Fly Fishing Tasmania – Hatch Chart September 2017

The fly fishing season is well and truly underway in Tasmania, and we are about to enter that magic period when sea-runners, frog feeders, and the first mayfly of the season all happen at once! Nymphing on the rivers has been great, particularly in the tails of runs, and bait have started in some of our favourite estuaries. Check out the hatch chart for more info, or drop in and get the up to date info first-hand.

Trout fishing Tasmania report – August

A wild rainbow on The Earthworm fly.

The Tasmanian season is well into a third week, and the fishing has been great. Well-timed rains on opening day produced brilliant flood-fishing on some of the smaller lakes, with RiverFly customers managing two days’ with double-digit catches. Even cooler is that many of these fish took the dry, including the 1864 Fastwater Dun. Among other lakes Bronte, Four Springs, Penstock, Woods and Lake Leake have all been fishing well, with Fuzzle Buggers, 1864 Earthworm, stick caddis and Fur Flies doing well.  Over in the north-west, Talbots Lagoon has also been popular, but the usual late run of spawning fish has only just finished. A few more weeks till this water really fires.

The streams have also had a good start, and the headwaters of the Esk have been producing clear water and dry fly action, while the top of the Meander, Liffey and St Pats have produced good nymphing. Lower down and the Mersey is patchy on nymphs, the Meander above Deloraine is going well despite high water, and whitebait is starting to show at the mouth of quite a few estuaries. Fly of the week has been our blue nymph, affectionally nicknamed the ‘Silver Bullet’.

Over the coming fortnight expect frogs to show up at Four Springs and Talbots, galaxia feeders on the rocks at Tooms and in the highlands, and some serious pre-hatch nymph action on the streams.

Tip: Target smaller lakes immediately after the next heavy rain. With the ground already saturated, earthworms will begin to wash down gutters and drains, mixing with frogs to create some great edgewater action.

Frog time is almost here! Pic by Peter Broomhall.

 

Mersey River after the floods

Mersey River flooding, 2016

Mersey River after the floods

This time last year, the Mersey River was experiencing the most destructive flood in history. Houses were washed away, more than 300 cattle were lost, and the river set many new courses. So how did this affect the fishing this year?

Our first inspection post-flood, in August 2016, revealed an almost unrecognisable river in parts. Whole river bends were gone, and thousands of tonnes of gravel littered the adjacent farmland. But miraculously under the rocks, mayfly nymph and caddis crawled and scurried, survivors of the massive flood. The first few fish of the season also looked great–perhaps even a little fatter than normal, from the additional available feed.

By late spring the traditional run of whitebait had begun up the river, and both sea trout and resident trout began actively preying on the small fish. The odd mayfly hatch began, and somewhat normal conditions returned to the river. The biggest difference was consistency; while good fishing existing through the river, it was almost impossible to predict which riffle and run would have fish, or good fishing.

Mersey River Tasmania

A ripper Mersey River fish from Autumn 2017

Skip to post-Christmas, and the river was showing some great form. Polaroiding nymph feeders, and fishing to aphid sippers was steady, though a noticeable absence was the normally reliable willow-grubs. Whether this insect was impacted by the floods, or by the unseasonable cold winter, it’s hard to know.

By late autumn the Mersey was almost back to itself – baitfish feeders smashing galaxia, and aggregations of nymphing brown trout in the riffles. Indeed our favourite riffle for the season was yielding catches of up to a dozen of fish, in the area the size of a dining room, on some of our custom tied nymphs during April.

From our experience, the Mersey has certainly been altered by the massive floods, and the best locations have changed, but the fishing is as great as ever.

The results of a two-fish in two casts for RiverFly customer Richard M.

30% off all all Simms waders, Scott fly rods and Lamson reels stock

RiverFly are clearing the decks for the new season, and are running a 30%-off sale on all Simms, Scott and Lamson. Discounts on any of these product lines are rare as hens teeth, and it is only available on existing stock. Specials include Simms G3 Guide waders, Scott Radian and Meridian, and Lamson Speedster reels. All specials can be viewed or purchased on our Specials page here https://riverfly.com.au/product-category/specials/

 

Autumn rod, reel and wader specials including Sage, Scott and Orvis.

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Each autumn we run specials on demo-rods, along with soon to be replaced rod and reel models. These are all available on our specials page here https://riverfly.com.au/product-category/specials/ and include the following:

Sage 3250 reels, 3250 spool (the best value reels getting around) at 20% off, Sage 4250 reel at 20% off, a ripper little creek rod in the Sage Approach 370-4 at 25% off (now $440).

Ex demo / display rods, current models, as new with full warranties etc, may have been grass-cast only. Scott Radian 1006-4 (10ft, 6wt), 907-4 and 908-4 at 30% off (now $875). Orvis Helios2 865-4 (one of our favourite all-round river rods), massive 40% off, now 749.95.

