Bradys chain of lakes - a real gem

Quenton Higgs

From anyone's point of view be it anglers, visitors or local business operators a sure- fire vote winner for a smart politician would be to seal the link road from Great Lake Hotel to Bronte! From a purely selfish point of view a bitumen link would make the delightful Bradys chain of lakes more easily accessible to anglers from the northern regions of Tasmania. Southern based anglers have enjoyed this luxury for many years.

And indeed the whole chain from St Clair through to Tungatinah Lagoon is set in comparative luxuriant forest, i.e. when compared with the Arthurs and Great lake localities.  One very good reason for this is the difference in altitude, some 350 odd metres with Bradys Lake recorded at 650m, well below the consistent snow line. The natural forest and understorey from St Clair to the Bradys Chain, I reckon, makes this one  of the best picturesque drives in Tassie. Of course, to the anglers benefit, the rich and diverse flora also generates a smorgasbord of trout tucker including gum beetle, caddis, mayfly and all things in between. Fishing and Boating News will comment on several, little fished waters of this region over the next few issues commencing with Bradys Lake,  Lake Binney and Tungatinah Lagoon.

It has always been quite easy for me to slip by this trio enroute from Strahan to Hobart and I guess many others would do the same. Next time, I recommend you take the short detour into Bradys Lake; you will be delighted. Travelling south on the Lyell Highway (A10) take a left turn about 500m after crossing the whitewater canal from Bronte Lagoon. This road winds a few kilometres through the Bradys shack area, alongside the canal connecting to Lake Binney, across the dam wall before rejoining the highway. In this short distance there are some great fishing opportunities such as Whitewater Point where the rapids from Bronte lagoon enter Bradys, the areas adjacent to the canal entry points and finally polaroiding from the Lake Binney dam. Inland Fisheries have heavily stocked all three catchments with brown, rainbow and brook trout plus some hefty mature Atlantic salmon. We polaroided a salmon of at least 10 pounds from the dam wall; talk about a mini submarine!

There is plenty of scope for land based anglers and all methods may be used. One area I was particularly impressed with was the eastern shore of Bradys accessible on the C174, the turnoff at the northern-most end. With a beaut camping area at Tunnel Bay you could relax soaking a wattle grub or comfortably wade whilst fly fishing or spinning.

Good public boat ramps are welled sited on each water and we launched in Binney at Camp Corner, just off the highway. Drifting down both the western and eastern shores red tags and gum beetles raised several fish to two pounds and at one stage a fish of four pounds sniffed the offering but declined. South Bay provides excellent fishing casting amongst scrub close to the water and is ideally accessible by boat. Should you wish to try your luck from a boat you can hire one from Highland Lakes Boat Hire at Canal Bay.  

What is unique about the three waters is that they are connected by two Hydro made canals and it is only a short distance into the smallest, Tungatinah Lagoon. Only small but with two extensive weed beds the opportunity to fish to tailing brownies is exceptional. Again good campsites, basic with no facilities are available.

In addition to the flys already mentioned others could well bring success include Woolly Bugger, Nymbeet and CDC Emerger, all around #12 - 14. Any of Wigstan's Tassie Devils or Tillen's spinners will take fish.  

There is a good depth of water in all three catchments and nestled amongst the hills they are not effected too much by wind so clarity is nearly always excellent. As the water recedes over the next two months locals advise that fishing will get better and better. I know I'll be back there during February and March.

Good fishn" and tight lines,

Quenton Higgs

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