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"Fly Fishing,
Lure Fishing or Private Fishery"


 

The Tasmanian fishery  is a diverse, as it is extensive. For your assistance, the wealth of information on it has been divided into the following sections:

Our fishery is disease free and we strive to keep it that way. You are encourage to leave your potential infected landing nets and waders at home and avail yourself of this equipment to be provided by your guide. If you elect to bring them please either disinfect them before departure or approach you guide to do so once you have arrived in Tasmania. Of particular concern is the possible spread of Didymo (rock snot) from New Zealand.

Details of the local Angling Regulations can be obtained by visiting the Inland Fisheries Service web site at http://www.ifs.tas.gov.au/ifs/goingfishing/regulations.

FLY FISHING | LURE FISHING | PRIVATE FISHERIES

Fly Fishing

Equipment | Feature Fishing | Polaroiding | Mayflies | Frog Time | Classic Tailers | Beetles | Scottish Loch-style Fishing | Wind Lanes & Midges | Evening Risers | Sea Trout | Fastwater Streams | Meadow Streams | Wilderness | Where do I go today?

Tasmania's showcase trout waters are found in the lakes of the Central Highlands. Essentially these are wild trout fisheries dominated by naturally spawned brown trout, though wild rainbows are common enough. The wily nature of the trout, the confusing diversity of the waters and the variability of the weather has lead to a reputation of demanding trout fishing, hence the ongoing fascination and world-class image. 

Successful trout fishing, and lake fishing in particular, has a great deal to do with confidence and this is where up-to-the-minute information about hot spots, water levels, intensity of hatches, feeding patterns, methods, flies, etc. becomes essential to success. Fortunately Tasmania is well catered by professional local guides who are able to give you the advantage of years of experience - instantly. 

In springtime, highland waters are renowned for their wet fly fishing and, while the weather can be very fickle, this period offers extraordinary sport. There are other attractions too, including sea trout and traditional stream fishing. But perhaps the very best time to fish is from early summer to mid autumn, when the fish can be easily seen cruising in crystal clear water or else found rising steadily to mayflies, beetles and all manner of other goodies.

The real addict will be pleased to learn that several major lakes (including Craigbourne Dam, Great Lake, Lake Barrington, Lake Burbury, Lake Pedder, Lake Gordon and Lake King William) are now open to year-round angling so there is even scope to fish for trout during the depths of winter.

Tasmania has such a reputation for its quality fishing that many visitors come here expecting to take limit bags. But quality does not necessarily equal quantity. Wild trout are seldom easy to fool, so accept the sport as a challenge.

Equipment

Equipment | Feature Fishing | Polaroiding | Mayflies | Frog Time | Classic Tailers | Beetles | Scottish Loch-style Fishing | Wind Lanes & Midges | Evening Risers | Sea Trout | Fastwater Streams | Meadow Streams | Wilderness | Where do I go today?

A 5 or 6 wt fly rod is the best general purpose rod for use in Tasmania. As you are usually sight fishing, floating lines are ideal and traditional weight-forward designs are recommended. While tippets of 2 kg (0.17 mm diameter) are best for clearwater fishing, especially when using small dries or nymphs, larger diameter lines of 2.5 - 3 kg (0.22 - 0.25 mm diameter) are more practical in snaggy or discoloured water.

Vinyl chest waders are adequate for most fishing conditions, though in summer you may prefer to wade wet, perhaps wearing thermal stockings.

Remember that ozone depletion results in the Tasmanian sun being unusually harsh. Always wear long sleeves, sun-smart gloves and a broad rimmed hat. Cover up any exposed skin with 30-plus sunscreen and don't forget the lip balm. Wear polarised glasses with a 100 % UV rating at all times when on the water.

As far as flies go, it is rarely essential to have exact imitations and it is possible to get by with just a few patterns. 

Feature fishing

Equipment | Feature Fishing | Polaroiding | Mayflies | Frog Time | Classic Tailers | Beetles | Scottish Loch-style Fishing | Wind Lanes & Midges | Evening Risers | Sea Trout | Fastwater Streams | Meadow Streams | Wilderness | Where do I go today?

In Tasmania the emphasis is on stalking trout, and many locals never bother to fish blind. Let's have a look at what it's all about.

