Manic Monday - Tasmania in Detail. Part 10. Arthurs Lake

By Simon Taylor 09/07/2020
 

Overview

Arthurs Lake is a large hydro-electric storage which has long been one of Tasmania’s most popular and productive trout waters. The lake is home to an enormous population of wild brown trout averaging 1-3lb, with fish in excess of 10 pounds caught each season. The lake is open to all methods of fishing, and has excellent boat launching facilities. The best ramps being located at Jonah Bay, Pump House Bay and the Dam wall. Arthurs is also a very popular with campers, with many sheltered camp sites available around the lake. There are excellent formal camp grounds at Jonah and Pump House Bay which have toilets, tank water,picnic facilitates and (Pump House Bay) hot showers available.

When to fish it

Arthurs Lake fishes well from opening day, but peak fishing would be September to March.

Highlights

Without doubt a feature of the lake is the endless opportunities and varied types of structure it gives anglers to fish. Arthurs Lake has long been a favourite water amongst fishing guides due to the varied options it presents, high fish numbers and the fact it has many sheltered bays which can be fished in times of high wind.

Early season the extensive areas of marsh and grassy shores are perfect habitat for shore based anglers hunting tailing fish, and also for blind searching with wet flies. The period from September to November are best months, with rising water levels being the best time to find fish.

Excellent mayfly hatches occur on the lake, with the bays on the northern side of lake traditionally being the most reliable areas (but many other parts of the lake are also worth trying). Mild overcast days are best, with November to February being the best months and peak times being from 11am to 3pm. 

Midge hatch well on the Arthurs and the natural setting of the lake is perfect for helping wind lanes and slicks form. Calm mornings will see large numbers of fish feeding on midge, and a boat with an electric motor is a huge advantage for anglers targeting these fish.

Arthurs is a wonderful loch-style water and fishing teams of both wet and dry flies gets excellent results. The lake has wonderful structure with large areas of rock, weed beds, drowned timber and reefs to explore with the fly.

Where to fish

Cowpaddock Bay, Hydro Bay, Flemings Bay, Sevenpound Bay and Jones Bay are good places to look early season for tailing trout, and also to blind search using wet flies on days when fish are not showing.

Mayfly hatches occur all over the lake, but Cowpaddock Bay, Sevenpound Bay, Camerons Opening, the Lily Ponds, Tumbledown Bay, Hydro Bay and Stumps Bay are normally reliable places. A good ‘dun day’ on Arthurs is a memorable fishing experience, with the sheer volume of duns and numbers of feeding fish hard to be matched by many other waters on the highlands.

Anglers fishing loch-style from drifting boats are spoilt for choice on the lake. The whole northern side of the lake is perfectly suited to loch-style techniques. Popular drifts being Cowpaddock Bay, Sevenpound Bay, Camerons Opening, the Lily Ponds and Jonah Bay which all give long drifts over feature filled water.

Map of access points by IFS Tasmania

Tackle

Shore based anglers will cover most fishing situations with rods in line weights #5 or #6, and of 9”ft to 9’6”ft in length.

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.

Flies

Wet flies should include patterns like the Bitch on Heat, Claret Dabbler, Fuzzle Bugger, Stick Caddis, mayfly Nymphs, Shrek, Magoo, Humungous, Fur Fly, Woolly Buggers and Woolly Worrms.

Dry Flies should include patterns like the Shaving Brush, Bibio hopper, Bobs Bits, Brett Wolf Emerger, Possum Emerger, Black Spinner and Gum Beetle.

Manic ‘must have’ Flies

CDC Thorax Dun Dark

Great Lake Gum Beetle

Belinda's Bitchslap Orange/Olive

Possum Dun

Hi Vis Possum Dun