From the Archives ...

The Opening

Shane Flude

August 2, 2008 sees the opening of the brown trout season in Tasmanian waters. All rivers and most lakes reopen for fishing after the closed winter spawning time. So just what awaits the early season angler for 2008? Shane Flude gives a rundown on some early season waters and examines what's new on the inland water scene. There has also been a number of new regulations introduced which are summarised at the end of this article, anglers should read their code thoroughly before heading out this season.

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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

Please check all relevant authorities before fishing.
htttp://www.ifs.tas.gov.au and http://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/sea-fishing-aquaculture/recreational-fishing
Don't forget http://issuu.com/stevenspublishing for years of back issues !

2017 04 26 Brown trout falls the the Aglia Mouche NoireStill needing three more trout before the 2016/17 season closes this coming Sunday I thought I'd better go and hop in a river to see if I can pick up the three trout required to reach my seasons target. We had some very good rains a few days ago so the rivers should be flowing really well now and the trout will certainly be out and about as well. This time of year they are quite aggressive and will take just about any type of spinner or lure thrown at them. Once at the river and having a thirty minute chat with a landowner I was soon in the river flicking the little spinner around. Today I started off with a Mepps #00 gold Aglia Mouche Noire as I feel this will do well in the tannin coloured water that I'm fishing. It only took two casts before I had my first fish on, like I have been doing lately I lost it once it leapt from the river.

2017 04 29 First trout of the day

Finally a day I've been longing for with misty rain, humid and no wind which is the perfect conditions for trout fishing. Well they are for me because they're the conditions I love fishing in and not only that, the trout are usually on the take. After parking the car then having a thirty five minute walk through the paddocks I was soon in the river.

The light misty rain wasn't enough to bother me, all it did was to make me a little damp & the sunglasses fogged up so I had to fish without them. The river I'm fishing is small and has very low water level too but it still is good enough to fish today. Starting off with the usual gold aglia as I normally do it wasn't long before I had my first trout on the river bank seeing as I didn't take the landing net.

103 striped head2Presented from Issue 103, April 2013

The fish

Tasmania’s coastal waters are fast gaining a reputation of having some of the best variety and quality of fishing in the southern half of Australia. Every season for the last decade or so we seem to be experiencing new and unusual species migrating into our waters and revised management strategies are ensuring that fisheries are protected for future generations. There is one particular species though that has stood the test of time and has the potential to really put us on the map and that is Latris lineata or the striped trumpeter.

Quite often classed by Tasmanians as “one of the best eating fish in the sea”, the striped trumpeter, or sometimes known as the Tasmanian trumpeter, are mainly caught off the coast of Tasmania, but can be caught in South Australia and Victoria and are also found in New Zealand and South American waters. They are reported to grow up to 1.2m in length and about 25kg in weight and live for up to 30 years.

102 crane flyPresented from Issue 102, February 2013

Around the state at the moment there is a multitude of insects of every size and description from tiny midge to large grasshoppers. On a recent trip to my favourite remote western lake I noticed the abundance of craneflies. Walking in scrubby areas and brushing past the bushes would put out dozens of these insects. Most days in this area there is wind and even though craneflies are quite large they are delicate. It does not take much wind to push them onto the water and trout certainly have them on the menu.

102 life learning giant trevallyPresented from Issue 102, February 2013
One of the most appealing things about fishing is the endless opportunity to lean or discover something new. This is what keeps me keen. Trying something new in fishing and have it pay off is like adding another tool to your fishing arsenal. It could be a new technique or type of lure, fly or bait that sparks an idea to try something new in your own backyard. Knowledge and ideas are gained through your own experiences on the water and through your interaction with other anglers. Some may have had 40 years of experience on the water while others could be just discovering the sport for the first time.

Either way, you can learn something from anyone, as long as you’re willing to listen and share your own humble thoughts and experiences.

