Secret Spring Creeks part 3 – Seepage Springs

Western Lakes seepage springThe ‘seepage springs’ as I call them are the spring creeks of the Western Lakes. Flowing underground from feeder lakes, these springs are the most common spring creek types found on Tasmania’s Central Plateau. My best guess is that they are formed when dolerite bedrock fractures, creating a subterranean riverbed for lake-bound waters to escape into. Somewhere along their travels, these waters re-emerge among the scoparia and pineapple grasses, where they hold the odd trout, who are in fact translocated remnants of winter floods.

The best way to fish them? I like to start at the bottom of the catchment, and fish my way up. The lakes found along the way will provide for good polaroiding, while the interconnecting stream offers a more intimate snout-hunting venue. If you are lucky, you will reach the headwater of the spring, which are often true trophy trout waters.

The give away on the maps are the systems as I have described them: look for chains of lagoons and tarns interconnected by a whisper of a blue line.

Fly fishing photo – spring creek gold

Spring creek goldThis is what all the fuss is about, an awesome spring creek resident (and yes, those colours are real).

Coming soon, part three of the spring creek series will cover what I call the seepage springs; the springs that carve their way through the bogs and moors of the Western Lakes. The trout are large and the creeks are skinny.


Secret Spring Creeks II – Limestoners

Limestone…just the word puts a smile on the dial, but then that’s nothing new. Look at the ole’ boys of fly fishing, and the streams of their stories─chalkstreams such as the Test and Itchen. Yes, limestone streams have a timeless appeal, and abundant hatches, clear flows and fat trout no doubt perpetuate their timeless appeal.
Tasmania has a small number of excellent limestone spring creeks, often appearing in the middle of paddocks, only to disappear down the gullet of a sinkhole a hundred or so metres away. In terms of geology, the most prolific area of limestone in Tasmania is found between Western Creek and Sheffield, which is the general focus area of any search for limestoners. Mole Creek is the geological epicenter, with the area said to have more than 400 limestone caves and sinkholes. The trick is finding creeks that contain fish, which is harder than it sounds owing to the semi-permanent and subterranean nature of many of these streams─this is also the part of the fishing I’ll leave to you.
Limestone geology is spread from Deloraine in northern Tasmania, across to the West Coast. With this in mind, smaller outcrops and associated creeks are found along the West Tamar (think Beaconsfield area), as well as in the far south (below Hobart).

Happy hunting, and may the minerals you find be brown and speckled.

Secret Tasmanian Spring Creeks P1 – Granite

Question: Ever wondered how many springs make up a small stream? At my last exploration, the South Georges River starts with 14 rainforest-born springs splurging out of the hillside, eventually collecting into one lovely sandy stream.

Lets face it, everyone loves a spring creek. The gin-clear waters, lower temperature variations and abundant hatches create dry fly fishing hotspots, but it is because of these reasons that their locations are often closely guarded secrets.
To the east of Launceston sits the North Eastern Highlands, a collective of peaks and high plains. It is these high plains such as the Diddleum, along with the granite filled bogs and soaks that interest fly fishers, for it is in this country that the first type of Tasmanian spring creek is found. That’s it, thats the clue: find the granite, and you’ll find the springs.
These creeks are often feeders to larger rivers such as the St Patricks, North Esk, South Esk and Georges rivers, and feature narrow, shallow and gravelly bottoms consisting of granite sands. This sandy bottom is awesome to polaroid, but the trout are flighty-they know they stick out. The best tactic is to get down in the long bankside grasses, eye-ball to eye-ball with the tiger snakes and stealth along hunting shadows and shapes.
A box of dry flies and a first aid kit is all you’ll need.