great Lake on a chilly
day in the middle of June

Presented from Issue 111, August 2014

There has sometimes been a view that trout fishing is reserved only for the experienced angler, stories of hours spent trying to unravel the mysteries of the cunning trout by elderly gentlemen dressed in tweed is what often comes to people’s minds when they think of trout fishing. Regarded by many to be the premium, freshwater sports fish of the world, it is not surprising that the many anglers put the humble trout in the too hard box. Truth is, trout can be as easily caught as any fish, perhaps not always as accessible and your bread and butter saltwater species, but none the less, with a bit of perseverance with the correct equipment and technique, results can come more quickly than you think! In recent years, more emphasis has been put on making Tasmania’s famous trout fishery more accessible to newcomers to the sport. This has been achieved by increased stocking regimes into waters with lower fish numbers, improving access to waters and more information resources available such as the Inland Fisheries Service (IFS) website and IFS Smartphone App. Angler surveys have also given the managers of our fishery a better understanding on how they can improve certain aspects of the fishery. This year is the 150 th anniversary of trout fishing in Tasmania, and with a Ford Ranger up for grabs for buying a licence, what better time to give trout fishing a go? Here are a few tips to help you get started.

111 lure headPresented from Issue 111, August 2014
With the opening of the trout season on us it’s time to review the good old trout diary and look back at what has worked and where with the new season in mind. I know each season is different however most of us will be suffering the cabin type fever associated with our winter closure and itching to get back into it.

I have reviewed the past few years and narrowed down the best waters and techniques.

Although I live for the warm days of high summer when trout will rise freely to my rather scrappy homemade dries, the fly rod rarely leaves its tube in the first two months of the season so this article will concentrate on the lures, locations and methods that have served me well.

110 winterPresented from Issue 110, June 2014

Winter fishing in Tasmania is a funny thing, and as we all know it’s been written about many times over about places to go and what to use. If we look back over the years we will find the fishing has changed greatly year by year because of different things like environmental factors, stocking rates, weather patterns etc. So it may be an apt time to look at Winter fishing again.

Tasmanian anglers from all walks can be a funny bunch and pull the pin on freshwater fishing once Easter passes or because of the closure of most waters, simply ignoring or forgetting about the waters which are open to them year round.

I find the fishing during winter albeit cold can be fantastic. Fishing from May to July can bring some fantastic blue sky days and if you rug up can be rewarded with hungry rainbows trying to fatten up before spawning or browns trying to put condition back on after they have contributed to their population growth. It’s just a matter of picking the right weather, which is something we probably do during the season anyway.

109 winter snowPresented from Issue 109, April 2014
Post-Christmas has me focussed on the Derwent’s big black bream more often than not these days and given my proximity to the river its little wonder that is the case. In a busy time poor world the ease one can achieve a few hours at the drop of a hat it’s a quick release to clear the mind. But come April the true trout angler inside always sees me looking to the highlands for a couple of late season fixes on the trout.

Presented from Issue 109, April 2014
An excerpt from Origins of the Tasmanian Trout JEAN WALKER, Honorary Historian to the Southern Tasmanian Licensed Anglers’ Association produced an accurate and concise account of the fascinating story of the first introduction of trout to Tasmania in 1988.

Tasmania’s Inland Fisheries Service has just republished the booklet to celebrate the sesquicentenary (150 years) since the first tiny trout hatched in the Southern Hemisphere. Here are a few snippets from the booklet Origins of the Tasmanian Trout. Contact IFS on 6261 8050 to find a stockist.

TASMANIA’S early settlers were disappointed by the lack of freshwater angling. The only fish native to the inland waters were Australian grayling, small galaxias and in some rivers blackfish. None offered anglers a challenge in fighting qualities.

Bringing trout from England, 12,000 miles away, s seemed an impossible dream. That the dream, became a reality with perseverance, despite failures and setbacks, in 1864.

Presented from Issue 109, April 2014
An excerpt from Origins of the Tasmanian Trout JEAN WALKER, Honorary Historian to the Southern Tasmanian Licensed Anglers’ Association produced an accurate and concise account of the fascinating story of the first introduction of trout to Tasmania in 1988.

Tasmania’s Inland Fisheries Service has just republished the booklet to celebrate the sesquicentenary (150 years) since the first tiny trout hatched in the Southern Hemisphere. Here are a few snippets from the booklet Origins of the Tasmanian Trout. Contact IFS on 6261 8050 to find a stockist.

TASMANIA’S early settlers were disappointed by the lack of freshwater angling. The only fish native to the inland waters were Australian grayling, small galaxias and in some rivers blackfish. None offered anglers a challenge in fighting qualities.