2017 04 17 Great colours in this Mersey River rainbowShot off to Weegena for another afternoon session because it's the only time I have the chance to wet a line lately. This trip was to private property where I have a decent old walk to the river which is usually well worth it. It was quite warm this afternoon and by the time I reached my entry point into the river I was already knackered. I started off with the usual gold Aglia spinner and worked a couple of fast water runs that normally give up a fish or two. They didn't give up a single fish or even a follow which was a real surprise.

2017 04 19 My best fish for some time 1 2kg brownAnother warm afternoon saw me head of to Merseylea for a late session on the Mersey River to see if I can add a few more trout to my seasons tally of 577 after yesterdays catch of four trout.

When I arrived to where I was going to fish I spotted a car already there so I headed of to another spot at Merseylea only to find the same thing. I was thinking about just heading of home when I thought I would try a section of river at Kimberley where I have gained the land owners permission to enter and fish there. I don't know why I didn't think of heading there in the first place as I always have this stretch of river to myself each time I go there. When I arrived at the river I spotted three trout surface feeding at the tail end of a long wide stretch of water. A quick flick ahead of them with a #00 gold black fury saw it taken in a matter of seconds by a small trout, and that's as long that small trout stayed on as well. Three leaps from the river that little trout tossed the spinner.

Presented from Issue 102, February 2013

Summer is certainly the best time of the year to go fishing around Burnie. With a little well prepared burley, you can catch just about anything! From big silver trevally and salmon to elephant fish and seven gilled sharks, there is something for just about everyone. Red Rock, situated on the western side of Burnie in the suburb of Cooee, is my favourite spot to wet a line around town. Why? The variety. There isn’t that much you cant catch there!

I’ve been fishing at Red Rock and it’s surroundings ever since I was a young whipper- snapper and I don’t think I’ve had so much success anywhere else around Burnie, or along the entire north western coastline for that matter!

102 mick mics mudey brownPresented from Issue 102, February 2013

Mudeye time is anytime

Dragon fly larva, or Mudeyes, as we all know them, comes in two forms loosely known as the couta and bug (Corduliid) mudeyes. The couta is the larger of the two and many species, in fact close to 300 species, are found all over Australia. They are found in mountain streams, inland lakes, marshes and wetlands, in general. What species dominate your local waters? I guess it is up to you to work out; during summer you will see them flying around.

seafish 2017 04 26 craysThe Rock lobster season is closing this weekend

Information from http://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/sea-fishing-aquaculture/recreational-fishing

The recreational rock lobster season closes next Monday 1st May 2017 for:

  • all rock lobster in the Eastern Region; and
  • for females in the Western Region.

You must have rock lobster pots and rings off the water in the Eastern Region by midnight on Sunday 30th April. You cannot transit to or from the Western Region around Whale Head with rock lobsters or rock lobster gear on board.

The season for males in the Western Region remains open until 31 August 2017.

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 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

102 big reels aPresented from Issue 102

Spinning reels are coming to market in a new range and size every other day. The Tasmanian Angler is spoilt for choice and it’s a great problem to have. Egg beaters are what we love to call these types of reels and for good reason. We are finding them used for a greater range of fishing styles than just spinning.

102 hopper close upPresented from Issue 102

We all love the onset of summer, don’t we? Warm weather, cold beer and of course dry fly polaroiding for trout. But it’s not only the highland polaroiding that gets me excited at this time of year, because it is also closing in on hopper time on my favourite local streams.

As you wander the edge of your secret stream hotspot take a look in the long dry grass as you go, if you are kicking out a few of the resident grasshoppers then its time for a change of fly boxes. Tuck away that nymph/dry box and bring out the one loaded with big, fat foam flies. I guess you can also have some other hopper style patterns in there as well if you wish, not every fly has to have some foam in it, does it?.

 102 flathead feature
Demi Lambert showing
how it is done

Presented from Issue 102
The humble Flathead is without doubt the Tasmanian anglers most sought after recreational saltwater species.

