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.

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

Western Lakes trout

Brumbys Creek Weir One – Tasmanian fly fishing mecca

Everyone asks, ‘where’s your favourite place to fly fish?’. It’s a hard question to answer, and a few places come to mind: the Western Lakes wilderness fishery, the South Esk River flowing at 130 mg/day, or Weir One at Brumbys Creek during high flows. These are all brilliant options, and at the top of my list. But its Weir One, or the ‘Top Weir’ as locals know it, that I’ve fished the most-400 days+.

What’s so good about Weir One? It’s easy to answer: clear water, 3lb fish and reliable hatches of size 10-12 mayfly. These days we are at the mercy of un-predictable hydro flows, that disregard any recreational uses of the area, but stay tuned to the flow rates and levels on, and hit the Top Weir when the levels are at 0.3metres and rising. You may polaroid the largest trout you’ve ever seen, or see the most spectacular cartwheeling rises imaginable. Either way it will open up a door to some brilliant sight-fishing opportunities just 30 minutes from Launceston.

For more information, click here to read Daniel Hackett’s FlyLife Magazine article ‘Brumbys Creek’. FL45%20Brumbys%20Creek

Brumbys Creek Weir One


Fly Fishing Tasmania March Mini-Report


Many apologies for the delay between reports…we’ve been busy with our young son, and our new fly shop . Now, onto the fishing:

February saw the arrival of the hoppers to the rivers of the Northern Midlands, in particular the South Esk, Lake, lower Macquarie and Meander rivers. The large yellow hoppers were a little low on numbers on all the rivers, other than the lower Macquarie, however the small brown and orange hoppers were great trout fodder on the remainder. Our imitation of these, the Mini WMD proved to be the best pattern. Other highlights have included black spinner falls later in the day, between 2pm and 4pm on the slower rivers.

The autumn mayfly also started last week, with dun hatches (black spinner duns, baetids and caenids) occuring on lower Brumbys Creek, Macquarie, North Esk and Meander. Our Possum Shaving Brush and Black Spinner have been the best patterns.

Fish in general have been in excellent condition this year, with Brumbys Creek having the largest average size for years (2 1/2lbs). The Lower Macquarie has lots of fat and young fish presently, whilst the Lake and Meander rivers have some longer and older fish. Cormorant plagues have cleaned out a few runs of the South Esk and Meander, along with the odd lagoon in the Western Lakes, however these are only isolated occurances.

Up on the plateau and late season mayfly have been showing among the Nineteen Lagoons in the Western Lakes, as well as Woods Lake where they’ve been joined by tailing trout. A break from the heat last week also saw water temperatures drop and midge hatches start again. It shouldn’t be too long until the gum beetles and jassids make an appearance.

Looking towards the next three weeks and we’ll be stocking up on black and red spinner mayfly patterns, small mayfly emergers, and the odd ant pattern in readiness for the autumn mayflies and ants. In the meantime we’ll be focussing on the consistent and exciting hopper fishing to be found on most days; the only conditions to be wary of are those with south-easterly winds, which somewhat slow the hatches. Finding sheltered nooks and crannies on the streams are the keys to success during these periods.

Thanks, Daniel Hackett.



The Source – Tasmania dvd

Arthur River sea-runner

Arthur River sea-runner

During late last year I was lucky enough to be invited to help Nick Reygeart of Gin-Clear Media with the filming of his up-coming film The Source – Tasmania. The request from Nick was clear: ‘I want to capture a classic Tasmanian mayfly hatch on film’. As all of you know, I believe that one of the keys to successfully hitting the hatches is to fish to the season of the day – that is to say, fish in the most likely spot according to prevailing weather, hatches, water flows, time of year etc.
With only a three days in which to capture a classic hatch, our timeframe mimicked that of the average guided fishing client – three days, regardless of weather, to fish a great hatch and target some rising fish. The first two days were average to poor weather, with difficult water levels – but some great fallback waters had us on to a couple of dozen rising fish to two pounds or so, which was exciting at times. Mayfly were found sporadically hatching, and generally, the fishing was good, but we hadn’t hit the purple-patch that I’d typically aim for over a three-day trip.
By late on day two the weather for the next day was becoming apparent – a calm morning would feature prior to afternoon winds. It was late November, the ceanid mayfly were in-season, so Brumbys Creek was our choice for the next day. We’d have a 7am start on the water.
Upon arrival at Brumbys, in all-important calm conditions, we began to recognise the start of the morning rise. Camera’s were lugged, the raft was launched, and the hatch was on…but this is where my story ends, and The Source – Tasmania can take over, along with awesome footage of sea-run brown trout from the north-west of Tasmania, great rainforested creek fishing, and of course, remarkable footage from our Western Lakes region.

Rafting a hatch on Brumbys

Rafting a hatch on Brumbys

The Source – Tasmania is showing nationwide this winter as part of the Rise Fly Fishing Film Festival, presented by Gin-Clear Media in association with FlyLife Magazine. Copies will be available for purchase at the shows, but if you can’t make it, contact me now to reserve a copy email Daniel for the June release date. The dvd will be available through our online shop Filming The Source

Filming The Source

To view dates for the national Rise Fly Fishing Film Festival, visit

View a 2 minute promo at
View a 10 minute ‘making of’ at