Regular ‘Tagger’ and very experienced stream fisher Iain, cradling fish (note wet cloth hat that’s another story) as longtime friend and beginner John, carefully removes the upper lip fly from this magnificent small river wild brown prior to release.
Estimate over 24 inches and between 3.5 and 4 lbs taken on small Humpy.
A great effort by John, the angler on this occasion, a ‘never used a fly rod in his life’ learner before he started his trip three days earlier.
Sighted, stalked, presented, to hand and released, it was no wonder the hat was a tight fit after this.
John insisted it was the fact that it had shrunk after his mate kept dunking it in the water to handle all the fish he caught, by I think there was a deserved slight swelling of the cranium after this effort … no not the hat again!
Return angler Rebecca gets a very nice 14″+ wild brown to hand to start her tour off.
The tiny run to the right of her was clear, shallow with variable current, so gentle presentation was the key to success here.
Small parachute dark brown emerger plus angler’s skill proved the trout’s undoing.
A big grin for a job well done. Peter, who is a long time salty, wanted to give freshwater fly fishing for trout a go.
So he did it with determination and the time to learn a great deal including introductory fly tying.
Stayed at our Cliff Top Cabin, below, for six days/five nights and provided entrée on night two with this well caught wild brown.
Though 95 percent or more are released, a fresh wild brown trout — your first one — wrapped in foil with some fresh parsely and chives sprinkled down the cavity plus a squeeze of lemon, then cooked on top of the wood fired stove, eaten with fresh bread and washed down a cool white wine is hard to pass up.
Another Nigel & Hugh day, always great fun, always productive and what a start to the year.
Nigel with his best for the day 1.5kgs wild brown falls to the Pink Bum Grasshopper — should mention this was on Red Tag’s Pro Angler 1-2wt Master series rod (WF2F line) and for some time the trout looked in charge of the situation, however skilful handling by Nigel and a good rod finally brought it to hand.
Hugh, not to be left out of the action, below, nets another good one around the 1kg mark.
Shanan had a great day on the small stream browns, but one good-sized pool and large wild browns had him going to extremes to get the fly in the right place.
Cool heads prevailed and ‘gunnels’ were not breached.
Wally from Queensland had a great dry fly day recently (late Sept 06) where he started off by taking the famous Tasmania ‘tailing trout’ concept to the extreme, ie, first good take of the day on the dry … was a little late on the ‘lift’ and hooked up to a very surprised wild brown in the tail fin!
Hence the decent bend in the rod.
As the day went on the hookups got back to the more traditional end.
About an hour before sundown Wally said “be great to see a platypus in the wild and get one more nice stream fish for the day”.
As if on cue, up comes our platypus friend, not once but about five times, to check us out and give us the nod that at top of the pool there’s a nice 1.5lb brownie just waiting for a dry … sure enough, out goes the Humpy, down goes the fly and here is the result.
This was a day of ‘firsts’ if ever we had one.
Brett and son, Corey, had never fly fished before … it was the first trip in the ‘new’ Red Tag wagon plus our first clients of the season.
After a slow start, I blamed the fish for this much more than the enthusiastic anglers, the afternoon session was full on. By the end of the day 10+ fish to hand (all released), some excellent conditioned rainbows amongst them up to 2+kg which included individual fish stalked and taken on small ‘woolly bugger’ wets.
Although we have had the occasional two anglers together hookups, this was the first time the anglers were at crossed purposes, sorry crossed lines, (see below) as their respective quality trout decided to go in opposite directions. Youthful enthusiasm won over experience with Corey landing his fine fish but Brett dropping his.
Recent figures from our Government recreational fishery service IFS (Inland Fishery Service) are very encouraging on the rebound of local anglers licence sales and the highest sales of Interstate licences sold on the last 12 seasons!
After heavy mainland Australia marketing competition by Victoria’s trout fishery and others, a decline (perceived or otherwise) in the management and quality of the fishery the local and visiting angler numbers dropped away.
The current team at IFS have introduced new management strategies, improved hatching facilities and developed the popular waters concept for major population centres fisheries that have rapidly improved the fishery and turned the participation rates around.
Also reinforcing the wild brown fishery concept by looking to raise the vast majority of hatchlings from wild stock, both brown and rainbow, not domestic.
So come on down to Tasmania and chase some wild brown trout, plus others, the fishing (in my view) is the best its been for the last decade or more.
Oh, and if you like stalking, wading and hunting secluded waters and feeding wily wild browns in rivers or streams, then Red Tag knows where they are, how to find them and what to tempt them with.