Over the last three months I have been based at St. Helens on Tasmania's sunny east coast; I suppose it doesn't take a genius to work out what has taken up most of my spare time while being in this lovely holiday destination. Anyone who wishes to have some great fishing included in their holiday would not need to look further than this area.
This season has been difficult and has really made the fishing population think on how best to catch fish. The weather has been the main contributor in making the fishing quite difficult at times; there was no warmth to speak of until well into the New Year. Mayfly hatches have been spasmodic to say the least, only occurring for short periods and not very often at that.
At the time of putting pen to paper I am sitting in a nice warm spot in the Central Highlands watching the snow creating a white carpet on the ground. It's because of this unsettled weather I have not had time to fish, but I have busied myself reading Greg French's new book Frog Call. I don't consider myself a great reader and it takes something special to hold my attention. This book I love. Many of the stories and places mentioned relate to experiences I've had. Greg talks lovingly about the western lakes area - he makes it sound so magical and is moreso if you have been there. The book is written as short stories and covers many places and often hilarious situations. So for all those interested in fishing, walking and dreaming this is for you.
Like most angler anticipation has already set in for what the coming season may bring. The past season was rather hectic for us. We fished a lot of areas, both near and far, and as always if one happened to be in the right place at the right time fish were caught. Always remember the more you fish the more you achieve in learning to catch fish.
Some ten years ago when the World Fly Fishing Championships were held in Tasmania, I was introduced to Loch-Style Fishing. It certainly is an effective style of fishing on the day and it won the English team the gold medal.
I must admit though it really doesn't do much for me. It seems to be that it is little more than fishing a team of wet flies, don't get me wrong, it does catch fish and plenty of them on the right day.
Winter time is a traditional time for fly tying and certainly I have done my share this winter. Winter is also the time for end of the year dinners, always great nights, where many fishy stories are swapped.
The days grow shorter and there is a crispness in the air that signals the end of the trout fishing season is getting near. This is a good time for you to reflect on the season that was, like always Bill and I had some wonderful trips and some not so good.
Parachute flies are hot on everybody's lips at the moment and they certainly do sit nicely on the water. Next time you are on the water fishing and there is a dun or two around, have a good long look at how they sit. Very nicely, belly down on the water.
The flies in this issue, a Black Nymph, Green Gold Bead Head and Chain Eye Nymph, are normally fished from a boat as the added weight generally makes them too heavy to fish in shallow water. However, they can be fished dead drift under a large buoyant indicator.
Jan Spencer talks about her three favourite flies for the coming two months
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