Fly fishing Tasmania hatch chart – 27/08/2018

Fly Fishing Tasmania Hatch Chart – 27 August 2018

The Tasmanian fly fishing season has been off and racing for a couple weeks now. Typical of most seasons, opening week featured some solid fishing to Four Springs trout feeding hard on jollytails (galaxia), and the Western Lakes gave us some great trout for those hardy enough to brave the cold. The rivers had a predictably slower start, but we’ve seen baetids and black spinner duns sparingly hatching on some of our favourite creeks and streams already. Flood fishing has seen a couple of exceptional days, particularly in bigger north-west rivers, where RiverFly guide Peter Broomhall managed these spectacular shots of earthworm feeders up to 4lbs!

Quick rundown:

Four Springs: Frogs are imminent, good fishing in close on galaxias feeders during overcast conditions

Tooms: Low, challenging but fish to 6lbs

Great Lake: Good condition fish in amongst the ice! Galaxia feeders on the rocky shores.

Nineteen Lagoons: Very cold, fish still recovering condition

Derwent: Sea runners are starting to show

Mersey and Meander: tough with cold water levels, but fishable.

St Patricks: Good water conditions in the river and tribs, very cold water temps

South Esk: Dropping to a good height over the next few days, expect fish actively nymphing any day.

North Coast: Black back salmon are in the estuaries’, heaps of fun on the fly.

What to expect: Mayfly will start moving over the next fortnight on the lowland streams, while frogtime will hit the highlands. Fish hunting spawning galaxia are also expected this fortnight, look for wave-beaten and rocky shorelines.

 

Fly fishing with RiverFly 1864

Guided fly fishing Tasmania with RiverFly 1864

Guided fly fishing

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.

 

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

Mid-season rundown from RiverFly 1864

The season so far…

Spring and early summer river fishing has been very dynamic. River levels were extremely reactive to rainfall (rising quickly), which meant taking each day as it comes from a fishing-planning perspective. With the extra flows and floods, the average fish size in the Mersey and Meander was bigger than previous seasons, with some real thumpers being landed. The South Esk has had high levels right up until Christmas, with a new cohort of young fish up to 2lbs working small black spinners and damsels most days, and some beautiful clean gravel runs created since the high flows of winter. Our best flies included our French Nymph variant, and Chartreuse Caddis nymph, followed by the Fastwater Dun.

The small streams of the north-east are in the middle of the best season since 2013, with fish numbers back up to the usual high numbers. The big winter floods have restructured some of these small streams beautifully, lengthening the best pools by consolidating  smaller log jams that were previously found every ten metres or so, into single log jams and associated riffles every thirty metres or so. Snowflake caddis have generated terrific hatches, and it’s been dry fly all the way! Our favourite flies have been the Scruffy (size 12) and Glister-bodied Parachute Coachman (size 14). The St Pats, North Esk, South Esk, Ringarooma and tributaries have all been excellent destinations, and fish in the 12-16 inch range are most common.

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The lakes of the Central Plateau are looking great, and almost un-recognisable compared to this time last year. Great Lake has filled something like seven-metres, and nearly all other Hydro Lakes spilled over winter. Beetle falls have driven the fishing on-and-off since early November, with mayfly nymphs and hatches also becoming prominent by early December. Little Pine and Great Lake are both having good seasons for fish condition, and the Ostrich Herl nymph has proved deadly on Penstock and the Pine. Arthurs is still sporadic, but producing some excellent quality fish to those willing to walk the edges and cover some ground.

The Western Lakes were equally wet, with early spring water levels experienced up to the first week of December. This led to an excellent and lengthy frog season, but delayed the mayfly season from a normal mid-November start, to an early December start. The Nineteen Lagoons has been predictably popular, with the lakes and lagoons of the Little Pine River system performing the best to date. The road to the Julian Lakes is expected to open close to Australia Day, conditions permitting, and the Talinah track is currently open.

Fishing from our wilderness huts in the Western Lakes has featured all the weather imaginable, from balmy blue sky days through to snow. Some unusually large fish in the main lakes have been quite exciting (up to six pounds), but have proved hard to land amongst rocks and rushes. The younger year-classes have ranged from 2 ¾ to 4lbs, a great size. The random mixtures of frogs, beetles and midge on the menu has made fly selection has been quite variable, but one of our big terrestrial dries has been really successful (it’s a bit of a prototype we’ve worked on for a couple seasons), as has the Pheasant Tail Black Spinner, and Fuzzle Buggers fished to tailers in the waves. We can’t wait to host head to a new water that we’ve discovered a few kilometres from camp, after recently locating a sneaky shortcut to get there.

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A leaping Western Lakes brown trout, polaroided 400 metres from RiverFly Wilderness Huts. Pic by J Laverty.

An extra positive from our wilderness camp this season has been the increased presence of Tasmanian devils this year! With several sightings and lots of scats around camp, guide Greg French should have known better than leave is wading boots out at night. The inquisitive devils certainly appreciated the offering, pinching a boot, which has not been seen again!

Predictions for summer and autumn 2017

River and lake levels are great, and predictions of a mild summer and autumn gives anglers heaps of options. The north-east streams will be our pick for the best river destinations, given the excellent caddis and mayfly hatches to date, and the general excellent state of the waterways. Lots of juvenile grasshoppers are also out and about along the meadow-streams, and given the fortnightly rainfalls currently, conditions have so far been excellent for a late, bumper hopper season. There’s nothing we love more than sight-fishing big hopper dries on the rivers!

Continued mayfly hatches, and consistent terrestrial falls should drive the fishing on the Central Plateau, and continued muggy weather will start to produce some brilliant daylight tailing on clouded days. Little Pine should continue to fish well, and Great Lake windlane ‘sharks’ will become more established.

Big fish love beetle falls, so we’ll also plan to hunt trophies from our wilderness Western Lakes camp as weather permits during January and February, along with focusing on the bread and butter dry-fly sight fishing that forms the mainstay of our wilderness trips. Contact us if you would like to join a trip.

Thanks for reading, and have a great 2017, from Daniel and Simone Hackett, and the RiverFly 1864 team.

Guided fly fishing, tuition, and destination flyshop – Sage, Scott, Patagonia, Simms and Buff dealer

Fly fishing Tasmania – Hatch Chart November 23

red-spinner

The past week has saw hatch activity really pick up in Tasmania. Frogs are still going in the highlands, complemented by gum beetles and midges. Reports of duns have been sparse, but the hatches are starting to trickle through. Flooding on the lowland rivers has held fishing off on the South Esk and Macquaire systems, while the Meander, Mersey, St Pats and North Esk have all fished well. Small black spinners, baetids and snowflake caddis have all been hatching, along with flying ants. Tooms and Crescent are still popular for big fish hunters, but it’s been hard to go past the Western Lakes for prime conditioned fish, and high lake levels.

Feel free to give us a call if you have any fly fishing questions, we can steer you towards the best waters, and supply you with the best flies (all tied in Tasmania)!

Thanks, Daniel, Simone and the RiverFly 1864 team.

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