Open up a 1:25000 series map of Lake Mackenzie and you will soon realise there is a huge amount of water to explore back there. Maps are wonderful things; they inspire the imagination and bring out the explorer in us. In Tasmania we have an immense wilderness to explore and a unique fishing experience that goes along with it.
As we go to print many of Tassie's rivers are still in flood, most of the major storages are filling nicely and a number of those dams on the Mersey/Forth and Derwent river systems have been spilling for two months. What all this means to the avid trout angler is that we are simply spoilt for choice of locations at the moment. Great Lake is one storage that has risen dramatically this year coming up almost four meters.
Approximately 16 kilometres long and rarely more than half a kilometre wide, Lake Barrington is a deep clear lake with mostly steep tree lined shores. The Hydro Electric Commission built three dams on the Forth River to form Lake Cethana, Lake Barrington and Paloona Dam. Lake Barrington is best known for its international rowing course and is a popular water skiing destination during summer. Over recent years the Inland Fisheries have transformed this lake into a viable fishing destination with it's extensive stocking program. The lake has a healthy population of rainbow and brown trout. Small rainbows up to 0.5 of a kilo can be very active, dominating the catch at times. The browns on the other hand can be a bit more elusive, but generally larger in size, some reaching well above double figures. Over the last five years, large ex-brood stock Atlantic salmon have been introduced into the Lake, some up to 30 pounds, testing the nerves of even the most seasoned anglers. The lake is one of the few in our State that is open to all forms of freshwater fishing throughout the year. A five fish per angler bag limit applies to Atlantic salmon, brown trout and rainbow trout with a minimum size of 300mm.
By the time July and August comes around, the browns in Great Lake are back in feeding mode, after spending the last couple of months spawning. Stick caddis, the Great Lake Shrimp and native galaxia and paragalaxias are highly sort after by these fish at this time. The galaxia and paragalaxias are small native fish that inhabit Great Lake. The majority of these inhabit the shallower margins of the lake; making shore based wet fly fishing a productive option. The colourations of these small native fish range from golden brown through to dark grey or black and are generally around 40 to 50 mm in length. Many trout, early in the season, find it hard to refuse a well-presented fly that even remotely resembles one of these fish.
Highly skilled, well lucky really, Devonport angler and international celebrity John Lyons nearly had heart failure when he caught the first glimpse of this fish. Stripping a Black Woolly Bugger at Arthurs Lake on Saturday 16 October John thought he had just hooked another nice Arthurs Lake brownie. How wrong he was though as he spent a very tense and nervous time getting this 11.5 pound fish to the net.
Although John rarely goes fishing without a camera, but this time he did. A quick call to some mates had the cameras rolling and after an hour at the boat ramp showing off it was back to his shack for a few celebratory bevies.
Although big fish are uncommon at Arthurs a few are caught each year. Fish of four pounds are at the top end of what can be expected at Arthurs, six pounds is a very large fish, so 11.5 pounds is a fish of a lifetime. It is most likely the biggest Arthurs fish on fly for many years if not ever.
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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.
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Sea-run trout fishing this year got off to a cracking start in most areas, with the majority of anglers employing nearly every trout fishing technique to secure fish in local estuaries statewide.
Even those anglers fishing the "off-season" lower down in our estuaries for sea-trout commented on the number of fish moving in early August.