Looking for women’s waders, jackets and shirts? We’ve got plenty in stock from Patagonia and Orvis, at up to 50% off!

Check it all out here https://riverfly.com.au/product-category/specials/

Thanks, the RiverFly 1864 team.

‘Tasmania’ – fly fishing feature film by Todd Moen, Catch Magazine

During February 2017 we were lucky to host Catch Magazine Editor Todd Moen, for a week of filming. The goal was simple:  highlight some of the creek and Western Lakes fishing that makes our island so special. During the six days we got some amazing snowflake caddis hatches on the creeks, and some brilliant tailing on the lakes around our RiverFly Wilderness Huts in the Western Lakes.  Here is a short trailer for the film ‘Tasmania’…the full-length 18 minute feature is amazing.

Fly Fishing Tasmania – March hoppers!

March fly fishing has got off to a great start in Tasmania, with clear and warm days, and lots of terrestrials. Hoppers, willow grubs and free-drifting mayfly nymphs have been driving the river fishing, and the 1864 Mini-WMD Hopper and Ostrich Herl Nymph have been two of the best flies. The Esk rivers, Mersey, Tyenna and Meander have all been fishing very well.

Little Pine and Penstock have featured some brilliant mayfly hatches late in the day, with Shaving Brush style flies doing very well. Further off the beaten track and the Western Lakes have had some good midge hatches, and enough mayfly to keep the fish looking up. Juvenile baitfish, gum beetles and the first jassid falls of autumn have also kept the fish moving!

What’s new in-store: Checkout our specials page for some end of summer bargains, including rods, reels and women’s gear up to 50% off. https://riverfly.com.au/product-category/specials/

Image: RiverFly 1864 Western Lakes customer Dan L. hooked up to an evening tailer (pic by Peter Broomhall).

Western Lakes trout

Peter Morse casting day – Sunday 12 March 2017

RiverFly 1864 are excited to be hosting Australian fly fishing legend Peter Morse for a skills-development casting day on Sunday the 12th of March (8-4pm).

Peter is an International Federation of Fly Fishers Master Fly Casting Instructor Peter Morse, as well as a Sage fly rod and RIO ambassador. Both Simone (who is also a IFFF casting instructor) and I have learnt a lot from Peter over the years, and can highly recommend this session.

Particular areas of focus for this intermediate-level class will be:

  • The fundamentals of good casting
  • Dealing with the wind
  • Accuracy under all conditions
  • Casting further
  • Basic spey casting – both single and two-handed.

The day is limited to eight casters, so please contact us by email or phone to book your spot.

Thanks, Daniel Hackett

Peter Morse casting day pics-7

Five tips for chasing Western Lakes trophy trout

Five tips for chasing trophy trout in Tasmania’s Western Lakes, from the Western Lakes experts at RiverFly 1864:

Where: Headwater lakes offer anglers the best chance to chase trophy trout, offering low fish numbers, but endless food. What’s a headwater lake? Look for a lake with little or no inflow, and an insignificant outflow (a creek you can step across). This outflow should flow into a lake further down, rather than a major creek, to ensure low recruitment numbers.

The Pillians, Julians, Little Pine, Pine and Nive headwaters are all good locations.

What gear to use: A five or six weight fly rod is ideal, with a 10-16 foot leader depending on conditions. Finding trophy trout is hard enough, so don’t risk losing a chance with fine tippets. We prefer 3X tippet with a breaking strain of ~8lbs+. In terms of flies, the selection is simple. Either a big terrestrial (such as a 1864 WMD Hopper or Bruisers Bug) for shallow lakes, or a slow sinking nymph (our Woolly Caddis is a favourite) for deeper, sphagnum-edged lakes.

When: My favourite trophy hunting weather is a bright day (for good polaroiding), with a strong and warm north-westerly wind. This really gets the bugs and big trout moving. The second (slightly lesser) option are bright days with south-westerly, or easterly breezes. Thick bug activity is less likely during these conditions, but the often stable light allows for good polaroiding. Any day featuring terrestrials insects from November to early April can offer good trophy hunting conditions.

Guides tip #1: As with all Western Lakes fly fishing, cast to where the fish is going to be, not to where it is! This ensures that the presentation is ahead of the trout, and gives the best chance of a solid take.

Guides tip #2: When fishing the deeper, undercut-edged headwaters, work with a mate as a team. Position yourselves on either end of the bank, creating the best chance to spot the snout or tail of an edge-cruiser, and the ability to set a trap at either end of a beat.

Happy hunting! Daniel Hackett

RiverFly 1864 operates Tasmania’s only wilderness camp located in the Western Lakes / Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

Chasing tails in the Western Lakes

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