Polaroiding

Equipment | Feature Fishing | Polaroiding | Mayflies | Frog Time | Classic Tailers | Beetles | Scottish Loch-style Fishing | Wind Lanes & Midges | Evening Risers | Sea Trout | Fastwater Streams | Meadow Streams | Wilderness | Where do I go today?

Since most waters are clear and shallow, polaroiding (looking for cruising trout with the aid of glare-defying polarised sun glasses) is the main tactic. Blue sky days are best though proficient anglers become adept at spotting fish in low light.

An effective method, especially where the water is too deep to wade, is to look for fish from the bank. Choose either a sheltered shore or one where the waves are striking at an angle and walk as much bank as possible - the biggest mistake new comers make is to fish too long in the one spot. 

If you are searching a shallow shelf it pays to wade out from the bank and to polaroid both back in towards shore and out along the lip. 

Where there are extensive flats you can wade well out from shore and use wind to advantage. Rhythmic waves (as opposed to scatty riffle) open up the water and give a better view of the trout. Wade down wind and be on the look out for moving shadows and stationary anomalies. 

Fishing from a drifting boat makes polaroiding easier still - you have the advantage of height and the ability to cover lots of water very quickly. The best boats are properly rigged as casting platforms and are kitted out with efficient drogues and silent, maneuverable electric outboards. Visitors are probably best advised to utilise the services of well-equipped and knowledgeable guides.

Fish which are not actively feeding from the surface will usually rise to take a dry fly, the Red Tag being the most popular first choice. You can't be too dogmatic about these things, however, and if you get consistent refusals it is time to change to an emerger or small nymph.

Season Calendar

Best flies

Hot spots

Great Lake;
Bradys chain of lakes;
Lake Echo;
Lake St. Clair;
Western Lakes and anywhere else where the water is clear.

Mayflies

Equipment | Feature Fishing | Polaroiding | Mayflies | Frog Time | Classic Tailers | Beetles | Scottish Loch-style Fishing | Wind Lanes & Midges | Evening Risers | Sea Trout | Fastwater Streams | Meadow Streams | Wilderness | Where do I go today?

If you are a connoisseur of mayfly fishing, Tasmania's high-country lakes will cater well for your passion.

The best dun-based sport is triggered by the Highland Mayfly and the Penstock Brown. These occur in great numbers on highland lakes throughout summer and are eagerly sought by trout which can often be seen systematically clomping down all the hatchlings in sight. Fish rise both in sheltered bays and along exposed shores where they are washed in with waves and wind. Peak fishing usually occurs from 10 am to 4 pm, so don't plan lunch for the middle of the day. Although calm conditions are usually best, some venues (notably Little Pine Lagoon) can offer surprising activity even when things are quite windy. What really stems the rise is very bright weather or extreme cold.

Adult mayflies, especially black spinners, also cause intense activity. The best rises occur over patches of calm water and prompt trout to leap high into the air. Individual fish are best targeted between bursts of activity and you will find that polaroid glasses are invaluable.

Riverine hatches are not as consistent nor as prolific as those on highland lakes, though marvelous action to both red and black spinners can be enjoyed on some of the lowland broadwaters in the South Esk catchment during spring. 

Best time of year

October to December (lowland rivers)
December to February (highland lakes)

Best flies:

Hot spots: Arthur's Lake; Little Pine Lagoon; Western Lakes (Lake Fergus, Lake Kay, Christys Creek, Silver Lake) and Macquarie River.

Frog time

Equipment | Feature Fishing | Polaroiding | Mayflies | Frog Time | Classic Tailers | Beetles | Scottish Loch-style Fishing | Wind Lanes & Midges | Evening Risers | Sea Trout | Fastwater Streams | Meadow Streams | Wilderness | Where do I go today?

Picture a dozen or so bold brown trout searching slowly and methodically in extremely shallow water, displaying dorsals, tails and sometimes a great deal of their backs. Imagine one or more of them sprinting suddenly, creating huge bow waves for several metres as they swoop upon unsuspecting prey. In springtime, when frog feeders are really on the go, they are probably as reliable and easy to see as any trout is ever likely to be. 

Marsh fish are especially alert to splashes and wakes and are usually very keen to strike. They will move a long distance to hammer the fly so accurate casting is not't usually essential. 

Experienced anglers delight in prospecting likely gutters, depressions and pockets between the weeds and tussocks. This can produce fast, furious action even if the trout are being unusually secretive and difficult to locate.

