Little Pine Lagoon
Little Pine Lagoon is a highly regarded wild trout fishery located next to the Marlborough highway, 7 kilometers west of the Great Lake in Tasmania’s Central Plateau. This exposed, weedy and shallow water is famous for prolific mayfly hatches and tailing trout. It fishes best in overcast conditions, and has a large population of wild brown trout averaging between 1.5 to 3lb.
When to fish it
Little Pine lagoon fishes well throughout the season.
Dry Fly: Little Pine is famous for its large hatches of mayfly. The best dun hatches usually start in early December and can last until the end of March. Mild overcast days are the best ‘dun days’, with hatches peaking between 11am to 3pm. Fish also rise well to midge, gum beetles, jassids and caddis in the right conditions.
Tailers: Tailing fish are a feature of the lagoon. The tailing fish at the Pine can be frustrating to catch, but are very addictive. Resident tailers are usually focused on tiny amphipods and forage in the weeds, but fish can also be found hunting prey like frogs and worms early season and after heavy rains. Fishing to tailers is extremely visual, and in the right conditions large numbers of trout will be found in the shallows. Peak months for the famous amphipods feeders are October and November, with dawn and dusk being the best times.
Where to fish
Anglers fishing from drifting boats will find fish all over the lagoon. The wind direction and conditions of the day will dictate where to fish. Loch-style fishing pulling teams of wet flies and nymphs will catch fish all season. Overcast days are better, and on dun days fishing a team of nymphs can be a very effective before the start of the hatch. Being a wonderful dry fly venue, most anglers tend to switch to dry flies and emerger patterns when fish are seen visibly feeding off the surface.
Shore based anglers will also need to move depending on the day (you can walk around the lagoon in a few hours). Places like the Untouchables, Western and Tailers Shore are great places to look for tailing fish. On dun days, the Untouchables all along the Western Shore along to the river mouth are always popular areas.
Hatches can often be localised, so if things are slow it pays to cover the water looking for duns and signs of feeding fish.
Map of access points by IFS Tasmania
Rods in line weights #4 and #5 are a great choice for tailing fish. My ‘go to’ rod for these fish is the 8’8 4wt Scott G series. The 4 weight is a fantastic presentation rod and ideal for delivering delicate casts and small flies to wary fish.
For shore based anglers chasing dun feeders, a 9’6” 5wt rod like the Scott Radian rigged with a WF floating line is perfect. It will fish well close, but has power to reach fish out wide and will handle both teams of dry flies and nymphs well.
Loch style anglers are best suited using rods between 9’6” and 10ft in length with line weights 5 or 6 being ideal. I prefer fishing a 5 weight rod for dry fly, and a 10ft 6wt rod when pulling wets. Line types will vary on the day and time of the year. If you are pulling wets, its pays to carry both floating and sinking lines in the boat.
Wet fly suggestions include; Nymphs, Shrek, Magoo, black and red Woolly bugger, Bitch on Heat and Claret Dabbler for loch style. Shore options would include Nymphs, Scud patterns, Stick Caddis, Snail, Rabbit Fur Fly, Woolly Worms and Woolly Buggers.
Dry files should include patterns like; Duns, Possum Emerger, Shaving Brush, Red Tag, Parachute Emergers, Black spinner, Bobs Bits (claret and black), Gum Beetles small parachute patterns for midge feeders.
Manic Fly Collection ‘must-have’ flies
CDC Floating Nymph
CDC Thorax Dun Dark
Belinda's Bitchslap Shrek
Belinda's Bitchslap Black/Red
Muz's Sticky Caddis
Hi Vis Possum Dun