Tasmanian trout rivers and streams

Tasmania’s wild trout fishing experience has established its world class standing primarily through the highland (Central Plateau) lakes, lagoons and tarns trout fisheries.

Whilst this is well founded, it is sometimes forgotten that all of Tasmania’s rivers and streams hold wild trout, in particular wild brown trout. Many of these waters are at lower levels and have a much longer dry fly/surface feeding season than do the lakes.

Ripples, runs, glides, deep pools, undercut banks and sighted fish, this is the fly fishing world I love to share with my clients and (when not guiding and I get the chance) fish myself. From early October to late April (often dry fly fishing the last day of the season) a wde range of hatches and insect falls bring the fish up to feed and take a fly.

Continue reading Tasmanian trout rivers and streams

Private water reaps reward for Roy

Young Roy

Young at heart Roy (81 years young) finally got to enjoy the full day introductory fly fishing workshop his wife had booked as a surprise for him some 18 months earlier.

Hip replacement and interstate trip had intervened to delay the start oh his fly fishing experience.

That behind him he got off to a flier. Sighted, polaroided, ambushed (with our emerger mayfly) and landed Roy has now got a beautifully conditioned 3+lb brown to share with his family for Christmas lunch.

Roy had the lot during the day, Missed the first take, then success, then a full on fly inspection refusal. Now planning his next fly fishing trip, look out trout is all I can say.

Matching the line

There are now many types and makes of fly lines on the market. Make sure you understand the use the manufacturer intends of each category of line and its coding, ie, WF is for weight forward, DT is for double tapered, F/S is sinking tip, etc.

The single most important gear set up in fly fishing is that the line # or wt should match the rod # rating you intend using it with.

That is, the ratings are now universal and a #6wt line is manufactured and tested to be most effective with a #6wt rod.

Stalking the wild trout

My favourite fly fishing is stalking and sight fishing Tasmania’s wild trout rivers and streams, particularly the lowland or meadow streams.

Red Tag specialises in fly fishing these waters with experienced anglers and introducing our extended or advanced fly fishing workshop pupils to them.

The fish in the rivers and streams of the meadows usually start rising (to the dry) in early October, beginning of the Mayfly season, and continue to be sighted or seen feeding off the surface, weather depending, right through our season till mid to late April.

Blue damsel

Blue damsel dry fly

The Blue Damsel is a longtime development. My mate Graham and I started experimenting with the colours and sizes, etc, many moons ago, after we had been consistently frustrated by these wildly leaping browns taking these bright blue and green version Damsel flies in mid-air.

Having played around in the kitchen getting various dyes to produce unusual shades of blue and green, we finally had the first sample of Blue Damsels to try out.

It was so successful the trout kept the first one to study at close quarters on the first cast of the first fly we had tied. It is also the only fly I have take a fish on in mid-air, but that’s another story.

The main thing is the tie represents the insect in flight not at rest like most of the commercially-tied varieties.

The Pink Bum Grasshopper

Pink Bum Grasshopper Fly

Our Pink Bum Grasshopper is a variation on one of Peter Leuver’s Badja hopper series from his book Fur & Feather.

Why the pink bum you may well ask?

This is my addition after having watched a large number over the season clinging on to the windscreen wiper while driving slowly through rough grassy terrain and noting their distinctive pink rear end from the trout’s perspective.

Early morning damsels

Damsel fly

Shot on an early summer morning prior to getting out over the water and annoying the wild browns. I know most people tie up their imitations to copy this form.

I believe that the fish take many more Damsels and Dragonfly on the wing so to speak.

Therefore my pattern is designed to ride very high on the water and look like a hovering or surface dappling insect.