Team Tuesday - Chasing Tassie Unicorns

Here in Tasmania we have a lot of options for fly fishing. From sea running brown trout to remote Western Lakes sight fishing and everything in between and everyone’s got that one type of fishing or species of fish that really sticks with them and for me that obsession has been Brook Trout.

Brook Trout commonly referred to as “Unicorns” because after the many blank trips chasing them you start to wonder if they actually exist, are a fairly uncommon species for Tasmania and are only found in a select few lakes state wide. They favour the colder and harsher environment and have the ability to completely shut down for days on end making them a rather challenging fish to catch.

A few months ago, I was tagged in an Instagram post about the new Manic Belinda's Bitchslap Olive/Blue fly they were releasing. One look at the crazy blueish bead, blue flash and chartreuse body and I knew this fly was going to be a Brook Trout slayer.

Belinda's Bitchslap Olive/Blue

A quick look at the unfavourably cold, wet and snowy forecast (Brookies love bad weather) and the decision was made to make the long drive west to test out my bitch slap theory.

Upon arrival at the lake the weather turned out much nicer than expected with a fairly light breeze and almost clear blue skies and I had a feeling we were going to be up for a long challenging day.

This feeling was quickly squashed hooking up to the first fish within a couple of casts, after a few crazy runs and a stupidly missed net shot Andrew came over to save the day and with a ripper net shot slid a beautiful 5lb hen into the net.

Excitement levels were high as they always are when you land one of these beautiful fish and the next five hours flew by with a feeling that that next cast would result in another fish. Just as we were thinking of calling it to head home, a fish exploded out of nowhere again nailing “the bitch slap” and taking off on a blistering first run to the backing, a short fight followed and we had another beautiful 6lb fish in the net topping of an incredible day that won’t be forgotten soon.