They can be found virtually anywhere there is a sandy bottom, from our estuaries to our bays, they are easy to catch and as an added bonus, are fabulous on the dinner table as well.

Mike Stevens has asked me to pen a few words together aimed at those that want to start targeting this species and perhaps aren’t really familiar on how to go about it, so here goes.

Species

There are three distinct species of flathead found around Tasmania and perhaps the most common is the southern sand flathead.

102 flathead sandyThey can grow to around 50cm in length and over 2 kg in weight, but due to them having to be around 16 years of age in order to reach this size; fish like these are the exception rather than the rule.

Their colours vary depending on surroundings but they are usually a light brown or mottled pattern on top with a white belly.

101 squidPresented from Issue 101
Squid fishing has become hugely popular in Tasmania in recent times and the start of spring and early summer heralds a new migration of the fish and tasty squid rings on the dinner plate. Whilst we have arrow and calamari squid in Tasmania the target species I am talking about here is calamari.

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)!

2017 04 17 2017 04 17 735 gram brown mersey riverWith a very light breeze blowing I was in two minds all day whether to go and have a session on the Mersey River or not. Finally around 2:30pm I decided I would go for a late spin session after all. I was in the river by 3:00 pm in what was really good conditions even though the river was running low and clear, not only that I would be fishing in full sun for the first 400 meters of river until I reached the shaded areas on the river. I started off using a hard body for a while without any sign of a trout before I changed to the gold Aglia spinner when I reached a 300 meter shallow fast water stretch of river that varied in depth from (4'' to 6'') 10cms to 20cms.

101 surf fishing salmon fast actionPresented from Issue 101
For as long as people have been coming to the East Coast of Tasmania, surf fishing its beaches has been one of the most popular pastimes. Whilst not always the most productive form of fishing it certainly is one of the most relaxing. Its something that the whole family can be involved in and I have to say its quite something to see a group of families on the beach, dads with a couple of surf rods out, wives sunbaking on the white sand in the sun and the kids either playing happily, building sandcastles or trying their hand at a bit of light surf fishing.

The chance to have a holiday on the beach, put a smile on the children’s face and wet a line at the same just can’t be overrated. Add to that the chance of putting a fresh feed of fish on the dinner table and you have wonder whether heaven could be better than this

All that is need is a basic range of gear, some comfy camp chairs , an esky full of ice, drinks and food — and of course a separate esky for the bait, sunscreen, hat and sunnies and plenty of time to relax and enjoy the atmosphere. Many of the East Coasts beaches offer very easy access and often some great free camping facilities right on the beach as well as some light rock fishing in some areas.

2017 04 13 Golden brown... there's still some beauties to be caught - Adrian Webb 2017 04 13

Today I decided to have a trip to a small stream/creek in the upper reaches of Gunns Plains it's one that I haven't fished for six years. The reason I decided to check it out was because I was going back through my diaries and came across a report of one of my trips to it. I have no idea if it's has a name or not as it's one I stumbled onto one day while checking out a few back roads that crossed over small creeks & streams in the area that flow into the Leven River. It's very over grown in most sections and calls for some accurate casting.

101 wigglePresented from Issue 101
Over the last couple of months I have traveled to some of Australia’s most remote red sand country where there were fish in remote billabongs.

These are fed by the northern waters flowing into Lake Eyre Basin. To be invited onto a million acre station catching golden perch (yellow belly) and grunter was a great privilege and is another fishing adventure ticked off.

101 mersey lea rainbowPresented from Issue 101
I am a fly fisher living on the banks of the Mersey River in Latrobe in northern Tasmania. Some, close to me, think I am obsessed. I get to see close hand the cycles of the river and its inhabitants throughout the changing seasons. For me the most exciting time of the trout fishing season is late spring and early summer when the aquatic insects, like the caddis flies, stoneflies and above all the majestic mayfly, are going through their hatching stages. What follows is a story of a spring morning’s fishing on my favourite stream.

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