Mersey River recovery – tailers

After the biggest Mersey River flood on record, it was with great excitement that in excess of twenty tailing trout were found during a weekend recon mission along the banks. Finning and tailing for earthworms, the wild browns were in excellent condition, and at times there were enough working the margins that they were swimming into eachother. Bring on August opening day – we’ll be taking a box full of our Earthworm Flies for sure!

(Hint: Best to click 720p resolution)



Tasmania’s big wet – the current rundown!

Big news for Tasmanian fly fishers, and for Tasmania’s waterways: a big wet has just tracked down eastern Australia, arriving in Tasmania with some massive rainfall totals. Rainfall totals include more than 220mm in the headwaters of the Mersey, Meander and South Esk rivers, generating major flood levels. The North Esk is already at an all-time record height, and rising, and there is some belief that Launceston will be subjected to a one in a hundred year flood.

The Mersey River is experiencing a massive flood event, with river heights of +10 metres on the normal levels we are used to as anglers. This quick iPhone pic from RiverFly guide Peter Broomhall puts this monstrous flood in perspective: this is the Merseylea floodplain, including Hoggs Bridge which is completely submerged near the poplar trees. This same bridge is usually six metres above the waterline!

The recovery of our Hydro-lake levels is in full swing, with Great Lake and Arthurs Lake currently receiving significant inflows. Online readings show that Great Lake has received more than 350mm in the past fourteen days, with inflows peaking at an amazing 7000ML/day from Pine Lake Rivulet. The lake itself has risen closed to one metre in the last 24 hours, while Arthurs Lake has risen 800mm. There may be no better time to chase flood feeders along the edges of Great Lake, once the roads are clear and safe for travel!

IMG_2154 Mersey river flooding copy

Flood Feeders

Lake Huntsman flood feeder

After another wet week in Tassie, the flood fishing is beginning to peak. The past couple of days were spent guiding on flooding lakes and rivers, where trout foraged in newly flooded margins, predominantly in search of drowned earthworms. Mid-mornings were the best time for catches, but as the water temperatures rise, the early morning action should also increase.  Waters to watch over the next three weeks will include the middle and upper Macquarie (if the nearly-filled Tooms Lake spills, the Macquarie River should feature some great flooded-margin fishing), Lake Huntsman and Lake Echo (as it approaches the 4.0m – 5.0m from full level). Of course, the famed Nineteen Lagoons will be on everybodys list to target, once the road gate at Lake Augusta opens.

We’ve used a number of patterns over the past few days, included The Earthworm and Fuzzle Bugger, however, our unweighted Mk2 Woolly Buggers proved to be the best patterns on slightly hesitant trout. These can be found at our webshop, and tying instructions are included in our new fly tying booklet, Fly Cards.

Fly Cards by Daniel Hackett

The big wet – Tassie river levels

A rundown in the aftermath of yesterday’s big wet:

Mt Wellington in the south, and Gray in the East both received around 200mm of rainfall in total. The South Esk River is in major flood—to put this in perspective, good flood fishing occurs as the river reaches about 2.4-3.0 metres; the river is expected to exceed 8.6 metres today! The Macquarie River breaches the banks around Ross at 0.40 metres, but has far exceeded this and is now running at 1.00 metre (the Southern entrance to Ross is closed due to flooding). The Meander has also flooded the paddocks, as has the North Esk River which will be re-arranging a few river-bends. 

My pick for the best flood-fishing today: the Macquarie River at Cressy, which was just breaching it’s banks as of the last measurement.

Liawenee on the edge of the Western Lakes received in excess of 60mm for the downpour, which augers well for the highlands.

The flooding is great news for the health of our waterways, which will all receive a good flushing for the second consecutive year following from the previous period of drought! Keep an eye out for pot-bellied brown trout over the coming weeks, all fattened on drowned earthworms and terrestrials.

It’s back to the vice for me, time to stockpile some earthworm patterns!

Daniel Hackett