Claret Dabbler

Claret Dabbler

We’ve just added the Claret Dabbler to our list of tied-to-order flies. Many lake guides will tell you that this is the fly to have during any Arthurs Lake or Little Pine dun hatches. It can be fished as a wet, but really excels when fished in the surface film, and momentarily ‘hung’ and twitched along the surface at the end of a retrieve. It’s one of our favourites!

RiverFly Tasmania fishing report – July 2009


Western Lakes Tasmania, winter sunrise
Western Lakes Tasmania, winter sunrise

Fly Fishing Tasmania—lots of rain, and the season to come

Great news for Tasmanian fisher’s has been the big-wet of late. Just a few days ago, Mole Creek (on the Mersey River) saw 150mm’s of rain (that’s half-a-foot!) in a day, and all the rivers, including the drought ravaged Macquarie River, are in flood. And by flood I mean that they are well over their banks! The drought-depleted and algae-bloom affected Leake, Craigbourne and Tooms lakes are now full, or close too, which is awesome news—Tooms’ in particular features excellent fishing to baitfish feeders, while the Macquarie downstream offers the best small red spinner mayfly falls in Tasmania. This will be the best season in four years or more, both in terms of water flows and lake levels, and associated mayfly populations and fish sizes.

With two or so weeks to go until the new trout season opens, I’ve spent the last month tying flies for our webshop, and exploring remote waters in the Western Lakes. The trip report from our last weekend of explorations among the wilderness Western Lakes is here, but in a nutshell, early rains brought about early spawning, which will result in bigger and healthier early-season trout. As I type, Lake Augusta on the rim of the Western Lakes is overflowing, and has been for four days. 

We’ve also been concentrating on lots of behind-the-scenes activities in the last month, which have included gaining access to new guiding locations on the Meander River. This river adds to our guiding venues on the Mersey, Macquarie, Brumbys, North Esk, South Esk, St Patricks and north-eastern creeks. I’m sure that repeat clients (as well as new guests) will enjoy this season’s new venue.

Opening day tactics

As alluded to, our trout season opens in just over two weeks on the 1st of August. Many will be heading up to the hydro lakes for opening day (such as Arthurs Lake), but I’ll be hunting around in the flooded backwaters of our northern rivers. The author David Scholes made these flood-fishing events famous, but the recent years of drought have seen opportunities for flood fishing all but disappear. I’m not going to miss out on this winter’s offerings, so the Upper Macquarie, lower Meander, and perhaps even the South Esk or Lake River will be on my flood fishing to-do list. Patterns such as the Fur Fly, Woolly Caddis and Black and Peacock Spider will feature among the fly patterns to try.

baetidAs August moves in to September, hatches and falls of cockchafer beetles, stonefly, and by late September, mayfly will be underway and the trout will be looking for dries. By October the mayflies will become consistent (outside of any flood events) leading to some of the best close-quarter dry fly fishing of the season.

 ‘Meet the author’s day’ at the Tasmanian Trout Expo – Greg French, Phil Weigall and Daniel Hackett

The annual Tasmanian Trout Expo (at Cressy) is on over the weekend of the 29-30th of August this year, where I’ll be found manning the Petrarchs Bookstore stand. The Sunday will see Greg French and Philip Weigall also at the stand, happy to talk to fellow fishers and sign books. Phil will be launching his new book ‘Fishing Season’, so it will be a great opportunity to get your copy on the day. More info on the Trout Expo here.  

 Fly Fishing offerings from RiverFly for season 09-10  

October 2009 -May 2010 Try a Three Rivers Package and lodge accommodation with RiverFly Tasmania and Quamby Estate Homestead  

November 2009 – May 2010 Book in for a Wilderness Campout. We have a remote river venue for 1-2 night trips, and Western Lakes campouts for those wanting to experience Tasmania’s wilderness fishing mecca.  

October 2009 – May 2010 Learn to Fly Fish days with RiverFly Tasmania and Quamby Estate Homestead

Fly tying classes – shortcuts, improving techniques, and trouble-shooting – Keep an eye out on our Blog for the dates of our second round of fly tying classes. The first round finished successfully in early July.

Fishing and fly tying tips

Tip1: If you get caught wading in water that is too powerful and need to turn back, try and avoid wading downstream back to shore: the water will start to ‘float’ you away as your centre of gravity is pushed downstream by the force of the current. Instead, it is safer to slowly work your way back to shore in a diagonally upstream direction, where you can keep your centre of gravity forwards, and your feet on the ground.

Tip 2: When tying parachute flies, always use a hackle that is one to two sizes larger than usual. This will give the fly a larger ‘footprint’ on the water (which will make it a better attractor), and ensure that it stays upright on each presentation.

 The Source-Tasmania DVD now available

The Source-Tasmania DVD by Gin-Clear Media is now in stock and can be ordered through our WebShop. As the feature film of last month’s international Fly Fishing Festival, The Source has already been shown to more than 2000 people, to generally great reviews. The film-fest is now headed for Europe for showings next month.

The film is beautifully shot across four locations: Sea-run trout destinations on the North-West Coast, the rainforest creeks of the Western Tiers, the mayfly waters of the Lowland rivers, as well as a longer section featuring the wilderness Western Lakes. The Source features Greg French and Daniel Hackett, as well as a cast of visiting anglers. Purchase The Source here.

That’s all for this months newsletter. Look out for the August edition which will contain a report on the opening month of fishing, with a focus on the feature-flood fishing we’re looking forward to. Have a great opening Day from the RiverFly team-Daniel, Simone and Patrick

FlyShop 1864 Fly fly tying courses – course content

A brace of Black and Peacock spiders

A brace of Black and Peacock spiders

Call FlyShop 1864 for more details!

Course content

The courses have been structured to enable all skill levels to participate, and to teach take-away skills for tying better flies, and tying them easier. Some of the topics covered will include:

– Technique for tying durable bodies with peacock herl

– Tricks for tying deer-hair and Possum Shaving Brush ‘wings’ for better flotation and fish-catching

– Technique for tying in durable, non-slip parachute hackles

– Techniques for tying easy ‘porcupine’ hackles – the easy high-viz alternative to parachute hackles.

– Tying with deer-hair – bullet-heads and the WMD

– Correct techniques for tying with foam – glue, legs and the Chernobyl Ant

– The rules for using colour and UV reflective materials in flies

The course will cover many more topics along the way, and the day-to-day techniques that may be troubling you (such as dubbing!) will be covered through the course of tying the featured flies.

There’s no better thrill than catching a fish on a fly of your own design. Come and join us to learn more about how to do it.