Tasmanian Fly Fishing report September 2010

Western Lakes fly fishing

Flood fishing…

Tasmania hasn’t escaped the big wet of the past month, with many lakes and rivers overflowing at present. The rain has been welcomed as we enter our second wet spring in a row, and the Tasmanian fishery hasn’t looked this healthy in more than a decade.

Little Pine Lagoon was one of the first lakes to overflow late in August, offering two days of unbelievable flood-fishing. Spiders were one of the main food items, an event that was mirrored on the middle Macquarie River during the same period, with the addition of earthworms and beetles to the menu. Following on from these early floods, the South Esk has risen and dropped three times, as has the Meander and North Esk rivers. The increased availability of food during the early season is great for the trout, which have recovered quickly from winter spawning, and started to put on weight.

North Esk and Meander rivers are currently in flood, but should be back to normal by the end of the week. Sunday saw the new Lake Huntsman, on the headwaters of the Meander River, rise an enormous thirty centimetres overnight; the result was some phenomenal fishing to more than thirty tailing and foraging trout. The average size was fairly consistent, between one and two pounds, with a handful of fish to three pounds. Earthworm’s were the target at Lake Huntsman, but our un-weighted Mk2 Woolly Buggers proved to be the best pattern. Tied on heavy hooks, but lacking any lead or beads, these flies almost hover in the water column, making it easier to keep them weed free. These fly patterns are one of many that I tie-to-order for customers, and are available through our online shop, In Season Fly Fishing http://www.inseasonflyfishing.com

Western Lakes Campouts

As many of you would know, each summer we run campouts in the Western Lakes region, which is part of the Tasmanian World Heritage Area. Our business is pioneering sustainable guiding in the Western Lakes, and in 2009 became the first guided fly fishing business to be licenced by National Parks Tasmania to operate in the area.

The feature of the Western Lakes fishery is the sight fishing, which ranges from mayfly hatches, to wade-polaroiding silty-flats (similar to bonefishing), and of course the tailing trout. From our basecamp we range across thirty or more lakes, lagoons and creeks, each offering a different setting than the last.

If you would like to join us on one of our campouts this season, send us an Email as we are filling places now.

The Tasmanian mayfly season

Mayfly are famous in fly fishing around the world: they are the iconic insect of fly fishing. In less than twenty day’s time the mayfly will begin to hatch on the lowland rivers of Tasmania, an event eagerly anticipated each season. These early hatches are my favourite, particularly on famed streams such as the Macquarie and South Esk rivers, and offer the first consistent dry fly fishing of the year. The river levels are perfect for the lead-up to the hatches, and we are expecting excellent fishing on the Meander, Macquarie, North and South Esk rivers, on any of the spring days featuring calm and stable weather.

For those of you interested in tying your own flies for the start of the mayfly season, we recommend the deer hair Shaving Brush, Possum Shaving Brush and Ostrich Herl Nymph. The tying instructions for these patterns are included in my new fly tying book, Fly Cards, which is available from our online shop http://inseasonflyfishing.com/shop/fly-cards/ .

Fly Fishing Tip

Most early season trout, found foraging flooded edges in search of worms and frogs, take an inert (stationary) fly. Fish in this situation will chase a moving fly, but only a minority will actually eat it. Use movement to attract the trout’s attention, but then keep the fly still, and look for the white flash of the mouth as it opens and shuts, or a swirl as the trout turns on the fly. Detecting the take on an inert presentation can be difficult, so watch the leader carefully, and strike with confidence.

In Season Fly Fishing

Many of you would know that we have launched our own online shop, In Season Fly Fishing http://www.inseasonflyfishing.com . For anyone wanting to purchase our tied-to-order trout flies, Fly Cards and In Season Tasmania books, The Source Tasmania dvd or our limited edition Western Lakes artwork, this is the place to order them. Thank you for supporting our family business, and the products that we create.

That’s all for now. Our October newsletter will include fishing reports from the start of the mayfly season, as well as reports from our first Western Lakes fishing of the season.

Thank you from the RiverFly Team – Daniel, Simone & Patrick.

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