It is important to ensure that your fly is capable of making a splash and that it can be teased up to and along the surface. In very shallow water a semi-buoyant fly is crucial - anything heavier is prone to snagging. 

The best frog years are wet ones. What you really want is water rising up and filling permanent and semi-permanent marshes. Things are even better if there have already been a succession of wet years as this will have allowed depleted frog populations time to reestablish. 

Bad-weather days are better than fine ones because rain and mist really bring the frogs out in force. However, one of the nice things about marshes is that they are usually found away from the turbulent, destructive force of big waves and this means you will be relatively sheltered from the worst of the wind. 

Best time of year:
September to November

Best Flies:


Hot spots:
Bronte Lagoon (notably in amongst the tussocks at Tailers Bay, the Long Shore and Woodwards Bay);
Woodwards Broadwater (adjacent to the Lyell Highway between Bronte Lagoon and Brady's Lake);
Tungatinah Lagoon (the marshy corner near the northern end of the dam wall);
Woods Lake (Pattersons Flats); 
Lake Echo (Teal Bay, Large Bay and Broken Bay);
St. Clair Lagoon; 
Pine Tier Lagoon (northern end);
Nineteen Lagoons ( Double Lagoon, Lake Kay) and
any marsh in virtually any trout water around the state.

Classic Tailers

Equipment | Feature Fishing | Polaroiding | Mayflies | Frog Time | Classic Tailers | Beetles | Scottish Loch-style Fishing | Wind Lanes & Midges | Evening Risers | Sea Trout | Fastwater Streams | Meadow Streams | Wilderness | Where do I go today?

When lake levels subside, trout will still tail while feeding upon snails, water slaters and scud (amphipods). Such fish move about relatively slowly and are not as aggressive as frog feeders. They often seem to be quite preoccupied, searching with their heads down amongst the weeds and/or rocks, and are usually relatively difficult to catch. Nonetheless they provide excitement in the extreme and are not to be missed. Some anglers prefer to drift a dry fly but most opt for a wet beetle or nymph. An inert presentation is recommended though ideally the fish should notice the fly settle. The quarry are more cooperative on some days than on others and a pattern or technique that works today won't necessarily work tomorrow. When things are difficult it pays to keep moving along the shore covering as many fish as possible in the hope that eventually one will take.

The best activity usually occurs between first light and sunup, so be prepared for some early starts. While bright sunny conditions usually signal an end to the tailing session, fish will remain active if things are overcast and breezy.

Best time of year:
October to December

Best flies:


Hot spots:
Little Pine Lagoon
Bronte Lagoon
St. Clair Lagoon
Western Lakes.
Most waters with shallow margins

Beetles

Equipment | Feature Fishing | Polaroiding | Mayflies | Frog Time | Classic Tailers | Beetles | Scottish Loch-style Fishing | Wind Lanes & Midges | Evening Risers | Sea Trout | Fastwater Streams | Meadow Streams | Wilderness | Where do I go today?

Gum beetles are dome-shaped insects which look rather like giant ladybirds except that they are blowfly sized and never so bright and spotty. Their colour varies, most being a yellowish or greyish green. They inhabit eucalypt trees and on warm days, when they take to the wing, many blunder onto water surfaces. In fact, beetles can be carried kilometres by the wind and often ending up littering lakes where there is not a gum tree in sight. They stimulate spectacular summertime rises, especially on the Central Plateau where, along with mayflies, they provide for definitive dry-fly fishing.

In places which are sheltered and of relatively low altitude (like Dee Lagoon at about 650 m) beetles can often be on the water by early November. In higher, more exposed habitats (such as Great Lake at almost 1050 m) significant falls might not occur until Christmas time. But all this varies according to prevailing conditions. 

When there are very few beetles about, the trout do not stay on the surface long enough to provide good sport. On the other hand, if there is an oversupply, fish gorge themselves too quickly and the rise is still something of a nonevent. Ideal conditions occur when there is just a fair sprinkling of beetles and then the trout will feed pretty much as they do during a good dun hatch, chomping down one beetle after another. 

Be warned: often enough the fishing is plain tough. Sometimes the trout take naturals with gusto, mopping up every one in sight, and still refuse each and every artificial. But that, of course, is what makes fishing for beetle feeders so damned addictive.