Bringing trout from England, 12,000 miles away, s seemed an impossible dream. That the dream, became a reality with perseverance, despite failures and setbacks, in 1864.

108 canada troutPresented from Issue 108, February 2014

Michal Rybka shares some useful trout techniques that he discovered on a recent trip to the Canadian wilderness.

Introduction

For the third time now, I have been fortunate enough to fish for trout and salmon in British Columbia, Canada.

The most recent trip was certainly the most enlightening, with lots learned. My experience started when I walked into one particular tackle store in the city of Vancouver. While the size of the shop was the first thing I noticed, I was more intrigued by what was on the shelves!

108 canada troutPresented from Issue 108, February 2014

Michal Rybka shares some useful trout techniques that he discovered on a recent trip to the Canadian wilderness.

Introduction

For the third time now, I have been fortunate enough to fish for trout and salmon in British Columbia, Canada.

The most recent trip was certainly the most enlightening, with lots learned. My experience started when I walked into one particular tackle store in the city of Vancouver. While the size of the shop was the first thing I noticed, I was more intrigued by what was on the shelves!

107 bug beetles antPresented from Issue 107, December 2013
What a crazy start to the 2013 fishing season it has been. Rain, wind, lots of snow and then just for something a bit different we had some rain, wind and more snow! Rivers have more or less been flooded and dirty since July, the lakes have been blanketed in that white stuff for a lot of the time and the wind, well let’s not get started about that god forsaken wind. No word of a lie, it’s been doing my head in. Even contemplated selling all my fly gear and taking up a new hobby, for a brief second!

106 trout on bait 2 trout borderPresented from Issue 106, October 2013
The way many start trout fishing is with a cheap little rod and a few worms. Bait fishing is one of the most enjoyable ways of fishing and often the least expensive too - no matter if it is trout - or from a jetty fishing for salt water species.
This article is on the simple basics of bait fishing for trout. There are several methods used to catch trout, and most novice trout anglers begin by learning to catch trout on light spinning tackle and bait fish first, before moving on up to the more advanced methods of trout fishing like spinning with spinners, hard body and soft plastic lures.

Presented from Issue 105, August 2013

For those of those of us that don’t bother to fish all that much on the waters that are open all year the closed season takes a toll. You spend the cold winter months sorting out and cleaning all your tackle, doing the necessary maintenance on the boat and restocking the fly boxes with all the favourite patterns and no doubt some fancy new ones.

Presented from Issue 105, August 2013
Christopher Bassano fishes over 250 days a year. This interview was recorded just before he headed off to fish for Australia in the World Fly Fishing Championships in Norway 14-17 August 2013.

I live on a small stream and at the start of the season I like to go off on a bit of a discovery mission and fish the headwaters of the creeks and rivers I feel an affinity with.

These small rivers include the St Pats, Meander, Forester, Little Forester and others. The further up you go on these rivers the clearer and lower the levels. They are often less affected by the rain and runoff and you get some good opportunities. Get as close to the source as you can and you will find some good dry fly fishing. Don’t limit yourself to those I have mentioned. Most headwaters will hold trout.

Presented from Issue 105, August 2013
Bob is a professional fishing guide and guides for trout and estuary species. Check him out at www.fishwildtasmania.com

There are several things we look for in our early season trout waters. It is still winter and cold, so some of the things to consider are: Altitude as this dictates the water temperature and therefore feeding activity. Food for the fish. Availability of trout food is generally dictated by the quantity and quality of weed beds.

Quantity of fish.

Three waters which I believe fit all three requirements are:

Presented from Issue 105, August 2013

We did a bit of a runaround Tasmania’s tackle stores to see what their tips for the first month or so of the tackle season were. We asked what the top three places to fish were, plus lures, flies, baits and a few other things.
Here is a rundown on their answers Whenever, and wherever you fish - anywhere, or for any fish in the world - ask the locals and especially ask at the local tackle store. They know what was caught today, yesterday and on what.

103 late season troutPresented from Issue 103, April 2013
The months of April and May can offer very good trout fishing opportunities. Brown trout are well aware of the need to put on weight leading up to their annual spawning cycle. Now that many of the hatches are coming to an end, they are becoming more opportunistic feeders, once again.

As the brown trout season nears its end on the Sunday nearest to the 30th of April, male brown trout become very aggressive as they begin to pair up with potential females. Big wet flies, plastics and lures are often hit, just to get them out of their territory. Rainbows on the other hand, usually spawn later in the year with their closing season reflecting this by finishing one month later on the Sunday closest to the 31 st of May. So rainbows are mostly unaffected by the urge to spawn and continue to feed as normal right through to May.

