Trout fishing Tasmania – early season 2009

Western Lakes Tasmania, early season

Western Lakes Tasmania, early season

The Tasmanian trout fishing season opens this Saturday (the 1st of August), and Tasmanian fly fishers haven’t had it this good in five or more years. Heavy and consistent winter rainfall has seen all the rivers flood at least once, including the previously drought-affected Upper Macquarie River. The flood fishing opportunities in river backwaters and flooded gutters should be a certainty; the only question will be where to head to when the next flood happens. My bet will be the upper Macquarie or lower Meander rivers, while the South Esk and Lake rivers will also offer excellent flood fishing. From past experiences the best flood fishing occurs from the third winter flood of the season onwards–most of the northern rivers will now be looking towards their third floods of winter, so the fisheries are primed and ready to go.

 Up at the lakes, Arthurs and Great Lake have been rising noticeably during the last month, covering tens-of-acres of freshly flooded ground. My bet is that any trout caught in the shallows will be stuffed full of chunky earthworms, drowned by the rising water levels. Little Pine Lagoon will be popular but too high for the best fishing (it will begin to peak later in September), while Woods Lake will be very productive, but very busy going on the trends of the last few years. The great unknown will be the new Lake Huntsman, and whether this new fishery will start cranking in what will be its second year of existence.

 Out in the Western Lakes a fortnight ago, a downpour of 25mm+ saw the area turn into one great sheet of water. Another first for the past five years, this type of flood results in the trout foraging more confidently, but more importantly, the headwater lakes that only link to the main-system waters every few years or so will again be linked and naturally re-stocked with a few fish. These brownies will turn into trophy trout as minimal competition and food allow them to feast 24-7. Now that sounds bloody good!

 

Early season mayfly, Macquarie River

Early season mayfly, Macquarie River

Moving into September and the floodplain tailing will only improve in the Western Lakes, while on the rivers cockchafer beetles will begin to make an appearance bringing fish to the top. Brumbys Creek will be a hotspot for this action, along with the Meander, Macquarie and South Esk rivers. By the first week in October the first serious mayfly hatches will be underway, and with a continuation of the wet winter, famed destinations such as the Macquarie River should fish the best they have for five years. Shaving Brush style dry flies and sight-fishing will be the go, and I can’t wait!

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