Best time of Year:
November to March

Best Flies:
Plastic Gum Beetle (in a range of colours from brown to green/yellow to slate grey; sizes 10-14)

Hot spots:
Dee Lagoon
Great Lake
Arthur's Lake
Lake Echo
Brady's chain of lakes
Lake St. Clair
Western Lakes
just about any other water in Tasmania.

Scottish Loch-style fishing

Equipment | Feature Fishing | Polaroiding | Mayflies | Frog Time | Classic Tailers | Beetles | Scottish Loch-style Fishing | Wind Lanes & Midges | Evening Risers | Sea Trout | Fastwater Streams | Meadow Streams | Wilderness | Where do I go today?

Loch style fishing is really a synonym for active fly fishing from a drifting boat. Since the English master John Horsey visited Tasmania early in 1999, such fishing in Tasmania generally and on Arthur's Lake and Great Lake in particular has undergone a revolution. Strange as it may seem at first, English techniques work on our wild browns just as well as they do on rainbow 'stockies'. 

The secret to successful loch-style fishing involves using a team of flies to search efficiently in likely water. Proficient exponents work their way along all the best features, casting a short line (10-15 m) and allowing the cast to rest on the water for no more than five to ten seconds or so at a time. They also cast and retrieve efficiently, often teasing the flies across the surface in short bursts and lifting them from the water one at a time. Moreover, they take care to cast out to the side of the drift, rather than straight in front, so that the flies are always retrieved over new water. 

A team of three flies is preferred, the top dropper being 3 ft from the fly line, the second 5 ft from that and the point fly yet another 5 ft further on - making an overall leader length of 13 ft. For normal boat fishing, the English often use a team of wet flies or nymphs but Tasmanians have been much more keen to embrace the 'three dry flies' option. This method involves the use of different flies so that you hedge your bets and so that one or more can act as an attractor. The preferred patterns have lightly dressed seals-fur bodies and cheap 'nasty' hackles. Once treated with floatant they sit in the surface film but never sink. 

Think about what the technique means - six or more presentations per minute with three flies covering new water each time. It is way more efficient than sitting one fly in the one spot for ages at a time. Not only does it result in spectacular bags when conditions are not conducive to stalking, but it provides much of the excitement of regular sight fishing methods - you can usually see the trout rise through the water and watch the take. 

Best time of year:
November to March

Best flies:


Hot spots:
Arthur's Lake
Great Lake
just about anywhere else.

Wind lanes and midges

Equipment | Feature Fishing | Polaroiding | Mayflies | Frog Time | Classic Tailers | Beetles | Scottish Loch-style Fishing | Wind Lanes & Midges| Evening Risers | Sea Trout | Fastwater Streams | Meadow Streams | Wilderness | Where do I go today?

Midging fish are most prominent in the early hours after first light, though if things are overcast it can continue through until midday or beyond. You can even stumble upon significant afternoon or evening activity.

The best conditions occur after cool, flat-calm nights when early-morning breezes push accumulations of midge pupae into wind lanes.

Wind lanes are current effects that appear either as strips of froth or slicks of calm over an otherwise rippled surface. They are caused almost entirely by wind pressure (a complex process) and, since they serve to concentrate both surface and subsurface food, they are noted hot spots for trout.

Sometimes when the fish are feeding on larger midges, the fishing can be relatively easy and large Royal Wulffs  will suffice. Other times the trout are preoccupied with tiny insects and the fishing seems almost impossible. Either way the sport is about as exciting as fly fishing gets. 

Generally it is best to use imitations but when the going is especially tough crazy experimentation is called for. Try plopping a small bead-headed nymph one foot in front and stripping frantically - this will often initiate a reflex response from the fish.

Best time of year:
November to late March

Best flies:


Hot spots:
Lake Burbury
Dee Lagoon
Arthur's Lake
Great Lake

Evening risers and mudeyes

Equipment | Feature Fishing | Polaroiding | Mayflies | Frog Time | Classic Tailers | Beetles | Scottish Loch-style Fishing | Wind Lanes & Midges | Evening Risers | Sea Trout | Fastwater Streams | Meadow Streams | Wilderness | Where do I go today?

