Secret Spring Creeks II – Limestoners

Limestone…just the word puts a smile on the dial, but then that’s nothing new. Look at the ole’ boys of fly fishing, and the streams of their stories─chalkstreams such as the Test and Itchen. Yes, limestone streams have a timeless appeal, and abundant hatches, clear flows and fat trout no doubt perpetuate their timeless appeal.
Tasmania has a small number of excellent limestone spring creeks, often appearing in the middle of paddocks, only to disappear down the gullet of a sinkhole a hundred or so metres away. In terms of geology, the most prolific area of limestone in Tasmania is found between Western Creek and Sheffield, which is the general focus area of any search for limestoners. Mole Creek is the geological epicenter, with the area said to have more than 400 limestone caves and sinkholes. The trick is finding creeks that contain fish, which is harder than it sounds owing to the semi-permanent and subterranean nature of many of these streams─this is also the part of the fishing I’ll leave to you.
Limestone geology is spread from Deloraine in northern Tasmania, across to the West Coast. With this in mind, smaller outcrops and associated creeks are found along the West Tamar (think Beaconsfield area), as well as in the far south (below Hobart).

Happy hunting, and may the minerals you find be brown and speckled.

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3 comments

  • BarryJ June 25, 2008  

    The Florentine valley (west of Maydena) is a limestone area not mentioned by Daniel.

  • Daniel June 25, 2008  

    Thanks for the information Barry,
    I haven’t ventured up that valley yet, this coming season’s project I guess. I know of one rainbow trout filled spring creek in that area that I’d like to fish…

  • Michael Dickson June 26, 2008  

    Taa Dan, good info as usual.
    The stream just south west of Beaconsfield is an interesting one. There was a trout hatchery planned for it years ago but they struggled because the water source was the outlet of the spring and therefore deoxygenated. Downstream things got interesting of course but it had a nice amount of water flowing from it…

    I just wish I could remember how to get to it!