102 spinningPresented from Issue 102, February 2013

I began spinning for trout in 1965 in the Finnis River, Yundi, South. Australia, at the age of 19. Now at the age of 67 I am still loving it just as much, if not more than the first time. I now live at Sheffield, Tasmania and spin the rivers in the north, and in my opinion they are some of the best rivers in the State to fish. The Meander, Mersey, Leven, Iris, Vale, Emu and Flowerdale rivers are just a few of the many across the NorthWest to try.

Presented from Issue 101
Fishing with other people is an interesting experience. Fishing with someone new can be like going on a first date, while a day out with a long time mate is more like putting on a comfortable pair of old shoes. A good thing about fishing with someone else is that you get to learn by watching, which can open your mind up to new ideas and techniques.

Something else that shows through is that how personality and character can influence flyfishing style. Do you know any two people who are exactly the same? You know what it’s like. Among your friends, you might have the energetic, extroverted type, who fills in all the awkward silences, the jester, or the quiet reserved one, who doesn’t say a lot, but when they do, everyone listens (or at least should).

My own circle of fishing buddies is a diverse bunch. We do share set of values and interests - otherwise we wouldn’t be friends I guess. A common love of rivers and streams, wild trout, dry flies, and of course, total catch and release binds us. There are some basics that we all adhere to in terms of technique, but there is a lot of variation in other than key areas. We all catch our share of fish, but don’t count them, certainly not in a “I got five, he got three” type of competitive way.

Here is an insight into my fishing mates, what I’ve learnt from them, and proof that there’s more than one way to skin a trout (so to speak)!

Presented from Issue 100

How it was

Shore based angling

Over 20 years ago I was lucky enough to be taught to fish lakes like Arthurs by the great angler Shayne Murphy. One of the great lessons that I learnt from Murf was that in many cases you should simply use your boat to get to the best shore fishing locations quickly and efficiently. In those days we would pick the eyes out of the best locations then quickly move on to fresh and similar waters.

A few years later I started my guiding career and I bought a beautiful tri hull boat. For many years, just like Murf had taught me, I used this boat for transporting my clients to the best shore fishing locations for the weather and wind conditions. I well remember many times when my wading clients were ‘catching the clappers out of them’ as other anglers and guides drifted by flogging the water for little obvious results.

Presented from Issue 99
Early season fishing can be very challenging. Too challenging for this mere mortal of a fishing guide so I don’t like to guide before October. You see, I have a problem taking money from clients for what I consider mostly to be sub-standard (read sub- surface) fishing.

My clients love sight fishing on warm balmy days. Whilst early season shallow water tailers can offer great sport on lake margins and flooded river edges the weather is anything but balmy and the sport is particularly unreliable.

If you are Johnny on the spot, you have good local knowledge of water levels and conditions and you are not scared of frosty, foggy early mornings, then by all means be my guest. You may just find some of the best fishing of the season.

Presented from Issue 99
Peter Broomhall’s tips for trout season opening day success on a few of my favourite fisheries

For Tasmanian trout anglers the first Saturday in August is the culmination of a gradual build up in anticipation that started a few weeks beforehand. During this time rods have been checked, reels oiled, lines renewed, leaders retied, hooks sharpened, waders checked for leaks and tackle and fly boxes restocked. In some extreme cases this has been repeated many times over...

Presented from Issue 98
The 29th April 2012 saw the closure of most of our Tasmanian brown trout waters. It is a time that, in a strange sort of way, many freshwater anglers look forward to after a long and “hopefully” rewarding summer.
 
 
On a personal basis, come this time of year, it is enough for me to tie up a few flies or perhaps to read a good fishing book, allowing myself to get caught up in the romance of it all — whilst in comfort of a warm home

Presented from Issue 97
Before you charge into this article expecting to read about the best trout in Tasmania I should warn you that it relates to the highest ones not the fattest.

It is also fraught with danger to write about something that may not be totally correct as there are still a few remote tarns that I haven’t got to yet and probably never will. There are also some higher places I have found to be devoid of trout that some sneaky specimens may now have swam up into.

Having said all this it is my belief that the highest water in Tasmania to contain brown trout is an unnamed water at around 1290m south west of Turrana Heights. We have named it Lake Australia. It is a headwater tarn on one of several streams that flow into the western side of Pillans Lake. So drag out the Pillans 1:25000 map and follow the stream that runs up through Pencil Pine Tarn to a water roughly shaped like Australia. Now read on about how to get there and what to expect on the way. Maybe it is not for this season, but why not put it on the list for later in the year.

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