Most anglers are familiar with the evening rise, a phenomenon in which surface activity picks up late in the afternoon, peaking at dusk and continuing until after dark. When the weather is warm and calm, many Tasmanian trout are likely to be found feeding this way, sometimes on mayflies and midges but more often on terrestrials. In waning light the trout become less selective and will often take any nondescript dry. Royal Wulffs are popular simply because the white wings make them easy for anglers to see. 

Despite all this, you will find that the very best evening rises are caused by mudeyes, the larvae of dragonflies. The lakes on the West Coast and in the southwest are strongholds for dragonflies and in warm, settled weather the mudeye migrations have to be experienced to be believed. The insects look for any protruding structure on which to crawl out and hatch. Drowned sticks and emergent anglers are favoured. On really good nights the insects crawl about your face, down your neck, up your nostrils - and all the time the trout, browns and rainbows, are out there feeding noisily away. The action usually starts in earnest late in the afternoon and can keep going all night. 

To the uninitiated, searching for rising fish at night might sound ridiculous but you quickly learn to push your senses to the limit, identifying some fish by starlit rise-forms and others by sound alone. A definite plus is the fact that fish seek out wakes and silhouettes and are normally happy to take flies on the retrieve.

Best time of year:
January to early March

Best flies:


Hot spots:
Lake Burbury
Lake Pedder
Lake Gordon
Lake Mackintosh
other lakes on the West Coast and in the Southwest

Sea trout

Equipment | Feature Fishing | Polaroiding | Mayflies | Frog Time | Classic Tailers | Beetles | Scottish Loch-style Fishing | Wind Lanes & Midges | Evening Risers | Sea Trout | Fastwater Streams | Meadow Streams | Wilderness | Where do I go today?

Sea trout are simply brown trout which choose to spend most of their adult life in the ocean. They grow especially fast, become distinctively silver and are highly prized by serious trout anglers the world over. Whilst there are modest sea trout fisheries in southern Victoria, the runs in Tasmania are far superior. 

Sea trout follow huge schools of small baitfish (whitebait) in from the ocean to the estuaries and lower freshwater reaches of most rivers and coastal creeks, with the very best activity occurring in springtime. When feeding, the trout charge about all over the surface of the water, putting on truly spectacular displays. They snatch appropriate wet flies and lures and fight with a power uncommon in lake fish.

In general the best flies are lightly dressed, light grey in colour with a prominent silver body and a distinct black and silver eye, though relatively plain green and white streamers are also popular.

The reliability of this activity is heavily influenced by seasonal factors such as rainfall but when you strike things just right the fishing is simply unforgettable. 

Best time of year:
September to December

Best flies:


Hot spots:
West Coast rivers (especially, the Gordon, Henty, Pieman and Arthur rivers)
River Derwent 
Huon River
Lune River
Esperance River
Great Forester River
Inglis River
Duck River

Fastwater streams

Equipment | Feature Fishing | Polaroiding | Mayflies | Frog Time | Classic Tailers | Beetles | Scottish Loch-style Fishing | Wind Lanes & Midges | Evening Risers | Sea Trout | Fastwater Streams | Meadow Streams | Wilderness | Where do I go today?

Whilst most Tasmanian fastwaters are no match for their counterparts on the mainland of Australia or in New Zealand, they provide anglers with a real opportunity to catch good bags of wild trout and remain a delight to fish.

Most of the best waters are lowland fisheries which run through (or out of) dense forest. The banks are often overgrown but the pools and runs are usually shallow enough to wade. This sort of fishing is at its best in summer and early autumn when the water is low and clear and the fish are hungry for dry flies and nymphs. Traditional upstream techniques work best.

Don't expect big fish - most weigh just 0.2 - 0.6 kg - but every season each water gives up a handful of real monsters, including some in excess of 5 kg.

Best time of year:
December to March

Best flies


Hot spots:
River Leven (at Gunns Plains and Loongana)
upper Meander River
Tyenna River
Styx River
Weld River
St. Patrick's River
upper North Esk River

Meadow streams

Equipment | Feature Fishing | Polaroiding | Mayflies | Frog Time | Classic Tailers | Beetles | Scottish Loch-style Fishing | Wind Lanes & Midges | Evening Risers | Sea Trout | Fastwater Streams | Meadow Streams | Wilderness| Where do I go today?

