Trout number 400 reached today. 6/4/2015
Needing another six more trout to reach the 400 for the 2014/15 season I thought a trip back to Merseylea would be worth a shot. I knew the Mersey River still had a good flow of water coming down and this area would give me the best chance of reaching the mark. I was in the river by 4.30pm and didn't realise how low the sun was, with daylight saving out of the way it was much lower than I expected. Still I knew I would still have at least two hours to get the trout I required. The first run of fast water didn't show any signs of a fish, but in the next run I managed five hook ups for three browns caught and released. This was just the start I wanted and I had only fished some twenty meters of this fast water. It went quiet for the next ten meters before I had another brown take the little Mepps black fury, it was soon in the net. With only two more required I was feeling pretty confident of reaching my target before I made it to the end of this fast run in which I still had some thirty meters left to fish. It didn't happen, the rest of the run didn't give a yelp much to my disgust.Read more ...
Presented from Issue 95
I do not want to sound all flowery and fluffy, but some of my recent fishing on Tasmania’s superb streams where the little birds flutter about at rod’s length and the caddis are like snowflakes hovering in the clouds all excites me. What must it do to the trout? There are, of course, many insects on these small streams, the main one at this time of year is the mayfly. But the eager trout are mostly happy to take almost anything you may present to them on the shallow bubbly waters. A little Red Tag size fourteen or a Deer Hair Caddis work well. Where the waters have some depth, my personal choice is a small wet, a nymph, beetle or stick caddis.
Monitoring of PST levels in rock lobsters taken from Flinders Island have returned results that will enable the recreational rock lobster fishery in this zone to open from 00:01 hours Wednesday 23 November 2016. Please note that pots and rings must not be set prior to this time.
As advised on 15 November 2016, the Maria Island Zone remains closed pending further testing/results.
Thousands of Tasmanians participate in recreational line fishing each year with the majority fishing in marine waters. The most popular target species is flathead with Australian salmon also keenly sought.
Tasmania has a dedicated group of over 23,000 anglers who trout fish each year, many of whom also fish in marine waters. However, a larger proportion of recreational anglers who fish in marine waters don’t go trout fishing. If you are one of these anglers, why not give trout fishing a go this season?
By the time the month of April has arrived, the end of the brown trout season on our rivers is steadily coming to an end. Those magic days of trout rising to a hatch of insects are all but over. To the avid dry fly fisher, this is a reality that is hard to take at the end of every season. For me, it’s time to change tact, just like the trout in a river have to do to survive. As the amount of fly life in the river starts to taper off, more and more trout in the lower Mersey revert back to feeding on the native galaxia (baitfish), just as they do at the start of the season.
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 98
Over early winter I spent some time on Tasmania’s beautiful east coast. With all that water beckoning me of course one would have to go fishing. Flathead would be the target but then I guess anything that may swim past get something thrown at them. Certainly there was a lot of salmon around, but the majority of schools I saw were too far away to cast to.
This article appeared in The Advocate
Over Winter I get asked more about garfish than anything else. I know we have monster southern bluefin tuna still hanging around, but the humble little garfish can be a mainstay for anglers.
They are one of Tasmania’s most sought estuarine fish during the cooler months. They are plentiful, great fun to catch and delicious to eat. You don’t need to go zooming around the bay looking for them as they will come to you. Kids love catching them — and so do I.
The cooler months are best, and finds the bigger fish inshore and in many Tasmanian estuaries.
Autumn is such a wonderful time of the year. Cool nights, mostly sunny days and light winds. As I write this I am looking out over Great Lake – there is a slight ripple and some superb slicks gliding about here and there. I will go and look more closely at them after lunch. Hatches of jassids and ants are on the trout’s menu and both of these small insects end up in the slicks that form with the morning breeze.
The trout often go crazy on them.
Presented from Issue 100
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.
The zones that will open as scheduled on Saturday, 19 November are (see map below):
My season was filled with a mixture of highs and lows. I spent some time in the Kimberley and experienced some great fishing there. I thought previously that Cape York probably had the best salt water fishing in Australia, but northwestern Australia also has its fair share.
The highlight was polaroiding a sailfish and seeing the hookup. That is as good as it gets.
My trout season though had its good, bad and ugly side though.
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.
The recreational rock lobster season in the Western Region (waters west of Point Sorell around to Whale Head) opens this Saturday, 5 November. Fishers can set their pots from 1pm this Friday, then pull them after midnight when the season is officially open.
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...
The pest fish species, Redfin perch are present in the Mersey River
To work out how widely Redfin are spread in the Mersey River, its inflowing creeks and farm dams we need YOUR help.
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.
Presented from Issue 96
Traditionally the age old art of fish taxidermy has involved the preserving, mounting and painting of the fishes skin and head to craft a life like trophy. In more recent times fibreglass fish reproductions or ‘repro’s’ have become available, offering the trophy hunter a viable alternative. Indeed, a well crafted repro can look as good and natural as a well made skin mount.
I was inspired to touch on this subject after hearing secondhand comments that ‘skin mounts don’t last!’ That’s true if the mount wasn’t made correctly in the first place. We’ve all seen the withered and colourless mounts hanging on pub and tackle shop walls, of hardly recognisable specimens caught 20 or 30 yrs ago, and in some cases not that long ago. Well, fish taxidermy has come a long way since those days, with modern techniques and products developed specifically for the industry there is no reason why a properly crafted skin mount should not last a lifetime.
Presented from Issue 96
Late summer brings to the fore the best of fly fishing in Tasmania, the regularity of hatches and falls of terrestrial insects makes dry fly fishing at times spectacular. These days are highlights and can be predicted with some regularity, however along with the highs you also get the lows, those ‘dog days’ where the trout simply don’t want to play. It could be they are too well fed or more sensitive to changes in the weather, or in fact simply will not feed until the hatch they can predict better than us arrives.
How to predict where the fishing will be good is a key to success at this time of year particularly if you want the fish a particular style of fly fishing. When fish do start to feed make the most of the opportunities as in high summer with warm water these ‘hot bites’ may well only last a short time.
Presented from Issue 95
The tip of dorsal fin momentarily cut the glassy surface of the lagoon followed by a slight swirl over the iseotes weed mound. This was the signal I had been waiting for, he was back. An accurate long cast placed the little Montana Nymph a few feet ahead of the slight ripple caused by this activity. This was met by a huge bow wave and swirl in the vicinity of the fly.
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