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Summer Backpacking

by Greg French

The onset of summer is an appropriate time to talk about backpacking. I spend a big proportion of myfishing time backpacking and, with the exception of some very remote south-western rivers, I have fished just about every water in Tasmania.

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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

6 Bank fishing hotspots!

There is hundreds if not thousands of bank fishing opportunities available in Tasmania, however the poor old bank fisher gets left out in a lot of fishing location articles. Despite the size of some of Tasmania's lakes, such as Arthurs Lake and Great Lake, their smaller bays and relatively open banks can lend themselves to some easy access, exciting trout fishing opportunities. Here is six top bank-fishing spots for locals and visitors a like!

Arthurs Lake
Arthurs Lake is one of the jewels in the Tasmanian trouters crown and whilst most anglers fish it successfully using a boat, there is a myriad of opportunities available for the bank based angler. Cowpaddock Bay is the most renowned bank fishing area of Arthurs Lake and lies at the north western end of the lake. Access is via the access road that follows the transmission lines that also branches off to Jonah Bay boat ramp. Depending on water levels and the time of year, the Cowpaddock can lend itself to excellent mayfly hatches and beetle falls, tailing fish and good lure and bait fishing opportunities. Sevenpound Bay is another productive bank fishing area, the Lily Ponds can have great polaroiding and mayfly hatches, whilst walking from Pump House Bay to Hydro Bay can offer a good days fishing opportunities.

Great Lake
Great Lake is a vast and to some a daunting looking lake, but its crystal clear waters and huge trout stocks provide excellent fishing. Access is great for bank fishing the Great Lake, and access is available along the road all the way from Haddens Bay at the southern end of the lake, all the way up the western shore to the township of Breona on the northern end of the lake. Hotspots include Swan Bay and Canal Bay. Early morning feeding fish can be found feeding in near shore wind lanes and slicks, or chasing galaxids along the shore, whilst during the day large black dry flies fished blind along the deeper edges can be extremely effective. Bait and lures are again also equally deadly on the Great Lake.

Little Pine Lagoon
Little Pine Lagoon is a premier fly-fishing only water that is almost all accessible to the bank angler. Renown for its near shore tailing fish and its sensational mayfly dun hatches, Little Pine Lagoon is an excellent fishery. Car Parks Along the Road Shore and at the Dam Wall allow immediate access to top water all year round. The Untouchables Shore on the north western side of Little Pine is popular and good for walking which can take the angler up the Northern side of the lake to the Little Pine river. Most Mayfly imitations will work at one time or another but interestingly it is said that Pop Rice "invented" the Shaving Brush fly for this very water. Little Pine hosts a large population of galaxids and another well-known fly, the Cat fly, can be a good imitation when there are no fish showing.

Bronte Lagoon
Bronte Lagoon is an easy access fishery for those travelling from Hobart to the Central Highlands. There are several access points off of the Lyell Highway including one virtually alongside the road at the north eastern point of the lake, Bronte Bay, itself a good spot for polaroiding or locating risers. Moving west from Bronte Bay there is easy walking to the tussocky Tailers Bay, another Bronte hotspot. An exciting development to Bronte Lagoon in recent times was the liberation of brook trout to the lake, as well as other lakes in the system. These pretty trout have vivid orange flesh and make a great table fish, so lets hope they're put back when caught to grow in to the fat footballs that they tend to mimic.

The Macquarie River
The Macquarie River situated in Tasmania's Northern Midlands is probably the states most well known river. The fishing is fairly easy and there are a number of points with good bank access. The Pump house at Cressy offers easy parking and bank access whilst giving the angler a couple kilometres of banks to fish. Small Celta lures cast upstream or conventional fly-fishing methods are both effective. If the fisher walks far enough upstream, the junction of Brumbies Creek and the Macquarie can also be fished, a real hotspot for large rainbow trout!
Woolmers Bridge, Longford, offers again easy parking and a picnic table for those really taking it easy. Upstream access is available via a fence style and the angler can pretty much walk as far as they could want. This stretch has good black spinner mayfly hatches during the spring and autumn as well as caddis fly and damselfly. Good also for bait fishers early in the season.

Brumby's Creek
Brumby's Creek is famous for its fly-fishing, but fisher beware - these fish are challenging to say the least. The rewards of catching a fish are good however, with the trout having a two-pound average in the pondage above Weir One. Weir One is reserved for fly-fishing and spin fishing only and access can be either on foot from the car park adjacent to Weir Two, or from Fisheries Lane off of the main Cressy road. Weir Three can also offer exciting hatches for fly-fishers and is easily accessible by vehicle from a dirt road off of Lees Bridge on the main Cressy road. Water levels are dependant on Hydro-electric controls, but the cool waters of Great Lake that form this water offer crystal clear fishing conditions for most of the year.

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