The northern lowland region, incorporating the sluggish meadow streams of the South Esk catchment, has traditionally been the heart of Tasmania's river-based fishing and has featured heavily in the writings of some of Australia's most accomplished angling writers, including those of David Scholes. The fishing may not match the heights of yesteryear but is still excellent in its own right and the good news is that several guides now service the region, obtaining extraordinary results for their clients. Feature fishing includes flood-margins in spring and mayfly hatches in November/December. Tailrace water (from Great Lake) in Brumbys Creek and the lower Macquarie provides for more consistent sport throughout summer.

Best time of Year:
October to December (most waters)
December to March (Brumbys Creek and the lower Macquarie)

Best Flies:


Hot spots:
Macquarie River
Brumby's Creek
South Esk River
Meander River
Lake River
Break O'Day River

Wilderness fishing

Equipment | Feature Fishing | Polaroiding | Mayflies | Frog Time | Classic Tailers | Beetles | Scottish Loch-style Fishing | Wind Lanes & Midges | Evening Risers | Sea Trout | Fastwater Streams | Meadow Streams | Wilderness | Where do I go today?

Tasmania's wilderness fisheries are recognised as being among the very best in the world. There is something in the human condition which savours isolation and the opportunity to become intimate with the natural environment. Imagine: no radios, no noisy cars, no people other than those with whom you choose to share your time. It has been said that the best private trout fisheries allow people to stalk rather than chase trout. But the wilderness is also exclusive, there only for those with the determination to experience land and self.

The Western Lakes (incorporating the Walls of Jerusalem National Park and the Central Plateau Conservation Area) is Australia's showcase wilderness trout fishery, comprising hundreds of shallow clearwaters - all within easy walking distance from one another - where fly fishers can search for risers, tailers and in some cases trophy fish.

The only parts of this region accessible by 2WD are the Nineteen Lagoons and Lake Mackenzie. Beyond lies true wilderness. There are some formal walking tracks but other destinations can be reached by following just about any cross-country route you care to dream up.

Other wilderness fisheries exist elsewhere in the World Heritage Area and at Mt Field.

Before setting out make sure that you are well informed about bush safety and that you carry essential camping equipment, including adequate maps and guide books. Remember, too, that blizzards can occur at anytime - even in summer.

Best time of year:
November to March

Best Flies:


Hot spots:
Western Lakes
Mt. Field National Park

Where do I go today?

Equipment | Feature Fishing | Polaroiding | Mayflies | Frog Time | Classic Tailers | Beetles | Scottish Loch-style Fishing | Wind Lanes & Midges | Evening Risers | Sea Trout | Fastwater Streams | Meadow Streams | Wilderness | Where do I go today?

Stalking fish is the name of the game and to get the best value out of your fishing holiday it is important to choose venues where you stand the best chance of polaroiding cruising fish, seeing risers or locating tailers. You must keep in mind that trout behaviour varies from water to water and that the weather will make one or other feeding pattern more probable than the rest.

Few new comers are fully prepared for the vagaries of the Tasmanian climate. Our weather is very, very fickle. One day it may be pouring with rain and blowing a gale, the next it could be snowing, the next it could be a blue-sky scorcher. Even in summer you are likely to experience these extremes, sometimes all in the one day. Moreover, winds have a tendency to spring up and die away without warning, according to no pattern whatsoever.

The one definite plus is that, unlike the situation in Victoria and New South Wales, it is rarely hot enough for long enough to force trout out of the shallows or down from the surface. You can use floating lines year round and, if sight fishing is your passion, you need never resort to sinking lines.

Unfortunately, many of Tasmania's fishing 'highlights' are dependent upon exacting weather conditions. Yes, there will be a phenomenal hatch of red spinners on the Macquarie River sometime in late spring or early summer, but it is unlikely the weekend you allocated three months earlier will see the water levels just so, nor could you reasonably expect that the weather will be perfectly calm and warm. Similarly, sea trout fishing is at the mercy of floods, not to mention the extent and timing of the whitebait migrations. So realistically you will likely find that the best fishing on offer is in the Central Highlands.

To get the best of what the State has to offer you should plan to fish sometime from mid October to late March. If you wish to get a chance at tailers, the period from October to December is prime time. On the other hand, polaroiding and fishing to risers are at their best from Christmas until early autumn.

