Good flow in the river, but not in flood levels would indicate that we will have an early mayfly hatch this year.
Excellent wading conditions for such an early period in the season.
Both these river shots were taken in mid-September (early spring), which would indicate an early hatch this season and early October to mid December could be one of our best dry fly periods for some seasons.
That is saying something since last year was such a consistent and quality fish one.
Already many nymphs are in the waters and with a few days of upper teens (16-19°C) afternoon temperatures between now and the end of September, look out.
Two other positive signs are early and active swallows over the water and the ‘old-timers’ down here say early wattle blossom means warm spring and dry summer — made for early mayfly hatches.
At this stage, some top October and November slots are still open on our books — check out the calendar and don’t miss out.
Here are just two stills from an action-packed video from the Bentleigh Pro-Angler team.
Click here to view the YouTube video.
Gavin & Eddie, from Pro Angler, Bentleigh, had been ‘talking’ about coming over to film and fish in Tasmania for our wild trout, ever since Tourism Tasmania and Red Tag Trout Tours have been presenting our Pro Angler/’Tasmania’ nights for some five years or more.
Well, they finally made it along with assistant Stuart, and Wow!
After 60 fish to hand over four days, four different waters and more than 75% return on the dry fly. They can’t stop talking about it! Three days on a wide variety of rivers, and one day at Currawong Lakes, in total probably 120+ fish to the fly, they have video show footage par excellence.
Having just completed a very good fishing season, I thought it appropriate to look back at the flies that stood out and review Red Tag’s Dangerous Dozen.
Dries: First choice is still the dark brown para-emerger – especially through the October to mid-December mayfly period, and first up through summer and autumn. See tying instructions here.
If I were to change any dries in the Dangerous Dozen range it would be to drop off the Royal Wulf and replace with the Elk Hair Caddis. It (the Caddis) was very good in the early ‘hopper season when the grasshoppers were first coming into the trout’s food chain and also as a ‘searcher’ on bright summer days through to early autumn.
Although I still use the Pink Bum ‘hopper to good effect, both the Nobby’s Hopper and the Para hopper were good patterns for this food item.
Nymphs: Copper bead-heads most used and successful when nothing on top with the brass bead-head version early in the higher and discoloured waters. Sizes #14 & #12.
Wets: None in the Dangerous Dozen range, only used in dire emergencies, ie, terrible weather, flooded backwaters (of which we had some in the early season) and high water lakes margins.
Did have some success in those conditions with the (Tasmanian) Fur Fly and Woolly Bugger. Still not that keen on them to squeeze out any others in the Dangerous Dozen, but handy in the fly box.
Marcus (a regular with Red Tag), leaves his Tasmanian handmade Peter McKean cane rod in the state and comes down regularly to visit rod and fish with both being very active on each occasion, as shown above with the third fish at the top of the first pool!
All this action was on dry flies, as part of the tradition on these trips, and the joy of using the rod.
It is single dry fly ‘upstream only’ fishing.
The guide has been known (very) occasionally to think nymph (not to be uttered out loud), and as for wets … the cane rod hasn’t even seen a wet fly since it was made, let alone cast one.
The #4/5wt – 7foot+ cane can really handle good fish in tight conditions.
Philippe, a first time ‘Red Tagger,’ gets our first river fish of the season on the Blue Damsel fly.
Spotted doing the usual leaping clear of the water feeding trick, Philippe sighted, stalked and presented the Blue Damsel spot on.
It augurs well for the coming summer opportunities!
This hook-up was literally a bee’s knee from the edge, and again the emerger did the trick.
Day 1 saw some good fish to hand on a #14 brass bead-head nymph. Although we release the vast majority of fish, this one of Ben’s supplied a nice entree that night.
Day 2 belonged to Peter, with the only single day trifecta of the season – one on the wet, one on the nymph and one on the dry.
This is Peter with his hands full on the dry fly take. Result was a beautiful wild brown trout around the 1.5lb mark, an excellent small stream fish.
New flyfisher Gee inspects the result of only her second, yes that’s right, second ‘on water’ cast with a fly (emerger what else?) while regular ‘tagger Simon is delighted with Gee’s start. It was an excellent well-conditioned wild brown trout.
She then then followed up the next day with this sizeable rainbow and a big smile to match.
November was very busy, with many returning anglers.
Roy was one of them and managed to get a particularly good late spring day along with some nice wild browns to hand.
A fitting end to a fun flyfishing workshop, Denise netting for a successful presentation and a hook up by husband Steven.
Earlier, on day one of the tour, Steven had created Red Tag history by being the first ‘Tagger’ ever at Currawong Lakes to have a trout take the Blue Damsel before we had one on the mayfly or emerger patterns in any season.
Yes, the mayfly have been a little late on these lakes because of our colder start to spring, yet the damsels are already attracting fish and this was still October!
It all goes well for a long and exciting damsel fly period.