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.



Fly fishing tasmania – wild trout pic of the day

Fly fishing Tasmania, wild trout of the day: RiverFly’s youngest customer, Rory, releasing his 4lb catch of the day. Rory polaroided this very fat, very wild brown trout, and hooked it on his second cast! Well done.

Rory and his wild Tasmanian trout

The river fish are well and truly on the hoppers, with the our WMD Hopper proving deadly. It’s been a freaky fortnight on the rivers, with more than 13 three-pound trout coming to hand, all polaroided, and all on the WMD hopper.

We’ve also been busy with Western Lakes Campouts, with the usual mix of blue sky days, and cracked up cloudy days providing both polaroiding days and mayfly days. January was an extremely dry month on the Central Plateau (19mm of rain compared to the average 120mm), so the best waters to head to have been deepwater lakes and their drop-off edges. These cruising trout have been averaging 2 1/2  to  3 1/2 pounds.

Finally, with a break from routine, here is a second pic of the day created by Mother Nature and fires on the West Coast: picture location, Western Lakes three nights ago.

Bushfire sunset, Western Lakes Tasmania

Bushfire sunset, Western Lakes Tasmania

Guided fly fishing on Tasmania’s rivers: grasshopper time.

Prime spring-creek runs

Prime spring-creek runs

Yesterday marked the first full-bore grasshopper day of the season: I was lucky to be guiding on my favourite midlands stream with two skilled anglers, who managed 50 or so smashing takes on dry flies. Half of these trout were hooked and landed, ranging from half-a-pound to a bit over two-pounds. Deep, faster flowing runnels among spring-creek weedbeds were the hotspots, and the WMD Hopper proved to be the successful go-to fly.
The success of the day came as no surprise; each day over the past fortnight has featured minor hopper fishing of sorts, but yesterday featured a full-on trout driven assault on this grass-munching food source. Our day started out with a light morning-time spinner fall, where parachute spinners undone half-a-dozen or so mooching browns. As the morning progressed and warmed, and the bankside hoppers started their screeching chatter, artificial hoppers replaced parachute flies, and the second fish to see our artificial was hooked. This continued through ’till 4.30 or so in the afternoon, when the afternoon sea-breeze took affect, and fish began to shut-down for the day. This daily rhythm is typical Tasmanian affair: a small morning rise, followed by the best fishing during the ‘gentlemen’s hours’ of 10-4, at the end of which the peak of the fishing comes to an end.
The best things in life are are seasonal, whether it’s the springtime of birth or the winter of death, or the heat of a hopper hatch or the coolness of a sea-breeze at the end of a dry fly fishing day. Perhaps it’s the impermanence of nature’s events, the ephemeral highlights, that makes fly fishing and life in general so interesting.

Hopper fishing tips: If fish consistently approach the hopper, but fail to take it, try twitching the fly with a movement of the rod tip. This often seals-the-deal, proving to much for the trout to refuse.

Hook-up on the WMD Hopper

Hook-up on the WMD Hopper