The following advice is offered to shore-based anglers who wish to taste as much fishing action as possible. It only recommends waters which give up fish relatively easily and are reliable in both wet and dry years. Other first class waters - those best suited to boat fishing, those which do not fire every year and those which give up relatively few fish - are excluded.

There is every likelihood that something extra special will be happening during your holidays: sea trout in the Derwent, frog feeders in the marshes at Lake Sorell, mudeye migrations at Lake Pedder - the list is endless. When you pop into a local tackle store, make sure you take time to chat with the staff. They will be only too pleased to tell you where the action is and will undoubtedly give you plenty of invaluable tips.
 

Wet, dull days in spring

Dull weather is ideal for tailing fish. The feature water for wet fly fishing is Bronte Lagoon, especially the sheltered shores of the tussock marshes in Tailers Bay, along the Long Shore, in Woodwards Bay and about the western end of Woodwards Broadwater. You will have timed things perfectly if the lake is rising after recent rain or at a sustained high level. If the lake is low you will still be able to rely on the dawn patrol.

Another reliable fishery for frog feeders is Lake Echo. Nowadays there is road access to the marshes in the northwestern corner of the impoundment - Teal Bay, Large Bay and Broken Bay - though you really need a high-clearance vehicle. 

Hot spot number three is Little Pine Lagoon. Here the trout will usually be preoccupied with tiny scud (amphipods) in the weedy shallows. 

In wet years there is also exceptional fishing along the northern shore of Tungatinah Lagoon and the southwestern shore of Lake Binney
 

Bright days in spring

The aforementioned waters are still your best bets but things are going to be a little tougher as bright light is not conducive to tailing. 

Take every advantage of low light conditions at dawn and dusk. In the middle of the day the fish will stay out a little deeper but you can usually polaroid cruisers providing the water is clear enough. The marshes at Lake Echo are be hard to beat in this regard.

Other good daytime options for polaroiding springtime cruisers are Tungatinah Lagoon, Lake Binney and the western bays of Great Lake.
 

Hot, blue-sky days in summer

These are the days that Tasmanian fly fishers live for! - polaroiding at its best. You are still likely to find tailing fish along suitable shores at morning and dusk but the key time to be out on the water is from 10 am to 4 pm when the sun is at its highest and visibility at its peak. For best results you must select a venue with clear water and a substrate which does not offer too much camouflage. Local favourites  include the northwestern bays of Lake Echo, all of St. Clair Lagoon, the Franklin Beaches and Cynthia Bay at Lake St. Clair, the western side of Great Lake, and even selected shores of the Brady's chain of lakes. The Western Lakes are both exceptional and delightfully unique but the catch rate is low and you may wish to delay a visit until you have already notched up a few trout from easier waters. 
 

Hot overcast days in summer

Cloudy dull weather is usually disastrous for polaroiding, especially if associated with breezy riffle. However, if the air is warm, conditions will be ideal for mayfly hatches. Use such weather to fully exploit the ever reliable rises at Arthur's Lake (Pumphouse Bay, Hydro Bay, Jonah Bay, Cowpaddock Bay, Sevenpound Bay, The Opening) and Little Pine Lagoon. If you want to stay closer to Bronte Park, there are good hatches at Bronte Lagoon (Fly Corner to Red Rocks Shore) and good beetle falls on Pine Tier Lagoon.
 

Foul, cold days in summer

If you are combining family responsibilities with fishing and you have a flexible timetable, these are the days to devote to activities other than fishing. But if you are super-keen to fish at all costs rest assured that persistent prospecting with a nymph or wee wet will usually lure up a fish or two. The shallow weed beds in Lake Echo, Arthur's Lake and Bronte Lagoon, or the rocky shores of Great Lake and the Western Lakes, are as good as anywhere. Never let a lack of anticipation to allow you to slip into thoughtlessness - cover as much water as possible, never give up on polaroiding and always be on the look out for rises, bow-waves or tails.

Critical Breaking Information

Our fishery is in danger through the Drought Proofing Tasmania process generally with the first of the Scheme now being developed. All anglers must make their concerns known. For more detail see:

Equipment | Feature Fishing | Polaroiding | Mayflies | Frog Time | Classic Tailers | Beetles | Scottish Loch-style Fishing | Wind Lanes & Midges | Evening Risers | Sea Trout | Fastwater Streams | Meadow Streams | Wilderness | Where do I go today?