Recent rains across the state have been perfectly timed for the 2018/19 trout season opening on Saturday, August 4th. The central plateau has received some heavy falls, with near record rainfall recorded for Miena in the month of July. With the many of lakes around the state rising quickly and with rivers running high, anglers should be keen to hunt out any newly flooded ground which provides excellent feeding opportunities for trout.
If you are keen to hit the larger rivers and streams, be on the lookout for ‘dead end’ backwaters and side channels where there is little or no flow. Morning and evening are the best times to look for fish foraging in the shallows and flies like black beetles, worm flies, black woolly buggers, woolly worms and black fuzzle buggers are personal favourites. Rivers like the South Esk, Meander, Mersey and Macquarie are great places to search for backwaters and wise anglers will be checking river levels early in the season in the hope of some great sight fishing opportunities.
If trying to catch fish on a dry fly is all you care about, then heading to the hills and looking for some clear running headwater creeks is your best hope. Even with the recent rains, headwaters will be running clear (and cold with snow melt), but the small fish that live in these places are normally willing to rise to a well presented dry fly from day one of the season.
Shore based still water anglers heading up to the central plateau should be looking at the newly flooded ground at places like Lake King William, Arthurs Lake, Bronte Lagoon and Little Pine Lagoon. Cold nights can make things hard if you want an early morning fish, doing so after an overcast night will help as the shallows will be not as cold. Evening sessions hunting tailers around the edges are often more reliable for the first month of the season. Water temperatures will improve gradually during the day, making the shallows more attractive for fish. Woolly buggers, woolly worms, fuzzle buggers, fur fly, stick caddis and the worm fly should work for fish found feeding in the shallows early season.
For anglers who prefer to fish Loch Style, Penstock Lagoon, Woods Lake, Little Pine lagoon and if you are after a larger fish, Lake Crescent will be great places to try. Remember that fish are more reluctant to chase in colder water temperatures, so often slow retrievals (help to keep flies deep over weed beds too) can be more effective in the first part of the season. Don’t forget to ‘hang’ your flies at the end of the retrieval and using an intermediate or slow sinking fly line will help hold your flies in the ‘feeding zone’.
Airflo Sixth Sense Sinking Line Airflo Sixth Sense Intermediate Line
If you are keen (or stupid) like myself, you will probably find yourself walking out ‘West’ opening weekend. Although normally very cold, the Western Lakes can fish well from opening day. Walk slowing around lake edges early, fish often sit stationary or move very slowing through the shallows in the cold water out West. Keep your ears open for frogs and a look out for drowned food such as worms, food like these will attract and hold fish in the shallows.
Off the plateau, Four Springs will be popular and should fish well from day one. Lake Huntsman fished well over winter and should continue to perform well for smaller, well-conditioned fish. Further North West, a personal favourite, Talbots Lagoon normally starts to fire up from early September when the frogs become active around the edges, with the first duns will appearing from early October.
Want to know more about this incredible fishery? Drop into essential Flyfisher in Launceston to pick up all your gear and hot tips whilst visiting beautiful Tasmania.