The Vanishing River
Compared to five years ago, May is an interesting time for Tasmanian fly fishers. Great Lake, Brushy Lagoon, Lake Barrington and even Lake Rowallan are among lake-based choices for those still wanting to target trout, and avoid the winter blues. This season has seen further waters opened for fishing in May (for the first time), with designated ‘rainbow waters’ now including the upper Mersey River, the two Weld rivers and parts of the Leven River. Finally, some late season destinations for river-fishers.
Most anglers I’ve met recently have packed their gear away, not wishing to blind-flog Woolly Buggers through the death-nell of another season…but the message I have is that there’ s still room for sight-fishing in the newly opened rivers. I’ve heard two excellent reports from the Weld River (northern Tas), and just yesterday I got to visit one of the other rainbow rivers in a section I like to call Vanishing River. At this time of year as the downstream lake drops in height, an extra 2 kilometres of original river comes back to life, flowing with crystal clear snowmelt over a clean, gravel bottom, complemented by under-cut banks, pools and riffles. It is here, at the end of a 45 minute walk for humans, that brown trout (‘visitors’ to the rainbow section of the stream) begin to lay in wait for heavy rains and winter spawning. Over fifty of these trout were polaroided in Vanishing River, ranging from 1 lb to 4lbs. Three of these trout were sitting in foam-lines sipping dries and nymphing. So the next time you think the season is over, think about this: May holds some pretty cool sight-fishing opportunities, and some of them, such as Vanishing River, only exist for a fleeting moment late in the season.