Hello everyone, I thought it would be a good time to introduce myself.
My name is Stephen Smith and I have been managing the website tasfish.com since May 2009.
It has been an epic journey of learning and discovery and I am indebted to Mike Stevens for his help, support and patience.
I am developing a new venture Rubicon Web and Technology Training ( www.rwtt.com.au ). The focus is two part, to develop websites for individuals and small business and to train people to effectively use technology in their everyday lives.
Please contact me for further information - Stephen Smith.
Presented from Issue 104, June 2013
Never before has there been so many fly tying products to choose from. A recent book I read had a number of very early flies and mentioned many different animal hairs and down from a variety of birds.
Today there are so many different artificial materials produced the fly tier has never had it so good, nor so confusing.
Those early materials were often simple and we still use a lot today. There weren’t many really bright natural colours, but one was peacock herl, and that is one of my most used materials even today.
Presented from Issue 103, April 2013
Recently I fished with a friend on Arthurs Lake. It is always interesting fishing with other people — not only to have some different company, but to learn some new techniques. I fish a nine foot, six weight for dries and if there are no fish moving off come the dries and I change to semi-wets or full wets with a sinking line. A DI3 is my favourite on a ten foot, six weight rod. I like the longer rod when lifting the flies to the surface on the retrieve — especially if using 2-3 flies and a long leader. Back to fishing with my friend though - who happens to be a dry fly purist for some reason. It was pleasant looking for fish, but there was not much moving so we were prospecting as much as anything.
Presented 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.
Presented 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.
Presented from Issue 99
I suppose everybody is geared up for the new trout season. My start was during July by thoroughly cleaning up my fly tying studio. It is so nice to have everything so one can find things. It will be some time before the fish are seriously looking up so wets will be the go for me.
Exciter flies or lure flies will be my choice for action. May I suggest the use of two flies in a larger point fly with something smaller as a dropper. The point fly really needs to be at least four feet from the dropper.
Point patterns could include Yetis, Woolly Buggers, Matukas, Tom Jones, Wigram’s Robin and fur flies in various colours. For droppers, something quite small. This may be English wets, spider patterns are good tied with a really good moving hackle, nymph patterns dressed lightly as you must remember it is really early in the season and there is not much growth in any insects for the next couple of months.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We are lucky in Tasmania to have the many lakes that are surrounded by gum trees.
There are numerous insects that live in the trees, and on the right day they will be blown onto the water. Gum beetles are one delicacy for trout and they often cruise the shallow margins of a lake looking for these and will slurp them down with gusto. So when the breeze is warm the rod and the flies are put into the car and away I go.
It’s Christmas time again and that means dry fly fishing is well underway. There are not many fly fishers who don’t look forward to fishing the dry. Seeing the fish take the fly really starts the adrenalin flowing.
The fly this time is a very well tested emerger which I suppose is nearly a dry but does sit rather low in the water surface. The entire fly except for the tail is tied out of CDC feathers. The cul de canard, or CDC, feather comes from around the oil preen gland of the duck it is this feather fly tyers love to use.
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