With the new Tasmanian trout season now several weeks old, early indicators look like we should be in for a great season. Although some unpleasant weather over the last couple of weeks has made difficult to get out, the widespread rain and snow which has fallen over much of the state recently should set things up for some great fishing for the start of spring.
Up on the central highlands, well know waters such as Penstock, Little Pine and Woods Lake have been popular. Anglers fishing from boats have been getting some good results from opening day, but as water temperatures slowly start to increase, more fish will become active in the shallows in coming weeks.
Typically, the colder conditions encountered early in the season mean fish are less active, and less willing to chase. Anglers fishing ‘loch style’ should fish both slower and deeper, trying to keep their flies close to weed beds during the first weeks of the season. Sixth Sense Sinking (Di3 is a great choice) and Intermediate fly lines are a great advantage as they help keep flies in the feeding zone longer, as you drift onto them.
Fishing two or three flies (most weight in the point fly) will also increase your catch rate. Multiple flies help you fish over a wider depth range as well allowing anglers to mix up fly colours and size. Patterns like the Woolly Buggers, Belinda’s Bitch Slaps (in black or olive) Shrek, Stick Caddis and Humungous are favourites and will get results.
Lower altitude waters are always popular early season and places like Blackmans and Waterhouse Lagoons have been fishing well, with some great conditioned fish coming to hand. Closer to Launceston, Four Springs Lake has been busy, but productive.
For those after a bit more of a challenge, the Western Lakes and Lake Crescent could be worth a trip. The Western Lakes have been producing during periods of more settled weather. A good friend of mine had a very cold but rewarding day recently when a day walk produced four good fish. Two of which were in excess of 5 pounds; were polaroided and caught on a lightly weighted black Woolly Worm.
The start of spring will see both of these fisheries start to fire. Crescent fishes best up to Christmas and the Western Lakes will just get better and better as the days start to draw out. September will signal the start of some excellent sight fishing. Fish aggressively hunting the shallows for big food items like Galaxia and frogs will create some visual and truly spectacular fishing.
River anglers will be keeping a close eye on flows, and recent rains and snow melt could see fish pushing out into paddocks foraging in flooded backwaters. Flies like black beetles, worm fly and black Woolly Worms will catch fish, and ‘dead end’ backwaters with no flow are usually best.
Bruce looking cold but happy out in the western lakes
September typically signals the start of the whitebait runs and anglers along the coast will be looking forward to when the runs start pushing up the rivers. Both sea trout and resident fish will make the most of this abundant food supply. A good session on bait feeders is about as good as sight fishing gets, and there is always the chance of catching larger than average fish. The Derwent is usually an early performer down south, while the Huon and some of the smaller rivers nearby are also terrific places look for bait feeders. Anglers in the northwest and west coast of the state are spoilt for choice when it comes to whitebait feeders, with most rivers running to the sea having bait running up them and trout feeding. Remember the tide plays a big part in when hunting whitebait feeders, and barriers like ripples, logs and weirs are places bait will congregate, creating excellent places to look for feeding fish.